Mushroom Walnut Pesto Tart for Mushroom Masters Challenge

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on September 26, 2011


Mushroom Masters: A Tournament of Taste is back for year two!



I was delighted to be asked to participate again after having so much fun with my Portabella Pizza recipe last year. Things got wild. Last year’s challenge is a big reason why I now love (and crave!) mushrooms as much as I do. I really didn’t fall in love with mushrooms until I started experimenting with them in the kitchen.

Sometimes those strange little things just need to grow on you like…fungi…?

Check out these cool mushroom facts:

  • Mushrooms are the only item in the produce aisle with vitamin D.  Winter’s coming, eat up!
  • Mushrooms are low in calories, fat free, and can be an effective substitute for meats thanks to their hearty and fulfilling nature.  I would concur.
  • Mushrooms are a source of selenium and ergothionene, antioxidants that play a role in immunity. Don’t be a sicky this Winter and eat up.
  • Mushrooms are a kitchen staple: they can star as the feature ingredient, or pair with any dish. They are like a little black dress, in other words.


Tastespotting is hosting the event once again along with Mushrooms Canada, Australian Mushroom Growers Association, and The Mushroom Council. Twelve of us food bloggers from Canada, US, and Australia were asked to compete in this challenge and were offered a bit of compensation for our time and food costs. We are now in the 4th and final week of the challenge.

I was assigned to the final week’s Appetizer challenge! Also participating in this appetizer challenge are  two very talented bloggers- Elana of Elana’s Pantry and Ellie of Kitchen Wench.


To be honest, I thought my mushroom creativity was maxed out with last year’s Portabella Pizza, but this Mushroom Walnut Pesto Tart is hands down the best mushroom recipe I’ve ever made. I’m so excited to share it with you after sitting on the recipe for a few weeks.


Given my recent infatuation for vegetables in my pesto, I thought it would be fun to make a mushroom walnut parsley pesto as a base for a tart. I really had no idea how it would turn out so I prayed to the culinary gods for a miracle.


For the pesto, I processed together garlic, toasted walnuts, extra virgin olive oil, fresh parsley, S & P, and the sautéed mushrooms. I was a bit worried that the mushrooms would taste weird in a pesto (shame on me, I know), but the flavours just worked so well. If you don’t want to make a tart you can always use this pesto with a pasta dish or spread over some crostini. Or you know, the spoon to face method worked for me quite well.

Step aside roasted tomato basil pesto, there’s a new fav pesto in town.


5 from 2 reviews

Mushroom Walnut Pesto Tart


Calling all mushroom fans!

My award-winning pesto tart took home first-prize in a Mushroom Canada competition a few years ago. It takes a bit of time to prepare, but the wait is worth it once you sink your teeth into your first crispy, savory bite. If you don’t want to make a phyllo tart you can simply spread the pesto onto crostini or try tossing the pesto with pasta and sauteed mushrooms for an elegant dinner.

12-15 squares
Prep time
Cook time


For the pesto:
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 20 oz (~1.25 lb) sliced crimini mushrooms, divided
  • 2/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts, divided
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the tart:
  • 7-8 Phyllo Pastry sheets
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing sheets
  • 1 red onion, sliced into long strands
  • Remaining crimini mushrooms
  • Fresh parsley, to garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Thaw Phyllo dough according to package directions.
  2. In a large skillet, sauté the sliced red onion in 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-low heat. Stir often for about 30 minutes. In another skillet, sauté the sliced mushrooms in 1-2 tsp olive oil for about 20 minutes or until the water cooks out.
  3. With the food processor running, drop 2 peeled garlic cloves in and process until chopped. Add in 1 cup (saving the rest for the tart) sautéed mushrooms, olive oil, and water and process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Now add in the rest of the ingredients (using only 1/3 cup walnuts) and process until smooth. Stir in remaining 1/3 cup walnuts. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  4. Place 1 sheet of Phyllo dough onto prepared baking sheet. Brush or spray on oil. Repeat for 7 layers. Carefully fold each side inward to form a crust. With a fork, poke lots of holes all over the phyllo to allow air to escape. You can also weigh it down with pie weights. Bake at 350°F for about 18-20 mins until golden.
  5. After cooling the phyllo for 5 mins, carefully spread on all of the pesto, top with the remaining mushrooms and onion. Garnish with fresh parsley leaves. Cut into squares and serve immediately.

Nutrition Information

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin September 26, 2011 at 5:59 pm

This looks wonderful! I love mushrooms, but I don’t cook with them enough. Thanks for the inspiration!


Kris September 26, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Voted for you! Great idea once again!!! :)


staceyhealthylife September 26, 2011 at 8:02 pm

That looks so good and fancy. Perfect for impressing someone. Best of luck.


Kiah September 26, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Love you new autumn header!!


Alyson September 26, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Ahhhh! That looks amazing!


radioactivegan September 26, 2011 at 8:20 pm

That looks so pretty and delicious!


Lauren @ Sweet and Twisted September 26, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Mmm…I love mushrooms. Hate parsley though. Maybe I’ll try this with some thyme and rosemary instead because this looks awesome!


Kaila @healthyhelperblog! September 26, 2011 at 9:17 pm

I LOVE MUSHROOMS! that crust looks so flakey and delish!


Kelly @ Foodie Fiasco September 26, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Mmm. This looks so amazing! Best of luck, Angela!


Tracy @ Tracy's Treats September 26, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Mushrooms get such a bad rap! I think they’re delicious! Good luck in the challenge!


Lenna September 27, 2011 at 1:24 am

Voted for you, what an amazing recipe! I love mushrooms :)


The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh September 27, 2011 at 6:33 am

That looks amazing! Perfect for a dinner party. (I accidentally typed sinner party though I suppose it could work for that too!) ;)


Luluk September 27, 2011 at 7:27 am

Hi, It looks drooling…I wonder where the link to the recipe is…I definitely would like to try :-)


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 27, 2011 at 9:16 am

It’s linked on the tastespotting page that I linked to :)


Lisa Broadley September 27, 2011 at 7:33 am

it looks so yummy!! I just voted and you’re in the lead! Woohoo!


Sarah September 27, 2011 at 7:52 am

Looks amazing! I just popped over the link and voted and couldn’t help notice that you’re winning!


Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove September 27, 2011 at 8:00 am

I’m going to go vote but I just wanted to say that this looks delicious! And I had no idea that mushrooms had vitamin D. That’s pretty cool.


jess white September 27, 2011 at 8:06 am

looks absolutely incredible!!


jennifer @ peanut butter and peppers September 27, 2011 at 8:19 am

I voted for you! Your tart looks so good, but I wish I liked mushrooms. I ty so hard to like them, but I can’t! If there in my food I won’t pick them off, but I won’t go out of my way to eat them! Good luck on the contest!!


JenATX September 27, 2011 at 8:29 am

i love the parsley sprinkled on top, gives the dish some color & provides a new clue as to what is inside the pesto :)


Stormy @Maoomba September 27, 2011 at 8:47 am

I am such a mushroom fan, and this looks phenomenal. Trying it out this coming weekend.


Get Skinny, Go Vegan. September 27, 2011 at 10:06 am

SUPER beautiful and amazing! We had some type of veggie filo for our wedding nearly 15 years ago. My family catered our all vegan wedding and was so happy with the look and subtle elegance of the flaky dough.


Nisha September 27, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Whats the best mushroom to use for this recipe? Portobello? Button? your recipes make eating healthy food so fun! i always look forward to cooking meals at home now!


Kathy September 28, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Those photos are fantastic! I’ve never had a tart, ever, and don’t quite adore mushrooms (they’re chewy little things!). Perfect recipe, eh? ;)


Michelle October 1, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Voted! It looks AMAZING! You are definitely going to win :)


Rachel L October 6, 2011 at 10:21 am

So I tried out this recipe and love it! But I had some troubles with the phyllo dough…all the layers kinda fell apart when I ate it and would you suggest folding the phyllo dough sides? It wasn’t in the original recipe but I noticed you did it in the picture. PS: Would love to talk to you/hear more about your Naturopath experience…I’ve been having some stomach troubles lately and don’t know if a nutritionist or naturopath is the way to go. Okay that was kinda long! Sorry…but thanks for the yummy recipe. :D


Dee Cervantes July 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Soo where’s the recipe? Lol. I’m tryna make this!


Angela (Oh She Glows) July 30, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Hey Dee, It’s linked in the post on Tastespotting. Sorry its a bit confusing!


Cathy February 4, 2015 at 3:46 pm

I made the mushrooms and the pesto from the recipe in the Oh She Glows cookbook and served on crostini. The mushrooms were good — but the pesto was AMAZING. I think it might be the single most delicious dip/spread type thing I have ever made, with incredible depth of flavor and savoriness. Thank you!


Laura MacKinnon November 26, 2015 at 8:31 pm

This was amazing! I made it as part of Thanksgiving and it was super delicious.
Even the omnivores couldn’t stop eating it.


Janine December 10, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Hi, I wanted to this mushroom tart recipe in the cookbook as it looks wonderful but wondered if I could fully prepare it and then let it sit in fridge for a few hours before heating and eating. Or would that mess up the phyllo?



Annie December 21, 2015 at 11:54 am

Hi there!
I am looking at making this as part of a hors d’oeuvre selection for Christmas, and am wondering if it can be made in advance, or partially in advance?
Thank you!


Silvia July 5, 2016 at 12:49 pm

Do you think I could replace the parsley in the pesto with basil? I have fresh basil at home already and love it, but I wonder if the tastes would work well together..?


Liz November 18, 2016 at 5:48 pm

Hey there! Is this tart ment to be served warm or cold? Im thinking about bringing it to a friends for dinner and prebaking the phylo at home and adding the mushroom pesto a few hours later before serving. Would this work? Thanks!


Debbie February 15, 2017 at 3:37 pm

I am confused. This is different than the recipe in your cookbook. The book says to cook all the ingredients together for 26-32 minutes. This version says top and serve without cooking the toppings. Which way works best? Thanks!


Melissa Novotny May 6, 2017 at 8:55 am
Recipe Rating:

You can’t go wrong with pesto! This appetizer looks amazing!


Mimi July 3, 2017 at 7:55 am

Love this Mushroom Walnut Pesto Tart!~ It has amazing taste and texture! Made it for the 4th of July weekend. LOVE


marcia shields October 14, 2017 at 5:33 pm

This looks so good! Wonder if you could use a flat bread or pizza crust?


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 16, 2017 at 10:24 am

Hey Marcia, I haven’t tried it myself, but this sounds so delicious! I can’t see why it wouldn’t taste great. :) Please let me know if you try anything out.


Sam November 19, 2017 at 5:42 pm

This looks amazing! I am an avid mushroom lover. My mom……. not so much.

Do you have any recommendations to substitute the mushrooms for this one? Eggplant perhaps?


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 20, 2017 at 8:27 am

Hmm that’s tough since the majority of the recipe is made up of mushrooms. I will put my thinking cap on and let you know if I think of anything!


Tara December 2, 2017 at 6:32 pm
Recipe Rating:

Worth every minute of the prep work. It was time consuming to make, but incredibly delicious. I served it to non vegan guests and they were raving about it the whole evening.


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 3, 2017 at 8:07 am

Tara, I love how many recipes you’ve been making! Nice work. I’m thrilled everyone loved this tart!


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