Cheesy Mushroom Casserole

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DSC_6376smallerIn honor of holidays in Israel last week (Memorial Day and Independence Day), I wanted to feature a recipe that represents Israel in a more personal way. This one comes from a Jewish woman I met who grew up in Russia. As you might know, life for Jews even in modern Russia was not ideal—besides difficult economic conditions, they also faced anti-Semitism. Yet for many years, Russia officially barred Jews from leaving the country. Finally, the gates opened in the 1990s, and Israel welcomed a majority of emigrating Russian Jews.

Despite loving her Russian homeland, this woman left and joined family members already living in Israel. About five years later, she moved to the United States. And ever since she’s been living the American dream—buying a home, babysitting grandchildren, and starting her own successful small business. Israel was a key link in her finding a better life.

This recipe has been one of her comforts. She learned it from her family in Israel; it became a favorite dish that she still makes today. She translated the recipe to me, and I rewrote it in a more familiar recipe style and U.S. measurements. I only made two significant changes. One, I reduced the amount of sour cream by half. Two, I added just a bit of Parmesan cheese. It not only nods to my Italian traditions but also adds some nutty flavor to this mild dish.

Keep in mind as you are assembling the casserole that you don’t want excess liquid in the ingredients. Be sure to cook the mushrooms until their liquid evaporates, and when you add the sour cream to the pan, cook until the mixture is thick. It should look like this:


The end result is simple and pure comfort: cheese, cream, mushrooms, and, well, more cheese. All that cheese and cream also makes this a recipe to keep handy for the festival of Shavuot, coming up from sunset June 3 to sunset June 5, 2014 (a holiday traditionally celebrated with dairy foods). But really, at its simple best, this mushroom casserole works any time of the year. And you can enjoy it knowing that the recipe has accompanied someone on a journey to a free and fulfilling life.


  1. Cynthia Thornton says

    I’m getting ready to make this to take to my sister’s for Thanksgiving. But the store didn’t have any dry mushroom soup mix! : ( So I got dry vegetable soup mix and also a package of dry mushroom gravy mix. I wonder which one would work the best? Anybody ever tried either one?

    • Hi Cynthia! I have not tried any substitutions for the mushroom soup mix. Usually if you have to substitute, the best approach is to substitute a similar product–so I would use the vegetable soup mix in this case. I hope it turns out well and your family enjoys it! Happy Thanksgiving!



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