HOULIHAN’S | Famous ‘Shrooms

with a horseradish & Dijon dip

by RRR

What is a “Houlihan”, anyway?  According to the website the very first Houlihan’s restaurant was in a location that was formerly known as “Tom Houlihan’s Men’s Wear”.  During renovations, the blueprints were labeled “Houlihan’s Old Place”.  Founders Joe Gilbert and Paul Robinson dropped the “Old Place” and in 1972, Houlihan’s was born.

The first Houlihan’s menu featured an eclectic mix of classics and trendy options, like steaks, escargot and crepes.  The 1970’s loved escargot and crepes.  This was the generation that thought any French food was considered “fancy” and dinner and cocktail parties were all the rage.  Like all other American restaurant chains that emerged in the 1970’s and 1980’s and have stood the test of time, Houlihan’s has since updated their concept and image to appeal to the modern guest.  Their tag line now is “Because life’s too short to eat mediocre food”.

The Famous ‘Shrooms on their appetizer menu are herb cheese stuffed button mushrooms, rolled in a crunchy coating and fried.  And they  are addictive!  In fact, make 2 batches while you’re at it.  And that Dijon horseradish dippy sauce?  The perfect combination!  I’m originally from the Midwest.  Midwesterners LOVE to dip.  It’s in our DNA.

The recipe, itself, doesn’t take long to prepare but you’ll want to make sure that you give the stuffed and breaded mushrooms freeze for at least 3 hours.  This will keep the cheese stuffing intact and prevent the cheese from oozing out during the deep fry.

Houlihan's Famous 'Shrooms with horseradish & Dijon dip

Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 8 very large button mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
  • 1 cup Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ tsp. dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp. marjoram
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. parsley flake
  • 1 ¾ tsp. Kosher salt, divided
  • ¼ tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups Panko bread crumb
  • Dash hot sauce (optional)
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Dip Ingredients:
  • ½ cup mayonnaise (Duke’s pref.)
  • 2 tsp. prepared horseradish
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • ½ tsp. sugar


Mix all dip ingredients thoroughly and refrigerate until ready to use.

Using a hand mixer, whip the cream cheese, thyme, marjoram, garlic powder, parsley, ¼ tsp. salt and pepper until very creamy. Stuff each mushroom cap with 1+ TBL of the cream cheese mixture, forming a round ball about the size of a golf ball.

Using a “dry, wet, dry” method for dredging and coating the mushrooms, start with 3 bowls. In the first bowl, mix the flour, cayenne and 1 ½ tsp. of salt. In the second bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, and hot sauce. In the third bowl, place the Panko breadcrumbs. Roll one stuffed mushroom cap in the first bowl, coating with dredge thoroughly. Dip the cap in the second bowl and submerge in the milk/egg mixture. Roll the cap in the third bowl, coating completely with the Panko. Set aside and repeat the process with all 8 cheese-stuffed mushroom caps. Place the mushrooms caps in the freezer for 3 hours.

Fry Instructions:
In a very hot wok or sauté pan (extra-large), add 2” of canola oil. Once the oil reaches 350 degrees, add the mushroom caps, a few at a time. Do not overcrowd the oil and do not over-fuss with the mushrooms. You don’t want the crispy coating to get knocked off and you don’t want the cheese to separate from the mushroom. Fry for 8 minutes, per batch, until the crispy coating is a deep golden-brown color. Set aside on a paper plate to drain. Serve with the dip and allow to cool before enjoying.

Serve with Longhorn Steakhouse’s Bourbon Salmon or TGI Friday’s Jack Daniel’s chicken and Enjoy!


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