For a delicious French-style brunch, give these savory crepes with sauteed mushrooms and spinach a try! It’s a gourmet meal that’s easy to prepare!
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I’ve taken my classic crepe recipe and loaded up the filling with savory mushrooms and healthy spinach. The umami-packed fungi boost the flavor of the filling, along with fragrant chopped aromatics. A little bit of cream creates a lightly thickened sauce to pour over each foldable pancake.
I slightly tweaked the crepe batter in my original recipe and adjusted the seasonings to complement the vegetables and gooey cheese. The overall crepe-making process is the same and only takes a few minutes to cook, fill, and wrap while still warm. Make a big batch and treat your loved ones to a truly fantastic meal.
Make the crepe batter
To make a batter for crêpes salées (savory crepes), it’s a simple combination of flour, salt, milk, water, eggs, and melted butter. When mixing by hand, it’s essential to incorporate the butter and liquid egg mixture gradually. This process hydrates the flour for a smooth consistency.
The butter and eggs add richness, flavor, and structure to the wrap. The additional fat prevents the batter from sticking in the pan and gives crisp edges. For an even quicker method, process the ingredients together in a blender. I strain the mixture to remove any lumps, then chill it for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day in advance.
Cook the crepes
When you’re ready to make the crepes, whisk in a small amount of water to dilute the batter slightly. The mixture thickens as it sits. However, it should be thin and pourable to make French-style pancakes. You can use a special crepe pan, but I find that a 10-inch nonstick pan works well.
Heat the skillet over medium heat, grease with a small amount of butter, wiping out any excess with a paper towel. Add ¼ cup of batter to the bottom of the pan, then quickly swirl to create an even circular shape. It only takes about a minute to set, then flip the crepe to complete cooking. I find that stacking them on top of each other keeps them warm in between batches.
I use brown crimini mushrooms for the filling. They have a firm, meaty texture compared to the white button variety. Cut them into ¼-inch thick pieces, so they don’t shrink down too small and retain a nice tender bite. You can use any type of mushroom or a combination for a mix of textures and flavors like oyster, porcini, and portobello.
To add dimension to the filling, I use alliums and fresh herbs. Diced red onion and thyme briefly saute in hot butter. This process caramelizes the sweet onions and infuses the fat-soluble flavors of the chopped spice into the fat. Add the minced garlic last so that it doesn’t burn. The heat mellows the pungent flavor.
Saute the mushrooms
Mushrooms contain over 90% water, which can dilute the flavor of the filling. To draw out a large amount of moisture while seasoning throughout, salt them at the beginning of the cooking process. The water will draw to the surface of the cut areas, then concentrate the umami flavors when heated in the pan.
Wilt the spinach
Four cups of spinach may seem like a massive amount of greens, but it quickly cooks down to nearly a quarter of its volume. It only takes a few minutes to wilt in the hot pan. Other types of leafy greens like baby, green, or lacinato kale are healthy alternatives.
Make it creamy
Add a splash of heavy cream to the filing at the end of cooking to add a light and creamy consistency. Just make sure not to boil it, or it will curdle and get clumpy. You can thicken the texture by whipping it, then gently folding it in.
For a more decadent sauce, stir in about 2 to 4 tablespoons of creme fraiche, sour cream, or plain greek yogurt. These will add a slightly tangy flavor to the filling, which will be a nice balance to the savory ingredients. I also add freshly chopped parsley to provide more herbaceous notes.
Fill the crepes
Add about ⅓ cup of filling to each crepe, then sprinkle with grated gruyere cheese. It has a lovely nutty flavor that’s less sharp compared to swiss. Parmesan, smoked gouda, feta, and goat cheese are other tasty alternatives. Roll them up or fold into a fan shape. I like to drizzle with any leftover sauce that’s still in the pan, then top with parsley and black pepper.
Other savory filling ideas
- Ham and brie, or cheddar cheese
- Chicken and crispy bacon
- Shrimp, crab, or smoked salmon with chives, chervil, or tarragon
- Add a fried egg for a breakfast crepe
- Add sauces like pesto, hollandaise, or alfredo sauce
Properly heating the pan
Heat management is essential to ensuring circular crepes that are flexible in the center with slightly crisp edges. I find that starting with medium heat, then adjusting down as needed in between batches works well. This intensity allows the batter to flow over the pan to create the shape and set within a minute. If the temperature is too hot, the batter will cook too fast and potentially burn. Too low, and it will be pale with little flavor.
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- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, or table salt
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¾ cup water, room temperature, divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for cooking
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, or olive oil
- ½ cup red onion, or shallots, ¼-inch dice
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 16 ounces brown mushrooms, ¼-inch thick slices, about 5 cups
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups baby spinach
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese, or parmesan
- 2 teaspoons minced parsley, plus more for garnish
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk and ½ cup water, whisk to combine.
- Microwave the 2 tablespoons of butter on high power in 30 seconds intervals until just melted, stirring to dissolve any pieces. It should not be above 140ºF (60ºC) when added to the batter or the eggs will curdle.
- Make a well in the flour mixture. Add the melted butter. Gradually add the liquid egg mixture. Constantly whisk until a smooth batter forms. Alternatively, in a blender, add the eggs, milk, ½ cup water, flour, salt, and melted butter. Blend on medium speed until smooth, about 40 to 45 seconds.
- Strain the batter into a medium bowl to remove any clumps. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Once chilled, whisk in about ¼ cup of water to thin out the consistency. It should be similar to cream in texture.
- Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Add ½ teaspoon butter, swirling to coat the pan. When melted, wipe the excess with a paper towel. There should be a thin film in the pan, coating the bottom and sides.
- Add a ¼ cup (60ml) of the batter to the 6 o’clock position of the skillet. Moving quickly, lift the skillet, tilt it slightly to coat the pan, and then swirl several times in a circular motion to evenly cover the entire skillet. Fill in any holes with batter as needed.
- Place the pan back over the heat. Cook until the edges pull away from the skillet and lightly golden brown underneath, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Use a spatula to loosen. Use either your fingers or spatula to flip and cook until the bottom sets, about 10 to 30 seconds. Transfer the crepe to a plate.
- Stack the crepes on top of each other to keep warm while making the next batch, loosely cover with foil.
- Cook the remaining batter, wiping the pan clean and adding a thin layer of butter between each crepe.
- In a large skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add the red onions and thyme, cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the minced garlic, saute for 30 seconds.
- Add the sliced mushrooms, salt, and black pepper. Sauté until the mushrooms release all their water, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Add the baby spinach, stir and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the cream and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Evenly fill each crepe with the mushroom mixture, about ⅓ cup, and sprinkle some gruyere cheese on top. Fold over each side to close. Garnish with parsley, serve immediately.
- Recipe Yield: 8 crepes and 2 ½ cups of filling
- Serving Size: 1 crepe and about ⅓ cup filling
- Measuring the flour: If you don’t have a scale, use the dip and sweep method. Dip the measuring cup into the flour, then level the surface with the back of a knife.
- Pan Size: For an 8-inch nonstick pan, grease with ¼ teaspoon butter, and 3 tablespoons batter (about 13 crepes). For a 12-inch nonstick pan, grease with ¾ teaspoon butter, and 5 tablespoons of batter (about 8 crepes).
- Cooking Crepes: The crepes will steam but should not smoke. Take the pan off the burner and adjust the heat as needed. Do not overcook or they will be too crisp.
- Making Batter in Advance: Store in an airtight container for up to 1 day. It may separate as it sits, so mix before using. Whisk in about ¼ cup of water to dilute.
- Storing: Cool the crepes completely and stack on a plate, cover tightly with plastic wrap, then foil. Alternatively, place in a resealable plastic. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Freezing: Place a piece of parchment paper between each crepe. Cover tightly and place on a plate in the freezer or in a large resealable plastic bag for up to 1 month. Defrost in the refrigerator the day before using.
- Reheating: In the microwave, place a damp paper towel over the plate of crepes and microwave for 30 seconds. In a skillet, reheat over medium-low until warmed through. In the oven, place on a sheet pan covered with aluminum foil and warm at 275°F (135°C) for about 10 minutes.
- Making in Advance: Cool the vegetables, then store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat until hot, turn off the heat and stir in the cream.
- For a Thicker Sauce: Whip the heavy cream, then gently fold in. Alternatively, stir in 2 to 4 tablespoons of sour cream, plain greek yogurt, or crème fraiche at the end of cooking with the heat turned off.
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