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Portobello Mushroom Burgers

Grilled-to-perfection homemade portobello mushroom burgers.

Portobello Mushroom Burger Recipe

I’m not going to tell you that my boyfriend took a bite out of one of these grilled portobello mushroom burgers and declared it to be the “best burger ever!”

And I’m not going to tell you that my younger sister, who worked at a fast-food restaurant for three years and really loves burgers, decided it tasted exactly like a real hamburger.  No, portobello mushroom burgers are not hamburgers.

Chocolate Covered Katie

But that’s completely okay!

I think one of the main problems with fake meat products is they claim to be just that: fake. Trying to pretend a mushroom burger is a hamburger or a slab of tofu is a chicken wing will just set you up for disappointment. Why not celebrate these plant-based foods for their own unique textures and flavors? Some of the so-called fake meat products are pretty darn good when they’re not being passed off as something else.

Like these portobello mushroom burgers… Thick, juicy, tender, and hearty, these burgers get the stamp of approval from both vegans and carnivores; from not only me, but also from my burger-loving sister and my vegetable-hating boyfriend (we’re working on that whole vegetable-hating thing…).

In the photos: a portobello mushroom burger with a side of Crispy Sweet Potato Fries.

Portobello Mushroom Burgers Recipe

What are your thoughts on “fake meat” substitutes?

On the one hand, I worry that labeling a vegetarian dish a “substitute” makes it sound inferior; like we are missing out or trying to trick ourselves into believing whatever we’re eating tastes exactly like the food it is supposed to be mimicking. It also makes it seem like people who still eat meat don’t need to bother trying the “substitute” because they can have the real thing.

Yet on the other hand, calling a food by a familiar name (such as chicken nuggets or barbecue ribs) attaches the food to something people already know and love, thus enabling them to make a positive connection. So I guess there are pros to both sides; it’s just not a black-and-white issue.

Portobello Mushroom Burgers


Portobello Mushroom Burgers

Portobello Mushroom Burgers

Total Time: 20m
Yield: Makes 4 Portobello Mushroom Burgers
Print This Recipe 5/5
Portobello Mushroom Burgers


  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp olive or vegetable oil
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 4 portabella mushroom caps, gills removed
  • burger buns and fixins


Portobello mushroom burgers recipe: Whisk first 6 ingredients together in a medium bowl. (Technically, you can leave out the oil if you absolutely must, but it really helps the marinade adhere to the mushrooms and keeps the mushroom burgers from sticking to the grill.) Poke a few holes in each mushroom. Set mushrooms, top-side down, in a large rectangular container. (I use a lidded container so I can just flip the entire thing instead of flipping each mushroom individually when the time comes to turn them.) Pour the marinade evenly over the mushrooms, then turn the mushrooms over. Allow to marinate no less than 2 hours.

Preheat your grill to medium heat (if you don’t have a grill, you can always fry the mushroom burgers in a pan). Use a grill pan with small grids, or cook on foil. Grill the mushrooms 5 minutes, flip, 5 minutes. Then 5 more minutes on each side. So grill a total of 20 minutes. Dress with your burger fixins of choice.

View Nutrition Facts

Link Of The Day:

flourless pancakes

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Published on July 16, 2013

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  1. Holly says

    Truthfully, I have found some WONDERFUL meat substitutes that are very close to the real thing….such as when I ordered the sesame “chicken” at Candle Cafe in NYC (best vegan food I’ve ever eaten). Most of the best substitutes I have found to be the kind you might find at a place like Trader Joe’s in the refrigerated (not frozen) vegan section such as Smart brand. However, I agree that it doesn’t have to taste exactly like meat to be great or appreciated. In fact, I’ve replaced a real burger with a black bean burger at places like Chili’s, and I’ve found it to taste much BETTER than the real thing. Anyway, I can’t wait to try this!

  2. Lynn says

    Great page. I’m always happy to see portabellas being talked about as a great alternative to beef, or hamburgers in particular. Because, these mushrooms are probably the most delicious food product known, yet, undiscovered by so many. I don’t know about you, or other people, but to me, portebella mushrooms are right up there with chocolate, as far as fantastically delicious flavor is concerned. It’s different from chocolate of course, quite a bit more subtle, yet they have such a wonderful texture, and sort of a developing flavor, as they are slowly eaten and enjoyed. People have asked me, who do not like mushrooms, what do they taste like? Well, it’s like a rich, buttery earthiness, with woody tones, a delicious nuttiness, and a meaty heartiness, or texture.

    • penny howland says

      So happy to find this site! And I first thought, “she’s so young, how much cooking experience could she have?!” Ha, thought you weren’t out of your teens! Anyway, everybody is so right. I just made the vegan/vegetarian commitment this weekend. I have eaten healthy, no processed stuff, whole foods but still eggs and cheese and chicken and pork. I have fought with my conscience for years and felt guilty then lived with it…but made the decision after watching chickens, pigs inhumane, painful, torturous deaths. So I don’t care for fake “hot dogs”, I mean look how modified from the original food form! So make the very best tasting food from what we have. My first taste (years ago) of a Portobello was that it had a filet kind of texture and taste! I loved it. So I always wanted to try it on a bun, (but never thought of giving up my hamburger!)–so now is my chance and I’m excited to learn. Good to read the notes of like minded people who have “been there” in a lot of respects. I am starting from knowing not much at all, but went to my great “Nature’s Food Patch” yesterday and bought “basics”, miso, tvp, nutritional yeast and now need to read up! My cats loved the yeast sprinkled on their meals as well as the very special treat of very finely shaved dried Bonita. OMG

  3. Gabby says

    This veggie burger is definitely going to be put on my summer food list! But what catches my eye is the sweet potato chips, how do you get them so thick, crispy and fluffy? They look amazing! Are the ones in these photos fried ?

  4. J says

    I have to try this!!!!! Portobello mushrooms are my favorite <3 Usually I just broil them until they're cooked and spread some miracle whip or something on them (not sure why that tastes so good to me haha!)…. These look a lot better 😉 And the only reason I'm vegetarian (not vegan, although I don't eat dairy either) is because I don't like the taste of meat…. So I hate burgers and chicken, but I loveee the taste of tofu and portobellos. I'm not usually a huge fan of the vegetarian "fake meats" because, like you said, it's not going to taste exactly the same so there's no point in pretending. I do have to admit that I like a certain type of vegetarian tofu hotdogs though! They don't taste like meat hotdogs, but they're very good with some ketchup :p That's honestly about it though.

  5. Jocelyn says

    Just tried this at a family BBQ while everyone else was eating beef and chicken, and I can definitely say that I did not feel like I was missing out! So good!! Thanks for the recipe:)

  6. kelbel says

    having not eaten meat in 25 years, (grew up on a farm & have seen things that make meat- taste & all- completely unappealing) and don’t enjoy the taste of meat, when someone tries to sell me a substitute by pronouncing ‘it tastes just like steak!” they lose me completely.

  7. Pete viskovich says

    I just bought a Portobella burger for the first time with fries for $13.95 at the Days Inn in LEDUC, ALBERTA near the Edmonton airport. I felt stupid when I asked the waitress if they forgot to put the meat inn. She said they could but it would cost extra ($20)…
    I thinks it’s great to eat healthy but are Portobella mushrooms that expensive? The problem with trying to get people to eat healthier is that restaurants charge too much for items that are obviously much cheaper. It’s a trend throughout the healthy eating society that I hope changes

  8. Renee Woodward says

    Oh my gosh these are sooo good! If I didn’t know any better I’d have sworn I was eating an actual burger. We did marinate as instructed and they came out perfect. I think this could also be used as a marinade for steak if you desire.

  9. Sabrina says

    Looks so yummy! Could you recommend an alternative for the soy sauce? (I can’t have so much sodium.) Maybe I could add more balsamic instead (I live off of balsamic vinegar)? Thanks in advance!

  10. Jeanne says

    These Portobello Mushroom Burgers are delicious. I do have one question – how often do you turn them in the marinade? I have been turning over after one hour but wonder if you do that more frequently.
    Thanks so much

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