We know burgers are meat between buns–not veggies, but we think whether you are a meat-eater or not --this recipe might just convince you otherwise! With an herby smoky deep flavor, a perfectly meaty texture, and lovely summer veggies, these Portobello Mushroom Burgers are the plant-based recipe that’ll have you craving mushrooms!
And if you aren’t into burgers without the meat, this perfectly seasoned mushroom is irresistible with rice or topping a salad!
Mushrooms can be a bit bland on their own, so the key to adding flavor to this portobello mushroom recipe is our Smoked Tea Rub! Added to a marinade, this rub brings a balance of sweetness and smokiness with notes of rosemary and the added crunch of sesame seeds.
These burgers are naturally vegan and vegetarian. For a gluten-free burger be sure to choose a gluten-free burger bun.
What are Portobello mushrooms? And why use it as a burger substitute?
First off, just how do you spell portobello mushrooms? We’ve seen them spelled as portabella, portobello, and portobella in reputable sources. Go with what works for you! For clarity, we’re sticking with Portobello!
Now that we know how to spell the word, just what are portobellos? Portobello mushrooms are mature white, button, or crimini mushrooms. All three of these mushrooms are a type of Agaricus bisporus strain of fungus, so all three of the mature versions of these mushrooms are portobello mushrooms.
Portobello mushrooms are known for their meaty texture and savory almost meat-like flavors.
Balsamic Vinegar. Balsamic vinegar adds a sweet and deep note to this recipe. Although SpiceTopia offers many different infused balsamics, we find that traditional balsamic without any extra flavors works best in this recipe.
Lemon Juice. This recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of lemon juice which is the juice of about one lemon.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We enjoy the peppery sharp flavor of Arbequina Olive Oil in this recipe.
Parsley. If you have fresh flat-leaf parsley available, chop ¼ cup roughly–stems and all. If fresh is not available, 2 tablespoons of Dried Parsley works well.
Smoked Tea Rub. Our Smoked Tea Rub has a base of Lapsang Souchong Tea which is a tea smoked over pine needles. This unique tea brings a note of smokiness to the rub. In addition to the smoked tea, we add granulated molasses, paprika, garlic, fennel, rosemary, and marjoram to this rub. All these flavors together add notes of smokiness, rich sweetness, and herbiness to this marinade.
How to Prepare a Portobello Mushroom to Eat
Be sure to look for medium-sized mushrooms which will fit well on your bun.
All of the portobello mushroom is edible, but the stem and gills are best removed. Stems can be woody and are hard to eat. They easily snap off and can be saved to add to any stock recipe. The gills, while edible, can seep out a dark murky liquid making your food around it an undesirable brownish-gray color! So, it’s best to remove them with a spoon.
After removing the stem and gills, wipe the mushroom down with a barely damp towel.
Portobello mushrooms tend to shrink when cooked. We find when cooking them whole, that scoring the cap (or top of the mushroom) allows steam to escape which allows the mushroom to cook more quickly and evenly and prevents some of that shrinkage.
If it’s not grilling season where you are, Portobello Mushrooms also turn out well roasted. Roast on a rack at 450°F for 15 minutes.
Let’s get cooking!
Portobello Mushroom Burgers
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dried Parsley or ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons Smoked Tea Rub
4 large portobello mushroom caps, cleaned, scored with stems and gills removed
4 burger buns
2 cups of your favorite greens such as lettuce, sprouts, or spinach
Squeeze of lemon
1 teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pinch of Pacific Flake Sea Salt
Few grinds of Tellicherry Pepper
Make your marinade by combining lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and Smoked Tea Rub.
Place mushrooms in the marinade. Flip and turn the mushrooms to make sure they are thoroughly coated.
While mushrooms marinade for 30 minutes, preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
Remove the mushrooms from the marinade and place gill side down on the preheated grill away from the heat. Close the grill and cook for 5 minutes.
While mushrooms cook, dress your greens with a squeeze of lemon and a splash of olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of Tellicherry Pepper. Stir well.
Toast your buns, if toasted buns are your thing!
Assemble your burger by spreading mustard on your bun, adding your mushroom, topping with tomatoes, onion, and then your dressed greens.