Make these juicy and flavorful grilled Portobello mushroom burgers the next time you're craving a healthy summer meal! These burgers also have a stovetop option.
- Dietary-features: vegetarian, gluten-free, and soy-free optional (just use tamari in place of soy sauce), nut-free, vegan optional (just use vegan cheese)
- Flavorful: Juicy and tender portobello mushrooms are marinated in a simple balsamic marinade and served with creamy 4-ingredient pesto aioli.
- Versatile: These portobello mushroom burgers can be grilled or cooked on a stove-top grill pan.
- Perfect for summertime meals, cookouts, or whenever you are craving a vegetarian meal.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Portobello mushrooms: Since portobello caps range in size, this recipe is written for two large or four small mushroom caps. Large mushrooms are about the size of your hand and small are the size of your palm.
- Balsamic marinade: This is a simple vinaigrette made with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Soy sauce is an umami and salty addition that enhances the flavor of the mushroom caps. Use an equal amount of tamari to make the mushrooms gluten-free.
- Basil aioli: This is made with mayonnaise, lemon juice, and fresh basil. It is a bright and creamy addition to this recipe. You can use an equal amount of vegan mayo to make the burger vegan.
Marinating portobello mushrooms before grilling them is a must because it adds flavor and tenderizes the mushrooms. This portobello mushroom marinade is simple but packs a flavorful punch.
- Prep the mushrooms: Remove the gills and remove the stems. Use a spoon to gently scrape away the gills.
- Make the portobello marinade: Whisk together the marinade ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
- Pour the marinade over the mushrooms. I put the mushrooms in a shallow dish or ziploc bag.
How to grill the mushrooms
You can place the portobello mushrooms directly on the grill but I prefer to use this grill topper. The mushrooms won't have grill marks if you use the grill topper but it helps keep the ingredients in the same area and makes the grilling process easier.
Heat your grill to 450 degrees F. If your grill doesn't have a built-in or reliable thermometer you can use this grill thermometer (this is the one that I use).
- Drain the marinade off of the mushroom caps. Place them on the pre-heated grill. Grill portobello mushroom burgers for 4-5 minutes on each side. I keep the grill lid closed for the first 4-5 minutes and usually keep it open for the second 4-5 minutes to keep an eye on the mushrooms.
- Once cooked through, add a slice of cheese to the top side of the cap. Cover the grill to let it melt, which should only take about 1 minute.
- Assemble the portobello mushroom burgers on a bun with lettuce, sliced tomato, aioli, etc.
Tip: To add a smoky flavor to the portobello burgers you can add ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke to the marinade. Liquid smoke is very strong, so start small and add more as needed.
If you don't have access to a grill, a grill pan is a great way to add char marks to food. I use this pre-seasoned cast iron pan from Lodge.
Heat the grill pan over high heat on the stovetop. Make sure to lightly grease the pan if it is not well-seasoned or not non-stick.
- Add the mushroom caps to the grill pan.
- Let cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until tender and charred.
Yes! Just replace the soy sauce with tamari to make this recipe gluten-free. This will also make it soy-free.
You can use a shallow baking dish, Ziploc bag or Tupperware container. Anything that allows the mushrooms to be fully coated in liquid is best.
I don't recommend marinating mushrooms longer than 30 minutes because they can become too tender if they are marinated for too long.
Yes, it is safe to eat them. When cooked they turn dark and can get a little slimy, so I usually take them out.
- Marinating time: Too much acid can over-tenderize the mushrooms and actually cause them to break down, so I don't recommend marinating the mushroom caps longer than 30 minutes
- Grill the burger buns: I love adding burger buns to the upper grill shelf for the last minute of cooking. This toasts them and adds an awesome smokey flavor.
- Topping ideas: I like to add grilled red bell peppers, avocado, lettuce or spinach, tomato and pickled onions.
- Protein: If you're looking to add more protein, try adding a black bean patty or an egg, or serve a lentil salad on the side.
- Grilled portobello mushrooms are also delicious sliced up and put in breakfast scrambles and this vegetarian breakfast casserole.
- Serving ideas: Enjoy with sides like zucchini corn fritters, watermelon cucumber salad or fruit salad for a summer-y meal.
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Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers
- 1 cup fresh basil loosely packed
- 6 ounces plain Greek yogurt
- 2 medium lemons
- 3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 2 burger buns
- 2 slices Swiss cheese sub vegan cheese to make dairy-free
- 1 medium slicing tomato sliced
- handful sliced romaine or spinach
- Prep the mushrooms: Snap the stem out of each Portobello mushroom cap. Rub the caps with a paper towel to remove any obvious dirt. Use a spoon to gently scrap the gills out of the underside of the cap.
- Make the marinade by whisking together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Italian seasoning, soy sauce and salt in a medium bowl.
- Marinate the mushrooms: Place the mushrooms in a shallow baking dish or plastic bag. Pour in the marinade, making sure that the mushrooms are thoroughly coated. Marinate at room temp or in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.
- Grill method: Preheat the grill to 450 degrees F. I use this grill thermometer to double check the temp. Add the marinated mushroom caps directly to the grill or onto a grill topper. Grill for about 4 minutes on each side (close the grill while they are cooking), or until softened and lightly charred. Once cooked through, add a slice of cheese to the top of the mushroom cap. Close the grill for a minute to let the cheese melt.
- Peppers: The peppers will cook in about the same time as the mushrooms. Stir them around after a few minutes for even cooking.
- Grill pan method: Heat a cast iron grill pan on the stove over high heat. Lightly grease the pan if it is not well seasoned. Add the mushroom caps and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until tender.
- Pesto aioli: Add all aioli ingredients to a blender (fresh basil, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic). Blend until smooth.
- Assemble the sandwiches: Spread aioli on each burger bun. Top with lettuce, tomato and a grilled mushroom. Enjoy!
- Marinating time: Too much acid (balsamic vinegar, in this case) can over-tenderize the mushrooms and actually cause them to break down, so I don't recommend marinating the mushroom caps longer than 30 minutes
- Grilling buns: You can add the burger buns to the upper grill shelf for the last minute of cooking. This toasts them and adds an awesome smoky flavor.
- Nutrition facts are just estimates. Not all of the marinade is absorbed so not all of the oil is included in the calculation.