Portabello the Meatiest Mushroom
Not Just For Vegetarians
This mushroom burger recipe is seriously delicious and you don't have to be a vegetarian or vegan to enjoy it just as much as you would any other burger. My wife's sister is a devoted meat eater and when I made her one of these she didn't even miss the meat until afterwards when she said "What was in that? It was fantastic!" When I told her there was no meat in it she was shocked to say the least because it tastes so good you won't even care.
Healthy & Tasty Burger
I live on a sailboat with a tiny galley (that's kitchen in landlubber talk) and no refrigeration so I eat mostly vegetarian or vegan but I really dislike those terms. As a devout carnivore for most of my life I thought that the first thing I'd have to do is work out some way of keeping meat on-board but I tried cooking without it and I didn't miss it at all. So, for me, eating vegetarian wasn't so much of a lifestyle choice as it was an awakening to something fantastically different. I don't think in terms of vegetarian ingredients or vegan recipes, I think "what flavors taste great together?" So instead of this being a vegetarian or vegan mushroom burger it's just a mushroom burger. I don't even call it a healthy mushroom burger, even though it is extremely good for you, because, to me, taste comes first.
Fake Meat, No Thanks.
Most of the vegetarian burgers or vegan burger recipes you see call for the use of some kind of fake or artificial meat but not this burger. There are a lot of great food and taste combinations out there that work astoundingly well together and I prefer to use them instead of some concoction fermented in a laboratory to try and recreate the taste or feel of meat. Having said that, in my opinion, mushrooms do the best job of simulating the meat experience, especially portobello mushrooms. When cooked properly their 'flesh' is juicy an rich and feels a tiny bit spongy just like good steak that is well cooked.
Mushroom Burger Ingredients
Half the trick to making a great mushroom burger is in getting the right ingredients and the other half of the alchemy is in preparing them correctly. If you've ever watched that show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives with Guy Fieri then you might have been brainwashed into thinking that you can only make a tasty burger by towering up 97 ingredients into a pile of food that you can't actually put into your mouth. Wrong. Good quality ingredients, flavor matched properly, is the true way to make the most flavorful thing that you will ever eat.
Burger Bun - you can't make a great burger with a shoddy burger bun so don't skimp. Get something that is going to taste good because if you get a poor quality bun then your poor burger is doomed from the start. I like buns with sesame seeds on them but I've also used cheese buns, jalapeno buns, sourdough buns and just about anything else you can think of. A good bun is essential to making a tasty burger.
Mustard - you're either a fan or a foe it seems when it comes to mustard. I love the stuff, my wife can't stand it (but she still loves this burger recipe!) some people like mayonnaise but I can't stand the stuff personally, it gives me the willeys. So, instead I prefer to use mustard, which I think is the secret ingredient to any burger or sandwich. I like something with a little spice to it like Dijon but you could use that hot dog mustard too if that's your thing.
Mushrooms - any mushrooms will do but portobello mushrooms are the absolute best. They are flavorful and satisfying.
Onion - red onion is my favorite to use in burgers and sandwiches because it packs a lot of flavor punch into each bite.
Cilantro - I will be eternally grateful to my wife for introducing me to two things, spinach as a lettuce alternative and cilantro as an ingredient that we now use in almost everything. Apart from being a super-food packed with healthy goodness, cilantro is intensely flavorful and brings alive other flavors as well. Unfortunately for most cooks they only think of cilantro as a garnish which is a sad mistake on their part.
Tomato - some tomatoes have almost no taste at all so just walk right by them and get a red, firm but not hard, tomato, something like an heirloom or whatever your personal choice is.
And that is all you will need to make a fantastic, tasty and healthy mushroom burger. Simple, quick to make and incredibly delicious. Now let's make the burger.
Making The Mushroom Burger
We've got great quality ingredients, now let's make the tastiest mushroom burger you can imagine.
Burger Bun - Sometimes I toast it, usually I don't. The better quality the bun, the less you will need or want to toast it. Great bread doesn't need toasting, it just needs to taste great but a toasted bun is also nice for a change too.
Mustard - no mystery here, just spread it on the buns as thick as you want. Note, that if you are going to add cheese to your burger, make sure it is in direct contact with the mustard. Each accentuates the other's taste.
Bonus Ingredient - You can also use your favorite BBQ sauce or hot sauce. I like to put mustard on the bottom bun and barbecue sauce on the top bun so that the BBQ sauce is in direct contact with the mushrooms. Layering the ingredients in the right order is key to getting any sandwich or burger just right.
Cilantro - chop it but don't dice it. If you cut it into pieces that are too small then it falls out of the bun and is a mess to eat. You're using the cilantro like you would lettuce in this case so chop enough to cover the bottom bun completely.
Tomato - slice it and lay it on top of the cilantro. The stickiness of the mustard and the wetness of the tomato help keep the cilantro inside the bun. See, I told you correct layering of the ingredients was important. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper onto the tomato and you're ready for the next ingredient.
Mushrooms - this is where it all comes together. Slice the mushrooms about as thick as your finger. In a saucepan, melt some butter or a little oil, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Butter produces a better taste but I use a non-stick pan without using oil or butter. Get the pan hot (without burning the butter or oil) and sear the mushrooms like you would a steak. The mushrooms should turn a golden brown if you are doing it right. When they are seared, toss in the onions to sweat them a little.
Onion - slice some rings off or dice it if you like. Rings are easier to eat though and stay in the bun better. You're going to sweat he onions in a pan with the mushrooms as seen above so prepare them before you start cooking the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms are golden and the onions have softened a little, put them on the bun, on top of the tomato, add the top bun and viola!
This healthy mushroom burger is so tasty that I crave it even after I am full and can't eat any more. I hope you enjoy it too.
What do you think of this recipe?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Dale Anderson
Did you try this recipe?
Dale Anderson (author) from The High Seas on September 26, 2020:
Peg thanks for coming by, reading and leaving a comment, it is appreciated! To me, mushrooms are a food tht you can just keep experimenting with and it never gets old or tired. I love them!
Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on September 26, 2020:
Thanks so much for the great idea on using Portobello mushroom in a burger recipe. I have one left from the other night when I baked the other one in the oven drizzled with olive oil and topped with cooked bacon and cheese. I'll definitely try this mushroom burger out!
PS I agree with you on the "towering of 97 ingredients." How would you ever eat the thing?
Dale Anderson (author) from The High Seas on May 20, 2018:
Definitely try it. You will find yourself making mushroom burgers all the time. My wife's sister keeps nagging me to make them for her every time I see her. And remember, she was the gal that SWORE she would never eat a meal that didn't have meat in it.
Paula from The Midwest, USA on May 20, 2018:
I love mushrooms but have never had a mushroom burger. I think what you describe sounds amazing and would love to try one someday!
Indian Chef from New Delhi India on August 15, 2016:
It sounds delicious. I have never seen such a big mushroom as shown in photo. I should try it with smaller mushrooms some day.
Dale Anderson (author) from The High Seas on March 12, 2015:
I have my fingers crossed! Hop you love it as much as we do.
Insightful Tiger on March 10, 2015:
okay today's the big day! I'm going to try it. Be back later!
Insightful Tiger on February 25, 2015:
Dale Anderson (author) from The High Seas on February 25, 2015:
Let me know what you think when you make it!
Insightful Tiger on February 25, 2015:
Yumm! it sounds delicious! I can't wait to try cilantro on a Portobello mushroom burger! Thanks for all the tips and advice. I feel well equipped to attempt this recipe!
Dale Anderson (author) from The High Seas on July 09, 2013:
It is one of my favorite things to eat. Now, every time we are out to eat somewhere and I see some kind of burger on the menu I get disappointed when I don't see any mushroom burgers. Thanks for the visit, the comment and the rating. I am working my way through your food articles and they are all fantastic!
Indian Chef from New Delhi India on July 07, 2013:
Sounds yummy, feels yummy and I am sure it tastes Yummy too apart from being healthy. Rated 5 stars
Dale Anderson (author) from The High Seas on July 03, 2013:
I promise you, this is the best burger you will ever eat in your life. Let me know what you think when you have tried it.
Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on July 03, 2013:
I agree that a good burger isn't Guy Fieri's idea of a stacked up, poor quality burger. We only eat burgers made with the softest homemade buns and other good ingredients. I haven't had a portabella burger in a long time, and your ideas for one sounds delicious. I like that you use onions, cilantro and even spike it with hot sauce. Yum! Will definitely try this as soon as I can find the portabellas. Thank you!
Derdriu on June 06, 2013:
GetitScene, The red onions, cilantro, and BBQ sauce are wonderful ideas. As for the mayonnaise, I've never tried that but out of respect for your wife, I'll see what it's like since I like slathering it Czech-style on hot vegetables.
Respectfully, and with many thanks, Derdriu
Dale Anderson (author) from The High Seas on June 05, 2013:
I eat several a week and I never get sick of them. Delicious!
glassvisage from Northern California on June 04, 2013:
Interesting! I was picturing it being a burger patty, but I like this better because it sounds much more simple :) Thank you for sharing!
Dale Anderson (author) from The High Seas on June 01, 2013:
I have made friends with 2 chefs here in san diego and both of them have said they are adding it to their menus....i should franchise! ;)
B. A. Williams from USA on May 31, 2013:
This sounds delicious, and you know I had one of these in a very fancy restaurant in Atlanta and they are fabulous. I am going to try and make one now, since I pretty much gave up red meat.
Dale Anderson (author) from The High Seas on May 30, 2013:
Thanks, Peggy! Try the burger and let me know what you think. I eat at least one a week and I never get tired of it. This week I tried a chicken burger for the first time in maybe 6 months and found it to be sadly inferior.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 29, 2013:
Portobello mushrooms are wonderful! I agree that it is a steak like texture when eating the large ones like a burger. We often buy the baby portobello mushrooms when cooking them with other ingredients. They have much more flavor than the white ones. I also love cilantro. Sounds like a great combination of flavors! Giving this 5 stars and an up and useful rating.
Dale Anderson (author) from The High Seas on May 24, 2013:
It's delicious, I promise you!
Copper Man on May 24, 2013:
With a sandwich like this, who needs ground beef? Lots of good stuff in there.
Dale Anderson (author) from The High Seas on May 17, 2013:
Some folk call it Corriander. It looks an awful lot like Italian Parsley (well at least it does to me anyway). It's fantastic and we put it in nearly everything.
Elena from London, UK on May 17, 2013:
Sounds Yummy, but I have never heard of Cilantro. Seems like it's Vegetable. Anyway, I hope to give this Recipe a try, once I've found it. Thanks.