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Portobello Mushroom Burgers

Portobello mushroom burgers give you that meaty hit without the beef and they are oh so satisfying! Dive in to this juicy version complete with pesto mayonnaise, plenty of melty cheese, and your favorite burger toppings.

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a dressed portobello mushroom burger on a table

Red meat is wonderful–but so is a great portobello burger. You’ll never feel deprived when you dig in to its perfectly cooked “patty”.

If you’re more low carb or gluten free like me, skip the bun and wrap yours in lettuce. Then pile on the toppings. You’ll be full and satisfied no matter what.

Whoa–mushrooms are healthy!

Mushrooms have a savory flavor that helps to scratch the itch for salty food that so many of us get. Mushrooms are a great substitute for red meat.

They pack a punch of vitamin D and are linked to lower cancer rates. Mushrooms are high in potassium, a nutrient linked to lowering blood pressure AND is helpful in mitigating the negative impact that sodium can have on your body.

In addition, studies show that mushrooms support gut health, cognitive and immune system function. Mushrooms are low calorie, so if you are watching your waistline, they can be an awesome choice.

Mushrooms have a meaty texture as well as a deeply savory flavor that can satisfy even the most adamant carnivore. They also absorb pretty much any flavor you throw at them, allowing you to go beyond a normal “burger” and really get creative with your seasoning and marinades!

Which side of a portobello mushroom should be grilled first?

When grilling mushrooms, make sure to grill them smooth side (cap side) first. This might seem like a small detail, but it actually makes a big difference!

Grilling a mushroom cap side down (gill side up) allows the gills to retain the juices released in the cooking process, maintaining moisture and the natural flavors of the mushroom as well as any you have added via marination/seasoning.  

Do the gills need to be removed?

You can remove the gills if you want to. I usually do just because they can make a black liquid that drips out all over your burger after its cooked.

Some say the gills help hold on to marinades and flavors you add to your mushrooms though so removal is really optional and mostly just for looks. Gills are perfectly edible and don’t affect the flavor of your burger.

How long to grill portobello mushroom caps

Cook time will vary depending on the size of your mushroom caps. The goal is to cook them until they are tender and release their water. So keep an eye on them, but you will probably need around 5-7 minutes. 

What if I don’t have a grill?

No grill? No problem! Go ahead and cook the mushrooms cap side down just as you would on the grill. When it comes time to melt cheese on top, make sure to cover your skillet. If you have a grill pan, this will do the trick as well

How to make portobello mushroom burgers: The Steps

Step 1: Wipe the mushroom tops clean with a damp paper towel. Do not rinse in water. Use a spoon to gently scrape out the dark underside gills if you want to remove them. It’s optional.

a portobello  mushroom on a cutting board with a spoon and the dark gills removed

Step 2: Cook your mushroom caps in a bit of butter or avocado oil, starting with the smooth side, flipping it over when you begin to see the mushroom releasing liquid.

a portobello mushroom cap in a skillet with butter cooking

Step 3: Prepare any sauces you like. In this case we do a blend of pesto and mayonnaise.

a bowl of pesto and mayonnaise in a bowl

Step 4: Feel free to melt on the cheese by covering the skillet with a lid and waiting a minute or two for the cheese to melt, then build your sandwich.

a portobello mushroom burger with toppings on a tray with the top bun off to show the inside

Mushroom marinade ideas

One great mushroom fact is that you don’t have to marinade them for very long at all.

Their sponge-like quality makes them highly absorbent. 10 or so minutes should be plenty.

Mix and match these fun flavor ideas!

How to clean and prepare mushrooms for cooking

It is important to clean your mushrooms before cooking them. These morsels come from the earth and often carry quite a bit of dirt!

Nothing wrong with a little dirt…but you might not like the way it tastes.

Use a damp paper towel to wipe your mushroom caps of any dirt. Do this gently, so as not to rub off the delicate outer skin of the mushroom.

Do NOT soak your caps in water.

They will absorb it like a sponge and will be soggy when you cook them.

a portobello mushroom cap on a damp paper towel for cleaning

Topping inspiration for portobello mushroom burgers

Ready to top your mushroom patty with some tasty goodies that will elevate it to the status of a gourmet burger?

There are endless options!

I love provolone cheese, but any cheese will do….cheddar is a popular one, as is gruyere.

Feeling adventurous? Try blue cheese or goat cheese!

Other choices include a dab of pesto or salsa, Chimichurri (love this recipe), avocado, guacamole, or this keto Big Mac sauce.

Veggies make a great addition as well…lettuce, sliced tomatoes, red onions, caramelized onions, roasted bell peppers, grilled zucchini…the sky’s the limit.

portobello mushroom burger on a table with a big bite out of it showing the center

Great bun options 

Your favorite burger bun is sure to do just fine here. I am a big fan of onion buns and brioche buns.

Interested in making your own? Try this beautiful burger bun recipe from King Arthur Baking.

If you are looking to lower your blood sugar and/or are aiming at a keto or low carb diet, try a low carb burger bun.

a dressed portobello mushroom burger on a table

Portobello Mushroom Burgers

A light and filling sandwich filled with big flavors that are great year round!
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 1 person
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 1 hamburger bun Brioche, sesame seed, etc.
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 portobello mushroom cap stem removed
  • 1 slice provolone cheese
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon jarred or homemade basil pesto
  • 1/2 cup fresh arugula or lettuce of your choice
  • 2 slices tomato optional, sliced


  • Wipe any soil or dirt from the surface of the mushroom with a damp paper towel. Do not wash the mushrooms in water.
  • Turn the mushroom over, and using a spoon, gently scrape away the black gills from the under side. Discard the gills.
  • Add the butter to a skillet and heat over medium high until the butter melts and begins to pop. Add the mushroom, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook, turning once until mushroom releases its water and is cooked through--about 6 to 8 minutes or so. It will still be slightly firm.
  • While the mushroom cooks, in a small bowl mix the mayonnaise and pesto. Set aside.
  • If desired, toast your bun in a toaster or dry skillet.
  • Spread the mayo/pesto mixture over the bun and add the mushroom cap. Top with provolone cheese.
  • Top with arugula, tomato and pickles if desired. Serve warm with a napkin--it's messy!


Serving: 1sandwichCalories: 471kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 13gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 683mgPotassium: 555mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1516IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 258mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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  1. 5 stars
    It was so delicious. I was out of pesto, so I just added a couple of basil leaves along with chives to the sandwich. We felt like we ordered out. Thanks for the yummy recipe. It was very satisfying and so good.

  2. 5 stars
    As a mostly vegetarian, I’ve been looking for a good portobello mushroom burger and this looks delicious! I love the idea of adding pesto to the burger and I just so happen to have homemade pea pesto in the fridge. I found your blog from Food Blogger Pro and look forward to your future recipes!

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About the Author

Rachel Ballard, RN, BSN brings more than 20 years of professional nursing expertise to Feast and Farm. With a love for nutrient dense foods that support wellness, she works to distill complex health information and current trends into recipes that fuel the best version of yourself. Read more about Rachel here.