Mushrooms are often misunderstood. Sure, they're complicated, and they don't look too enticing on a grocery shelf. And yes, they may feel sandy or even look a little decomposed at first glance, but that's part of the experience. Once you figure out how to choose, clean, and cook mushrooms, you'll understand why these are often staples of highbrow menus—and why judging a mushroom by how it looks is clearly to your own detriment.
Take portobello mushrooms, for instance. Portobello mushrooms have a hearty, almost meat-like texture when cooked, and their subtle flavor makes them easily adaptable to a wide variety of recipes. You can stuff them, slice them, grill them, and sauté them, and portobello mushrooms will stand up to the challenge.
We found 11 options that don't shy away from the charms of portobello mushrooms and prove that vegetarian dishes can be as flavorful as they are healthy. From pizza and sandwich ideas to tacos and soup recommendations, here are 11 vegetarian portobello mushroom recipes that give this vegetable its long-awaited turn in the spotlight.
Grilled Pizza Portobellos With Cashew Ricotta
There's something inherently satisfying about eating a meal that's simple, flavorful, and perhaps a little messy. That's the main draw of this grilled pizza recipe from The First Mess, which uses portobello mushrooms as a base for a "ricotta" made with cashews, lemon, maple syrup, and garlic powder. The mushrooms are grilled, and then tomato sauce, ricotta, basil, and other toppings can be placed in its groove.
Keep in mind: "Once filling is bubbling and portobellos are totally soft, juicy-looking, and evenly charred, carefully remove them from the grill," Laura Wright says.
Vegan Banh Mi–Inspired Portobello Sandwiches
Wright from The First Mess also serves up this flavorful portobello option, which layers the vegetable inside a banh mi–like sandwich. It's made with a pickled vegetable slaw of carrots and cucumber, an aioli of minced garlic and mayo, and a mixture of herbs, spices, and sauces. All of it is piled into a baguette for an easy, tasty lunch.
Keep in mind: "Place the cucumber, radishes, and carrots into the bowl and toss them in the vinegar mixture," she says. "Cover and set aside in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes."
Pizza-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
The Foodie Crush also uses the thick structure of portobello mushrooms to create a healthy crust for this pizza recipe, which features Italian flavors like marinara sauce, basil, cherry tomatoes, and olives. The pizzas bake for 15 minutes, and once they're bubbling hot, all are topped with parmesan, basil, and more sauce.
Keep in mind: "If you want to throw an egg on it, it makes for an amazing breakfast, lunch, or dinner," Heidi Larsen says.
Asada Mushroom Tacos With Avocado
It's hard to believe that these irresistible-looking tacos from Half Baked Harvest are actually filled with strips of portobello mushrooms that have been marinated with olive oil, garlic, lime juice, paprika, and chipotle peppers. Once they're grilled and cut, the mushrooms are combined with salted lime avocados and a pineapple salsa for a spicy and healthy meal.
Keep in mind: "If you don't have access to a grill or grill pan right now, the mushrooms can also be roasted," Tieghan Gerard notes. "Either way is delicious."
Blue Cheese Guacamole Stuffed Mushrooms
Half Baked Harvest's Gerard also uses portobello mushrooms for this inventive snack or appetizer, which is made with avocados, grape tomatoes, green onions, blue cheese, and a rich buffalo sauce. Everything is placed inside the mushrooms, and any extra guacamole can be served on the side—with chips, of course.
Keep in mind: "You may substitute this with goat cheese, Cotija cheese, or feta if you are not a blue cheese fan," Gerard adds.
Herby Buttered Balsamic Mushroom Ravioli
Cheese ravioli and mixed mushrooms—which should include portobellos, naturally—come together in this recipe from Half Baked Harvest. Caramelized shallots, garlic, herbs, butter, and balsamic vinegar bring layers of flavor to the two ingredients, and all is topped with fresh dill before serving. Make this on a cozy night in, and you won't be disappointed.
Keep in mind: "If you wanted to add something green (I mean, other than the herbs), I think some sautéed kale or spinach would be really great!" Gerard says. "Or just a yummy side salad."
Pesto Portobello Mushroom Burgers
Our last portobello mushroom recipe from Half Baked Harvest once again uses the vegetable in a burger, but it's so tasty that we couldn't resist. Gerard uses fresh basil and mozzarella cheese alongside pine nuts, garlic, and roasted tomatoes for a colorful display between two slices of her parmesan garlic zucchini whole wheat focaccia buns. It'll feel and taste decadent, and sometimes, that's exactly what you need.
Keep in mind: "The toppings make the burgers," Gerard continues. "The melty fresh mozzarella, fresh basil pesto, and the marinated roasted tomatoes are incredible.
Portobello Mushroom Galette
Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats serves up a savory galette with this recipe, which features portobellos among mixed mushrooms, minced garlic, thyme, and a combination of cheeses including mascarpone, parmesan, and gruyere. All is added to the center of a freshly made crust and baked until golden. In other words, you won't be able to have just one serving.
Keep in mind: "This dough makes enough for two galette crusts, so you can either separate it into two sections now or separate it after it's been refrigerated," Merchant says. "Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes."
Creamy Mushrooms on Soft Polenta
Much like a golden crust, fresh polenta has a way of making mushrooms luxurious, and that's why we love this recipe from Stuck in the Kitchen. It combines portobello, brown, oyster, and button mushrooms with onion, thyme, garlic, sherry, polenta and cream for a dinner that doesn't scrimp on layers of flavor. Finishing touches of parmesan and parsley give the dish added texture and color right before it's served.
Keep in mind: "The trick to the mushrooms is to cook the cream down with them so that it becomes silky and almost slightly sweet," Sarah Tuck says.
Portobello Mushroom Soup
In keeping with the comforting quality of rich mushroom dishes, this Stuck in the Kitchen recipe recommends using portobellos in a creamy soup. It's combined with brown mushrooms, herbs, whole milk, sherry, garlic, and onion, and then served with wholegrain toast that's been piled with gruyère cheese, caramelized onions, and butter. Add a warm blanket and spot on a cozy chair, and that sounds like an ideal setting.
Keep in mind: "Drizzle with a little extra cream, garnish with mushrooms and optional greens, and serve with gruyere and caramelized onion toasties," Tuck notes.
Mushrooms in Pastry
Lastly, this gorgeous pastry from Stuck in the Kitchen is sure to add smiles to any afternoon, thanks to a golden ready-rolled puff pastry that’s been filled with onions, marsala, and gruyère. The top is brushed with egg and sprinkled with sesame seeds for a grand display that’s ready in 30 minutes or less.
Keep in mind: "Brush the pastry with egg and cut five small slashes in the top to allow steam to escape," Tuck says.