17 ingenious ways to prepare portobello mushrooms so they taste like meat


grilled portobello mushrooms

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It's no secret that, as we get older, our bodies change. Our metabolism slows down and we can't digest food in the same way we used to when we were seemingly indestructible teenagers.

Ah, the wonderful world of dietary restrictions: when doctors tell us we can't eat red meat every day anymore because we have clogged arteries, are suffering from digistive problems or need to lose worrisome belly fat.

Cut back on your steak dinners?

It's tougher for some folks than it is for others. We're creatures of habit, after all. And, let's face it, a plateful of roasted carrots is hardly going to feel like a "real" meal to someone who's viewed it as a side dish for an entire lifetime, never mind someone who is used to having meat every night.

If you find yourself craving something beefy on nights that are supposed to be meat-free, then meet the portobello mushroom — the steak of vegans and vegetarians. Portobello mushrooms soak up marinades beautifully, and their dense texture really does mimic meat.

Look, it's not going to be as great as that T-bone for you carnivores, but it comes pretty damned close. Take a page from vegans and vegetarians without going entirely to the dark side, and try one of these 17 ingenious recipes to help you balance out your meals (and when you do have meat, have leaner cuts and avoid the processed stuff!).


1. Chunky Portobello Veggie Burgers

The Kitchen Whisperer 

The Kitchen Whisperer chopped up some Portobello mushrooms, combined with black beans and added garlic, veggies and assorted herbs and spices for a burger patty that delivers a punch of hearty, meaty, tasty goodness. Tip: Mashing half the beans will help bind your ingredients with as little filler (breadcrumbs) as possible. This recipe also makes a great meatloaf, if that's your jam.


2. Eggs Baked in Portobello Mushrooms

Healthy Recipes 

Healthy Recipes dishes up these eggs backed in portobello mushrooms, which you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Make sure to get large, firm Portobello mushrooms that are neither too flat (or the egg will spill) nor too deep (or the egg will take forever to cook).


3. Portobello Mushroom Burger with Avocado Chimichurri

Foodie Crush 

Foodie Crush's take on the portobello mushroom burger is probably the recipe you're used to seeing. Here, the mushroom cap itself serves as the patty — rather than chopping up the mushroom and combining it with other ingredients. It's just as delicious, though. Just take a look at that melted cheese goodness.


4. Portobello Mushroom Bacon


So you miss your bacon? Well, here's something you might want to try if you're feeling adventurous. Veganosity developed this smoky, maple-y, salty and yummy bacon. No, it's not crunchy like the stuff you get at the diner or the local chain eatery of your choice, but it makes a fan-freaking-tastic BLT. You can also chop it up and throw it on salad, or add some strips to one of those portobello mushroom burgers. Go on. Take a bite, and welcome to the dark side.


5. Sautéed Portabella Mushrooms in a Balsamic and Butter Sauce

Kitchen Belleicious 

We have to agree with Kitchen Belleicious, who declares that, when cooked in a butter sauce with Worcestershire, balsamic vinegar and garlic, mushrooms are simply insanely decadent. Preach.


6. Smoky Roasted Portobello Sushi Rolls

Keepin' It Kind 

If you want to get really fancy, you'll have to try this recipe from Keepin' It Kind. The smokiness of the portobello is enhanced by the creaminess of the heart of palm. Tip: to roll the sushi with the rice on the outside use only half a sheet of nori and don't overstuff it with filling. And when you're ready to slice the roll, use a wet knife!


7. Chipotle Pulled Portobello Sandwiches

The Artful Desperado 

The Artful Desparado admits that veg-heads sometimes miss out on awesome dishes such as chicken and waffles or pulled pork sandwiches and decided to tackle the latter. This meatless version is pretty damned tasty. The pretzel bun sandwich has loads of meaty and crispy portobello mushrooms mixed in a spicy homemade chipotle sauce, topped with fresh cilantro, parsley and feta. Oh, my, yes.


8. Miso-Marinated Portobello Carpaccio

Serious Eats 

Serious Eats slow roasts these miso-marinated mushrooms until they are dense and meaty, slices them thin and serves them with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon, Carpaccio-style. Toasted pistachios add richness and nutty crunch.


9. Portobello Wellington

Virtually Vegan Mama 

Move over, Beef Wellington, and say hello to Portobello Wellington. Virtually Vegan Mama's meat-free version is earthy, naturally sweet and tasty.


10. Poblano and Portobello Fajitas

Minimalist Baker 

The Minimalist Baker admits that these fajitas are no carnitas, but they are still delicious in their own right. Portobello mushrooms are sautéed with bell and poblano peppers and some seasoning for juicy and satisfying results. Don't forget the guac!


11. Portobello Bulgogi Korean Tacos

Avocado a Day Nutrition 

Check out this vegan twist on beef bulgogi Korean tacos from Avocado a Day Nutrition. Holy yum.


12. Portobello Mushroom Cashew Cheese Burgers

This Rawsome Vegan Life 

We were intrigued by this recipe from This Rawsome Vegan Life, not so much because of the cashew cheese but because here, the portobello mushroom caps serve as the bun, rather than the burger patty.


13. Roasted Portobello Mushrooms

Closet Cooking 

Closet Cooking grills up a portobello mushroom and tops it with steamed spinach, a poached egg and a creamy mushroom sauce. Hello, breakfast for dinner.


14. Portobello Pesto Panini

Yes, I Want Cake 

Yes, I Want Cake made this simple but delicious portobello pesto panini that is perfect to pack for a picnic. Say that ten times fast.


15. Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Crispy Goat Cheese

Blogging Over Thyme 

Blogging Over Thyme lightly grilled these portobello mushrooms and topped them with a chunky homemade tomato sauce, sautéed spinach and shallot mixture, soft goat cheese and a hefty spoonful of crispy panko breadcrumb topping. The trick to the crispy topping is to lightly sauté the panko breadcrumbs with melted butter, finely chopped shallots and garlic. These are hearty enough for a main course or as a side.


16. Portobello Mushroom and Kale Stroganoff

Bev Cooks 

Hints of smoked paprika, earthy mushrooms, superhero kale and creamy noodles: what's not to love about this stroganoff recipe developed by Bev Cooks.


17. Portabella Mushroom Cheesesteaks

Oh My Veggies 

Oh My Veggies wanted to create a meat-free cheesesteak sandwich. She cooks the mushrooms in a little red wine, then sautées them with some onions and green peppers, covers them with provolone cheese and serves on crusty rolls. Baking these babies in the oven right before serving and noms away. Don't skip the wine! You won't be sorry.