Grilled Balsamic Portabellos with Fresh Caprese Topping

Grilled Balsamic Portabellos with Fresh Caprese Topping | A Couple Cooks

We are fabulously addicted to our grill. In fact, two of our favorite flavors are grilled and smoked (any food with that flavor profile is pretty much unbeatable). Since most grilled recipes are heavy on the meat, each summer we play with ways to make veggie-centric grilled meals, since we eat 90% vegetarian.

(What do you think of the new term, 90% vegetarian? I’m trying it out to describe our way of eating vegetarian-most-of-the-time, and people seem to understand it — at least a bit more than flexitarian!)

So here we present: Part 1 of A Summer Grilled Meal. Alex’s sister had us over for dinner a few weeks ago (hi, Audra!), as we cannot pass up an opportunity to see our adorably cute nephews or have some her delicious eats. She’s got a knack for knowing how to accommodate 90% vegetarian types effortlessly. Among other things, she whipped up these grilled portabellos with caprese topping, and they were a huge hit among vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

We like this dish because it’s fairly easy to put together, delicious, and a great entree for a meatless grilled meal (which can sometimes be difficult to find). Portabello mushrooms themselves are not incredibly filling (so be mindful if you’re serving vegetarian guests – this is not equivalent to a burger!), but adding the cheese topping provides some protein and makes them a bit more satisfying. Even so, I’d probably plan for two per person, depending on the amount of other food in your meal. Plus, they’re good enough that seconds will be in order!

How about you? We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on meatless grilled meals!

Grill Meal | A Couple Cooks


Grilled Balsamic Portabellos with Fresh Caprese Topping

1 Star (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 4 to 6


  • 8 portabello mushroom caps
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella (in small balls, if possible)
  • 1 large tomato
  • 10 leaves basil
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper


  1. Preheat a grill to medium high (or preheat an oven to 425°F).
  2. Remove the stems from the portabellos. Mince two garlic cloves. In a small bowl, mix the garlic with ¼ cup balsamic vinegar and ¼ cup olive oil. Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet. Using a brush. the front and back of each mushroom with the marinade. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper, and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes.
  3. Chop the mozzarella into 1/4 inch chunks. Finely dice the tomatoes; place them in a colander to drain and sprinkle with kosher salt. Thinly slice (chiffonade) the basil.
  4. When the grill is ready and the mushrooms have marinaded, place the mushrooms on grill (or in a grill pan) and cook about 5 minutes per side, until juicy. (Alternative method: Roast the mushrooms in a baking dish in the oven for about 15 minutes at 425°F, turning once.)
  5. Remove the mushrooms from the grill. Top with chopped tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and a drizzle of olive oil.


Adapted from I Can Cook That


About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    July 13, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    It’s not healthy to eat meat every day (and I am a butcher so me saying that is saying something!). It’s healthy to eat a balance of foods so why feel you have to put a percentage on it! Just eat what you want and feel good doing it- that requires no labels at all! They look yummy, I love portobello mushrooms.

  • Reply
    Kristine @ Kristine's Kitchen
    July 13, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    I love portobellos and caprese salad, and these look just perfect! I recently made grilled portobello tacos, another idea for a filling meatless entree.

  • Reply
    Jo from yummyvege
    July 14, 2014 at 6:06 am

    What a great combination. Two of my favourite foods in one recipe! There are loads of veggie options for barbecues – just most people don’t think about it.

  • Reply
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    July 14, 2014 at 9:25 am

    LOVE veggies on the grill! Just makes them taste a little bit more outdoorsy, you know? : )

  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    kinda ridiculous, either you are or you’re not

    (What do you think of the new term, 90% vegetarian)

  • Reply
    July 16, 2014 at 12:33 am

    I like the term 90% vegetarian. People are looking to find balance in eating whole foods, and I think giving examples of eating styles that focus primarily on veggies is super inviting, and oh-so healthy. Love this recipe, too. It’s going right into one of my Real Food Whole Life Meal Plans this week!

  • Reply
    July 24, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I was a vegetarian for about 13 years. I fell off the wagon HARD for a couple years, hah! Now I eat meat a couple of times a week, and I eat it at home where I know where I purchased it and can prepare it in a healthy way.
    Are you guys planning on sharing some of your non vegetarian recipes on the blog?

    • Reply
      July 25, 2014 at 10:20 am

      Thanks for the comment! I’m not sure if we’ll share any non-vegetarian recipes or not. We tend to have a lot more fun being creative with veggie items. Glad to know you’d be interested though!

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