Pesto Portobello Mushroom Burger

Looking for a plant based burger? This grilled portobello mushroom burger is immensely satisfying, served with pesto and provalone on a ciabatta roll.

Pesto portobello mushroom burger

A veggie burger might be the first thought for a meatless entrée when you’re firing up the grill. But equally as delicious and even easier to make is a portobello mushroom burger! If you’re looking for something to rival a big juicy burger, a portobello mushroom burger totally delivers. Yes, a big mushroom on a bun. A bit unexpected, but true.

Also try: Greek Grilled Portobello Burger or amazing Stuffed Portobellos!

Making this portobello mushroom burger

Mushrooms can be polarizing to some: and I was a true mushroom hater until recently! But once I gave them a chance, I realized portobello mushrooms are not the same as those slimy black bits in cream of mushroom soup. These are juicy, savory, and totally delicious. I was wary of mushrooms for years until I met the portabello. Now, I can’t think of a better treat to throw on the grill than a portobello mushroom burger! And don’t worry if you don’t have a grill – a roasted portabello tastes just as good!

For this portobello mushroom burger, we went with Mediterranean flavors. We whipped up a batch of our easy basil walnut pesto, and used fresh tomatoes from the garden to build these burgers. To top it all off, melted provalone cheese makes for a super savory and filling burger. We were pleasantly surprised at how easy they were to whip up, and even more impressed at the delicious meld of flavors. I believe the word “perfection” may have been mumbled between bites. Give them a try – and let us know if you become a believer in the mushroom “burger”!

Grilled portobello mushrooms

How to grill portobello mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms are very easy to grill. For our portobello mushroom burger, we marinated it prior to grilling in a mixture balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Let them stand for about 15 minutes while the grill is preheating. Before you marinade the mushrooms, make sure to remove the tough stems: this makes them easier to eat. When the grill is ready, place the mushrooms on grill and cook them for about 5 minutes per side, until juicy. That’s it! For this portobello mushroom burger, we also melted provalone cheese onto the top in the last 1 minute of grilling.

And that’s it: how to make a portobello mushroom burger! Let us know if you give it a try in the comments below.

More with mushrooms

If you’re a mushroom lover, here are a few other delicious recipes using portobello mushrooms:

This portobello mushroom burger recipe is…

Vegetarian. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, omit the cheese and use Vegan Cashew Pesto. You could also spread the bun with hummus to add additional flavor and protein.

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Pesto Portobello Mushroom Burger

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Looking for a plant based burger? This grilled portobello mushroom burger is immensely satisfying, served with pesto and provalone on a ciabatta roll.


  • 4 portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 4 ciabatta rolls
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto (purchased, homemade or  vegan pesto)
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 cup baby arugula leaves


  1. Preheat a grill to medium high.
  2. Remove the stems from the portobello mushrooms. In a small bowl, mix the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet. Brush the front and back of each mushroom with the marinade. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper, and let sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Place the mushrooms on grill (or in a grill pan) and cook about 5 minutes per side, until juicy. In the last minute, place provolone cheese slices on top of each mushroom and grill until melted, then remove from the grill. Brush the ciabatta rolls with olive oil and place them on the grill until toasted.
  4. Slice the tomato. Remove any tough stems from the arugula (not necessary for baby arugula).
  5. Place each grilled portobello cap on half of a roll. Top with a spoonful of pesto, a tomato slice, a handful of arugula, and the other half of the roll.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Portobello burger, Portobello mushroom burger, grilled portobello burgers, Plant based burger, Grilling ideas

Looking for more grilling ideas?

Outside of this grilled portobello mushroom burger, here are a few more grilling ideas:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog 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 recipe 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
    August 23, 2011 at 12:52 am

    I love mushrooms in general (no not the ones in and portobellos in particular. They’re so versatile and delicious. Never tried a burger before but it looks fabulous!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Between the grilled portobello, the melty cheese, the pesto and the toasty bun, these look irresistible!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Yum! I love mushrooms, mozzarella, and pesto together. It’s one of my favorite pizza combos. Beautiful photos!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    What a luscious looking burger…. Yummm…. Just found your site, it’s lovely.

  • Reply
    August 23, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I totally agree – I’ve always been iffy about mushrooms, but I recently tried portobellos and really liked them! They are definitely a good “meaty” vegetarian option for the BBQ. I haven’t tried them with pesto though – that sounds really good!

  • Reply
    Rita D K Simmons
    August 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Love Portabello mushrooms and that burger looks delicious. Thanks for the share!

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    August 24, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Yeah right, you want me to stop making your classic bean burgers? I don’t think so. :) (Just kidding, these look great!!)

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 4:19 am

    I find mushrooms to be a fantastic meat substitute. They are beefy and flavourful. When I travelled around Asia I noticed that mushrooms were used all the time in vegetarian dishes particularly in imitation meat dishes which proved to be very convincing.

    So I completely understand how portabello burgers a good substitute for the real thing!

  • Reply
    Fran {The Flavorful Fork}
    August 25, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    I love grilled portabellos with pesto! These look delicious!

  • Reply
    August 30, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Putting it on the menu plan! Looks fabulous.

  • Reply
    August 30, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    I hated mushrooms for YEARS. I LOVE them now and prefer a portabello burger any day, especially with pesto, YUM!

  • Reply
    meatballs & milkshakes
    June 12, 2012 at 11:48 am

    These look amazing! I love mushrooms and pesto, so I will have to try this!

  • Reply
    Meg - 18 Preston
    June 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    We LOVE Portabello burgers and make ours a very similar way. (yay for a freezer of pesto ready to go!) I also find myself ordering them in restaurants often – they are a must try.
    This week we’re trying portabellos as a base for mini pizzas!

  • Reply
    Daria Rod
    August 6, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Whoa! They were so flavorful…

  • Reply
    July 31, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Yum! Just made these…absolutely delicious and super easy!!! love the pesto and tomato combination. So good! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

  • Reply
    September 5, 2018 at 2:41 am

    I am a vegetarian and have made these multiple times for my meat eating friends. They are always a hit. I put the pesto on both sides of the bun for extra intense flavor. I also have substituted a slab of grilled red pepper when I haven’t had tomatoes, which is also delicious. It is also fun to experiment with different cheeses–Fontina, for example.

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