Balsamic Portobello Burger Recipe

Summertime is grilling season, but it can be awkward when traditional grilled foods like burgers, brats, and chicken are on the menu and vegetarian guests show up. If you want to be prepared for such an eventuality, or you yourself are a vegetarian in search of new grilling recipes, recipe developer Julie Kinnaird assures that her balsamic portobello burgers are "a very satisfying vegetarian twist on the classic meat patty." These mushrooms, she explains, "have a meaty texture and soak up the rich balsamic glaze for a big punch of umami," accented by the tangy goat cheese. For a final touch, she also likes to use chimichurri (recipe included), telling us, "I love the fresh herbs with just a kick of spice."

If you aren't able to use a grill, Kinnaird notes that the mushrooms can also be pan-seared for a similar amount of time on each side. While the sandwiches themselves don't really make for the best leftovers, she does say you can prepare all of the moving pieces in advance. That way, you need only pull the necessary components out of the fridge, heat up the mushrooms, and fix one personal burger at a time.

Assemble the ingredients for these balsamic portobello burgers

Don't be put off by the lengthy ingredient lists here, as there is some overlap between the two. For the burgers, you'll need portobello mushroom caps (no stems), buns, and goat cheese, plus some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt, cumin, paprika, pepper, and garlic to make the marinade.

Additional ingredients for the chimichurri include fresh parsley, cilantro, and oregano, as well as red wine vinegar and crushed red pepper. Fortunately, it's likely you've already got quite a few of these in the pantry.

Marinate the mushrooms

Mix up the marinade ingredients, these being the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt, cumin, paprika, black pepper, and garlic. Put the mushrooms in a dish with the gill sides facing up, then pour the marinade over them. Turn the caps so the other sides get some marinade too, then use a brush to make sure the mushrooms are coated all over. Cover the container until you're ready to start cooking.

Make the chimichurri

Stir together the parsley, cilantro, oregano, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt, chili pepper flakes, cumin, and black pepper, then add the olive oil. Taste the mixture and add more salt if you feel the sauce needs it.

Grill the mushrooms

Heat the grill up until it's at medium-high, then put the mushrooms on the grates with their gill sides facing up. Cook them for 3-5 minutes until they're slightly charred, then turn them over and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn the mushrooms over once more, then fill each opening with goat cheese. Now, turn off the grill but leave the mushrooms on the grates until the cheese starts to melt.

Assemble the mushroom burgers

Put each portobello on a bun and top it with chimichurri. If you like, you can also add a slice of tomato. Kinnaird feels that this optional fixing "adds a nice flavor and color to the finished burger," while "the goat cheese adds a tangy, creamy contrast, and the chimichurri sauce has a piquant brightness that ties the whole sandwich together." Whatever you choose to adorn your burger with, finish off each sandwich with the top half of the bun.

If you happen to have any leftover chimichurri (or would like to make a double batch), Kinnaird says this condiment can be used in "infinite ways" and pairs well with all manner of meats, fish, vegetables, and salads. We like it on sandwiches and empanadas, as well.

Balsamic Portobello Burger Recipe
5 from 39 ratings
With a meaty texture that soaks up marinades like a dream, portobello mushrooms are the perfect base for a balsamic-flavored burger.
Prep Time
Cook Time
cooked mushroom on hamburger bun
Total time: 35 minutes
  • For the portobello burgers
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps, wiped clean and stems removed
  • For the chimichurri sauce
  • ½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • For assembly
  • 5 ounces plain goat cheese, crumbled
  • 4 hamburger buns (sesame, brioche, or onion preferred)
Optional Ingredients
  • Sliced tomatoes
  1. Make the portobello marinade by combining the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt, cumin, paprika, black pepper and garlic in a bowl.
  2. Pour the marinade over the mushroom caps (gill side up), then brush it all over the mushrooms, covering until ready to cook.
  3. To make the chimichurri, combine the parsley, cilantro, oregano, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper flakes, cumin, and black pepper, then stir in the olive oil and add more salt if necessary.
  4. Preheat the grill to medium-high.
  5. Grill the mushrooms, gill side up, for 3-5 minutes or until lightly charred.
  6. Turn the mushrooms over and grill the other sides for 5 minutes.
  7. Turn the caps gill side-up again and divide the goat cheese between them.
  8. Turn the grill off, but let the mushrooms sit on the grates until the cheese melts a bit.
  9. Put each mushroom on a bun and top with chimichurri.
  10. Add a tomato slice, if desired, then close the sandwich with the top half of the bun.
Calories per Serving 554
Total Fat 43.4 g
Saturated Fat 10.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 16.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 29.0 g
Dietary Fiber 2.2 g
Total Sugars 6.1 g
Sodium 435.8 mg
Protein 12.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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