Chunky Portabella Veggie Burgers

Last week I was at Sam’s club, like every Saturday morning picking up my weekly supplies perusing through the fresh produce section.  I was pushing my buggy (yes ‘buggy’ – that’s what us Yinzers call a shopping cart) through the aisles, taking my time looking at everything when I spotted the most incredible Portabella mushroom caps.  Each cap was literally the size of a dinner plate!  I have never seen them that big; I mean EVER! And for like $3.50 I was all over that!  So I brought them home but then kinda sorta forgot about them for a few days.  I got side tracked with other things to make that when I “re-found” them I was tickled pink!  Since my tummy was on the fritz and hating most meats (it does it every once in a blue moon) I figured it was perfect timing to use these face-sized mushrooms.


Since it’s Lent now I try to come up with truly meatless dishes as even though most people eat seafood on Friday there are tons that hate seafood.  I took out the gorgeous portabellas (I wish I had taken pictures of them because they were MASSIVE!!!) and cleaned out the gills. Now you don’t have to remove them as they are edible. Most chef’s remove them as they will discolor your sauce and make it muddy.  For this dish, it’s totally your call.  I just do it out of habit.  Once I chopped them up I could have easily stopped there with the veggies and just added the binding ingredients and seasoning but I wanted protein and a more well-rounded flavor profile.  That being the case I opened up the fridge to see what other veggies I could add.  Garlic is a must and onion as the onion adds moisture. I spied some fresh broccoli and thought that would brighten up the dish not only visually but in flavor profile.  However what I didn’t have was protein. Sure the eggs were a great source of protein but I want more.  I opted to add black beans not only for color, protein and flavor but also texture.  They, unlike cooked broccoli, mushrooms and onions stay semi-firm.


These burgers just came together beautifully.  Since I had made black bean burgers in the past (that are friggen AMAZING!!!) I knew the best bet to really get these to stick together with as little filler (bread crumbs) as possible was to mash half of the beans.  That really helps to bind the stuff together without adding a lot of bread crumbs making it then almost meatloaf-like.

*looks at you*  WAIT!!!  I just got a genius thought!  This would be AMAZING as a vegetarian meatloaf!!!  OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!  Oh I’m so totally making that!


My biggest advice I can give you when you make these is to make sure you have like a bowl or something with water in it so you can dip your hands in to get wet  as this mixture is soft and will stick to dry hands.  Plus it helps making shaping them so much easier.  As you can see by the pictures they are super moist and juicy inside.  I just love how you can see the different ingredients and textures.  That peek-a-boo look of pieces of broccoli just make the pictures (plus the taste!).  Honestly I’m not sure if I’d change the veggies I put in these as they were honestly one of the best burgers (meat or bean) that I’ve ever had. Well wait, maybe shredded zucchini next time.  THAT would rock in these!

But yeah as I was saying the flavor profile on these are incredible.  Portabellas are beefy and meaty in texture. To me they mimic beef/steak.  And by adding in the other seasonings these taste like beef.  I literally was blown away by the flavor of these.


You could easily serve these on burger buns (go with a Brioche onion bun) or do what I did and nestle one in a few bib lettuce leaves, top it with some hummus and maybe a slice of cheese.  I ate these for breakfast and lunch for 3 days straight because I couldn’t get enough of them!  I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect veggie burger as I just went and created it.  Yes I am tooting my own horn on this (BEEP BEEP) as seriously these rocked my world in a big way!

It’s funny as when I was heating these up at work for lunch so many people would come into the kitchen and say “What is that smell?  It smells amazing!  Lori what did you make??”. Then when I showed them their eyes lit up like a Christmas tree.  So I managed to lose one every day to passers-by as they wanted to taste.  I didn’t mind though as I find that to be such a huge compliment.  What’s funny is I’d tell them it was all veggies and then a few guys would argue with me saying “It can’t be as it tastes like beef!  There has to be beef in there!”  but I would  just shake my head no over and over.  So yeah if you can get people arguing with you over a veggie burger tasting so much like beef that they question if it’s really just veggies then you’ve created something pretty amazing!


So even if you’re a hardcore carnivore I’m asking you to give this a shot. You will LOVE these! And yes if you really wanted to you could add some beef in with the mix but you’ll have to adjust your cooking time to ensure the beef is cooked all the way through but honestly I wouldn’t as these are perfect just the way they are.  I would not steer you wrong on this!


Chunky Portabella Veggie Burgers


Serves: 6

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  • 2 cups portabella mushrooms, cubed (smaller pieces); gills removed
  • 2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and divided
  • 1 cup minced broccoli, fresh only
  • 1/2 cup red onion, minced
  • 3 XL eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbl Panko or Gluten Free Panko
  • 1 Tbl Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1 Tbl Worcestershire *for full vegetarian style use one that does not contain anchovies
  • 2 Tbl minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan *Look for vegetarian or vegan Parmesan cheese if you do not eat animal products
  • Olive oil
  1. In a large bowl add 1 cup of black beans and mash with a masher (chunks are OK).
  2. Next, add in the mushrooms, the rest of the beans, broccoli, garlic, onion, Worcestershire and steak seasoning.
  3. Mix just until coated.
  4. Add in the eggs, cheese and bread crumbs and mix gently with a large spoon until the mixture is combined.
  5. Set aside while you place a medium non-stick pan over medium heat and add in 2 Tbl of oil.
  6. Once the oil starts to shimmer (about a minute or two), using dampened hands (the mixture will stick to you if you don’t), scoop a 1/2 cup of mixture into the palm of your hand and gently shape into a burger all the while pressing together. The mixture should hold a burger shape. If it doesn’t add just a Tbl more of bread crumbs.
  7. Place in the oil and cook for 3-5 minutes per side or until golden brown and a crust has formed on each side.
  8. Serve with hummus, guacamole or steak sauce
I get asked this a lot - how to make it vegan. I'm not a vegan so I have to trust in the comments that you guys provide.

1. To not use eggs, most folks go with 1 tablespoon of flax seed meal and 3 tablespoons of water for each egg.
2. For the cheese, go with vegan cheese or even nutritional yeast.


533 Responses to “Chunky Portabella Veggie Burgers”

  • Sonia says:

    Your recipe was the first veggie burger recipe I tried making, and I just wanted to say THANK YOU for this awesome recipe! It came out SOO good! Best of all I love that I can keep keep the base & experiment with it. For some crunch I added some jicama slices; can either add into the burger or layer on top. Thanks for posting this awesome recipe!

  • April says:

    Thanks for sharing such an awesome recipe! I’ve made them several times and they never disappoint!

  • Kerry says:

    These were honestly so much better than I could have imagined! With the steak seasoning and Worcestershire sauce, these turned out to taste more like actual hamburgers, but better. Which was a plus for me since I’ve had meat cravings since going vegetarian.

    One question – do you have approximate calories for one serving of these?

  • Shannon says:

    I just made these tonight. they were totally amazing! I had no crumbly issues, I added in another handful of panic, I used cauliflower instead of broccoli and served it on a bun with some sambal oelek and pickled jalapeños. it was awesome. I recommend not salting the bean and mushroom mixture as salt draws liquid out and will make your burgers fall apart in the pan.

  • Melissa says:

    Hi! I just made these and they were amazing! Non-vegetarian boyfriend had seconds and loved them. I put them in potato bread sandwich skinnies, with avocado, grilled onions, ketchup and mayo. I was wondering if it was possible to bake these? How would you do so?

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Melissa,

      Thank you so much! So yes you can bake them (350F, greased pan for 15-20 minutes). The only reason why I don’t is they aren’t as ‘pretty’ as the pan fried ones. The colors are more ‘muted’ but they still taste as amazing.

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

      • Melissa says:

        Completely understand! I was halfway through the batch and almost baked the rest of them and thought the same thing. I wanted the beautiful crust!
        I think I’ll bake them and then broil them for a few 🤔

  • Darla Lord says:

    I made these for ball game burgers today. They were yummy and my husband (the steak eater) went back for seconds 🙂 Mine were a little moist (not enough bread crumbs) and some broke in half when I turned them. That was ok because I served them on a bed of baby spinach with sliced red onion and tomatoes. The steak eater is trying to avoid carbs, so didn’t want to go for burger on a bun. Also, I used shredded brussels sprouts instead of broccoli since I that’s what I had on hand. I see all kinds of possibilities with this recipe. I’m going to experiment and try them with some different seasonings, subbing other veggies, and maybe saute the mushrooms and onions beforehand to cut down on the moisture. Thank you for the great recipe!

  • I hope they taste as good as they look. I’ve new to Vegan and have been looking at different ways to make meatless patties. I prefer to say I eat a plant based diet rather than I’m Vegan. I can’t take all those horror stories about animal abuse. I had no idea what it took to get a hotdog from the farm to the table. Never again!! If you’re interested watch What The Health or Cowspiracy on Netflix. Heart breaking to say the least. I know I feel 100+ times better since eating plant based for the last 2 1/2 months. I think I’ve finally found a way to lessen the effects of Fibromyalga!

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Hiltona!

      If you look in the notes and throughout the comments you’ll find suggestions folks have said they’ve used to make this truly vegan.

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Ramona says:

    These are Delicious! I cooked mine on my George foreman so I didn’t have to worry about flipping them. They came out GREAT and my finance has requested them again 🙂

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Oh great point about using the Foreman grill and the no flipping! Thank you so much! I’m so happy you guys loved them!

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Dani says:

    Can you freeze these ?

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Dani!

      Most definitely after you cook them. I do not recommend freezing them uncooked as they will turn very mushy due to the water in the mushrooms

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Melinda Stauffer says:

    I couldn’t get the patties to hold together despite more panko, lost patience and just cooked as a mash, super tasty and great filling for a burrito or as is on top of carrotrice or as a taco or with a fried egg on top and sauted greens for breakfast,very versatile. Thanks, will make again but will cook differently such as cook onions and broccoli first (and omit the egg) and cook as a mash,goes much quicker with less frustration!

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Melinda,

      The moistness honestly all is determined by the mushrooms. Portabellas one day can have little water and then next it’s like a flood. The best way to determine how much panko to add is when you form the patty, they should be tight and compact. That when you pick one up (raw) and hold it in between your fingers it should hold the shape and not fall apart. Next, when you cook them be sure you only flip them once. You don’t want a super high heat but rather you want the sear to happen at a normal rate. This will allow the bottom to brown and them to meld together so when you do flip (you can do it easily).

      But I love the way you are thinking – tacos and fillings are amazing!

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

      • Ramsy says:

        I made a huge batch of this for both patties and meatballs. Rather than adding more panko I formed the mixture into patties and meatballs, baked them at 300 for about 30 minutes on parchment and then cooked them in hot oil. Baking the moisture out at a fairly low temp helped them to hold together beautifully. Froze the remaining patties and meatballs after the baking but before the frying. Frying frozen patties/meatballs (don’t thaw them first and make sure your oil is hot) resulted in excellent taste and texture. I am completely sold on this recipe and my meat-loving family was too.

        • TKWAdmin says:

          Oh awesome Ramsy and thank you SO MUCH for your details on how you baked them! I really appreciate that! I’ve baked mine too but haven’t posted the pics for that as they lose their ‘luster’ and aren’t visually appealing!

          Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Julie says:

    Mine were yummy, added more panko but still seemed really wet and fell apart when flipping? We are at high altitude wondering if they need to be cooked slower and longer,

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Julie!

      Hmmm…the wetness has to do solely with the mushrooms and how much water they release. When you shaped these into patties, were they nice and tight (compact)? And when you cooked them, did you get a nice sear (like the color of mine) before flipping? Remember you only want to flip them once. They are more delicate than say a meat burger but they shouldn’t fall apart. I don’t think the altitude would affect this. I thought that only affected baking?

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Lena says:

    these were yummy! The texture was kinda like mashed potatoes. Is that how they’re suppose to be? Is it possible to substitute potato flakes for the panko?

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Lena!

      For the texture the only real soft part should have been the beans that you did mash. The broccoli and other veggies should have been chunky thus giving you that texture. I’ve not tried potato flakes in lieu of panko. You can use regular breadcrumbs or pulsed oats. I think the potato flakes may ‘melt’ into the filling and make it more mashed potato-like.

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Hillary says:

    What would you recommend I substitute for eggs?

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Hillary,

      Most folks go with 1 tablespoon of flax seed meal and 3 tablespoons of water for each egg.

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • LISA HOPKINS says:

    Ohhhhhhhh my, these were amazing! My fiance hates mushrooms and HE even loved them. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  • rayman says:

    I LOVE the way this tasted, but i had a hard time flipping the burger 🙁 Any advice on how to flip it without having it break apart?

    • TKWAdmin says:

      Hi Rayman!

      Yeah! I’m so happy you loved them. So a few things to help with flipping. First, make sure your patty is tight and holds together. Next, make sure your pan has the oil in it to help pan fry it. Last you want a really good dear on the burger before you flip it. The dear is what keeps it nice and tight.

      Best Kitchen Wishes!

  • Paul says:

    My daughter-in-law made your burgers and fryed them in a Power Air Fryer, there was no excessive moisture because of the confection.

  • Paul says:

    I found out what a Yinzer is, I guess the same as a good-ol’-boy down here. I was told by my daughter-in-law to cook it in a Power Air Fryer and the convection removed the moisture.

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