The Best Damn Chunky Portabella Veggie Burgers on the planet! Portabella mushrooms, broccoli, black beans, and seasoning make this a burger even meat lovers can’t resist! This burger is packed full of veggies and seasonings that make it taste like a real beef burger! Whether you’re a vegetarian or a carnivore you’ll love this burger!
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 through the aisles, taking my time looking at everything when I spotted the most incredible Portabella mushroom caps. Each cap was 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, tucked them in the fridge for a few days. 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.
Ingredients needed to make this Portabella Mushroom Burgers
Obviously you need mushrooms. They are the cornerstone of these burgers. And portabella (or portobello depending on how you spell it) are the mushrooms of choice here.
I go with these mushrooms because they are the most like meat. As they are meaty and “beefy”. Often I’ll grill these up for me, with my typical Montreal Steak seasoning while I make him a new york strip.
For this recipe I went with what I had on hand:
- Portabella mushrooms
- Black Beans
- Fresh broccoli – I minced it and kept it raw for texture but you could cook it if you wanted to first
- red onions
- bread crumbs (see below how to make keto and gluten-free)
- egg (see below how to make egg-free or see THIS POST for egg substitutes!)
- cheese (see below for vegan options)
Now, can you go with other veggies? ABSOLUTELY! I’ve used zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, corn.
Remember, this is NOT a vegan recipe HOWEVER I have a section below on how you can make it vegan thanks to all of your input!
Not all mushrooms are the same with water content
Now you can use white button mushrooms or crimini mushrooms but for this recipe, I only use portabella mushrooms.
That being said, the water content in each mushroom is different. Some have more water when you cook them up and some don’t.
When making this recipe you have 2 choices
- You can sautee up the mushrooms to remove the moisture – this ensures that you have a more cohesive/less bread crumb/binder to the mix
- You can chop, mix and add a bit more binder.
I’ve done both and honestly the only thing I think is better about cooking them up first is that they have a more rich, depth of flavor. Again, totally your call.
So use the breadcrumb measure below as a guideline because it honestly depends on your mushrooms. Just don’t add a ton as you want this to be a burger and not a meatloaf
Cleaning your mushrooms
During Lent, I try to come up with truly meatless dishes as even though most people eat seafood on Friday there are tons that hate seafood. So I took out the gorgeous portabellas and cleaned out the gills.
Now you don’t have to remove them as they are edible. Most chefs 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.
Adding the veggies and binding ingredients to this portabello veggie burger
As I mentioned above, I went with what I had on hand. When using more watery type veggies (zucchini, squash, etc) you want to remove as much water out of them BEFORE you add to the mix otherwise the mixture will be soggy and you’ll find you’ll have to add a ton more binding ingredients – breadcrumbs and cheese.
So I chopped the veggies (and kept them raw as I wanted texture). I hate a bean or mushroom burger that has zero texture other than ‘creamy’. By leaving the broccoli raw (while keeping them small) it gave the burger great texture and mouthfeel.
To give the burger a more well-rounded flavor profile, I added in minced garlic and onion. The onion adds moisture.
The only thing that was missing was the 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.
I quickly sauteed up the mushrooms to help remove as much liquid as possible as I wanted these to be hearty burgers that were easier to shape and hold the shape.
Mixing Portabella Mushroom Burger all together
Once everything was ready to go, into the bowl they went. 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.
- Place the prepared veggies, and seasonings into a large bowl. Mix just until coated
- Add in the breadcrumbs, cheese, and egg until the mixture is well combined.
- With damp hands, form into burgers that are tight and compact. If the mixture is really loose and won’t hold it’s shaped, add a bit more breadcrumbs. Again, this is all driven by the water content in your mushrooms.
Best Tips for shaping and forming Portabella Mushroom Burgers that hold their shape
- 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 to make shaping them so much easier.
- Your mixture should be soft and sticky but if you grab a 1/2 cup of the mixture, go to shape it like a burger (again it will be soft) and it does not hold the shape at all, you’ll need to add a bit more breadcrumbs.
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 makes the pictures (plus the taste!).
Can I make Portabella Mushroom Burgers ahead of time?
Yes but I do not recommend mixing up the recipe, shaping them and then putting them into the fridge (or freezer) uncooked.
Even though you may have cooked your mushrooms ahead of time, vegetables have water in them so by cutting them up and incorporating them raw into the mix, you’re increasing the possibility of the water making these get soggy if they sit raw.
I advise shaping, cooking them up and then either storing in the fridge or freezing.
These reheat beautifully in the oven!
Making the Portabella Mushroom Burgers
In my recipe, I prefer to pan-fry these as I want that caramelized crust you would like if you made a real beef burger. If you’re worried about fat you can use a lighter, more neutral oil. Make sure though that your burger is shaped and holds a tight shape.
Do not try and flip it a million times. It’s a soft burger so flip it once. And do not rush the cook.
You most certainly can bake these. Line a rimmed baking sheet with sprayed parchment.
- Preheat the oven to 400F, place the burgers on the pan and drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake for 10 minutes, carefully flip, drizzle with a bit more oil and bake for another 5-10 minutes.
- Just flip GENTLY as these will be much softer than the pan-fried ones.
I’ve not personally tried this but I know many of you have with success. Since these are not like regular burgers, I would not advise putting it directly on the grill. Instead, I would place a grill pan in the bbq, oil it up and then grill. the biggest factor is to watch your temp in the grill.
Even a hardcore carnivore meat-loving burger enthusiast will LOVE this burger!
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!
Even if you’re a hardcore carnivore I’m asking you to give this a shot.
You will LOVE these!
Portabello Mushroom Burger Keto and Gluten-Free Substitutions
Some of the best substitutions for breadcrumbs in this burger is one of two things:
- Homemade Gluten-Free Panko breadcrumbs – this is the same coating I use on my GlutenFree Chicken Parmesan and it’s INCREDIBLE!
- Pork Rinds – Yes, good ol’ pork rinds, that are ground using the above panko recipe instructions are the best. I make my own as it’s cheaper and I can control how much I make!
- If you want, there are 2 great Keto/Gluten-Free Pork Rind Breadcrumbs that are already prepared that are good too!
Portabello Mushroom Burger Vegan and Dairy/Egg-Free Substitutions
As I stated above, this is NOT a vegan recipe BUT that doesn’t mean vegans and those with allergies can’t enjoy this!
Thanks to the millions of you that are, your incredible feedback on how you “veganized” the recipe or how you modified it for your dietary needs, I’ve been able to test your substitutions out with GREAT SUCCESS!
Dairy / Egg-Free / Vegan Substitutions
- To not use eggs, most folks go with 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal and 3 tablespoons of water for each egg. I HIGHLY recommend reviewing my Egg Substitutions post as it’s extremely detailed!
- For the cheese, go with vegan cheese or even nutritional yeast.
- For the Worcestershire sauce, use this VEGAN version
More Mushroom Recipes
- Chunky Portabella Parmesan Veggie Burgers
- Breakfast Stuffed Portabello Mushroom Caps
- Garlic Herbed Roasted Portabello Mushrooms
- Green Bean Casserole Stuffed Portbello Mushrooms
- Porcini Mushroom Pasta with Bacon, Peas and Mushrooms
- BBQ Pulled Pork Stuffed Mushrooms
- Ultimate Mushroom Veggie Meatloaf
- Pizza Stuffed Portabello Mushroom Caps
- 2 cups Portobello mushrooms, cubed (smaller pieces); gills removed *see note about sauteing first.
- 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 or vegan style use one that does not contain anchovies like this one
- 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
- In a large bowl add 1 cup of black beans and mash with a masher (chunks are OK).
- Next, add in the mushrooms (preferred sauteed), the rest of the beans, broccoli, garlic, onion, Worcestershire and steak seasoning.
- Mix just until coated.
- Add in the eggs, cheese and bread crumbs and mix gently with a large spoon until the mixture is combined.
- Set aside while you place a medium non-stick pan over medium heat and add in 2 Tbl of oil.
- 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.
- Place in the oil and cook for 3-5 minutes per side or until golden brown and a crust has formed on each side.
- Serve with hummus, guacamole or steak sauce.
Mushrooms are high in water and it can vary from mushroom pack to mushroom pack how much water is in them. To alleviate the extra liquid/softness of the burger saute the mushrooms first in a little olive oil for about 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned and the liquid has been drawn out of the mushrooms. Allow to cool slightly before adding to mix.
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.
- It is NOT recommend to mix this up, shape the patties then hold to cook. You cannot do this as the mushrooms will start to seep water and the patties will turn mushy.
- My recommendation is to form the patties, cook per the instructions, allow to cool then freeze. You must cook these fully prior to freezing.
- To reheat just pop them into the oven at 350F for 10-12 minutes or even in a microwave.
Keywords: vegetarian burger, black bean burger, mushroom burger, healthy, meatless