Portabella mushrooms, zucchini, Italian herbs, and cheeses make this one AMAZING Portabella Parmesan Veggie Burger! Whether you’re a vegetarian or a carnivore you’ll love this burger!
So I’ve been on this major, MAJOR veggie burger kick. My Chunky Portabella Veggie burgers have been a viral success! It was only befitting that I give you another veggie burger that both vegetarians and carnivores would love!
Let me introduce you to these lovely Chunky Portabella Parmesan Veggie Burgers!
See marrying Mr. Fantabulous there were certain criteria I had to meet in the kitchen – know how to make Italian Gravy, Canolis, Struffoli and Chicken Parmesan. However, there are days when I’m just not feeling meat. I love it but it doesn’t love me back at times so I had to find alternatives that when I made say Chicken Parmesan I didn’t have to stray and make a completely separate meal for me. This is one of those dishes.
Ingredients needed to make these 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
- Garlic – it is Italian after all
- 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!)
- cheeses (see below for vegan options)
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.
To give the burger a more well-rounded flavor profile, I added in minced garlic. You can also totally add minced onion as the onion adds moisture.
Saute the mushrooms
I prefer to saute my mushrooms but it’s totally optional.
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 also hold the shape.
To saute just add a Tbl of butter or oil to a pan over medium heat and, without crowding the pan, add the mushrooms. Cook for ~10-15 minutes stirring often. This helps the mushrooms release as much liquid as possible.
Now to cook these I made them the same way as I did the other veggie burgers.
To get that true ‘Parmesan’ taste and the result I popped the burgers on a pan, topped with some incredible marinara and cheese and baked just for a few; just until the cheese was all melty! I had these on the same pan as my chicken when I popped them in the oven that way we could actually eat dinner at the same time.
Mixing Portabella Mushroom Burger all together
- 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.
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
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 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 portabella mushrooms, cubed (smaller pieces); gills removed *see note about sauteing first.
- 1 cup grated zucchini or 1 cup finely chopped broccoli
- 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, rough chopped
- 2 Tbl minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
- 1/3 cup fresh parmesan, cut into small pieces
- 2 cups of fresh shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 cups marinara sauce, divided
- 2 XL eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbl plain bread crumbs (regular or gluten free)
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425F with a rack in the middle. Place foil on a baking sheet and spray with oil.
- Place the zucchini in a linen cloth and wring it out several times squeezing as much moisture out as you can. Discard the water.
- In a large bowl add in the mushrooms (I prefer to saute mine), zucchini, basil, 1/3 cup parmesan pieces, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix just until coated.
- Add in the eggs, 1/3 cup marinara sauce, 3/4 cup grated cheese and bread crumbs and mix gently with a large spoon until the mixture is combined and just holds a shape if pressed with a spoon. If it doesn’t add a Tbl or 2 more of breadcrumbs.
- Set aside while you place a medium non-stick pan over medium heat and add in 2-3 Tbl of oil – you want enough so the bottom of the pan is coated and it’s about 1/8” up. 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. While the burgers are cooking place the remaining marinara sauce in a pan over medium heat to warm up. Put the burgers on the baking sheet lined with foil, spoon 2 Tbl of marinara over each and place the remaining cheese on top of them; evenly dividing up.
- Bake for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is just melted.
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, healthy burger, mushroom burger, healthy, meatless