Just-So-Good Grilled Portobellos

July 14, 2021
8 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham. Prop Stylist: Oliva Bloch. Food Stylist: Sam Seneviratne.
  • Prep time 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

Any grilled portobello is good. Crispy edges! Juicy centers! So much umami! But these grilled portobellos are—how do I put this?—so good. Like, so good I made them multiple nights in a one week, then wanted to make them again. It’s all thanks to a few-ingredient marinade that doubles as a sauce for a squishy-bun sandwich. Just combine nutritional yeast, olive oil, and whatever vinegary brine is in a jar of capers, cornichons, dill pickles, you name it. (And if your jar of capers doesn’t have enough liquid for the recipe—you’ll need 3 tablespoons—just supplement with any vinegar you have around; something mild, like white wine or rice, is ideal here.) Half of this sauce hangs out with the raw mushrooms, intensifying their innate umami, before they hop on the grill. The rest gets combined with minced capers (or cornichons or whatever pickle-y thing you just used), plus minced chives, for a tartar-like sauce that just happens to be vegan. Unlike meat, mushrooms are hard to overcook—so don’t be afraid of char, and keep grilling until the edges start to crisp and crackle. That said, like meat, portobellos appreciate a post-cook rest, so all the flavorful juices can settle in. If you aren’t in the mood for a sandwich, that’s fine. Grill portobellos anyway. I like to thinly slice them, then slather with sauce, then put toward fluffy rice, cold noodles, vinaigrette-slicked lettuces, scrambled eggs. Really whatever is on the docket for dinner tonight. P.S. Yes, you can eat the stems! But if you'd like, feel free to remove them before marinating. —Emma Laperruque

What You'll Need
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 3 tablespoons caper (or cornichon) brine
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons minced chives
  • 2 teaspoons drained capers, minced (or 4 cornichons, minced)
  • 2 buns, toasted if that’s your thing
  1. Use a spoon to scrape away the gills inside the mushrooms, then rinse and pat-dry.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, nutritional yeast, caper brine, and salt. Stir with a fork until smooth and emulsified, resembling a loose Dijon mustard.
  3. Transfer 3 tablespoons of the nutritional yeast marinade to a small container. Mix in the chives and capers, then stick in the fridge. Brush the rest onto both sides of the mushrooms and stick in a container, bottom side facing up so the marinade can really sink in. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours.
  4. When you’re ready to eat, heat the grill to medium-high.
  5. Starting stem side facing up, grill the mushrooms for 10 to 12 minutes total, flipping halfway through, until tender throughout and crispy-edged. Spread the chive-caper sauce inside the buns, then sandwich the grilled portobellos inside.

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  • Beverly
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Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

2 Reviews

Beverly June 20, 2023
These were beyond fantastic. Vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike loved them. They were even delicious the next day. It does make a lot of marinade. I quadrupled the # of mushrooms, I did not need to quadruple the amount of marinade. I will definitely be making this recipe again.
Jessica July 14, 2021
This was AMAZING!!!!!!! I had a "real" beef burger the night before that was delicious and this mushroom burger was BETTER!!!! I'll be making this often. I followed the recipe exactly except, I didn't have enough caper brine, so I substituted some brine from pepperoncini & I added a slice of Swiss cheese about 30 seconds before taking off the grill. Thanks Emma for the great recipe and I appreciate that the serving size is for two people!