Portabella Mushroom Pizza Hamburgers are a delicious light alternative to heavily breaded sandwiches. The grilled seasoned burgers nestle in the grilled mushroom cavities. Then they’re topped with mozzarella or grated parmesan cheese and finished with a squirt of tangy homemade pizza sauce. Lots of flavor packed in one delicious sandwich sans bread. This recipe has been updated from the original July 2017 version in order to provide a better experience for our readers. Last updated May 2019.
For this recipe you will need: ground beef, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, large portabella mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, vegetable spray, pizza sauce, Boston Bibb lettuce.
Portabella Mushroom hamburgers easy to fix and eat
Have you ever ordered a sandwich at a restaurant, and once it’s delivered wondered how the heck you’re going to eat it? Your mouth would have to be the size of a hippo’s just to get a bite. Why are restaurants making sandwiches so huge they end up falling apart?
This happened just last Saturday when I ordered a Corvina sandwich. Hubby ordered a portabella sandwich, and Jason, our son, ordered a lamb burger. The waiter brought the sandwiches and all we could do was stare at the mountain of layers.
Where to start? My sandwich was heavy enough that I had to do a double arm curl to lift it to my mouth. As I took a bite, a nice chunk of red tomato slid out of the bun into the linen napkin on my lap.
I put the sandwich back down on the plate and pressed down on the bun. The lettuce, tomato, and onion began to peek out from between the bun. I grabbed the knife and split the bun with its contents in half.
Now I had two skyscraper pieces with the filling threatening to spill out piece by piece. I looked at my Hubby and Jason — they were in the same predicament.
Thank goodness the meal was with the family because it was messy. I ate the sandwich partly by hand but mostly with a fork being careful not to have any more pieces land in my lap.
Portabella Mushroom Pizza Hamburgers
“Should we put the hamburgers on a bun?” asked Honey. He was unwrapping the package of ground beef.
“No!” I quickly replied. “I’d rather eat my meal off my plate and not pick the pieces off of my lap.”
He pointed to the giant mushrooms on the counter. “How about grilling them along with the burgers? We can put the grilled patties on top of the mushrooms.”
“That’s a great idea!” I said. “Why don’t we give them an Italian flair? We can add mozzarella on top. You know, something like our Grilled Portabella Mushroom alla Caprese.”
“Sounds good,” he said. “Why don’t we make it like pizza and we’ll put some of our pizza sauce on it?”
“Oh, yummy! We’ll call it Portabella Mushroom Pizza Hamburgers! I’m so glad I thought of it!”
Honey wasn’t saying anything he was just giving me “the look.” “What?” I asked. He still didn’t say anything. “Okay, okay. You thought up the initial idea. But I finished it!!”
Italians really have a hard time conceding. 😉
Forming the Portabella Mushroom Pizza Hamburgers
For the burgers, we use about 6 to 8 ounces of ground beef for each patty. If you prefer, you can use ground turkey, chicken, pork or anything else you like.
We mix in one tablespoon of Tuscan seasoning, salt, and pepper. If your Italian seasoning contains salt you don’t have to add any more.
How to prepare the pizza hamburger for grilling:
- In a bowl break the ground beef into little pieces.
- Sprinkle the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper over the meat.
- Add 2 Tablespoons minced onion and 2 teaspoons minced garlic.
- Add 2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese.
- Using your hands or fork, gently mix together. Avoid overworking, the more you work it, the tougher it gets.
- Gently shape the mixture into patties and using your thumb, make a shallow depression in the center to prevent the center from puffing up during cooking.
How to Prepare the Portabella mushrooms for grilling:
- Remove debris or sand with a soft-bristled vegetable brush.
- Wipe the mushrooms with a slightly water-dampened paper towel.
- Pat the mushroom dry.
- Cut the stems off of each portabella mushroom.
- Use a spoon to scrape out the dark gills on the underside of the mushroom caps. Discard.
- Brush both sides of mushrooms with olive oil.
Portabella mushrooms are ideal with hamburgers, they have about 30 calories and have no fat or cholesterol. The Mayo Clinic even uses the mushroom as a substitute for the hamburger.
Cooking the Portabella Mushroom Pizza Hamburger
- Spray the grill grates with vegetable oil and then preheat the gas grill to 350 F.
- Once it’s preheated put the hamburger and portabella mushrooms, cavity side up, on to cook. The mushroom will cook faster than the meat. Don’t flip the mushroom over, just move it to the side away from the heat.
- Once you put the burgers on a medium-hot grill, do not, I repeat do not press or squish them down with a spatula. I’m sure you’ve seen it done but it’s wrong. That releases all of the fat and the juicy goodness right onto the flames.
- Let them cook on one side for about 5 minutes then gently flip and brown on the other side.
- Now’s the time to add the cheese. Mozzarella would be ideal since it continues the Italian flavor. Close the lid so the heat stays in and the cheese melts. This time we sprinkled grated parmesan cheese on it, normally we put mozzarella on top but we didn’t want to hide the meat for the photo.
Plating the Portabella Mushroom Pizza Hamburgers
Once the hamburgers were done we put each patty into the cap cavity of each mushroom. Both the meat/mushroom combo went on top of Bibb lettuce leaves.
A sprinkle of our Tangy Pizza Sauce around the meat, mushrooms, and lettuce leaves finished the dish. Use our pizza sauce recipe or one of your own.
- Is the mushroom called portabella or portabello? Both names are correct although the Mushroom Council has adapted the name portabella for consistency.
- What are portabella mushrooms? It’s a dark cultivated mature mushroom same as the crimini or Baby Bella.
- What does portabella mean? It’s actually two words “porta” and “bella” which means beautiful door.
So, serve your beautiful portabello burger and enjoy!!
Tutti a tavola è pronto!
Un caro saluto e alla prossima.
YOU MAY NEED…
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You can’t go wrong with Mesh Grill mats. They prevent food from falling through and it makes it easy to flip ground meat over without losing any of it. You can even cook fish and vegetables on it. Sometimes the grates are too wide for the food but not with grill mats. They are the bees knees! Do people still say that?? Try them and see if you don’t like how they work out for you.
Portabella Mushroom Pizza Hamburgers with Tangy Homemade Sauce
This is the perfect alternative to a sandwich that is heavy on the bread. The portabella burger is full of flavor without worrying about getting full on the carbs in bread. The mushroom is earthy, meaty and so very satisfying. You won’t miss having a huge sandwich — believe me!!
If you like this recipe please consider giving it a five-star rating.
Portabella Mushroom Pizza Hamburgers with Tangy Homemade Sauce
- 3/4 to 1 pound ground beef 6 to 8 ounce patties
- 2 Tablespoons minced onions
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 Tablespoon Tuscan or Italian seasoning
- 2 large portabella mushrooms 4 to 41/2 inches
- olive oil for brushing on mushrooms
- 2 slices mozzarella cheese
- 2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- vegetable spray
- Pizza Sauce - homemade or your favorite
- Boston Bibb Lettuce for serving
- Spray the grill grates with vegetable spray then preheat the grill to medium about 350 F.
- Prepare the mushroom by brushing away any debris with a soft-bristled vegetable brush. With a damp paper towel, wipe the mushroom. Pat it dry.
- Pop the stem off the mushrooms and scrape out the dark gills with a spoon.
- Brush the surface with olive oil.
- Prepare the hamburger by breaking up the ground beef into little pieces using your hands or fork. Sprinkle the onion, garlic, Tuscan seasoning, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper to taste. Gently mix together. Handle the meat as little as possible -- the more you work it the tougher it gets.
- Form 2 patties using a light touch. Using your thumb, make a shallow depression in the center of each burger to prevent puffing up during grilling.
- Place the portabella mushroom cap side down on grill. You won't be turning them over. If they start to cook faster than the hamburger just move to the side.
- Place the burgers on the grill along with the mushrooms. Close the lid. Check the hamburgers and mushrooms in about 5 minutes. Lift the lid. Check the mushrooms and move them if they are cooking too quickly.
- With a spatula, flip the hamburgers. DO NOT press or squish them down with the spatula. You will lose a lot of good juice and flavor. Close the lid.
- Let it cook for about another 2 to 3 minutes -- open the lid, add the cheese, and close the lid again. After a few minutes remove the mushrooms and place each hamburger on top of them.
- Serve the Pizza Hamburgers on top of leaf lettuce then drizzle with Homemade Tangy Pizza Sauce.
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