Meatless Monday: Portobello Burgers with Pesto, Provolone and Roasted Red Peppers

Grilling, Main Courses, Meatless, Sandwich / Monday, July 20th, 2009


There are things you eat because they’re good for you and things you eat because they’re delicious.

Where the twain meet – at the blessed intersection of Good for You and Delicious – you’ll find this Portobello Burger with Pesto, Provolone and Roasted Red Peppers. A grilled portobello mushroom covered in melted provolone, topped with slices of roasted red pepper and arugula (or spinach, in my case), sandwiched in a grilled bun slathered with pesto mayonnaise. Or lightly spread with pesto mayo. Or just pesto.

I’m not here to judge you.

The point is, this meatless burger is meaty. And incredibly satisfying. The mushroom isn’t marinated, so it stays nice and firm, and the vegetables offer plenty of texture. Add the pesto mayonnaise to the mix, and the 10 minutes it takes to put this burger together may seem like 10 minutes too long.

Portobello Burgers with Pesto, Provolone and Roasted Peppers

Adapted from “Bon Appetit” (June 2009)

Serves 4

  • 1/2 cup purchased pesto
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 sourdough, whole grain, or ciabatta rolls, split horizontally
  • 4 portobello mushrooms, stemmed, dark gills scraped out
  • Olive oil
  • 4 slices provolone
  • Roasted red peppers from jar, drained
  • 4 cups arugula or spinach (about 2 ounces)
  1. Stir pesto and mayonnaise in small bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat your grill or grill pan to medium-high. Grill rolls, cut side down, until lightly toasted. Transfer to plates. Spread grilled side of rolls with pesto mayonnaise.
  3. Brush mushrooms on both sides with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, rounded side up, 4 minutes. Turn mushrooms over. Cover and grill until mushrooms are tender, about 4 minutes. During the last minute of grilling, place the slices of provolone on top of each mushroom so they can melt. Place 1 mushroom on each roll bottom.
  4. Pat pepper slices with a paper towel to dry, and place enough to cover each mushroom. Add arugula. Press roll tops over and serve.

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26 thoughts on “Meatless Monday: Portobello Burgers with Pesto, Provolone and Roasted Red Peppers

  1. That looks soooo good. Seriously, no manufactured veggie burger can compare to the pure meaty awesomeness that is a grilled portobello.

  2. I love portobello burgers. But you know the perfect side is sweet potato fries. Takes away some of the healthier for you aspects. :P

  3. Yum. I used to eat these all the time at a lunch place near my old job (okay, four jobs ago). I'm not a vegetarian…these were just a nice change!

  4. I've yet to eat a portobello as a replacement for meat. I see I'm missing out. I usually forgo burgers but this way I won't really have to. Pesto mayo…slather on please!


  5. Oh wow, that looks amazing! I've never had a portobello burger but I've heard really, really good things about them. I am definitely trying this.

  6. Looks awesome! I just made portabello burgers a couple of weeks ago and have been craving them! Look at the melted cheese on yours!! YUM

  7. Hi Rebecca-

    Joey here, from Meatless Monday. I just wanted to let you know how much I've been enjoying your weekly Meatless Monday posts. I liked how you suggested eggplant as an alternative to portobello mushrooms for these burgers. Next week Meatless Monday is featuring another innovative way to use eggplant- as a taco shell for tasty tempeh filling.

    Your blogs focus on food and tasty nutrition is perfectly in sync with our campaigns mission to encourage people to cut meat once a week, to prevent disease and reduce our carbon footprint. We've featured Ezra Poundcake (great name by the way!) on our Who's Going Meatless section. Check it out:

    I'd really love to be in more direct communication with you so we are able to better coordinate outreach efforts. If you're interested in continuing weekly Meatless Monday posts, please email me back at

    Keep up the great blogging!

    -Joey Lee
    Executive Assistant
    Meatless Monday

  8. I'm in heaven!!! I made these for dinner tonight. They were beyond delicious!! I couldn't find any of the rolls listed in the recipe, so I used onion rolls. They were fantastic!
    And instead of regular roasted red bell peppers, I found some that were infused with garlic. There were so many layers of flavor going on here. I can't wait to have company over so I can make them for someone!!! If all the recipes taste this good, it may just turn into Meatless Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays…..
    Thanks so much for posting this recipe, it's my new fave and a definite keeper!!

  9. Made these recently, and LOVED them … as did the hubbs! Blogged abt them on my site today, so come by and take a looksie. I'll be making these all year round, I know it, so thks for a great recipe!

  10. […] Recipe from Ezra Pound Cake […]

  11. […] Recipe from Ezra Pound Cake […]

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