Mushrooms are often cooked and served as a meat substitute in dishes, including as burger patties. But, if you really like mushrooms or are seeking an alternative to bread, try swapping your buns for a portobello mushroom burger "bun."
The portobello (alternatively, "portabella") is a fully grown, mature cremini mushroom that comes in the size and shape of hamburger buns.
Read more: Nutritional Value of Portobello Mushrooms
Portobello Mushroom Burger Bun
Roasting portobello mushrooms will cause some shrinkage but can give the mushroom a crispy exterior — sort of like toasting a bun.
Step 1: Preheat the Oven
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2: Remove the Stems
Wipe the portobello mushroom caps with paper towels. Remove the stems and save them for another recipe — making a vegetable stock, for instance.
Step 3: Line and Arrange
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange the mushroom caps gills-side up in one layer on top of the foil.
Step 4: Roast the Mushrooms
Roast them in the oven until they are lightly browned — 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the crispiness you prefer.
Step 5: Assemble Your Sandwich
Remove your mushroom buns from the oven and sandwich your beef, turkey or veggie burger patty, serving with toppings and condiments of your choice.
If you're not interested in crisp mushrooms, try rubbing the mushroom caps with olive oil or vegetable oil on all sides before putting them in the oven. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Grilling Portobello Mushrooms
For a knife-and-fork burger option, you can also grill your portobello "buns." Brush two caps with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and put them on your preheated grill. Turn the mushrooms over after a few minutes and grill the opposite side for another two minutes.
Sandwich your beef, turkey or veggie burger patty between the grilled portobellos and serve with toppings of your choice, as recommended by the Produce for Better Health Foundation.
Nutritional Value of Mushrooms
Though members of the fungi kingdom, mushrooms are often characterized as vegetables and are a good source of B vitamins, including niacin, pantothenic acid and riboflavin, as well as minerals such as selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorus and calcium, according to the USDA.
In addition, mushrooms are a good source of Vitamin D, dietary fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. They are also low in fat and sodium, as explained by PennState Extension.
Using a portobello bun for your cheeseburger will save on carbs and calories. They are a much healthier option than your average white-bread bun — portobello mushroom bun carbs are a mere 5.4 grams per 1-cup serving and only 35 calories, while a bread bun has 26.1 grams of carbs and 145 calories, according to the USDA.
Read more: Nutritional Benefits of White Mushrooms
Choosing Your Portobellos
Portobello mushrooms are commonly available in supermarkets. According to the Mushroom Council, the surface of the mushrooms should be dry, but not dried out. Choose portobellos with a smooth surface.
If the veil under the mushroom cap is open and the gills are exposed, the mushroom will have a richer flavor. Mushrooms with closed veils will be more delicate in flavor.