Grilled Portabella Burgers with Red Pepper Relish


July 30, 2010 by Dana

I used to think I didn’t like mushrooms.  I didn’t like the look of them, I didn’t like the smell of them, and I knew that I definitely didn’t like the taste.  I was so adamantly opposed to trying them that for years my mom made two trays of stuffing on Thanksgiving… one with mushrooms, and one without.  If anyone made the “mistake” of eating mushrooms around me, I would make an obnoxious face and point out the fungus on their plate. I’m sure it was a real treat to eat with me.

Then one day, I accidentally ate one of the mushrooms from my chicken marsala…. And I liked it! In fact, I loved it! I realized that I had been sadly mistaken about the little fungi.  For years, my stubbornness had been preventing me from enjoying these tasty morsels.

Since then, I have surely made up for lost time.  I will eat anything with cooked mushrooms, and will try them in just about any dish.  I’m a mushroom-holic and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

So when I saw this recipe for Grilled Portabella Burgers with Red Pepper Relish on Cooking with Aurora, it was impossible for me to resist trying them out (with a few small changes).  Of course, you don’t have to be mushroom obsessed like me to enjoy these burgers… they are so delicious that even those that are moderate in their mushroom love will enjoy them!


3 tablespoon olive oil, divided
½ large yellow onion (about ½ cup), diced
1 roasted red pepper, diced
2 tablespoons ketchup
¼ – ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon sriracha (chili pepper sauce)
4 large portabella mushroom caps, gills and stem removed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and freshly ground pepper

To remove the gills and stem from the mushroom caps, gently twist the stems until they come off.  With a spoon, scoop/scrape the gills out of the mushrooms until they are clean.  Voila! Your mushroom is ready to make its grand transformation into a tasty burger.


1.  In a medium sauce pan over high heat add 1 tablespoon olive oil and diced onion.  Cook on high 3-4 minutes until onions are translucent.  Add roasted red pepper and cook another 2 minutes.  Stir in spicy ketchup and sriracha. Cover pan with lid to retain warmth, remove from burner.

2.  In a small bowl, mix remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, and thyme.   Coat mushrooms in this mixture.  Season with salt and pepper.

3.  On an outdoor grill: Grill on the hottest part of your grill for about 2 minutes per side (a covered grill works well to soften caps).  On a George Foreman grill: Grill mushrooms for about 3-4 minutes.

4.  To assemble the burgers, serve portabella caps on your favorite bun and top with the roasted red pepper relish.  Enjoy!

Warning: the relish is spicy.  If you want a little less heat, reduce the amount of cayenne pepper or omit it altogether.

I like to eat my burger open faced on a sandwich thin, so that I can really taste everything.  The red pepper relish and mushroom flavors complement each other so well that I don’t want to cover that up with a lot of bread.  Try this recipe out today and let me know how you like yours!

4 thoughts on “Grilled Portabella Burgers with Red Pepper Relish

  1. Tes says:

    Wow it sounds juicy and delicious! I love this burger recipe. The pictures look stunning.
    Thanks for sharing,

  2. Joanne says:

    For so long I avoided mushrooms as well and although I go back and forth on whether or not I actually like them, they are definitely growing on me! These burgers look fantastic, especially with that relish!

  3. […] had never worked with, or even tasted morels before, but I love my mushrooms, so I figured I would give it a shot.  After tasting the morels in this Morel Mushroom and Brie […]

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