Portobello Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (Vegan)

Summertime calls for simplicity.

But not really simplicity, because it also makes you crave bright, complex flavors that pop. It calls for food that, in all its simple preparation, wows you with the variety of flavors that come together to make a remarkable dish. And these burgers do exactly that.

Side profile of a portabella burger with sun-dried tomato pesto sitting on a white porcelain plate.

Really, all we’ve got here is a large mushroom, a simple pesto, some arugula, and a hamburger bun.

But oh, man. You will never look at a burger the same way after you’ve had one of these.

I even converted AJ back in the day when he thought meat was the thing and that burgers necessarily consisted of cow and cheese. I’m tellin’ ya, these are good.

Top-down view of a food processor container that has the blended ingredients for making sun-dried tomato pesto.

Another bonus? They’re super quick and simple so you don’t need to be hanging out in a hot kitchen or over the grill for too longer.

I am LOVING these longer days that we’re having, but hating the 80-degree weather with 90% humidity that makes it feel like it’s about 105°F and sticky as heck… gross. Not exactly ideal for cooking.

Oblique view of a burger, open-faced and showing the portabella cap on one piece of the bun and the sun-dried tomato and artichoke pesto on the other.

After a long day of fun in the sun and adventuring in the outdoors, it’s just about dinner time when we get home. We’ve got to find something to get on the table right quick, or else we’re eating dinner 10 minutes before we go to bed.

Top-down view of a prepared portabella burger on a premium hamburger bun.

What’s the answer? These burgers!

A quick 20-minute marinade and 10 minutes on the grill means dinner’s ready to go in just half an hour, which is lightning fast for those of us who tend to toil for prolonged periods in the kitchen, given the time (and the inclination).

Semi-oblique view of a vegan-friendly burger made with a portobello mushroom.

You’ll come back to these burgers time and again, just like we have. I tend to forget about them in the colder months (if that is even a thing around here anymore), but I really can’t get enough when it’s warm.

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Oblique view of a vegan portabella mushroom burger on a bun.

Portabella Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (vegan)

  • Author: Raquel Smith
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 burgers 1x


A simple dish with complex flavors, easy enough for a summer weeknight! Balsamic marinated portabella mushrooms and a tangy sundried tomato pesto with artichoke hearts will make your taste buds sing.


  • 4 large portabella mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I just take some from the jar of tomatoes)
  • 1 whole canned artichoke heart, drained
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 4 hamburger buns (good quality)
  • 2 cups arugula


  1. Place the mushrooms in a large zip-top bag and add the balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil. Seal the bag and gently toss around a bit, then let marinate for 20-30 minutes, tossing every now and then.
  2. While the mushrooms marinate, place the remaining ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it comes together into a coarse pesto. I tend to like it chunky, but puree if you like it smooth.
  3. Preheat the grill and cook the mushrooms on medium-high for 4-5 minutes each side, until they just start to char. When they are just about finished, toast the buns on a higher rack until they are a light golden brown.
  4. Spread a quarter of the pesto on one half of each bun, then add a handful of arugula and a portabella. Serve with a small side salad, and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Keywords: mushroom, burger, portabella, portobello, vegan, vegetarian, grilled, pesto

For an extra flavor kick, you can slather on some of our Vegan Cilantro and Cayenne Tahini Sauce.

And you’ll want to bookmark our other finger food featuring this meaty mushroom: Spicy Portobello Sandwiches with Red Peppers and Cheese.

Might as well keep our go-to black bean burger and chickpea veggie burger under your radar, as well, if you want more meatless mains for a barbecue!

What about you? What kind of toppings would you put on this tasty meat-free burger? Let us know in the comments below and please give this recipe a review down in the comments section.

And if you love pesto, be sure to check out these tasty recipes:

Don’t forget to Pin It!

A collage of photos showing different views of a vegan-friendly portabella mushroom burger.

Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on July 28th, 2014. Last updated: July 8, 2020 at 9:07 am.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Raquel Smith

Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now merged into Foodal).

1 thought on “Portobello Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (Vegan)”

  1. these look seriously SO delicious.. definitely recreating the recipe in my kitchen for my vegetarian household. love it!


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