Where's The Beef? A Better Burger

Healthier Burger Mushroom Cap

June 4, 2012   21 Comments

I know what you are thinking - "Hello, lovely.....nom nom nom" Yes, that is a portobello mushroom burger that you will be making this summer.

Everybody loves to talk about eating less meat, but few will admit to liking a mushroom more than 8 ounces of beef. But, I gotta tell you that this rocks! I am not a fan of veggie, tofu, or Boca burgers - but portobello mushroom caps are different.

First, they cost a lot. I have had sticker shock at the price of a portobello cap which was $2 at my local Stop and Shop. Ouch. I have a new saying that I am poaching from a yoga class, "Get comfortable with the uncomfortable."

I am uncomfortable paying $2 for a mushroom. Why? Well, its a mushroom! On the other hand, this mushroom is delicious grilled and saves me 400 calories when compared to an eight ounce burger.

Now, I am starting to feel comfortable - especially around the waist band of my pants. Ahhhhhhh.

The calorie reduction is actually not the best reason to make these healthy portobello burgers. With the spinach added you get 266% of your daily value of vitamin A, 31% of DV of iron, and 18% of your DV of calcium.

This is a delicious low cal burger with a multi-vitamin stuck inside.

The recipe below includes some olive oil that I have added to make the mushrooms tastier. Mushrooms do not have any fat, so it is a good thing to add some to help them be more flavorful.

You don't have to add sauteed spinach if you don't like it. Here are a couple of other ideas for your mushroom burger:

  • avocado
  • grilled onions
  • sun dried tomatoes
  • fresh tomato slices

These burgers are surprisingly MEATY. I don't know why but the consistency gives a feeling of heft when you eat them.

Don't compare these to real burgers if you can help it. Just give this a try on "Meatless Monday".

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Portobello Mushroom and Spinach Burgers Recipe

(serves 4)

10 ounces fresh spinach
4 portobello mushroom caps
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 whole wheat hamburger buns
mayonnaise (optional)

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large saucepan. Add spinach and saute until completely wilted. Put in bowl and reserve.

Preheat grill or broiler to medium high heat. Lightly rinse the mushroom caps under running water and ensure that stems are removed or very short. Do not immerse because mushrooms soak up water like a sponge. Brush each cap with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and place mushrooms on the grill cap side down (or the flat side).

Grill for 5 to 8 minutes on each side until tender.

Put mushroom, spinach, and mayonnaise (optional) on each bun and enjoy!

For one burger without mayonnaise = 238 calories, 12.4 g fat, 25.5 g carbohydrates, 3.6 g sugar, 9.2 g protein, 5.8 g fiber, 241 mg sodium, 6 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only.
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First 20 Comments: [ see all 21 ]

Any idea if you can use a grill pan or a Foreman grill? Condo=no real grill. :( Oh, and you must really love spinach, you listed it twice. :)

on June 4, 2012

How many calories are you getting from the bun?

on June 4, 2012

I use my panini grill for a quick burger and I spread old fashion mustard. It gives a nice tangyness to the sandwich.

on June 4, 2012

You will most definitely need some type of fat on there if you want to absorb the nutrients from the other ingredients!

on June 4, 2012

I've wanted to do one of these for so long, but it's hard to get my husband on board. Maybe I'll done as a side without the bun as a trial...

on June 4, 2012

I hate that I don't like mushrooms! I would love a low calorie burger! :(

on June 4, 2012

It probably would't hurt to splurge on a little cheese for extra protein or even make a homemade yogurt dressing to go on it. Plus since mushrooms,especially portabellas,have vitamin D which will help the body absorb the calcium.

I've also heard of recipes using portabellas in place of buns with lean meat or veggie burgers for those on low carb diets or to save calories.

on June 4, 2012

@Karen - Thanks! I fixed my twice mentioned spinach and I do think they would be great on a George Forman grill. Go for it!
@Jenn - I calculated the bun at 100 calories - but the one in the photo is 140. So it is 140 calories without the bun for each burger. Thanks for the question!

on June 4, 2012

Hey Brandy, As a fitness and lifestyle coach I have to speak up on your comment for two reasons. I wouldn't count cheese as a significant source of protein considering a lot of the side effects of dairy (for thorough detail on why, check out this free 25 minute nutrition workshop http://tighterin30days.com). For most people the body is way better off without cheese and by no means should it ever be considered "healthy. There are also some conditions on whether or not mushrooms are a significant enough source of Vitamin D, check this out, "Mushrooms
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA has been seeking a natural, non-animal food, rich in Vitamin D. That led them to mushrooms. It has been demonstrated that when white button mushrooms are exposed to Ultraviolet B radiation, for a short period of time, the level of Vitamin D increases to levels many times the minimum daily requirement, i.e. 10 mcg. Normally, a serving** of white button mushrooms contains 18 IU (0.45 mcg.). Treated mushrooms contain over 80 mcg.***" Here's that full article, too: http://themushroomlady.blogspot.com/2008/02/mushrooms-and-vitamin-d.html Hope that helps!

on June 4, 2012

Thanks, Lisa. I've got 4 portobellos from the local food co-op last Saturday and was wondering
what to do besides slicing and sauteing with onions. I will definitely try your recipe!

on June 4, 2012

Try a grilled portobello mushroom as the bun! We grilled one of these with a salmon burger pattie and topped with fresh diced avocado, cherry tomato, fresh cracked black pepper and fresh squeezed lime juice. It was so yummy!

on June 4, 2012

I make sandwiches like this routinely and they are DIVINE. Mushrooms are truly one of nature's finest food gifts.

on June 4, 2012

Portobello burgers are simply delicious! Thanks for the recipe!!

on June 4, 2012

We don't do mushrooms, but we do eat ground chicken, or turkey for burgers....add in some diced peppers and onions give them a great flavor! Took my Teens awhile to come around though...

on June 4, 2012

I cook mine in the oven at 350 for about a 1/2 hour. Season it first. Cook in a shallow dish, as moisture will be released.
Also, I only pay about $1 for them - I get them loose and it costs about $4 a pound.
I don't eat meat, nor do I think these taste like meat, but it is great to have a big sandwich. I'll put anything on it that I would put on a burger. It makes a great dinner.

on June 4, 2012

The portobello is great on the grill or in a basket with veggies on the grill. It works on the foreman grill but don't push down too hard on it and time it to avoid overcooking.

on June 4, 2012

Ok that looks delicious and I love mushrooms. I may have to to whole foods tomorrow and try their mushroom burger.

on June 6, 2012

Been eating these for years, but using a little different recipe. I use a little olive oil, garlic, fresh thyme, basil and oregano and just before they're done a splash of red wine or balsamic vinegar. I also rarely use a bun, just eat it like a steak.

on June 10, 2012

Portobello mushroom provides several dietary benefits that helping you meet your daily needs. It is also an effective addition to a weight-loss diet. Thanks for your nice blog!

on June 12, 2012

I'd rather ditch the bread than the beef. I think a burger served on a grilled mushroom cap would be great.

on November 14, 2012

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