The Ultimate Grilled Portobello Burger

Grilled portobello mushroom burgers with grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, red onion, arugula, and pesto sauce.

The other day, I was contemplating the meaning of the veggie burger, and all of a sudden I was hit in the frontal lobe with an idea. Rather than making veggie burger patties, which can be time consuming, sometimes fall apart, and require more bases than I’m willing to put out on most evenings after a long day of work, why not just make a veggie burger that is just that – veggies. No fancy patties, just some grilled (or roasted) vegetables stacked on top of each other with a funky fresh sauce. BOOM! Satisfaction.

The Ultimate Grilled Portobello Burger with grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, red onion, arugula, and pesto sauce | #healthy #vegetarian #recipe

So that’s what I did. I basically put everything I could think of that goes together on this burger. I grilled up a couple portobello mushrooms and an eggplant, and topped those veggies with roasted red bell pepper (I used jarred, but you can certainly roast your own peppers if that’s your preference), red onion, arugula, and pesto sauce. I toasted up some potato buns (you can use a gluten-free bun or go bun-less) with havarti cheese to sandwich everything together. And believe you me, this thing just jives.

Let’s talk grilling side dishes. Truth be told, if I’m grilling up a main entree, I typically do something simple for the side dish so that there’s less back and forth between the kitchen and the backyard. Alongside my hefty pile of grilled veggies, I enjoyed a heaping portion of BUSH’S® Steakhouse Recipe Grillin’ Beans®. Sounds like an unsuspecting combo with a veggie-centric burger? I hear ya, but let’s be real: delicious baked beans go with eeee’erythang, amIright? Right.

The Ultimate Grilled Portobello Burger with grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, red onion, arugula, and pesto sauce | #healthy #vegetarian #recipe

Optional changerooskis to the burger? We’ve got plenty. You can add sun-dried tomatoes, whip up a homemade pesto or red pepper aioli or go with a reduced balsamic drizzle, grill or caramelize the onions rather than leaving them raw, add grilled asparagus or sweet potato, replace the arugula with spinach, etc, etc, etc. Spread your veggie burger wings and flyyyy.
Get your grill on!

The Ultimate Grilled Portobello Burger with grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, red onion, arugula, and pesto sauce | #healthy #vegetarian #recipe

The Ultimate Grilled Portobello Burger

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 2 veggie burgers
Author: Julia


  • 2 large portobello mushroom caps
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 inch small eggplant cut into ¼- to 1/2 -inch rounds
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper I used store-bought
  • ¼ small red onion sliced
  • ¼ cup pesto sauce
  • Handful baby arugula
  • 2 burger buns of choice toasted
  • 2 slices havarti cheese
  • BUSH'S® Steakhouse Recipe Grillin' Beans® for serving


  1. Add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar to a small blender and blend well until smooth. Wash and pat dry the portobello caps and transfer them to a sealable container (or zip-lock bag) along with the balsamic marinade. Allow the mushrooms to marinate at least 15 minutes, up to 1 hour.
  2. Heat the grill to medium and brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the portobello mushrooms and the eggplant on the hot grill and cover. Cook until grill marks appear, about 2 to 3 minutes for the eggplant and about 5 to 7 minutes for the mushrooms. Flip and continue cooking until vegetables are juicy, tender, and cooked through, about another 2 to 3 minutes for the eggplant and 5 to 7 minutes for the mushrooms. Transfer vegetables to a plate.
  4. Toast two buns with havarti cheese (or your choice) and layer with a grilled portobello mushroom, a few slices of eggplant, roasted red bell pepper, red onion, and arugula. Drizzle on desired amount of pesto sauce and serve.

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  1. Lori

    This is similar to the one I have from Rachel Ray. She puts rosemary in the marinade and a red pepper pesto. I love these. Yours is much easier. I guess I’m off to the 99 cent store for Mushrooms. I’m always surprised when i find a package of two there.

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