Chipotle-Marinated Grilled Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches

Your new favorite way to do portobellos has arrived

Photo: Andy Zambrano

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Grilling is my dad’s favorite method of cooking and has always been a major part of my upbringing. In summer, the grill goes on starting Friday night and stays lit all weekend. This chipotle-marinated grilled portobello mushroom is charred to a crisp edge but stays meaty inside. It can absolutely be eaten on its own as a portobello “steak” accompanied with some sides, but I prefer to make these ‘shrooms the star of an excellent sandwich.

The key to these flavorful portobellos is the chipotle marinade. I used a vacuum seal to marinate the mushrooms, but a tightly sealed zip-top bag works just as fine. Ideally you want this to marinate overnight in the fridge, but if you’re pressed for time, marinating outside of the fridge for one hour can work as well.

Some components of this sandwich are a little brine- and acid-heavy. But they get balanced with the sweetness of caramelized onion and bread-and-butter pickles and the fattiness from the cheese. Together, they bring this sandwich to a full circle in every bite.

As I was testing this recipe out, both of my (meat-eating) parents were hovering over me waiting to devour this sandwich. It is not everyday when they patiently wait for their vegan chef son to offer them something to sample. A winner overall.

Make Ahead Tip: Fully marinate and grill the portobello caps and store in the refrigerator for up to four days. Keep a little extra marinade in a separate container. When you’re ready to serve, slather the additional marinade on the mushroom and give it a quick kiss on the grill until reheated through.


More Related Recipes to Try Next:
Portobello Lettuce Cups with Ahiflower Oil Romesco Sauce
Adobo Tofu & Portobello Tacos
 with Chunky Guacamole
Philly-Style Broccoli Raab, Provolone, and Portobello Sandwiches

Chipotle-Marinated Grilled Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches


For marinade

  • 12 oz can of chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 8 peeled garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water

For mushroom sandwiches

  • 4 portobello mushrooms (approx 1 lb total)
  • 12 bread and butter pickle slices
  • 4 slices of dairy-free American cheese (or other cheese of your choice)
  • 3 white onions, peeled
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Stone-ground mustard, to taste (approx 4 Tbsp)
  • 8 slices brioche bread, toasted


  1. Combine chipotles with adobo, garlic cloves, salt, cumin, black pepper, vegetable oil, and water in a blender and blend until smooth, about 20 seconds. 
  2. If your mushroom caps have stems attached, remove the stems; you do not need to remove the gills. Put mushroom caps into a gallon-sized zip-top or vacuum seal bag. Pour in marinade and make sure it saturates all parts of the mushrooms. Seal shut and refrigerate overnight. 
  3. Chop the onion into thin, evenly-sized matchstick slices. In a medium saucepan, add oil and onions with 1 tsp of salt. Cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until they’ve turned a warm brown, stirring occasionally (about every five minutes). Set aside. 
  4. Preheat the grill to 400° F. Open the bag and remove the mushrooms, saving the marinade. When the grill grates are hot, place the marinated mushrooms and let them cook, untouched, on one side for 10 minutes. Flip over and cook for another 10 minutes. Baste the mushrooms with the leftover marinade as you go. Use tongs to remove from the grill and set on a platter until you’re ready to assemble your sandwich (or allow to cool and then store for future use).   
  5. Assemble the sandwich: Slather mustard on both pieces of bread. On one slice of bread, spread mustard, then layer cooked onions, pickles, mushroom, and cheese. Top with another slice of bread. Cut in half and serve immediately. 
From 2022

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