A vegetarian and vegan BBQ sandwich? Yes please! Sweet. Smoky. Spicy. Make em’ with homemade Bourbon BBQ Sauce for the tangiest flavor! Mushrooms are first roasted in the oven, pulled, then finished on the stovetop. Share Pulled Portobello BBQ Sandwiches (veggie pulled ‘pork’) with soft Sourdough Burger Buns, they come together in about 30 minutes! This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and easily gluten free. [see recipe VIDEO on recipe card!]
Table of Contents
For the Love of Vegetarian BBQ
Being a former Texas girl, I’ll never relinquish my love of BBQ flavors. Back in the day, BBQ pulled pork, or smoky sausage was how I liked my BBQ sandwiches, with plenty of barbecue sauce. Never in a million years would I have thought at the time that one day I’d give it up to find new ways to enjoy pulled pork vegetarian BBQ sandwiches.
After-all, there are still ways to love a smoky BBQ sandwich living a meat-free life and pulled portobello mushrooms deliver!
Featured Comment: “I made this recipe today and it was delicious! Even my 20 year old meat eating son loved it!”
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Portobello Mushrooms – look for mushrooms with longish stems so that you can get more mushrooms out of them. The mushroom’s surface should be plump and dry, but not dried out, with a smooth top and edges.
- Onions – just about 1/2 a yellow onion for flavor.
- Homemade Smoky Bourbon BBQ Sauce or your favorite store-bought brand, but I highly recommend homemade (it’s a vegetarian and vegan BBQ sauce).
- Liquid Smoke for just a little more smoky flavor beyond the BBQ sauce. I like hickory. It’s optional but recommended.
- Burger Style Buns – go for soft buns, brioche-style if you can.
You can serve vegetarian BBQ sandwiches with pickles on top or with creamy coleslaw. I’ve included my *rough,* not measured, simple creamy slaw recipe in the recipe notes.
Quick Guide: How to Make Pulled Portobello BBQ Sandwiches
This vegetarian and vegan BBQ sandwich recipe comes together with ease, offering a little hands-off time while the mushrooms are roasting to whip up a batch of easy coleslaw or other sides. In summary, here’s how to make em’ (see recipe card for details and VIDEO):
- First, remove the stems from the caps. Set the stems aside. Remove the gills and roast the mushroom caps.
- Second, while the mushrooms are roasting, pull (shred) the stems and saute the onions.
- Third, once the mushroom caps are out of the oven and have a bit of time to cool, pull (shred) them with two forks.
- Next, add the pulled mushrooms to the sauteed onions.
- Last, to the mushroom mixture, pour in your favorite tangy homemade vegetarian and vegan BBQ sauce and warm through.
It’s really that simple!
Pulled mushrooms are a delicious stand-in for a meatless BBQ sandwich. They’re easy to work with, accessible, delicious, and healthy!
- I use portobello mushrooms in this recipe but king oysters and/or cremini mushrooms can also be used, and I’m sure more I’ve not tried. They all shred!
- Clean the Mushrooms with a damp paper towel or brush them off with a pastry or mushroom brush. This prevents the mushrooms from soaking up additional moisture from a water rinse.
- Oven Temperature: if the oven isn’t to the proper temperature, the water that’s naturally in mushrooms won’t fully evaporate. An external thermometer is helpful in knowing the accurate temperature of your oven; then adjustments can be made if needed. I use the ThermoWorks DOT with an oven Air Probe (affiliate) for oven temperature monitoring.
Although this Pulled Mushroom BBQ Sandwich looks like pulled pork, the texture is different. These are mushrooms after-all. But these sammies are a delicious homemade plant-based alternative.
- Make Homemade Smoky Bourbon BBQ Sauce up to one week ahead for an easy dinner.
- Variations: Shredded portobello BBQ mushrooms are also delicious stuffed into lettuce wraps or in a baked sweet potato.
- What to Serve it With: Serve this finger-licking vegetarian and vegan BBQ sandwich with Carrot Pineapple Salad, Easy Elote Dip, corn on the cob, coleslaw, Broccoli Slaw, Texas Potato Salad and always with plenty of extra BBQ sauce for slathering! I’ve added my *rough* simple coleslaw recipe on the recipe notes (I’ve not measured out this recipe – it’s rough, but easily adjustable to taste).
- Freezer Friendly: Yes please! For up to two weeks (to avoid freezer burn!).
More Vegetarian BBQ Recipes to Love
- Vegan Baked Beans
- BBQ Black Eyed Pea Collard Rolls
- Tofu and Veggie BBQ Kebabs
- Grilled BBQ Cauliflower Ranch Bowls
- BBQ Chickpea Veggie Burgers
Pulled Portobello BBQ Sandwiches Recipe
- 3 (450 grams) Portobello Mushrooms about 1 pound (*see note)
- 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil unrefined or olive oil
- 1 cup (150 grams) Yellow Onion diced, about 1/2 a medium onion
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) Homemade Smoky Bourbon BBQ Sauce or favorite brand + more for serving (**see note)
- 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon Liquid Smoke I like hickory (optional but recommended)
- 2- 3 Hamburger Style Buns gluten free if needed
Serve With (optional):
- Coleslaw ***see note
- Texas Potato Salad
- Preheat oven to 425F (220C), place oven rack in the center of the oven. Line a sheet pan with silpat or parchment paper.
- Remove the stems of the portobello and set aside (they don’t need to be roasted like the tops.. they’re already dry). Turn the mushroom caps, bottoms up, on a work surface. Using a small metal spoon, gently scrape out the “gills” on the underside of the mushroom. Doing this helps reduce the moisture content further (toss the gills into the yard, garden or compost!). Place the mushroom caps, bottoms up, on the sheet pan and roast for 20-25 minutes. This helps dry them dry out.
- While the mushrooms are roasting, add the oil to a saute pan and heat until it shimmers. Turn the heat to low to medium-low and add the onion, stirring occasionally until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice the stems removing the smallest amount possible at the base to remove the tough edge. Use two forks to “pull” the mushroom stems separating pieces with your fingers if needed until they are shredded. Set aside in a medium bowl.
- Remove the portobello from the oven and once cool enough to handle, using two forks again, shred the mushrooms, separating larger pieces with your fingers if needed until they are shredded. Add them to the same bowl with the shredded stems.
- To the sauted onions, add all the shredded mushrooms, BBQ sauce and liquid smoke. Cook on medium-low for about five minutes to warm through stirring occasionally. Put the lid on to keep warm until ready to serve. Serve on warmed buns, stuffed into a sweet potato or cooled slightly in sturdy lettuce wraps. Top with coleslaw or pickles and serve with potato salad, corn on the cob, baked beans... anything that you love with BBQ!
- Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to two weeks. Thaw in the fridge overnight and gently reheat on the stove-top.