Mushroom Burgers With the Works and a Recipe for Basil Cannellini Spread

Cheeseburgers piled high with lettuce, tomato, and mayo or ketchup are a staple at backyard cookouts, and on our blog today, we reinvent them.  As part of a new monthly blogger challenge called Recipe Redux, we take  summer’s time-honored burger and give it a healthy and incredibly delicious makeover.

This month’s challenge was grilling. With such an open-ended assignment, we decided to create a build-your-own burger bar with grilled portobello mushrooms as the star ingredient.

Make-your-own meals are especially appealing to kids. Kids love choice and we love all the veggies on the table. With grilled mushrooms as the foundation of our burger redux, we also serve up grilled red onions, Bibb lettuce and baby spinach from Janice’s CSA, slices of juicy tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese, and a nutrient-rich Basil Cannellini Spread (read on for the recipe). We set out whole wheat burger buns too, and for a change of pace, Flatout Foldit 5 Grain Flax “hinged” flatbread.

In the June issue of Bon Appetite, the editors make the following plea in their Summer Cooking Manifesto article: “Let’s please never grill portobello mushrooms again.” Well, well, well. Imagine the surprise when we read that! We couldn’t disagree more. Mushrooms are low in calories and are a good source of fiber and selenium. Their meaty texture makes them the ideal vegetarian stand-in for beef or turkey burgers, and our children adore this recipe. Need proof? Here is what they had to say:
> Josh (Liz’s 15-year old): “It’s like, flavorful.”
> Simon (Liz’s 12-year old): “This is a mean burger. It’s magic.”
> Leah (Janice’s 11-year old): “I hope there are more of these!

Mushroom Burgers With the Works

Makes 4 Servings

  • Four 4-inch-diameter portobello mushroom caps (or 5-inch caps if using the Flatout Foldits)
  • Four 1/2-inch-thick slices red onion
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 whole wheat burger buns or 4 Flatout Foldits
  • Burger bar toppers: 4 tomato slices, 4 thin fresh mozzarella slices, Bibb lettuce or baby spinach leaves, Basil Cannellini Spread (we suggest about 1 tablespoon per burger)

1. Preheat outdoor grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate. Wipe the mushroom caps clean with a damp cloth or paper towel. Trim off the stems. Place the mushroom caps and onion slices on a plate or cutting board.

2. Using a pastry brush, brush both sides of the mushrooms and onion slices evenly with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. Place the mushroom caps and onion slices on the grill. Grill until tender, 6 to 8 minutes per side.

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 mushroom burger):  330 calories, 17g fat (4.5g saturated), 230mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate, 7g fiber,  11g protein,  10% vitamin A, 30% vitamin C, 10% iron

Print Recipe

Hold the mayo, and try our Basil Cannellini Spread instead. Beans are technically a vegetable, so this spread is packed with fiber and health-enhancing antioxidants. Use leftovers as a dip for crunchy vegetables — bell pepper strips, baby carrots, celery sticks.

Basil Cannellini Spread

Makes 1¼ Cups

  • One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Place the beans, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 tablespoon):  35 calories, 2.5g fat (0g saturated), 35mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 1 g protein

Print Recipe

Be sure to check out the other bloggers taking part in this month’s Recipe Redux grilling challenge.

> Delicious Knowledge / Grilled Summer Fruit Salad
> Inspired RD / Grilled Romaine Salad
> Eat to Nourish, Energize and Flourish! / Grilled Flank Steak with Grilled Corn and Peach Salsa
> Nutrition Know How /Grilled Vegetables: Not Like Your Mom Made
> Eat Smart, Live Confidently / Grilled Sweet Peppers
> Eat Well Eat Clean / Grilled Beet & Onion Salad with Goat Cheese
> Nutrition Budgeteer / Grilled Veggie Salad Takes Heat out of the Kitchen
> The Spicy RD / Grilled Polenta Veggie Stacks with Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes
> The Scoop on Nutrition / Char Siu BBQ Pork
> Kumquat / Grilled Tandoori Chicken Skewers
Delicious Diabetes Cooking / Grilled Proscuitto Shrimp with Asian Dipping Sauce
> Nutritioulicious / Grilled Salmon Burgers with Cherry Chutney
> Eating The Week / Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Spiced Couscous
> East Meats West / Succulent Sirloin Kabobs
> Swanky Dietitian /Portabella Mushroom Burgers with Grilled Corn
> Healthful Sense / Grilled Veggie Bean Burgers
> Whole Health RD / Grilled Eggs
> MeFirst / Grilled Plantains: A Sweet Summer Side Dish
> The Professional Palate / Grilled Eggplant & Two-Tomato Whole-Wheat Piadina
> Teaspoon of Spice / Grilled Watermelon Salad
> Performance Nutrition / Italian Style Turkey Burgers
> Chef Pandita / Grilled Vegetables

Our summer nutrition interns (from left), Hillary, Jeanine, and Stephanie, help us cook and eat our Recipe Redux feast.

18 responses to “Mushroom Burgers With the Works and a Recipe for Basil Cannellini Spread”

  1. Yuri says:

    I love grilled portobellos! That dip/spread looks amazing too 🙂

  2. I agree to disagree with BA! Anyone that think that grilling mushrooms is old news, just hasn’t meant the average burger eater (which most folks I know, still are.) A portabello opens up the table to so many delish toppings, like yours. And love the spin on the bean dip vs. mayo… any tasty way to up our bean quotient is wonderful!

    Thanks again for participating in The ReDux!

  3. “It’s like, flavorful” — That cracked me up! These burgers look delicious, and I am so excited for the start of Recipe ReDux!!

  4. That basil spread looks awesome! I disagree with BA- sorry, the mushroom is a great grilled, summertime item. I love them on the grill!

  5. gretchen says:

    my mom read that to me from bon appetit a couple weeks ago while i was visiting her. i thought the portobello, as well as the “plain grilled chicken breast”, were a bit absurd to scratch off any list. therefore, good for you for this burger. not the mention the cannellini spread is a brilliant way to incorporate delicious proteins into a veggie sandwich. looking forward to more recipes reduxed!

  6. Love the photos and I agree – I’ll never tire of grilling portabellas and that spread looks A-MA-ZING. Such great photos, too – so glad you guys are a part of Recipe ReDux

  7. Both of these dishes look great! I especially want to try the Basil Cannellini spread. My boys love hummus, so I’m sure they would enjoy this too. I’m also loving that its a great source of fiber. Healthy and delicious? Yes, please!

  8. Yummo burger and great to be in the Redux team with you. I’ve admired and promoted your wonderful blog down under.

  9. sounds awesome, our family often has build-a-burger night and we love it.

  10. Wendy says:

    I just made your Basil Cannellini Spread and I wanted to let you know that it’s a huge hit with my family. We are all dipping raw veggies in it as I write this! Yum! My three-year-old ran out of carrots a few minutes ago and instead of asking for more, he just started eating it with his bare hands. Needless to say I got him more carrots as soon as I cleaned him up, but I thought that was a testament to this recipe’s deliciousness.

    • Liz says:

      Hi Wendy: Great to hear from you. We’re delighted the dip went over big-time with your family. Bring on the veggies!!! Hope you’re enjoying summer …

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