BBQ Pineapple Grilled Portobello Burgers 2.000

(Justin Tsucalas for the Washington Post; food styling by Nichole Bryant for The Washington Post)

Plant-Powered Newsletter Jul 5, 2019

This gigantic, plant-powered, messy burger is all about the grill. It layers juicy grilled pineapple rings and a meaty portobello painted with homemade barbecue sauce, and tops it off with smoky mashed avocado.

A slice of melted cheese would be an apt addition, and you could serve this with a veggie-protein filled side such as a bean or grain salad. The recipe easily doubles or triples to serve a crowd.

Want to add more protein? Adding a little bacon to this plant-based burger is heavenly.

This recipe is from Week 6 of Voraciously's Plant Powered newsletter. Sign up at

Make Ahead: The burgers are best served freshly made, but leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. The grilled avocado won’t hold well; if you plan to eat leftovers, use a fresh avocado or guacamole instead.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 2 servings

  • For the sauce
  • 1/3 cup canned, crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (pimenton)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • For the burgers
  • 2 large portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • Several pinches kosher salt
  • 1/2 small red onion, cut into 1-inch wide slices
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut in half and pitted (unpeeled)
  • Two 1/2-inch rings of pineapple (cut from 1 small ripe pineapple)
  • 2 best-quality burger buns


Prepare your grill for medium-high direct and indirect heat (375 to 400 degrees).

For the sauce: Combine the crushed tomatoes, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, smoked paprika and chili powder in a small saucepan; cook over low heat so the mixture is just barely bubbling for 4 to 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Let cool; this makes about ¼ cup. (If you would like to have extra, double or triple the quantities; the barbecue sauce lasts for about 1 week in the refrigerator.)

For the burgers: Cut away the tough stems from the portobello caps, as needed; brush any dirt from the gills. With the gill sides up, drizzle the “burgers” with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce and season lightly with kosher salt.

Drizzle the sliced red onion with a tiny bit of olive oil, using your hands to coat it before seasoning it with salt. Season the cut sides of the avocado halves lightly with kosher salt and lightly drizzle with olive oil.

Pile your portobellos, pineapple rings, onion and avocado onto a baking sheet and head out to the grill. Grill the vegetables with the lid closed so that they all finish at once (start with the mushrooms and add the other veggies closer to the end):

Place the mushrooms on the grill with the gill sides up. Grill until tender and juicy, about 12 minutes, tipping the mushrooms occasionally to drain excess juices. Flip and grill 2 minutes on the other side.

Grill the red onion slices and pineapple for 6 to 8 minutes total, flipping once, until grill marks form.

Grill the avocado halves, cut sides down, for 4 to 6 minutes total, until grill marks form.

Over indirect heat, grill the buns flat sides down for about 2 minutes, until toasted.

To serve, place the portobello caps on the bottom buns, then brush them with the barbecue sauce. Top with a pineapple ring and red onion slices. Scoop out the avocado and mash some on top of each burger stack, then season the avocado with salt. Top with the remaining bun halves and serve warm.

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Recipe Source

From Sonja Overhiser and Alex Overhiser of

Tested by Sonja Overhiser and Alex Overhiser.

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