These Vegetarian Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms are rustic and simple, yet jam-packed with flavor. Made with a quick and easy homemade tomato sauce, baby spinach, creamy goat cheese, and toasted panko breadcrumbs, this healthy vegetarian recipe works as both a main dish and as a side dish. Low-carb friendly.
As the season changes from winter to spring, I tend to crave lightened-up comfort food. I still want something warm and cozy, but not quite as heavy as the meals I’ve been enjoying all winter long.
These vegetarian stuffed portobello mushrooms are the perfect cozy, yet healthy weeknight dinner recipe.
The rich, savory flavor of the mushrooms, spinach, and tomato sauce contrast nicely with the sharp tang of goat cheese. And the crunchy breadcrumb topping pairs wonderfully with the soft filling and meaty mushroom base.
I make these veggie stuffed portobello mushrooms for dinner at least once a month. They pair beautifully with a light salad, roasted vegetables, pasta, grains, potatoes, and more.
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Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Vegetarian- Satisfying enough to be a vegetarian main dish. Pair it with some pasta or a side salad. Even your non-vegetarian friends will be asking for more.
- Healthy- Mushrooms, spinach, and tomatoes are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Goat cheese adds a little protein, while olive oil provides some healthy fats.
- Flavorful- The homemade tomato sauce, tangy goat cheese, and earthy portobello mushrooms give this dish an unbelievable amount of flavor.
- Versatile- Serve two as a main dish or one as a fun and unique vegetable side dish.
- Easy to Make- Ready in just over an hour, these stuffed vegetarian portobello mushrooms are simple and easy to make.
Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Portobello Mushrooms- Choose large, firm, and deep-capped portobello mushrooms. We remove the stem and gills for easier stuffing.
- Baby Spinach- I use a 5-ounce bag of baby spinach, which measures out to be about 4 packed cups.
- Canned Whole Tomatoes- Crushing whole tomatoes with a wooden spoon and letting them cook down gives this dish a rustic, hearty texture. If you’re not a fan of chunky tomatoes, you can use an immersion blender to give the sauce a smoother consistency.
- Goat Cheese- Buy a log of chèvre and crumble it yourself. It’s often creamier than pre-crumbled goat cheese and you can break it up into bigger pieces.
- Panko Breadcrumbs- The breadcrumbs are mixed with olive oil so that they get crispy and golden brown. They give the dish a little bit of crunchy texture.
- Olive Oil- Used to roast the mushrooms, sauté the aromatics, and toast the breadcrumbs.
- Aromatics- Fresh yellow onion and garlic flavor the tomato sauce.
- Seasonings- A blend of Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and kosher salt is what we use to season the spinach marinara sauce.
How to Choose Portobello Mushrooms
Here are a few tips to help you choose the best portobello mushrooms.
- Buy Loose- It’s easier to see what you’re getting if you buy them from the bin of loose mushrooms. Pre-packaged mushrooms are often smaller and less uniform in shape.
- Shape- Look for symmetrical mushrooms that are uniform in shape. The mushrooms should have a deep cap to help hold the filling inside.
- Color- Portobello mushrooms should be light to dark brown. They should be uniform in color without any visible discoloration or spots.
- Texture- Feel the mushrooms before purchasing. They should be dry and firm. If the mushroom feels slimy, it’s past its prime.
- Smell- If the mushrooms have a fish-like odor, do not use them. The fishy smell is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria on the mushroom.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make these vegetarian stuffed portobello mushrooms.
Prepare the Portobello Mushrooms
Step 1: Clean the portobello mushrooms. Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Clean each mushroom cap by gently brushing off any visible dirt. Remove the stem and gills, being careful to leave the mushroom cap whole.
Step 2: Par-roast the portobello mushrooms. Brush the inside of each mushroom with ½ teaspoon of olive oil, then season them with kosher salt and black pepper. Place the mushroom caps gill-side-up onto the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Carefully remove any excess liquid from the inside of the mushrooms by pouring it into the sink or dabbing it with a paper towel. Set the mushrooms aside until ready to assemble.
Prepare the Spinach Tomato Sauce
Step 3: Sauté the aromatics. Lower the oven temperature to 400°F. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and garlic to the pan and sauté until softened and beginning to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Season with kosher salt, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes, cooking for an additional 1-2 minutes.
Step 4: Simmer the tomato sauce. Reduce the heat to low and pour in the can of whole tomatoes, breaking them up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. If you prefer a smoother sauce, use an immersion blender to blend the tomato sauce to your desired consistency. Bring the tomato sauce to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
Step 5: Finish the spinach tomato sauce. Stir the baby spinach into the simmering tomato sauce. Cook until the spinach is soft and wilted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for assembly.
Step 6: Prepare the panko breadcrumbs. In a small mixing bowl, mix the panko breadcrumbs and olive oil together until the breadcrumbs are well coated.
Step 7: Assemble and bake. Top each mushroom cap with approximately ¼ cup of the spinach tomato sauce. Then, crumble about ½ ounce of goat cheese onto each mushroom. Finish topping each mushroom with approximately 1 tablespoon of panko breadcrumbs. Bake the stuffed portobello mushrooms for 10-15 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the goat cheese is warmed through.
Note: There will be approximately 1 cup of spinach tomato sauce left over. See the “How to Use Up Leftovers” section below for suggestions on how to store and use it.
Tips for Success
- Choose sturdy mushroom caps. You want thick, large portobello mushroom caps with sturdy “walls” around the edge to help hold in the filling.
- Drain the excess liquid. After par-roasting the mushrooms, they’ll likely have some liquid pooled up inside of them. Simply dab it with a paper towel or carefully dump it into the sink.
- Purée the sauce for a smoother consistency. If you’re not a fan of chunky tomato sauce, use a countertop blender or immersion blender to purée it to a smoother consistency.
- Prepare the tomato sauce ahead. The tomato sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead of time to make this recipe even easier.
- Make two meals. Due to the size of the can of tomatoes, this recipe makes a little extra tomato sauce. That’s a meal-planning win in my book! Use it on pasta, in vegetable lasagna, or as a pizza sauce.
Substitutions and Variations
Here are a few ways you can try customizing this vegetarian stuffed portobello mushroom recipe to fit your diet and taste preferences.
- Portobello Mushrooms- Swap the large portobello mushrooms for smaller button mushrooms or cremini mushrooms to make a bite-sized version of this recipe. You could also try stuffing other vegetables, like zucchini or spaghetti squash, with the same filling.
- Baby Spinach- Kale, arugula, chard, collard greens, or frozen spinach can also be used. Thaw and drain frozen spinach before adding it to the tomato sauce.
- Canned Whole Tomatoes- For a smoother tomato sauce, use puréed or crushed tomatoes.
- Goat Cheese- If you’re not a fan of goat cheese, swap it for feta cheese, cream cheese, or shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Panko Breadcrumbs- Regular breadcrumbs, crushed crackers, or torn stale bread can be used in place of panko breadcrumbs.
- Yellow Onion- Substitute the yellow onion with sweet onion or shallots if preferred.
- Garlic- Use 1 teaspoon of garlic powder in place of fresh garlic. Alternatively, swap the olive oil for garlic-infused olive oil.
- Olive Oil- Swap the olive oil for melted butter, canola oil, or avocado oil.
- Vegan/Dairy-Free- Replace the goat cheese with vegan cheese, if desired. Try dairy-free feta cheese, cream cheese, or mozzarella cheese to make vegan stuffed portobello mushrooms.
- Gluten-Free- Swap the panko breadcrumbs for your favorite gluten-free breadcrumbs for gluten-free stuffed portobello mushrooms.
- High Protein- Add crumbled tofu or sausage to the tomato sauce to give this recipe an extra boost of protein.
What to Serve with Vegetarian Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Vegetarian stuffed portobello mushrooms can be either a vegetarian main or a side dish. Here are a few of my favorite dishes to serve with these stuffed portobello mushrooms.
- Grilled Tofu, Chicken, or Steak
- Baked Fish
- Roasted Chicken
- Italian Sausage
- Lasagna or Stuffed Shells
- Garlic Bread, Dinner Rolls, or Breadsticks
- Pasta, Rice, or Quinoa
- Mashed Potatoes
- Baked Potatoes
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Spinach Caprese Salad
- Orzo Pesto Salad
Craving more ideas? Check out the 27 Best Dishes to Serve With Stuffed Mushrooms.
How to Use Up Leftovers
Since this recipe uses a 28-ounce can of tomatoes, we end up having about one cup of leftover spinach tomato sauce. While you can always freeze it for later use, I like to use it in another meal during the same week.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to use up leftover tomato sauce:
- Pasta with Spinach Tomato Sauce
- Spinach Stuffed Shells
- Vegetable Lasagna
- Pizza Sauce
- Stuffed Peppers
- Eggplant Parmesan
>> End up with some leftover goat cheese, too? Learn how to freeze goat cheese so you can save it for another meal!
Storage and Reheating
How to Store
- Refrigerator- Store leftover vegetarian stuffed portobello mushrooms in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Freezer- I do not recommend freezing these stuffed mushrooms. Doing so may change the texture of the mushrooms and the filling once thawed.
Storing & Cleaning Portobello Mushrooms
- Choose mushrooms with a firm, whole cap and a smooth, even color. Be sure there is no slimy appearance or feeling to the mushroom caps.
- Leave mushrooms unwashed in the refrigerator until ready to use. Removing them from the plastic container and storing them in a brown paper bag can help them stay fresh longer.
- To clean portobello mushrooms, gently brush the dirt off with a damp paper towel or cloth. Never soak mushrooms in water as this will make them turn mushy.
- Use mushrooms ideally within one week of purchase.
How to Reheat
- Oven- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the leftover stuffed mushrooms on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover them with aluminum foil. Heat for 10 minutes or until fully warmed through. Remove the foil for the last 2 minutes to re-crisp the breadcrumbs.
- Microwave- Place a leftover stuffed mushroom on a microwave-safe dish and cover the dish with a lid or another plate. Microwave on half-power (50%) for 2-3 minutes or until fully warmed through.
Make and assemble these vegetarian stuffed mushrooms up to 2 days ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator. I recommend leaving the breadcrumbs off until just before baking so they don’t absorb too much moisture.
Add a few extra minutes to the cook time if baking the stuffed mushrooms directly from the refrigerator.
Alternatively, you can prepare the tomato sauce up to 3 days ahead.
Frequently Asked Questions
While the gills of portobello mushrooms are edible, we remove them in this recipe to make more room for lots of delicious fillings. Portobello mushroom gills can also turn mushy when cooked, which can be unappealing in a stuffed mushroom.
Yes, portobello mushrooms should be cleaned before eating. However, do not rinse or soak them in water. Clean the mushrooms by gently brushing visible dirt off with a damp paper towel.
Portobello mushrooms are low in calories, carbohydrates, and fat. Plus, they’re a good source of fiber, B vitamins, and minerals. Meaty in texture, they’re often used as a meat substitute in vegetarian diets and can be added to many recipes as a way to add bulk.
More Vegetarian Recipes
Vegetarian Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
For the Portobello Mushrooms
- 8 large portobello mushrooms
- 4 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
For the Spinach Tomato Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
- 5 ounces (about 4 packed cups) baby spinach
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 ounces goat cheese
Prepare the Portobello Mushrooms
- Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Clean each mushroom cap by gently brushing off any visible dirt. Remove the stem and gills, being careful to leave the mushroom cap whole.8 large portobello mushrooms
- Brush the inside of each mushroom with ½ teaspoon of olive oil, then season them with kosher salt and black pepper. Place the mushroom caps gill-side-up onto the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Carefully remove any excess liquid from the inside of the mushrooms by pouring it into the sink or dabbing it with a paper towel. Set the mushrooms aside until ready to assemble.4 teaspoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper
Prepare the Spinach Tomato Sauce
- Lower the oven temperature to 400°F. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and garlic to the pan and sauté until softened and beginning to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Season with kosher salt, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes, cooking for an additional 1-2 minutes.2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 large yellow onion, 4 cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Reduce the heat to low and pour in the can of whole tomatoes, breaking them up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. If you prefer a smoother sauce, use an immersion blender to blend the tomato sauce to your desired consistency. Bring the tomato sauce to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
- Stir the baby spinach into the simmering tomato sauce. Cook until the spinach is soft and wilted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for assembly.5 ounces (about 4 packed cups) baby spinach
- In a small mixing bowl, mix the panko breadcrumbs and olive oil together until the breadcrumbs are well coated.½ cup breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Top each mushroom cap with approximately ¼ cup of the spinach tomato sauce. Then, crumble about ½ ounce of goat cheese onto each mushroom. Finish topping each mushroom with approximately 1 tablespoon of panko breadcrumbs. Bake the stuffed portobello mushrooms for 10-15 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the goat cheese is warmed through.4 ounces goat cheese
- Note: There will be approximately 1 cup of spinach tomato sauce left over. See the “Notes” section below for suggestions on how to store and use it.