These vegetarian stuffed portobello mushrooms are packed with veggies and layered with creamy, decadent goat cheese for a truly satisfying meal. This recipe is inspired by and takes advantage of the ingredients available during the change of season from late-winter into early-spring.
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Why These Vegetarian Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms Work
These vegetarian stuffed portobello mushrooms are the perfect meal to make during those late-winter or early-spring evenings. As the days start to grow longer and the weather begins to warm, we tend to look for meals that are still comforting and cozy, but are also a little lighter than the heavy meals we’ve been eating all winter long.
The rich, savory flavor of the mushrooms, spinach, and tomato sauce contrast nicely with the sharp tang of the goat cheese. And the crunchy breadcrumb topping pairs perfectly with the soft filling and meaty mushroom base.
Ingredients for Vegetarian Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
While at first glance, this recipe may seem complex, it actually comes together quite easily and can be broken down into four main ingredients.
Portobello mushrooms are popular in vegetarian and vegan dishes because of their hardy, meat-like texture. They are also rich in umami flavor, which lends itself well to savory dishes.
One of the few natural food sources of vitamin D, portobello mushrooms are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Mushrooms are also great for those following a low-carb diet as they contain very little carbohydrate.
Portobello mushrooms are in-season throughout the winter months, usually December through March. Though, they can be found in grocery stores year-round.
In this recipe, the portobello mushrooms act as the base for all of the other ingredients to sit on top of. So, be sure to choose large mushrooms with their caps fully intact for best results.
Mushroom Cleaning & Storage Tips:
- Choose mushrooms with a firm, whole cap and an even texture. Be sure there is no slimy appearance or feeling to the caps.
- Leave mushrooms unwashed in the refrigerator until ready to use. Removing them from plastic containers and storing them in a brown paper bag can help them keep longer.
- To Clean: Brush dirt off gently with a moistened paper towel or cloth. Never soak mushrooms in water as this will make them turn mushy.
- Use mushrooms ideally within one week of purchase.
Spinach is a dark, leafy green that is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Considered to be an excellent source of iron, calcium, vitamin K, folic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin A, spinach is certainly a powerhouse vegetable. Not surprisingly, spinach has been shown to have many potential health benefits, particularly for your heart and eyes.
These vegetarian portobello mushrooms use fresh baby spinach as it’s in-season during the early-spring months. Grow it yourself at home or look for a bag with little to no wilting or damage to the leaves.
Tomatoes are a favorite summertime treat that few can resist. Technically a fruit, tomatoes are high in vitamin C, potassium, and the antioxidant lycopene, which has been shown to have several health benefits.
Since tomato season doesn’t start until the summer months, these vegetarian stuffed portobello mushrooms make use of canned tomatoes.
Whether you can your own tomatoes from your garden, or buy them at the grocery store, they are an essential pantry staple to keep on-hand all year long.
My absolute favorite canned tomatoes are these Cento San Marzano Certified Peeled Tomatoes.
Goat cheese is a soft cheese that adds a bright, tangy flavor and creamy goodness to any dish it’s in. And believe it or not, goat cheese actually has a season, just like fruits and vegetables do.
Spring is the start of goat cheese season, right after the goats give birth and begin producing milk. Goats will continue to make milk right through summer and fall, for about ten months total.
So take advantage of this delicious cheese while it’s at it’s peak flavor-wise.
How to Make Vegetarian Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
These vegetarian stuffed portobello mushrooms can be broken down into four major steps: roasting the mushrooms, making the tomato sauce, sautéing the spinach, and preparing the breadcrumbs. After that, you simply assemble and bake until the goat cheese has warmed through.
While it may seem like a lot of steps at first, they are all quick and easy to do. You can also make the tomato sauce or spinach ahead of time for even easier assembly.
1. Prepare and roast the mushrooms.
Gently brush any visible dirt off of each mushroom and remove the stem and gills. Brush the inside of each mushroom with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast for approximately 10 minutes in a 450°F preheated oven.
2. Make the tomato sauce.
Sauté the onion and garlic until beginning to soften. Add in the seasonings and cook for a few minutes longer before adding your canned tomatoes.
If desired, blend the tomato sauce with an immersion blender to your desired consistency.
Simmer the sauce, uncovered, for approximately 15 minutes.
3. Sauté the spinach.
In a sauté pan, cook the onion and mushroom stems, if using, until softened and cooked-through. Add in baby spinach and cook until vibrant green and just beginning to wilt.
4. Mix the breadcrumbs with olive oil.
In a small mixing bowl, mix together completely the breadcrumbs and olive oil.
5. Assemble and bake.
To assemble, layer the spinach mixture, then the tomato sauce, then the goat cheese, and finally the breadcrumb mixture.
Bake for an additional 10 minutes at 400°F.
What Should I Serve with Vegetarian Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms?
These vegetarian stuffed portobello mushrooms are great as a main course or a side dish.
If you are using them as a main course, serve with a side salad, steamed or roasted vegetables, pasta, polenta, or warm, crusty bread.
If you’re having these mushrooms as a side dish, serve them with roasted or grilled chicken, steak tips, or baked haddock.
Does This Recipe Store and Reheat Well?
Yes, these vegetarian stuffed portobello mushrooms store and reheat well.
Even better, you can try preparing some of the components ahead of time to help you get dinner on the table even faster.
Store: Keep mushrooms in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Reheat: Heat in the microwave at half-power for approximately 2-3 minutes (time will vary depending on your microwave).
Make Ahead: Prepare the tomato sauce, spinach, and breadcrumb mixture up to 3 days before assembling. Keep tomato sauce and spinach covered and refrigerated and store the breadcrumbs in an airtight container at room temperature.
Can I Use Store Bought Tomato Sauce?
What Can I Use Instead of Goat Cheese?
If you’re not a big fan of goat cheese, you can easily swap it out for feta cheese, cream cheese, or even mozzarella.
Can I Make These Vegetarian Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms Gluten and/or Dairy-Free?
Of course! Making these gluten-free is as simple as swapping the breadcrumbs for your favorite gluten-free breadcrumbs.
To make these dairy-free, try using dairy-free feta cheese or dairy-free cream cheese in place of the goat cheese.
What Should I Do With the Extra Tomato Sauce?
This recipe makes a lot more sauce than it needs in order to use the full 28-ounce can of tomatoes.
The extra tomato sauce can easily be refrigerated or frozen for use later or used immediately, if you plan on making pasta as a side dish.
Some ways you can use the extra tomato sauce: homemade pizza, meatballs, stuffed peppers, eggplant or chicken parmesan, American chop suey, and pasta (of course).
Tools I Use for This Recipe:
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Vegetarian Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
- Aluminum half sheet pan
- Sauté pan
- Immersion blender optional
For the Mushrooms
- 4 large portobello mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- salt + pepper to taste
For the Tomato Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ large yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 28 ounce can San Marzano whole tomatoes
For the Spinach
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ large yellow onion finely diced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- black pepper to taste
For the Breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 4 ounces goat cheese
Prepare the Mushrooms
- Preheat the oven to 450°F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Clean each mushroom cap by gently brushing off any visible dirt and removing the stem and gills. Save the mushroom stems to chop up and add into the spinach mixture, if desired.
- Brush the inside of each mushroom with a little bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until you start to see liquid pooling in each mushroom. Dab the mushrooms with a paper towel to remove the excess liquid. Set aside until ready to assemble.
- Lower the oven temperature to 400°F.
Prepare the Tomato Sauce
- In a large pot, add the olive oil and warm over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and salt and sauté until fragrant and beginning to soften.
- Add in the Italian seasoning and red pepper flake and cook for another minute or two.
- Pour in the can of tomatoes and begin to break them up with your spoon. If you prefer a smoother sauce, use an immersion blender and blend to your desired consistency. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer and simmer, uncovered, for approximately 15 minutes.
- Note: There will be leftover tomato sauce. See FAQs for suggestions on how to store it and use it.
Prepare the Spinach
- In a large sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, salt, and mushroom stems, if using, and sauté until softened and cooked-through, about 7-10 minutes.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and add the baby spinach. Sauté until the spinach is vibrant green and just wilted.
Prepare the Breadcrumbs
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and olive oil. Mix until the oil is completely coating the breadcrumbs.
- With the mushrooms still on the sheet pan, top each one with ¼ of the spinach mixture.
- Then, top each mushroom with approximately 2-3 tablespoons of tomato sauce each.
- Next, crumble one ounce of goat cheese over each mushroom.
- Finally, top each mushroom with ¼ of the breadcrumb mixture and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the goat cheese has warmed through.