Mushrooms in the Limelight: SC Mushroom Burgers with the Works

By Bianca Tamburello, Dietetics Student, Sargent College

This dish was made with the Basil Cannellini Spread.

Finally, it’s March, which means it is National Nutrition Month! The USDA encourages Americans to “Eat Right with Color” and choose a colorful spectrum of fruits and vegetables. It’s important to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables because different pigments offer different health benefits. The major benefits of bright colored vegetables such as carrots and broccoli are often stressed, but what about less vibrant brown, tan, and white vegetables?


Brown, tan and white fruits and vegetables include

  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms

Mushrooms are one of my favorite vegetables whose health benefits are often forgotten about. The ADA recently featured mushrooms in a nutrition “tip of the day.” Studies have shown that tan, brown and white produce “promote heart health and reduce cancer risks.”

They also explain that, “…mushrooms are up to 90 percent water, they serve as a low-calorie source of B vitamins, selenium and potassium. They are also one of the lone plant sources of vitamin D, and among the most versatile ingredients in recipes.”

With their great versatility, mushrooms can shine as a main ingredient in any entrée. This week at Karen Jacobs’ Sargent Choice Test Kitchen we made Mushroom Burgers with the Works. The substitution of a luscious, juicy Portobello mushroom cap for a beef patty provides a gourmet touch with very little effort.



For the burgers, we started by wiping the mushroom caps with a paper towel and trimmed off the stems. The mushroom caps and cut onions were then transferred to a pan, brushed with olive oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper.  We broiled the mushroom and onions for about 8 minutes on EACH side until the mushrooms were tender and the onions began to brown. We enjoyed our mushroom burgers on whole-wheat bagel thins, but you can also enjoy them with a standard whole-wheat bun or any other whole grain bread.

The juicy Portobello mushroom cap accompanied with the basil cannellini spread had me questioning if I was still in Karen Jacobs’ test kitchen or a quaint little Panini shop. Test kitchen attendees raved that the mushroom burgers were delicate and flavorful, yet just as filling as a hamburger.

I’ll definitely make this SC recipe for my family next time I’m home!


Sargent Choice Mushroom Burger with the Works

Yield: 4 servings


  • 4 four-inch-diameter Portobello mushroom caps
  • 4 ½ inch thick slices red onion
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 4 whole wheat burger buns
  • 4 tomato slices
  • 4 mozzarella slices, thin
  • 2-4 leaves of Bibb lettuce or baby spinach
  • 1 Tablespoon Basil Cannellini Spread


  1. Preheat broiler
  2. Wipe the mushroom caps clean with a damp cloth or paper towel and trim off the stems
  3. Place the mushroom caps and onion slices on a plate or cutting board
  4. Using a pastry brush, brush both sides of the mushrooms and onion slices evenly with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  5. Place the mushroom caps and onion slices on broiler rack and broil until tender, approximately 6 to 8 minutes per side

Enjoy Portobello mushroom burger with choice of any/all condiments on a whole wheat bun:  Cannellini spread, sliced tomato, onion, lettuce, and cheese.

1 Burger with 1 Tbsp Basil Cannellini Spread
Calories 275
Fat 9.5 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Protein 13 g
Carbohydrates 39 g
Fiber 7 g


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