BBQ sauce is terribly underrepresented in vegetarian cooking. Our culture seems to think that without meat, there is no place for BBQ sauce. What a tragedy! There are so many exciting plant-based uses for this amazing sauce. You can sautΓ© tempeh or tofu with it, dip french fries into it, use it as a pizza sauce, make a salad dressing with it, and so much more. This recipe, however, might be one of the tastiest uses: we’re finely-slicing portobello mushrooms and sautΓ©ing them with onions, BBQ sauce, and some spices for a delicious “pulled pork” type of sandwich filling. I daresay these sandwiches could make even a few meat eaters jealous at your summer BBQs.

Best of all, this recipe is super simple. With only 5 minutes of easy prep and 30 minutes of simmering, it’s the perfect lazy, last-minute weekend dinner.

BBQ Portobello Sliders

Makes about 10 sliders


  • 4 large portobello mushrooms
  • 1 white onion
  • 1/3+ cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 10 mini hamburger buns

Step One

Finely dice the onion and garlic and add these to a saucepan with a splash of water. Allow this to brown for 5-7 minutes while finely slicing the mushrooms into thin strips. You can do this by hand (like I did, but the ones in my picture are actually a little too big) but for best results, use a julienne peeler or mandolin with julienne attachment to create very thin strips. Add these to the skillet with the BBQ sauce, vinegar, and soy sauce.

Step Two

Allow everything to simmer on low heat for at least 30 minutes. The mushrooms will reduce considerably and absorb the BBQ flavor. Since BBQ sauces can vary so much, it’s smart to give the mushrooms a taste after 30 minutes to adjust any seasonings. Not salty enough? Add more sea salt. Want more heat? Throw in some cayenne. Need stronger acidity? Add more vinegar.

When everything is perfect, simply add the mushroom filling onto the mini buns (or full-sized hamburger buns) and serve. These aren’t super calorie-dense so 4 sliders or 2 full-sized buns might be a reasonable serving. Enjoy!

A Note About BBQ Sauce – BBQ sauce is not exactly a one ingredient food. It has sugar and (sometimes) preservatives. My views on condiments aren’t as strict as on more substantial food items (the One Ingredient Diet is all about big victories) so if you can find a fairly natural, unprocessed BBQ sauce in a bottle (as I did), go for it. But if you insist on making your own, it can be a fun experiment. Here are two solid recipes you might want to try: Jamie Oliver’s Epic BBQ Sauce (this one looks fun) or Chow’s Basic BBQ Sauce.

BBQ Portobello Sliders

BBQ Portobello Sliders

BBQ Portobello Sliders