Grilled Pizza Portobellos with Lemony Cashew “Ricotta”

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 2 votes

Grilled pizza portobellos with lemony cashew “ricotta” are an easy vegan summer main that’s super flavourful and fun to make. Oven roasted instructions are also included! These are easy to customize with all kinds of toppings.

Image shows a very messy portobello pizza burger sandwich with fresh arugula and basil leaves sticking out.
An overhead shot of grilled pizza portobellos with dollops of creamy vegan cashew “ricotta” and basil leaves on top.
An overhead shot of ingredients for grilled pizza portobellos with lemony cashew ricotta, all on a grey background.
Two images show a marinade being whisked and portobello mushrooms being added to the marinade.

If you eat plant-based even just sometimes, you may have ordered a portobello burger or “steak” at some well-meaning restaurant, only to be served a slightly dried up looking mushroom cap that lacks flavour and is mostly just really chewy. I’ve been served mushrooms like this a bunch of times, usually when it was the only plant-based option outside of the go-to green salad and side of fries combo order. Options are getting so much better, it’s true! But still. Bad portobello experiences of the past have made me a lot more deliberate with my own handling of them at home.

These babies are J.U.I.C.Y. They’re great on their own with a little salad or some other side, but in a burger setup? They’re super messy and satisfying. We marinate portobello mushroom caps with a balsamic and garlic concoction, grill them, and then fill the natural cavity with red sauce, a tangy cashew “ricotta,” fresh basil, and any other pizza toppings that are sounding good.

The cashew “ricotta” here is just a little whir in the food processor away. No need to ferment it with probiotics or anything. When you’re mixing nut-based cheeses like this up with a bunch of other flavours, I don’t find the fermentation step to be quite necessary (even though I’ve done it before with recipes like this). Fermentation is awesome and special for simply serving a homemade nut cheese on a cheeseboard with accompaniments, but for a portobello pizza burger extravaganza, simply using some miso, lemon, and spices seems to do the trick. No waiting time either!

More Vegan Grilled Mains:

I hope that you try this one! If you have a food processor, the recipe is super simple and honestly kinda fun to make. I also want to add that this recipe is excellent for any skeptical omnivores you may be inviting over. Anything pizza-blasted is pretty much guaranteed to be a hit. I’m heading out for another camping adventure with Mark and our little buddies today. Just really excited to cook over a fire. Hope everyone is having a great summer!

Up close shot of portobello mushroom caps marinating in balsamic vinegar and a few other ingredients.
Overhead shot of whipped lemony cashew “ricotta” in the bowl of a food processor with a black spatula.
Two images show portobello mushrooms about to be grilled and a planter with rosemary and thyme growing inside.
Image shows a hand dollop in lemony cashew “ricotta” into a grilled portobello mushroom cap while it is still on the grill.
An overhead shot of grilled pizza portobellos with dollops of creamy vegan cashew “ricotta” and basil leaves on top.

Grilled Pizza Portobellos with Lemony Cashew “Ricotta”

Grilled pizza portobellos with lemony cashew "ricotta" are an easy vegan summer main. Totally delicious and customizable.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings 6



  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup avocado or olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon tamari or coconut aminos
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed and gills scraped out with a spoon

Lemony Cashew “Ricotta”

  • heaped ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon light miso (I used a chickpea-based one)
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2-3 drops of maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 5-6 tablespoons of water


  • tomato sauce, fresh basil & other pizza toppings of choice
  • fresh ciabatta buns, if making sandwiches



  • I have two of these portobellos stacked in the photo of the sandwich setup–mostly for the photo but also because I am also a big eater. One portobello per sandwich is certainly enough :)
  • For a nut-free option, try soaked sunflower seeds in the ricotta. The texture will be more grainy though.
  • I kept my pizza portobellos classic with red sauce, the ricotta & basil, but any pizza topping is fair game.
  • You could roast these if you don’t have a grill. Just preheat the oven to 400 F, line a baking sheet with foil or parchment, and roast the portobellos for about 25 minutes, flipping them and filling them with the toppings at the halfway mark. They should be slightly darker in colour and soft.


  • In a large, shallow bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, oil, garlic, tamari, salt, and pepper. Place the portobellos in the balsamic marinade and flip them over to coat. Flip them so that the bottoms are facing up and spoon marinade into the caps. Set aside for 20 minutes, or up to 2 hours.
  • Make the ricotta. Drain and rinse the cashews. In a food processor combine the cashews, nutritional yeast, miso, lemon zest, lemon juice, maple syrup, garlic powder, onion powder, 5 tablespoons of water and salt to taste. Pulse the mixture until the cashews are finely chopped. Then, run the motor on high until you have a smooth, lightly textured ricotta-like mixture. Add more water by the teaspoon if necessary and scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl. Check ricotta for seasoning and set aside.
  • Preheat a grill to high. On a tray or large platter bring out your portobellos, the ricotta, any pizza toppings you’re using, and a flipping spatula. Place the portobellos on the grill top side facing down. Close the lid and grill for 3-4 minutes, or until slightly collapsed and charred on the edges. Flip the portobellos over.
  • Spoon tomato sauce, ricotta, and add any other toppings to the portobellos. Close the lid and cook for 3-4 minutes. Once filling is bubbling and portobellos are totally soft, juicy-looking, and evenly charred, carefully remove them from the grill. Serve pizza portobellos on their own or on fresh toasted ciabatta.
11/07/2018 (Last Updated 25/10/2022)
Posted in: autumn, cashews, creamy, earthy, gluten free, grain-free, grill, main course, mushrooms, quick, roasted, salty, sandwich, side dish, smoky, sour, spring, summer, tomatoes, umami, vegan, winter


Recipe Rating

  • Autumn

    5 stars
    Keep coming back to this one – it’s a keeper!

  • Megan

    Could I marinate mushrooms overnight or should I not do them for longer than two hours?

    • Laura

      Hi Megan!
      I think they would be fine if you left them overnight.

  • Gwyn

    These came out fantastic! Another serving suggestion, if anyone is interested: while your grill is hot, cut a tube of polenta into rounds, oil each side, and grill for 15-20 minutes, turning once halfway. Serve 2-3 rounds next to each mushroom, plus a salad!

    • Laura

      Love this serving suggestion! Thanks so much, Gwyn :)

  • Claire

    I think the proportions are wrong on the cheese – I just made it (with 5 Tbsp water) and it came out totally liquid. I’m gonna soak some more cashews and add it in and see if that will thicken it up :(

  • Anna Douglas

    Just made the portobello pizzas on the grill. Sooooo delicious. The recipe is a definite keeper!!! Thank you for all of your amazing recipes (I have your book and love it).

  • Grace

    Do you think this will work, baked in the oven? Don’t have a BBQ but would love to try this recipe!

    • Laura

      Yep I think it would be fine. Check out my last recipe headnote for oven instructions.

  • Ruby

    I have definitely had a similar experience with sad portobellos, but these look just the opposite. Juicy, flavorful and delicious! Can’t wait to try these out this summer :)

  • Bobby Singh

    Great mashroom dish. Every one can make and use it at home.

  • The Modern Proper

    I love that you turned the mushrooms over to hold all that saucy goodness! I love love love nut cheeses and I’m not even vegan. Definitely going to try this.

  • Alex

    Ugh, nothing sadder than a dry, turd-like portobello burger…
    These look insanely delicious!

  • Erin at Pure Feast

    It’s 7am and I want this for breakfast! Excited to see an option to use sunflower seeds for the ricotta instead of using cashews, I’m definitely going to try that!