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Miso grilled Portobello & Kale Caesar Pitas - The First Mess

Miso Grilled Portobello & Kale Caesar Pitas

Miso grilled portobello and kale caesar pitas are a delicious and simple vegan dinner. Tons of greens, smoky mushrooms, and creamy dressing.
Cuisine BBQ, Dairy-free, Egg-Free, Plant-Based, Special Diets, Sugar-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword 10 ingredients, all seasons, balsamic vinegar, banana bread, bbq, capers, cashews, coconut aminos, fall, garlic, grainy mustard, grill, kale, lemon, miso, mushrooms, mustard, pita, portobello mushrooms, spring, summer, tamari, tomatoes, winter
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4




  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive or avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons light miso
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons grainy mustard
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 large portobello mushrooms

Kale Caesar & Assembly (makes extra dressing)

  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours and drained
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon coconut aminos or tamari
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • cup water, plus extra
  • 4 cups chopped lacinato kale, from approximately 1 small bunch
  • 4 whole wheat pita, warmed & cut in half
  • sliced tomato (optional)


  • Get the portobellos marinating. In a shallow glass dish, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, miso, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Remove the stems from the portobellos and scrape out the gills with a spoon. Place the portobellos, caps facing down, into the marinade. Spoon some of the marinade into the “cup” of the caps and spread it around. Let the portobellos marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes, flipping them over at the halfway point.
  • While the portobellos are marinating, make the kale caesar. In an upright blender, combine the cashews, garlic, lemon juice, capers, mustard, coconut aminos, salt, pepper, and water. Bring the blender up to high speed and blend until you have a smooth and creamy dressing. If it seems too thick, add a bit more water and blend again until you have a pourable, but still thick, consistency.
  • Place the chopped kale in a large bowl. Pour half of the cashew caesar dressing over the kale, along with some salt and pepper. Massage the dressing into the kale until every piece is coated. Taste a piece to see if you’d like more dressing, salt etc. Set aside.
  • Preheat a grill to high. Grab a flipping spatula and your portobellos. Place the portobellos on the grill, top side facing down. Pour the remaining marinade into the caps. Close the lid and grill for 3-4 minutes, or until slightly collapsed and charred on the edges. Flip the portobellos over. Close the lid and cook for 3-4 more minutes. The portobellos should be soft and juicy-looking.
  • Once you can handle them, cut the portobellos into strips. Divide the miso grilled portobello strips and kale caesar among the 4 warmed split pita. Add sliced tomato if you like. Enjoy the kale caesar pitas immediately!


  • If you’re allergic to nuts, use raw sunflower seeds. Soak them for the same amount of time.
  • I have an old Vitamix 5200 series blender, and generally don’t need to soak my cashews before blending. If you have a similar high speed blender, you can probably skip the soak too.
  • I really recommend gently heating the pita before cutting and filling. Cold pita can tear quite easily. I preheat my oven to 225 C, place the pita right on the oven racks, and let them warm up for 10 minutes.