Portobello Pizzas

Editor's Note: Everyone loves pizza, but if you're trying to eat healthier or have dietary restrictions it's not a food you can usually eat. These Portobello Pizzas are the perfect solution! By using a portobello mushroom instead of a crust, you'll have a healthy pizza that tastes great, too. These stuffed mushrooms are filled with all the ingredients you'd find in pizza, but they're much healthier and also gluten-free. It's not every day that you find low-carb recipes that are also a treat to eat!
Portobello mushrooms are perfect little containers for vegetables and cheese. The “Mushroom Treatment” (step 1) greatly firms up the portobellos and condenses their flavor. Mushrooms prepared in this manner can be used in many ways beyond these pizzas. Keep “treated” mushrooms in your refrigerator for up to a week. They’re a great convenience item that can perform double duty as both something to eat and something to “hold” other food, like scrambled eggs or tofu, cooked grains, potatoes, beans, or any kind of leftovers. This can greatly expand your repertoire! If you’re eating breakfast on the run, keep in mind that these fit perfectly onto toasted English muffins and can thus be portable. The fully cooked pizzas reheat beautifully. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator, and bring to room temperature before reheating in a 300°F oven or a microwave.

Serves2 servings (2 small pizzas apiece)

Preparation Time - Text 40 minutes

Cooking MethodBroiling



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationVegetarian

EquipmentBaking/gratin Dish

MealDinner, Lunch

Taste and TextureCheesy, Herby, Savory, Umami

Type of DishPizza, Vegetable


  • 4 medium (4-inch) firm portobello mushrooms, caps intact
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium tomato (8 ounces), not too ripe
  • Half a medium bell pepper
  • About 1 handful fresh spinach leaves, clean and dry
  • Dried thyme
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • About 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. The Mushroom Treatment: Remove and discard the mushroom stems, and wipe the caps clean with a damp paper towel. Place a large, heavy skillet over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add the olive oil, wait about 30 seconds, then swirl to coat the pan. Place the mushrooms cap side down in the hot oil, and let them cook undisturbed for about 10 minutes. Turn them over and cook on the other side for 10 minutes, then flip them over one more time and cook for 5 to 10 minutes more on their cap side once again. Leave them in the pan and set aside.

  2. Core the tomato and gently squeeze out the seeds through the opening. Cut the tomato and the bell pepper into very thin slices.

  3. Preheat the broiler. While it is heating, place the mushrooms cap side down in a Pyrex or ceramic baking dish. Top each mushroom with a few spinach leaves, some slices of tomato and bell pepper, and pinches of dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Take your time covering the top with grated cheese, tucking it into every crevice and cavity and trying to cover everything (including the edges of the mushrooms, so they won’t bum under the broiler).

  4. Broil until the cheese melts and is turning golden. Watch carefully, as this will take only about 5 minutes or less. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, sprinkled lightly with red pepper flakes, if desired.


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Watery and flavourless. I would suggest cooking the portobello caps in butter and rubbing some slices of garlic on them beforehand, and using veggies that don't have so much water content, and using a much more flavourful cheese, maybe some asiago or parm for more flavour.

Loved this recipe. I've been using the "mushroom treatment" every Monday and using the mushrooms throughout the week to fill with leftovers or to slice into stir frys. The techniques are definitely useful beyond this recipe.

This is a great little recipe, simple, healthy and does the trick taste-wise. BUT: I think cutting away part of the mushroom (the stem) and discarding, as directed, is very wasteful. Americans throw food away! I'd just slice it and add it to the toppings, or if that sounds horrid, save it for veggie stock, but DISCARD? Please, people NOT from Western industrialized countries are STILL starving.

Made this tonight after getting the Mollie Katzen email this week. The mushroom treatment was a little mysterious (the pan was oddly quiet while the mushrooms cooked), but all worked out in the end. This was a surprisingly satisfying and easy meal. I will definitely make this again! I look forward to experimenting with toppings.


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