Before there were Impossible and Beyond Burgers, vegans had to get creative when craving that juicy, meaty texture. When tofu proved too spongy and tempeh was not quite right, vegans turned to mushrooms. These fungi replicate both the taste and texture of meat when prepared properly. Of course, we’ve got nothing against the amazing vegan burgers out there, but you won’t find those at your local farmers market. From thick portobello caps to umami-infused shiitakes, we’ve rounded up a list of superfood mushrooms to help you reap the health benefits and transform these plants into stellar meat alternatives.

7 Vegan Meaty Mushroom Recipes


1. Portobello Steaks

Portobello Steak

Who said vegans can’t enjoy a classic steak dinner? These grilled portobello caps with creamy garlic gravy perfectly replicate the juicy, meaty, and savory texture of its animal-based counterpart. However, unlike steak, portobellos are low in calories and contain no saturated fat or cholesterol. Make it a meal by serving some homemade mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli on the side.

Get the recipe here.

2. Portobello Burgers

 Burger

Craving a burger? Make it a double-double by subbing in a marinated portobello mushroom for the beef patty. This is one veggie burger that won’t fall apart on the grill, and the snap of the mushroom skin mimics the meaty mouthfeel that many veggie burgers lack. Plus, you’ll pack in a decent amount of fiber (two grams per 100-gram serving) without having to layer on the lettuce. Pile on the ‘shrooms for a mile-high burger worthy of a fork and knife.

Get the recipe here.

3. Oyster Mushroom Po’ Boy

Po Boy

Beef isn’t the only animal product mushrooms can mimic. When battered and fried, oyster mushrooms can replace deep fried shrimp without any omnivore knowing the difference. We suggest stuffing these savory, slightly spicy shrooms into a po’ boy sandwich. The best part? Even when cooked, oyster mushrooms retain their high level of antioxidants and promote a healthy immune system.

Get the recipe here.

4. Lobster Mushroom Bisque

Lobster Mushroom

Mushroom varieties go far beyond the conventional white button. For a rich seafood bisque without the cruelty, reach for the lobster mushroom. These fungi are bright in color and chewy in texture, making them the perfect alternative for seafood dishes. They are also full of essential B vitamins to enhance your immune and nervous systems. Slurp away!

Get the recipe here.

5. Mushroom Stroganoff

Stroganoff

There’s something comforting and nostalgic about that one-pot-meal-in-a-box. We found the Hamburger Helper vegan equivalent with this one-pot crimini mushroom stroganoff. It’s simple, hearty, and reminds of childhood. These ‘shrooms may even help us retain our youth, thanks to the anti-aging and cancer-fighting antioxidants.

Get the recipe here.

6. Portobello Fajita Tacos

Fajitas

Taco Tuesday is a must. Make these portobello steak fajitas with smashed avocado and cabbage slaw, and even your omnivore friends won’t miss their $1 beef tacos. When marinated, sliced, and roasted, portobellos take on a slightly tough, chewy texture akin to steak, without packing on the calories. So go ahead and keep those tacos coming.

Get the recipe here.

7. Shiitake Bacon

Chloe Bacon

The bacon craze is still alive and well, and thanks to the magic of mushrooms, this food trend does not need to involve the consumption of pork. A bit of tamari and liquid smoke can transform shiitake mushrooms into crispy, salty, pig-free bacon, perfect for any new bacon food trend. Enjoy some bacon-topped vegan carbonara or mac and cheese and reap the benefits of this fungi’s inflammation-reducing properties.

Get the recipe here.