Portabella mushrooms have really made a name for themselves in the past decade. Known for their rich flavor, meaty texture and impressively large caps, they have been widely integrated into culinary delights around the world, having greatest influence on those who enjoy or vegetarian or vegan diet, being served as burgers, fajitas and even “steaks.”
In some regions, the term “Portabella Mushroom” has become interchangeable with “Portobello” and falls under the botanical classification Agaricus bisporus. Other regional names include Agaric cultivé, Flat Chestnut mushroom, Champignon, and the Cultivated Mushroom.
The portabella mushroom has an impressive nutritional profile and is packed with B vitamins, riboflavin, niacin, selenium and pantothenic acid. Portabellas also contain an impressive amount of potassium (as much as a banana), which is an important mineral that aids in nerve, muscle and heart function.
The portabella mushroom is one of the largest varieties of farm cultivated mushroom with a circular cap that matures to approximately 6 inches or 15 centimeters. The firm, spongy, flat cap rests on a thick stem and ranges in color from a deep brown to tan. Under this robust cap are a series of gills, a veil, and a dense white stem. The entire mushroom is edible, so there is no need to peel or scrape out the gills.
Proper storage entails refrigerating the mushrooms in their pre-packaging. When purchased loose, place them in a brown paper bag and refrigerate. Plastic bags and containers tend to accelerate their breakdown.
DID YOU KNOW? Portabella and criminis are the same mushroom! When a crimini is not harvested and left to grow, it matures into a portabella mushroom. It grows from a crimini into a portabella in a matter of days!
Health Benefits of Portabella Mushrooms
There’s a common misconception that because mushrooms aren’t colorful, they aren’t nutritious, and portabella mushroom had fallen victim to this myth for a very long time. In the 1980s, researchers began exploring the nutritional value of mushrooms, including the portabella, and were excited to find the do, in fact, contain important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and contribute many other wellness benefits.
Portabella Mushroom Nutritional Profile
These flavorful and meaty mushrooms deliver a wide range of dietary benefits and have also been linked to improved cardiovascular health1, weight management2, immune system support3 and improved quality of life4.
This is how one serving (84g) of portabella mushrooms performs nutritionally:
- 19 Calories
- 3 Grams of Carbohydrates
- 2 Grams of Protein
- 1 Gram of Dietary Fiber
- 0 Grams of Fat
- 0% DV of Sodium
- 0 Milligrams Cholesterol
- 2 Grams of Sugar
One serving (84 grams) of portabella mushroom is a good source of niacin (24%), copper (27%) and potassium (7%). They also contain riboflavin (8%), pantothenic acid (19%), and antioxidants selenium (28%) and ergothioneine (2.8 mg).
Culinary Applications of Portabella Mushrooms
When it comes to flavor, portabella mushrooms are king! As this mushroom grows, it develops a rich and robust flavor and dense meat-like texture, making portabellas the perfect meat substitute in burgers, tacos, fajitas, pastas and more. Their large size and ability to hold its shape when cooked also make them ideal for stuffing with cheeses, seafood, or other flavorful fillings. Portabellas can be grilled, baked, sautéed, deep-fried, or roasted.
This variety can be used it a wide range of mushroom recipes.
- Sautéed and Served over Steak or Chicken
- Grilled as a Burger
- Sliced, Roasted and Used in Fajitas
- Finely Chopped and Blended into Ground Meat Dishes
- Stuffed with a Variety of Fillings and Baked
- Grilled and Served as Vegan Burger or Steak
- Sliced and Layered onto Pizza
- Breaded and Deep Fried
The portabella mushroom has such enormous flexibility and potential – from stuffed appetizer to center-of-the plate main dishes – this unique mushroom is delicious, nutritious and a must-try.