Can you believe this pulled mushroom “pork” sandwich is vegan?! It looks and tastes surprisingly similar to meat, but it’s made with just mushrooms. Perfect for your next summer bbq – you might even get some carnivores to give it a try!
We are SO excited to share this recipe. A few months ago, we saw a recipe on Pinterest for pulled mushroom tacos and I couldn’t get over how good they looked. The only issue is that the recipe required oyster mushrooms, which aren’t widely available and can be pretty expensive.
While pulled oyster mushrooms do have a remarkably similar texture to pulled pork, we figured out after a few trials that a number of other mushrooms work equally well.
We landed on a mix of shiitake, button and portobello mushrooms, plus some caramelized onions for good measure.
The result is a meaty, satisfyingly umami sandwich that pairs perfectly with traditional bbq flavors. Even my grandpa (a staunch carnivore) went back for a second serving! That’s the ultimate compliment in our book.
How to make vegan pulled “pork” with mushrooms
This vegan pulled pork recipe made with mushrooms is far less complicated than it looks. In fact, we actually just thinly slice the shiitake mushrooms and it works perfectly!
The key is just to have some different sizes and textures to mimic real pulled pork.
Portobello mushrooms can be “shredded” into larger chunks to add extra meatiness. Simply use a spoon to remove the dark inner gills (not totally necessary, but it’s easier to shred). Then, slice into quarters and use a fork and your hands to gently shred. The shreds won’t be evenly sized – that’s totally fine.
The shiitake and button mushrooms can either be thinly sliced with a sharp knife or alternatively shredded in a food processor. It’s really up to you and what you find easiest and most convenient.
You’ll need quite a few mushrooms to serve more than four people. Mushrooms contain a lot of water, so they tend to shrink down quite a bit when cooked (like spinach!).
Once you get them in a hot pan, they cook down pretty quickly. Then, you’ll just need to add your homemade bbq sauce, let it simmer, and you’re good to go!
Of course, if you’d prefer to use store-bought bbq sauce, that’s perfectly fine, too. And a bit easier, especially if you’re serving a crowd.
Serving this at a party? Make it ahead of time!
This vegan pulled pork is the perfect make-ahead recipe. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, and simply reheat on the stove before serving. I love eating it as leftovers the next day! It’s even perfect just served over rice.
Components of a good vegan bbq sandwich
Whether you’re making this sandwich with pulled mushrooms, chicken or pork, it’s all about getting a few different textural elements in there.
We always start out with a freshly toasted bun. We spread a bit of vegan butter on each side and pop it on the grill for a few minutes. The toasted bun helps hold everything together and adds a bit of crunch!
I always spread the bottom of the bun with a bit of this spicy vegan mayo. To be fair, I use it on just about everything – it’s easily my new favorite condiment. A thin layer of mayo on the bottom bun also prevents the bun from getting too soggy, so I highly suggest using it.
When it comes to toppings, I like to keep it simple with a basic marinated purple cabbage “slaw” and some tangy pickles. It’s the perfect amount of crunch, tanginess and freshness!
When it comes to marinating cabbage, you can keep it super simple with a bit of lime juice and salt. It’s just enough to soften it up and add some flavor without too many complicated steps or ingredients.
More recipes for your summer bbq
Round out your summer BBQ menu with these side dishes, cocktails and desserts to compliment this pulled mushroom sandwich:
- Strawberry Peach Bruschetta
- Rainbow Summer Slaw
- Grilled Corn, Black Bean & Avocado Salad
- Blackberry Cucumber Cocktail
- S’mores Brownies
- Four Berry Pie Bars
If you make this vegan pulled pork recipe, we’d love for you to leave a comment and rating below! We also love to see your creations on Instagram – tag us at @crowded_kitchen so we can see what you’ve been cooking.Print
Can you believe this pulled mushroom sandwich is vegan?! It looks and tastes surprisingly similar to meat, but it’s made with just mushrooms. Perfect for your next summer bbq – you might even get some carnivores to give it a try!
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 large yellow onions, sliced thinly
- 1–1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- 4 large portobello mushrooms, shredded (see photo in blog post)
- 10 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thinly
- 16 oz button mushrooms, sliced thinly or shredded
- 1 cup vegetable broth (low sodium)
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp low sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tbsp dried mustard
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Small head of purple cabbage, sliced thinly
- Juice of one small lime
- 1 tsp salt
- Buns, toasted
- Spicy vegan mayo
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium. Add oil, onions, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Sauté on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring often, until caramelized. Deglaze pan with water or vegetable broth if needed.
- Wash mushrooms and pat gently with clean towel to dry. Thinly slice button mushrooms using a food processor or slice by hand. Then roughly chop them. Slice the shiitake mushrooms into thin pieces after removing the stems.
- Use a spoon to remove dark gills from the underside of the portobello mushrooms. Slice portobellos into quarters and use a fork to shred.
- Add all mushrooms to the pan with onions and stir well. Turn heat up to medium high and cook down for 8-10 minutes, stirring several times.
- While the mushrooms are cooking, stir together all of the dry spices in a small bowl adding only 1/2 a tsp of salt at this time.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together broth, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, tamari, and sriracha. Add dry spices to the wet ingredients and whisk well.
- Pour sauce into mushroom and onion mixture and let reduce for 35-45 minutes. After it has reduced, taste and add additional 1/2 tsp of salt if desired.
- Meanwhile, slice cabbage thinly and toss in lime juice and salt. Let sit while mushrooms are cooking.
- To assemble sandwiches, lightly toast buns. Spread mayo on bottom of bun, top with mushroom mixture, cabbage and pickles. Enjoy!