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These vegetarian grilled portobello tacos with chimichurri sauce are a fantastic meatless alternative for your summer BBQ. To make the delicious cilantro chimichurri sauce and marinade I combined fresh parsley, cilantro, vinegar, Mazola® Corn Oil and spices. A clinical study showed Mazola Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, visit Mazola.com.
Growing we used to go to my grandfather’s farm on Sundays. He would buy mushrooms from the local market and cook them over the grill and serve them with tortillas. It wouldn’t have called them tacos, it was just the grilled mushrooms wrapped in warm, thick Guatemalan corn tortillas that had been made fresh on the comal that day.
He would only season the mushrooms with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of fresh lime from the farm’s lime trees. There is something truly sublime about biting into a corn tortilla filled with smoky and earthy mushrooms, slightly charred on the outside and juicy and soft on the inside.
This might be why grilled portobello mushroom tacos are some of my favorite vegetarian tacos. There is nothing quite like the taste of mushrooms cooked over a charcoal grill. There is a unique smoky flavor to them that you can not get if you cook them any other way.
The best marinades for portobello mushrooms
The best marinades for portobello mushrooms should include a combination of Mazola Corn Oil and vinegar along with spices and herbs. The combination of spices and herbs is really up to you and you can play around with different dried or fresh herbs.
Portobello mushrooms have a meaty texture and an earthy flavor and most marinades that you would use for steak will work well for portobello mushrooms.
Mazola Corn Oil is a heart-healthy* cooking oil and creates marinades that make great-tasting food because it has a neutral taste that lets the natural flavor of your food stand out. Mazola has a high smoke point (450˚ F), which makes it a great option for grilling and stir-frying at high temperatures. That is why Mazola® Corn Oil is a perfect choice for marinades for grilling this summer and my choice for my marinades weather I’m marinating vegetables or meat.
How to marinate portobello mushrooms
Make sure to wash and rinse your mushrooms before marinating. Portobello mushrooms are very soft so it’s best to rinse of any dirt with your hand or using a soft piece of cloth or paper towel. Avoid using a mushroom brush as it will end up removing part of the mushroom cap.
If you want you can remove the stem and the gills from the mushroom cap. This is not necessary though, and I like to leave both on though.
When it comes to marinating portobello mushrooms you don’t want to submerge them in liquid because they will become soggy. That is why the best way to apply a marinade to portobellos is to brush it on both sides of the mushroom cap. Brush a good amount of marinade so that the mushroom absorbs the flavor.
How to grill portobello mushrooms
Portobello mushroom caps are usually big enough to grill. Portobello mushrooms should not be confused with baby bellas which are much smaller.
To grill portobello mushrooms it is best to marinate them first so that they are flavorful. The marinade should include Mazola Corn Oil so marinating your mushrooms will also prevent them from sticking to the grill.
Make sure you clean your grill before grilling your mushrooms. For best results, portobello mushrooms should be grilled on high heat for 4-6 minutes on each side. Unlike a steak, it’s hard to overcook portobello mushrooms. You want to make sure that they have grill marks on the cap side and that they are tender and not too juicy.
What is chimichurri sauce?
Chimichurri sauce is or marinade that originates in South America. It is usually used to accompany grilled meats and it is a traditional staple in Argentinian cuisine.
Traditional chimichurri sauce is made with a combination of parsley, Mazola Corn Oil vinegar, garlic, and chili. Chimichurri sauce had a fresh taste thanks to the fresh parsley, a pungent taste due to the garlic, and a tanginess that comes from the red wine vinegar. Although the original chimichurri sauce is made with parsley different versions combining other fresh herbs like cilantro.
Chimichurri differs from pesto in that pesto is usually made with fresh basil and Mazola Corn Oil, while chimichurri adds vinegar to the blend of fresh herbs and spices to give it it’s signature tangy flavor.
My favorite recipes using chimichurri sauce
I like to make a big batch of chimichurri sauce. I use it to marinade vegetables and meats and also as a sauce that goes perfectly on steak, tacos and seafood.
Ingredients needed to make portobello tacos with chimichurri sauce
The key to making grilled portobello tacos with chimichurri sauce is to use fresh ingredients and good quality Mazola Corn Oil and vinegar for the chimichurri sauce. For this recipe, I am using the chimichurri as both a marinade and as a sauce to drizzle over the finished tacos.
- Portobello mushroom caps – Choose large portobello caps that look fresh and firm so that they are easier to grill.
- Oil – I use Mazola Corn Oil for all of my marinades because of its neutral taste that lets the natural flavor of your food stand out. It’s also the cooking oil my family has used for generations so it’s a brand I trust.
- Vinegar – When it comes to vinegar there are a few options that work well for making chimichurri sauce. My two favorites are red wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar but white vinegar also works well. I would not recommend using balsamic or white balsamic vinegar as the taste is too strong and it will overwhelm the fresh flavors of the fresh herbs.
- Parsley and cilantro – traditional chimichurri sauce is made with parsley. However, I am a huge fan of cilantro and like the fresh taste better than parsley. That is why I use a combination of parsley and cilantro but you can play around and if you like you can make a chimichurri using only cilantro or only parsley.
- Lime juice – Lime juice adds lots of flavor to the mushrooms. I like to use fresh lime juice and include the lime zest as well.
- Shallots – I really like the flavor that the shallots add to the chimichurri sauce. If you don’t have shallots at home feel free to use diced onion or red onion instead.
- Garlic – You can use more or less depending on how much you like garlic. You can also use garlic powder if you don’t have garlic at home.
- Tortillas – I prefer corn tortillas but you can also use flour tortillas if you like.
Grilled Portobello Tacos with Chimichurri Sauce Recipe
I really love that these mushroom tacos are ready and quick to make. This vegetarian taco recipe can be turned into vegan simply by leaving out the crumbled queso fresco or replacing it by crumbled vegan cheese.
- 1/2 cup Mazola Corn Oil
- 1 cup cilantro, minced
- ½ cup parsley, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 small shallot
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 portobello mushroom caps
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup of red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup Queso fresco, crumbled
- Heat up your grill.
- To make the chimichurri combine Mazola Corn Oil, cilantro, parsley, garlic, shallot, lime juice, and zest, apple cider vinegar, pepper flakes, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until pureed and smooth.
- You can make the chimichurri ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- Pour about 1/2 cup of the chimichurri on the portobello mushroom caps. Using a brush coat the mushrooms with the chimichurri on both sides.
- Place the portobello mushrooms over high heat area of your grill and cook about 5 minutes on each side.
- Remove the portobello mushrooms from the grill and let stand for a couple of minutes before cutting the portobello mushroom caps into strips.
- Heat the corn tortillas over low heat until lightly browned on each side.
- To assemble the tacos add red cabbage and portobello mushroom strips. Drizzle with more chimichurri sauce and top with crumbled queso fresco and red pepper flakes.
Heat up your grill.
To make the chimichurri combine Mazola Corn Oil, cilantro, parsley, garlic, shallot, lime juice, and zest, apple cider vinegar, pepper flakes, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until pureed and smooth.
You can make the chimichurri ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Pour about 1/2 cup of the chimichurri on the portobello mushroom caps. Using a brush coat the mushrooms with the chimichurri on both sides.
Place the portobello mushrooms over high heat area of your grill and cook about 5 minutes on each side.
Remove the portobello mushrooms from the grill and let stand for a couple of minutes before cutting the portobello mushroom caps into strips.
Heat the corn tortillas over low heat until lightly browned on each side.
To assemble the tacos add red cabbage and portobello mushroom strips. Drizzle with more chimichurri sauce and top with crumbled queso fresco and red pepper flakes.
Heat up your grill.
*see Mazola.com for more information on the relationship between corn oil and heart health.