Portobello Pizzas with Sunflower Mozzarella


Preparation info

  • Makes


    Portobello Pizzas (depending on size)
    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Plant-Based Cookbook: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free Recipes for Lifelong Health

The Plant-Based Cookbook

By Ashley Madden

Published 2021

  • About

Here portobello mushrooms are stuffed with a “cheese” made from sunflower seeds and cashews then topped with sautéed onion, tomatoes, and capers. You can serve these on their own or with warm quinoa or a side salad. The sunflower seeds and cashews need to be soaked ahead of time and can be soaked in the same bowl. Final yield will depend on the size of the mushrooms.


Sunflower Mozzarella

  • ½ cup cashews, soaked for 3 hours
  • cups sunflower seeds, soaked for 3 hours
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup water



  1. Position the oven rack to the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. First, make the mozzarella. Drain the cashews and sunflower seeds, discard the soaking liquid, and transfer the drained nuts and seeds to a high-speed blender. Add the garlic, lemon juice, basil, oregano, salt, and ½ cup water. Blend on high until smooth using your tamper to assist the blending. The goal is to achieve a thick but smooth and spreadable texture. Set aside.
  3. Wipe the mushrooms clean and gently remove the stems. Finely chop the stems and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl mix together the tamari and balsamic vinegar. Then, using a basting brush or your hands, rub the mixture into the tops (caps) of the mushrooms. Place the mushrooms top-side down on the baking sheet so the inside of the mushroom is facing up.
  5. Spoon 2 to 4 tablespoons of sunflower mozzarella (depending on the size of mushrooms) into each cap and spread it evenly. Place the mushrooms in the oven and bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until the mushrooms just start to release their juices but are still firm.
  6. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick sauté pan, sauté the onion with about ¼ cup water and a generous pinch of salt for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed, until the onions start to caramelize. Add the finely chopped mushroom stems, garlic, basil, oregano, and tomatoes to the pan and continue to cook over medium heat for another 5 minutes until the tomatoes start to brown and any liquid in the pan evaporates. Add the capers, stir, and remove from heat.
  7. Once the mushroom caps are done, remove from the oven and spoon the onion/tomato mix onto each mushroom. Top with fresh basil or arugula and serve.