Turtle Backs is an easy recipe with baked or barbecued portobello mushrooms, stuffed with ground beef, burger or hamburger, wrapped in bacon!
Stuffed Mushroom Burger
I won't lie. There are times when food is my therapy. Hamburgers do that for me; especially stuffed mushroom burgers. They're soulfully satisfying!
Take a juicy Portobello mushroom and pack it with beef, pork, turkey or chicken. Smother it with bacon and you've got a turtle back that's to die for!
Why are they called turtle backs? Once cooked these turtle backs look exactly like turtle shells. Wrapped in bacon, lattice style, gives them that illusion.
My foodie friend and team member, Rita, gave me the idea and it quickly become a family favorite. These turtle backs immediately went into my monthly rotation!
Kids love making these Portobello mushroom burgers. Say the name turtle backs and their ears perk up! LOVE the title and wish I'd thought of it myself. Sheer genius in my opinion!
I'd be curious to know what you think of the name. If something better than turtle backs comes to mind, drop me a line. I'm always open to hearing new ideas.
Call them what you will, there's no getting away from the fact this is one delicious burger.
Super easy to put together, these scrumptious darlings can be served with just about anything imaginable! With just a few ingredients you can make the coolest burgers on the planet!
Not only are they a delight to look at, wait until you get a load of the taste!
As an aside, the turtle is a Native American symbol. The tattoo of a turtle is indicative of living a long life and is representative of water and healing.
Circling back to turtle backs, if anything should be on your bucket list, this should be one of them!
May you have a healthy long life. In the meantime, enjoy a turtle back!
Burger with Portobello Mushroom
After being asked how to make these terrific mushroom burgers without bacon, it's my pleasure to share these directions as well.
Without the bacon weave, making a burger with a Portobello mushroom has never been easier. Here's what you need and how to do it:
- 4 Portobello mushrooms, (4 - 5 inches in diameter), cleaned with stem and gills scraped and removed with a spoon
- 1 pound of ground beef, pork, sausage, turkey or chicken
- 2 tablespoon Montreal Steak Seasoning
- 1 egg (optional)
- ½ cup of olive oil or any other vegetable oil
- 4 buns
- Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil and a rack lightly coating with cooking with spray.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil and a rack coated with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Wipe the mushrooms clean with paper towel and scrape out the gills inside to create a bowl for your ground meat.
- Grab a large resealable bag.
- Add oil and mushrooms. Adjust until coated and allow to sit at room temperature for up to one hour. No longer.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine ground meat and Montreal steak seasoning.
- Add an egg, if desired.
- Some believe the egg helps bind ground meat together. The decision whether to add it is up to you.
- Divide mixture into 4 equal parts, as evenly as you can.
- Remove Portobello mushrooms from the bag and allow excess oil to drip off.
- Honestly, I dump the bag into a strainer in the sink. Then I turn the Portobello mushrooms upside down so (where the gills used to be) the oil isn't sitting in them.
- Grab each mushroom, one by one, and press ground mixture into each oil coated mushroom cap.
- Place ground meat stuffed mushroom cap UPSIDE DOWN OR MEAT SIDE DOWN on your prepared rack.
- Sprinkle mushroom tops with salt and pepper.
- If there's a lot of oil on the bottom of the baking sheet from the mushrooms, lift the rack and wipe off some of the excess oil with a paper towel before they go in the oven.
- Too much oil can smoke up your oven while baking.
- Set timer for 30 minutes. Then gently flip the stuffed mushrooms over.
- Bake for another 10 minutes.
- At this point, place a slice of cheese on top of each Portobello mushroom burger and let it will melt for a minute or two.
- Remove from oven.
- Toast buns with or without cheese if using.
Serve and enjoy!
Portobello Mushroom Burger
Portobello mushrooms are native to Italy. Loosely translated, Portobello means beautiful door. What a lovely opening to talk about the Portobello mushroom!
How the Portobello mushroom burger came to be is not clear. A Colorado cattle rancher by the name of Jack claims he invented it. He was the founder and CEO of an American fast food restaurant called, Jack in the Box. If you've had the pleasure of sampling one, I'd be curious to know what you thought about it.
Regardless of whether it was Jack or someone else, we owe him or her a lot of thanks for this brilliant creation!
Mushrooms contain B vitamins and antioxidants which means they help boost memory, are heart healthy and protects the signs of aging. Because mushrooms have a meaty texture, they 're very satisfying. So the mushroom burger can be a vegan or vegetarian's dream.
Baked Burger Stuffed Mushroom Recipes
Each of these baked burger stuffed mushroom recipes is a different journey every time you make one. Stuff Portobello mushrooms with any kind of ground meat you desire and you've got one sophisticated burger! Hands down, my favorite is ground turkey mixed with some ground pork.
That may sound odd to you, but I find ground pork stops ground turkey from drying out. Before I got on my turkey kick, ground beef or a ground beef and pork blend was always my choice.
There's nothing like a Portobello mushroom crammed with ground meat, cloaked in bacon between a hamburger bun. Just thinking about it makes me salivate!
Stuffed Mushroom Appetizer Recipe
If you're looking for a stuffed mushroom appetizer recipe that's beyond AMAZING, look no further.
Check out The Best Stuffed Mushrooms. If you like mushrooms, be prepared to be astonished!
This cheesy, creamy crab and shrimp filling blends perfectly with all types of mushrooms, including the infamous large Portobello! And boy oh boy is it tasty! As a snack or small meal, it's definitely rewarding!
Stuff this wonderful filling inside chicken and, oh my goodness! Takes you on a chicken adventure never explored before!
What is a Bacon Weave?
As the name suggests, a bacon weave are strips of bacon woven into a mat or lattice pattern that is either forced to cook flat or wrapped around other foods such as burgers or ground meat (meatloaves), chicken or beef roasts and so much more.
Turtle Backs are a perfect excuse to learn how to make a bacon weave.
The weave is created or completed before the baking or cooking process begins, on your kitchen counter, in your oven or on the grill. Bacon weaves look very pleasing and, without a doubt, bacon adds an incredible amount of flavor to everything it touches. My husband is a big bacon believer and I have to say, so am I. Patrick also gives them a big thumbs up (with a little hot sauce, of course!).
How to make the Best Bacon Weave
- Buying thicker slices or good quality bacon is key to making the best bacon weave. Cheap bacon is sliced too thin and therefore tends to tear. Sturdy is what we're going for here.
- That being said, if you using store bought thick bacon, your weave will be too thick and take too long to cook. Your goal is to find a mid price range bacon where each slice can be seen in its entirety.
- Always remember to use a rimmed baking sheet with a rack lightly coated in cooking spray to cook bacon in the oven. The last thing you want is the bacon sitting in accumulated fat.
- Allowing air to circulate all around the bacon will result in the bacon to cook evenly and you won't end up with raw bacon or bacon that's only half cooked in some spots.
- If cooking the bacon weave on your grill, the fat will just burn away even if you are cooking it on a flat pan or grate. The grate has holes in it for the fat to drip through.
- Fatty sides of the bacon should all face one direction and meaty sides should all face the other direction. The width should match the length of the strips. There should be the same number of bacon strips going down as there are going across.
- Don't hesitate to use toothpicks to secure bacon ends to whatever you're wrapping in the bacon weave. As long as the bacon slices are overlapped, the toothpicks will secure the slices so the entire protein or vegetable is covered in bacon.
- Bacon shrinks as it cooks; so if there are spaces in between the bacon slices, they'll worsen as the bacon shrinks.
Can you use a Bacon Weave in a Sandwich?
Although a bacon weave is usually wrapped around a potato or meat of some kind, it's perfect for a sandwich or served on top of a hamburger.
Cut bacon strips in half and weave half slices together, as big or small as you desire. Usually 4 or 5 half slices will do. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil and a rack lightly coated in cooking spray. Spraying will prevent the bacon from sticking to the rack.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and cook for 15-20 minutes
or 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes
or 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes
Remove bacon from oven when desired crispiness has been reached.
Allow the bacon weave to drain on paper towel and place inside sandwich or on top of each burger. Now for the moment of truth - the taste! You won't be disappointed.
Grilled Portobello Mushroom
Without question, this is simply the best recipe I've ever used to make grilled Portobello mushrooms. It's definitely worth a try.
I've included a quick recipe on how to grill onion slices. They're terrific on steaks, in a burger or all by themselves!
Onions and burgers belong not only in the same sentence, but in our mouths. Hopefully, you'll agree.
Portobello mushrooms have a meaty, dense texture and should be marinated, whenever possible.
Follow the directions below if you want to create a wonderfully flavored Portobello mushroom.
Saw this technique on America's Test Kitchen and I absolutely loved it! Anything that adds flavor to these giant mushrooms deserves a star in my books.
If, for any reason, you're unable to slice the tops of your mushrooms, go ahead and marinate them anyway as they'll still benefit from the marinade.
For years, we grilled Portobello mushrooms without cutting into the tops of them and we've always found them flavorful.
Here's the new method if you want to give it a go:
- Using the tip of a small paring knife, cut a ½ inch crosshatch pattern on the tops of all the mushroom caps.
- Slices or slits should be ⅛ - 1/16 of an inch deep on the top side of each mushroom cap and go from one side straight across to the other.
- Make the lines as straight as you can get them. Straight or not, the flavor from the marinade will seep inside the mushroom.
- My friend's son loved slicing into these Portobello mushrooms and yes, he was old enough.
- He said it was like making a big tic tac toe board (I never quite totally understood that) or a graph paper pattern across the top of each mushroom cap.
- The squares should be about a ½ inch or a little more.
- Does this make sense? If not, please ask in the comment section below.
- There are certain times of the year, I can only get smaller Portobello mushrooms. If you can only find 4 inch wide Portobellos, for the purposes of this recipe, use six or so.
- Given they're a bit smaller, reduce cooking time by a few minutes per side. Have a look at the recipe below.
Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burger Recipe
For the ultimate grilled Portobello mushroom burger recipe, here are the basics.
Portobello mushrooms on the grill are fabulous. Choose vinegar or lemon juice to make an easy, tasty marinade.
Without buns, can you really call them burgers? Be sure to toast them when making these grilled Portobello mushroom burgers. And don't forget the endless choice of toppings that are available to you.
My go to is with a slice of melted cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce and sliced tomatoes.
Other toppings to consider but not limited to:
- shredded cabbage
- baby spinach
- Roasted red peppers
- red onion
- Other cheeses - Swiss, Provolone, Feta
- Prosciutto slice
- Fresh Basil
- 4 Portobello mushrooms (4 - 5 inches in diameter), cleaned with stem and gills scraped and removed with a spoon
- ½ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, sherry wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
- 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 large red onion, sliced ½ inch thick and intact, do not separate onion rings, ideally skewered or held together with toothpicks
- Combine oil, vinegar of your choice or lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large resealable bag. Adjust until mixture is blended.
- Add mushrooms, seal, and massage some more until well coated.
- Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes, up to an hour, but no longer than that.
- Brush and clean grill grates.
- Using tongs, grab a wad of paper towel dipped in oil and rub it all over the grates on your barbecue.
- Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot; about 15 minutes.
- While the mushrooms are marinating, in the meantime, prepare the onions.
- In making onion slices, shove skewers through or toothpicks so onion rings don't come apart while on the grill.
- With skewers, shove them right through the onion slice so it stays flat.
- For toothpicks, shove one toothpick through each side, towards the middle to hold the onions together. Set aside
- Turn all burners down to medium high.
- Remove mushrooms from the marinade and place on your work surface. Don't discard any extra marinade as you'll be brushing it on the onion slices.
- If there isn't enough marinade, brush onion slices with oil and sprinkle each slice with salt and pepper on both sides.
Cut four 12 inch square pieces of foil.
On your work surface, place mushrooms on foil squares. Set one mushroom on top of each piece of foil with the gill side facing up.
Fold foil edges over to totally enclose mushroom and seal edges.
Grill mushrooms, with sealed sides of foil packets facing up, over medium-hot fire until juicy and tender. For larger mushrooms about 10 to 12 minutes or 9 minutes for smaller, 4 inch Portobellos.
Using tongs, unwrap mushrooms and discard foil. Set unwrapped mushrooms on rack gill-side up and cook until grill-marked; about 30 to 60 seconds.
Grill onion and mushrooms, gill side up, covered for 4 to 6 minutes on the first side and 3 to 5 on the second side. Liquid from the mushrooms will be released and they will have softened and become somewhat charred.
Once finished, remove from grill and place on serving platter.
Remove toothpicks or skewer from onions before serving.
Ingredients in Portobello Mushroom Hamburger
- Portobello mushrooms
- ground beef, pork, sausage, turkey or chicken
- Montreal Steak Seasoning
How to make Turtle Backs
Making an Easy Bacon Weave
Making the Turtle Backs
Large Portobello Mushroom Recipes
Portobellos are big fellows and it's big on flavor in its own unique way.
Once I was happy with how the Prosciutto Portobello Baked Eggs recipe turned out, I started trying different large Portobello mushroom recipes.
Ken and I are getting older and trying to cut down on bread whenever possible. If you're doing the same, I highly recommend my Pizza in a Portobello.
Covered in sauce, cheese and pizza toppings, these Portobello mushrooms are so tasty, you won't miss the bread at all. They're beyond delicious and a much healthier option!
Crammed with the most AMAZING creamy shrimp and crab filling, The Best Stuffed Mushrooms are sheer heaven!
If crab and shrimp are your thing, then this is one helluva a recipe! Makes an ideal snack or small meal.
Easy Beef and Portobello Mushroom Stew is total comfort food and the broth is outstanding.
Kick off your day with these Prosciutto Portobello Baked Eggs. Fill Portobello mushrooms with your favorite sandwich meat, Prosciutto, bacon and kale or spinach and you've got something extraordinary.
Words alone don't do these justice. Tasting them is what counts.
I have a few other recipes up my sleeve, so stay tuned!
If you're a burger fan, take a moment to check out the list below and see if any of these delicious burgers interest you.
Other Burger Recipes to Try
Having trouble making a bacon weave? This video will show you how it's done. Bacon weaves can be wrapped around just about anything you desire! So knowing this bacon weave trick comes in handy.
Until the next food journey, be well!
Turtle Backs Video
- 4 portobello mushrooms, (4 - 5 inches in diameter), cleaned with stem and gills scaped and removed with a spoon
- 1 - 1 ¼ pound ground beef, pork, sausage, turkey or chicken
- 2 tablespoon Montreal Steak Seasoning
- 1 pound bacon approximately
- 1 large egg, for binding if desired
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil and a rack lightly coated in cooking spray.
- Clean mushrooms and scrape out the insides to create a bowl.
- Next, in a medium sized bowl, combine ground meat, egg (if desired), and Montreal steak seasoning. Divide mixture into 4 equal parts; as even as possible.
- Press ground mixture into mushroom caps.
Making the Bacon Weave
- At your workstation, lay 6 slices of bacon, just touching, side by side, with fatty edges touching the meatier edges. Do your best to not leave spaces as the bacon shrinks your weave will not bake properly or as a square.
- Fold up every other slice of bacon, a couple of inches up the slice. You should now have 3 slices up and 3 slices down.
- Place a strip of bacon across the three slices down to create a row, leaning right up to the top of the three flipped over bacon slices or the top edge.
- Then unfold the three slices of bacon so they now lie on top of your horizontal slice and lift the other 3 slices of bacon upwards.
- Lay another slice of bacon across the three slices that are folded downwards or are straight and no longer folded over.
- Unfold upwards bacon slices again and lift the opposite or other three slices and add another horizontal slice and again. Unfold the slices of bacon on top of the horizontal slice. You get the idea!
- Keep going until there are the same number of bacon strips down as there are across.
- Exact cooking time and temperature will depend on thickness of bacon and how many slices you use. Baking the individual bacon weave, as it is, all by itself, will take 15-20 minutes in a 400 degree oven, depending on how crispy you desire your bacon.
Making the Turtle Backs
- Place weaved bacon on cutting board or at your workstation.
- Place meat filled mushroom cap in the middle of the weaved bacon square.
- Grab bacon ends and pull across mushroom cap until cap is totally covered in bacon. Use toothpicks if needed to secure the bacon strips.
- This dish is usually finished cooking when the bacon sits tightly or snugly around the meat or vegetable it's surrounding or wrapped around.
- Place bacon covered mushrooms, meat side up between 45 and 60 minutes or until bacon is cooked all around.
- Toast buns with cheese. Serve and enjoy!
Making Portobello Mushroom Stuffed Burgers WITHOUT BACON
- Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil and a rack lightly coated with cooking spray.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil and a rack lightly coated with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Clean mushrooms and scrape out the gills' insides to create a bowl for the ground meat to sit in.
- Next, in a medium sized bowl, combine ground meat and Montreal steak seasoning. Add an egg if desired. Some believe the egg helps to bind the ground meat together better. The decision where to add it is up to you.
- Divide mixture into 4 equal parts, as evenly as you can.
- Press ground mixture into each mushroom cap.
- Place ground meat stuffed mushroom cap UPSIDE DOWN OR MEAT SIDE DOWN on prepared rack.
- Set your timer for 30 minutes. Return to oven and gently flip them over.
- Bake for 10 more minutes.
- Toast buns with cheese if using.
- Serve and enjoy!