Sweet and Sour Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

A versatile recipe that is not overly sweet or sour, just right in the middle of delicious.

I love stuffing vegetables –– peppers, tomatoes, onions, zucchini. But my favorite is portabella mushrooms. They just ask to be stuffed with something. Whenever I use them in a recipe where they are sliced up I think it is a waste of their true nature!

I created this recipe for my sister Jan because I know how much she loves a sweet and sour sauce, and because she is venturing into the meat-free world with great enthusiasm!

The best mushrooms

Look for mushrooms that are roughly the same size for even cooking. They should be firm to the touch, and their color even. If there are a lot of raggedy edges, they might be beyond their prime. In this recipe, I scrape out the gills to leave more room for the stuffing. It is not necessary, and if you want to skip this step that’s fine. The gills are perfectly edible, indeed they add a lot of flavor, but in some recipes can lend too dark a color to everything else, kind of muddy. But I don’t waste the gills, I add them to the stock pot!

Singing the praises

Sweet and sour combinations can make one sing out loud, but too often the sweet is just too sweet, or the sour overtakes every other flavor in the dish, and I love the acid as a rule. But it’s all about balance, and this dish hits the mark just right.

I created this recipe for my sister Jan because I know how much she loves a sweet and sour sauce, and because she is venturing into the meat-free world with great enthusiasm!

Ah! For a fresh pineapple!

It is the middle of winter in New England. That means if I’m lucky I might find a fresh pineapple to use in this, but I can’t depend on it, so I have relied on canned pineapple in its own pineapple juice, no added sugar. If you spot a fresh one that looks good, use that instead. You will need a cup of chunks, with a quarter cup of the juice. If you are allergic to pineapple, you can substitute another tropical fruit such as mango and a favorite fruit juice.

Your grain of choice

I had cooked, red quinoa on hand, but rice would be just as good here. You can even skip the portabella and just have the sweet and sour sauce over rice and call it a day. It would be good over another grain such as farro, or noodles as well.

The heat is always optional, so use as much or little of the crushed red pepper flakes and jalapeño as you like.

This looks like a lot of ingredients, but it comes together quickly once the vegetables are prepped.


Sweet and Sour Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

Serves 6

1 brick extra-firm tofu

Cornstarch for dusting

Sweet Hungarian Paprika

6 portabella mushrooms

3 tbsp. coconut or olive oil, divided

1 8-ounce can pineapple chunks in their juice, use both

2 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tbsp. dark amber maple syrup

3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp. cornstarch

1 medium purple onion, sliced

1 red pepper, sliced

1 yellow pepper, sliced

1 jalapeño, minced

4 large garlic cloves, minced

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, optional

2 tbsp. freshly grated ginger

3 scallions, chopped

2 cups cooked red quinoa

1 handful of fresh parsley, roughly diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

First, prep the tofu. Place it between toweling on a plate, cover with a second plate, and weigh down in order to press extra moisture from the tofu. This takes about 30 minutes, so do it first.

While the tofu is loosing its excess water weight, prep your vegetables. With a damp towel, gently clean the mushrooms of any debris inside and out. Gently scrape the gills from them using a sharp spoon, grapefruit spoon, or melon baller, and trim the mushroom top edges. Set aside, but save the gills and mushroom trimmings for stock to use another time.* Brush the inside of the mushrooms with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

All prepped and ready for the oven.

Bake the mushrooms for 20 minutes, or until tender. Tent with foil and set aside.

While the mushrooms cook, you can prep the rest of your vegetables. Slice the onion and peppers, chop the scallions, and finely mince the garlic and jalapeño. Grate the ginger, and run a knife through the parsley. Drain pineapples into a small bowl, the juice is part of the sauce in the next step.

Combine the pineapple juice, soy sauce, maple syrup, crushed red pepper, and vinegar in a small bowl and sprinkle in the tablespoon of cornstarch. Whisk well, and set aside.

Once the tofu is pressed, cut into cubes and toss it in cornstarch and a few shakes of paprika. Brush a baking sheet with 1 tbsp. of the oil. Gently gather the tofu in your fingers and shake off any excess cornstarch and place in one layer on the sheet. Increase the oven heat to 375, and bake for 15 minutes, turn, and bake another 15 minutes, or until there is color on the tofu. Set it aside.

Heat a large skillet to medium high and add the rest of the oil. Once hot, add the onion and cook for about two minutes, until they soften. Add the peppers, and cook another couple of minutes.

Stir in the garlic, ginger, scallions, and pineapple chunks; the aroma will be wonderful. Add the pineapple liquid mixture and continue stirring until the sauce thickens. This will only take about a minute. Season with salt and pepper and add the tofu.

You can stop right here and serve the sweet and sour sauce over a large platter of the quinoa, or rice, or pasta. But the stuffed portabellas make a fun dinner presentation.

To assemble, place 1/3 cup quinoa in the bottom of each cooked mushroom. Top with as much of the sweet and sour tofu and you can fit.

Put back in the oven for about 10 minutes, so all the flavors can seep into the mushrooms and mingle.


Sweet and Sour Tofu over Quinoa (or rice…or noodles)

Even quicker. Just make the Sweet and Sour Tofu and spoon it over quinoa, rice, or noodles. Delicious any way!

*Bonus Recipe

The trimmings from the mushrooms and vegetables create a hearty stock that can be used in soups and stews and sauces, or as the liquid in making rice. Just pop everything in a pan and simmer, then strain. A free ingredient from kitchen scraps.


Kitchen Scrap Mushroom Stock

Place the trimmings from the portabella mushrooms, including the gils, and place in a saucepan. Add the trimmings from onion and the parsley, along with some salt and pepper and a bay leaf.

Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer for a half hour.

Strain, and use or freeze.

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. Averyl says:

    This looks and sounds great. Do your lucky Inn guests get to eat all of your creations?

    1. Thank you Averyl! We are only open at this point for special events and occasions, but yes, we feed our guests well and this might appear on a brunch menu!

  2. This looks delicious.
    I’m also fascinated that they’re called portabella mushrooms in New England while they’re called Portobello mushrooms in the UK … Or was that a feminist joke I didn’t get? 🙂
    Thank you for this lovely recipe.

  3. Interesting, that the mushrooms are called Portabella in New England, while they’re called Portobello in the UK. 🙂
    Thank you for the lovely recipe.
    Quick and simple, yet lovely.

    1. Thanks so much! It really is good. I’ll remember the spelling when in the UK!

  4. Sherry says:

    i like the idea of the mushroom stock!

    1. It was so flavorful! We used it last night at family dinner for our mushroom risotto, the grandkids’ favorite!

  5. I have always cooked portobellos just as meat. I have never stuffed them. Your recipe is marvelous! 👍

  6. Looks awesome! I too loved stuffed vegetables!

    1. They’re fun! And even though they are easy, they really look like you’ve fussed.

  7. Portobello mushrooms are sooo delish. I could take a bite outa that! 🍔

  8. JOY journal says:


  9. I love stuffed mushrooms and I love sweet and sour! What a great combination 😋😋

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