We have waited long enough, and now the time has finally come to bite into some seriously delicious vegan barbeque. These sliders made with portobello mushrooms are exactly what we are looking to indulge in, especially when setting the menu for our next cook out. Paired with the unique flavors of spicy tomato jam, and the classic candied crunch of caramelized onions, vegan and gluten-free burgers never tasted so good. And let’s not forget the salt and pepper jicama fries. Made with low-calorie jicama and metabolism-boosting coconut oil, these root fries are as healthy as they come.

Created by food blogger Ashley Melillo, her creative twists on our favorite meals always keep us coming back for more. In her blog, Blissful Basil, she uses food as a vehicle for unearthing the happiest side of life, which is surely embodied in these sliders. Take a stab at these recipes and quickly convert your summer guests to the tastier side of healthy living.

Portobello Sliders with Spicy Tomato Jam + Caramelized Onions
Vegan and gluten-free
Makes 12 sliders (enough to serve 4-6 as a meal)


For the Mushrooms:

12 portobello stuffing mushrooms (about 2 inches in diameter), washed
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
4 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 Tbsp minced shallots
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp tahini
2 garlic cloves, minced
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
black pepper, to taste

For the Spicy Tomato Jam:

4 cups halved grape tomatoes
1⁄4 cup pure maple syrup
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
1 1⁄2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1⁄2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

For the Caramelized Onions:

1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 sweet onions, peeled and cut into 1⁄4-inch rings
1 Tbsp agave nectar

Additional Ingredients:

6 gluten-free hotdog buns, cut in half and ends trimmed to create 12 slider rolls
4-6 butter lettuce leaves, torn


1. Add the mushrooms to an airtight container or sealable plastic bag. Add the balsamic vinegar, chives, shallots, olive oil, tahini, garlic, sea salt and black pepper to a small bowl and whisk together for 15 to 20 seconds. Pour the marinade over the mushrooms. Refrigerate and marinate for 30 to 60 minutes.

2. Begin making the tomato jam while the mushrooms are marinating. Add the tomatoes and maple syrup to a medium sauce pan on the stove. Turn heat on medium-low and cook for five minutes. Add in the sea salt, cumin, fresh ginger, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes.

Let cool and transfer the cooked mixture to a jar or container. Reserve half of the tomato jam for the jicama fries. To create more of a ketchup consistency, simply pulse the tomato jam in a blender until desired smoothness is reached. (Note: The tomato jam can be made ahead of time.)

3. Make the caramelized onions while the tomato jam is simmering. Melt the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add in the onions and agave nectar and cook for 15-20 minutes or until caramelized, stirring occasionally. (Note: the caramelized onions can be made ahead of time.)

4. Once the mushrooms have marinated, heat a grill or grill pan to high heat. Place the mushrooms, gill-side down, on the grill. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes on one side, flip, and grill 4 to 5 minutes on the other side or until tender.

5. Brush the inside of the slider rolls with olive oil and place face down on a grill or griddle to toast. Once toasted, set aside.

6. To assemble the sliders, place a piece of butter lettuce on the lower bun, top with a mushroom, a few caramelized onions, and a small spoonful of tomato jam. Top with other half of bun and skewer with a toothpick.

7. Serve with Salt-and-Pepper Jicama Fries.

Salt-and-Pepper Jicama Fries
Vegan and gluten-free
Serves 4


1 1⁄2 lbs peeled jicama, cut into fries
1 1⁄2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1⁄2 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt or sea salt of choice
3⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Place the jicama fries in a large bowl, pour the melted coconut oil over top, and toss to coat.

3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread the jicama evenly across the pan.

4. Sprinkle the fries with the salt and pepper and carefully toss them to season all sides.

5. Bake the fries for 35 to 40 minutes, tossing halfway through.

6. Remove from oven, let cool, and serve with the extra spicy tomato jam.

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