PP: Portobella Pot Roast



Chef:  Lani Muelrath
Makes: Serves four
Prep Time: About 15 minutes
Cook Time: About an hour
Total Time: Roughly 1 1/4 hours, depending on prep method (see notes)





  • 1/2 cup white wine (you can also try red—or even sake) divided

  • 4 large portobello mushrooms, sliced into 3/4-inch pieces

  • 1 large onion, sliced

  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed

  • 3 T flour

  • 1 tsp rubbed sage

  • 1 tsp dried basil

  • 2–3 cups vegetable broth, divided

  • 4 potatoes, quartered

  • 4 carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper or lemon pepper, to taste

  • 2 teaspoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce

  • 3–4 sprigs fresh thyme 1 sprig fresh rosemary


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a large saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of the wine and add the portobello mushroom slices. Allow them to cook through and brown a bit—you’ll need to keep moving them around and turning them—and then remove from the pan and set aside.

  3. Add the remaining 1/4 cup wine to the pan and add the onion and garlic. Caramelize the onions by stirring them until they wilt and begin to brown. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside.

  4. Mix the flour, sage, and basil together in a small bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup of the broth to create a paste, and pour the mixture into the same pan you used for the mushrooms and onions. While stirring constantly over medium heat, very slowly add the rest of the broth so that you create a gravy or sauce.

  5. When the mixture just starts to boil, turn the heat off and add any additional seasonings you prefer. (Kathy suggests parsley and pepper.)

  6. Add the potatoes, carrots, salt and pepper, and Worcestershire sauce to the gravy mixture. If more liquid is needed to keep the vegetables from drying out, add more broth.

  7. Add the mushrooms and onions to the mixture and ladle into a large ceramic or glass pot or casserole dish with a lid, layering in the sprigs of rosemary and thyme.

  8. Place the lid on and put into the oven and bake for 1 hour.

  9. Remove from the oven and serve hot

Alternate Cooking Options:

  1. If you have a large, heavy pot such as a Dutch oven that can go from cook top to oven, you can prepare the entire dish in that fashion, as Kathy does, or.

  2. Assemble everything in a big pot on the stove or pressure cooker and cook until the vegetables are done. The flavor pizzazz provided by searing the mushrooms, onions, garlic, and gravy is compromised somewhat. Yet if you’re pressed for time, each variation is delicious.


Who doesn’t know and love pot roast? The portobellos make the perfect savory swap-out and create a whole new gustatory experience.

This recipe came to me as a happy surprise from Jim Presentati, one of the plant-based transformation case studies in The Plant-Based Journey. I first met Jim on our favorite mountain biking trail. Soon after he told me his phenomenal plant-based success story (see page 70, The Plant-Based Journey), Jim raved about the “absolutely delicious portobello mushroom pot roast” that his wife Kathy makes. The next time I saw him, he mentioned it again. Time to investigate! When Kathy graciously sent me her recipe, I couldn’t help but think it was a perfect match for this section of the book. Here is my version, adapted from Kathy’s recipe, with just a tweak or two. 

Lani Muelrath, M.A., is an award-winning teacher, author, top plant-based vegan lifestyle coach and passionista.More from Lani at web www.lanimuelrath.com. facebook [http://facebook.com/lanimuelrath], twitter [https://twitter.com/LaniMuelrath], Instagram[https://www.instagram.com/lani.muelrath]

*(Recipe from The Plant-Based Journey: A Step-by-Step Guide for Transitioning to a Healthy Lifestyle and Achieving Your Ideal Weight by Lani Muelrath, reprinted here with permission from BenBella Books.)



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