Go Back
+ servings

“Pulled” Mushrooms in Barbecue Sauce over Whole Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pickled Onions and Peppers (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Maybe you usually go for traditional fare like pulled barbecue pork on a roll, but now you want to do better for your body. Boston-area chef de cuisine Cassidy Salus (Steel and Rye, Prairie Fire) makes a meatless version of this dish using Maitake mushrooms, also known as Hen of the Woods: “They are a much more meaty mushroom because of their lower water content, and have much more flavor… Mushrooms sautéed and then braised in barbecue sauce are delicious.” And it’s true, nothing has more healthy umami than mushrooms! Mushrooms sautéed to tender and simmered in a simple, wholesome homemade barbecue sauce, and served over steaming-hot grilled sweet potatoes and topped with tangy, low-sugar low-salt pickled onions and peppers? Even better! Sweetness comes from nutrient-rich blackstrap molasses, which contains many nutrients, including potassium and iron. As a matter of fact, one serving of this meal gets you all the vitamin D you need for the whole week (over 1,000 times the recommended daily value). Skip your supplement! If you can’t find Maitakes then any mushrooms can be used in this recipe.  The sauce and pickled onions can be made ahead of time.

Servings 6


Barbecue Sauce

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup beer (dark preferred, though any will do)
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos (you can also use low-sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Pulled Mushrooms

  • 6 cups mushrooms, sliced very thin (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Whole Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • 6 sweet potatoes, about equal size, washed

Pickled Onions and Peppers

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey (or agave syrup, for vegan)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 small red onion, sliced very thin
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced pepper of your choice
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs, such as dill


Barbecue Sauce

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for thirty minutes, until sauce is thickened. This will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to a week. 

Pulled Mushrooms

  1. You can use any mushrooms for this vegan recipe-- Baby Bellas, Portobellas, or even button mushrooms will work fine.  It may seem a large amount of mushrooms, but these cook way down.

    Heat a large deep saucepan or saute pan and add oil.

    When oil is very hot but not smoking, add mushrooms and turn heat to medium-low.

    Sautee mushrooms, stirring frequently, until quite soft and browned, about ten minutes.

    Add enough sauce to almost cover mushrooms, and reduce heat to simmer.

    Simmer for about twenty minutes, until very soft and sauce is thickened.

    Serve hot, over whole roasted sweet potatoes, with pickled onions and peppers on top. 

Whole Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  1. Aluminum foil

    Wrap each potato in foil and place on a medium-hot grill or an oven at 400 degrees, and allow to cook for about thirty to forty minutes, until very soft. 

Pickled Onions and Peppers

  1. You can make this spicy, or not. For not spicy, use half of a bell pepper. For spicy, use a jalapeno pepper. For super-spicy, use a habanero pepper. For fresh spices, I usually use dill, but you can use cilantro, oregano, mint, or a combination.

    Heat vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a small saucepan until simmering.  Add sliced onion, peppers and herbs, and simmer for five minutes, until soft. Turn off heat.  Let sit covered for at least an hour.  These can be served right away, or placed in a covered container and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.