Portobello Burger Grilled with a Salsa-Jalapeno Kale Pesto Recipe

Maybe summer isn’t quite around the corner but do you ever get those mid-winter blues where you crave that fresh warm summer sun? What if you could trick your brain into thinking it was a warm summer day through the art of cooking? What if there was a dish you could make that uses Red Cactus-USA salsa and peppers to both promote healthy eating and remind your guests of the warmer days ahead? How about a tasty burger? While hamburgers don’t necessarily rise to the top of the health charts these days, there are countless spins on the burger that can be as equally rewarding in the health department and reminiscent of those summer barbeques. Take for instance the grilled portobello burger with a pesto using our very own Red Cactus-USA salsa and pickled jalapenos.

Our line of products promotes healthy eating through products that are gluten-free as well as trans-fat free. Over two decades ago, Red Cactus began with a purpose to promote a healthy lifestyle and smart choices. From mild, medium and hot salsas to our queso and beyond, we promote fresh ingredients from our garden, non-gmo sourced food, no artificial flavoring, low sodium and gluten free.

Portobello Burger Grilled with a Salsa-Jalapeno Kale Pesto Instructions


  • 2 medium portobello mushrooms (one per burger, so add more if you have more guests)
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

For the Red Cactus-USA salsa Kale Pesto

Alright, now that we have our ingredients, it’s time to assemble this soon-to-be favorite summer (and winter) staple. The combination of balsamic and lemon marinade boosts the mushroom’s earthy flavors while the Red Cactus pesto compliments with the needed sweet acid and heat. This dish is heavy on the front end prep but only takes about 10 minutes once on the grill.


Remove the stems from the beautiful portobello by twisting it until it snaps off. Toss the stem or save it for another dish! Scrape the bottom of the mushroom to get rid of gills to reveal a smooth top and bottom.

In a large bowl, combine and whisk together the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, pepper and olive oil. Toss in the mushrooms and coat both sides. Keep the portobellos in this mixture for about an hour, allowing them to marinate. Toss every so often to ensure an even coating.

In the meantime, grab a food processor and your pesto ingredients. First up, mince the garlic. Next, Add the kale leaves, Red Cactus salsa, Red Cactus pickled jalapenos, sun-dried tomatoes, hemp seeds, salt and pepper. Process until smooth adding 1 tablespoon or 2 of water if necessary.

Ready to cook? Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and grill the caps for roughly 5 minutes per side. You want the mushrooms to be slightly tender with a light char. Grab your buns and any additional toppings and get ready to build the ultimate healthy burger! Want to jazz it up even more? Looking to boost it up a notch, lets smother it with some of our delicious, gluten-free Con Queso. Say adios to the cold weather, at least while you are eating your burger.

Winter doesn’t have to be a drag! Grills work outside year round, or you can cook this inside on your stove or in your oven. Get creative! More than providing a healthy product to the market, we love sharing a spin on classic recipes the incorporate our salsa. Ready to try a new recipe or do you want to share your famous recipe with our Red Cactus customers? Check out our recipe page and dive into a new dish. Who knows, maybe that next creation will be the best one ever!

Ever wonder where salsa comes from? Or curious if there is a salsa company based in Missouri? What about a salsa company of faith whose mission is to not only supply a gluten-free salsa to consumers but lend a hand to those in need? At Red Cactus-USA, our salsa operation is based in Hannibal, Missouri but we care for people around the world. Not only our customers, but we strive to provide an outreach for people everywhere. Steven, the owner, continues what he calls his journey “From the Cactus to the Cross,” where he passionately leads outreach programs throughout the community. He started the business in the name of encouraging others to serve and give back to help one another. Food is life and it also provides a reason for us all to come together and celebrate that life. If you or someone you know is interested in having Steven speak to your group, church or at a conference, he can be reached at 217-653-8147 or by email at steve@redcactus-usa.com. To learn more about Red Cactus-USA and our mission, be sure to check out our About Us page and keep up to date with the latest and greatest on our Facebook page.