Crispy Portobello sticks

A tasty twist on a favourite finger food!

Getting an air fryer has really changed the way I think about preparing vegetables. I will continue to make my beloved grilled Portobellos or stuffed and baked pizza Portobellos, but for this new recipe – based on my yummy non-deep fried zucchini sticks – you really can’t beat an air fryer for speed and simplicity. You can, however, easily make this tasty recipe in an oven as well. Because Portobello mushrooms have such a meaty texture, I like to pair them with steak spice – you can make your own (see below) or use a purchased blend. Other flavour profiles like Tex-Mex or Italian would be equally delicious as well. Note that you can use gluten-free breadcrumbs and flour as well as your favourite egg substitute if that’s your preference. Have fun playing around with different dipping sauces – we really enjoy these with aioli but ranch dressing and sweet chili sauce are also terrific. One last tip: an oil mister (sprayer) is a great tool to have on hand if you enjoy cooking with an air fryer – I like this inexpensive but effective one.   


  • 3 Portobello mushrooms (look for flatter rather than bowl-shaped ones)
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 room temperature egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups (75 g) panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) spice blend (steak spice or other)
  • Oil for spraying


  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Put the flour in a broad, shallow bowl. Beat the egg in a second shallow bowl. Combine the panko and spices in a third shallow bowl.
  • Wipe the mushrooms clean and then with a large, sharp knife, slice off the ‘gills’ and stem on the bottom side. Cut into uniform strips, about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick.
  • Working one at a time coat the mushroom pieces in flour and turn to coat on all side then shake off excess. Next, dip each one in the egg, turning to coat; let excess drip off, then dip them in the breadcrumbs, turning to coat on all sides and pressing gently so they adhere. Place each mushroom piece on the prepared baking tray.
  • When all mushroom pieces are coated, lightly spray the top and sides with oil. Flip and spray the remaining side. Note that mushrooms can be prepared to this point and refrigerated for up to 12 hours before cooking.
  • When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425F or set air fryer to 400F.
  • If baking in the oven, transfer the baking tray to the preheated oven and cook for 15-18 minutes, flipping once half way through cooking. They should be sizzling and golden brown when done.
  • If air frying, transfer the mushroom slices to the basket, placing them in a single layer (cook in batches if need be). Cook 12 – 15 minutes, until golden brown and sizzling.
  • Serve hot with dipping sauce(s) of choice.

Serves 2 as a main course or 3 – 4 as an appetizer.

Steak spice blend

  • 2 Tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves

Mix all together and store in an airtight container.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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