These BBQ Mushroom Sweet Potato Sliders are incredibly easy to make, and are the best vegan appetizer that you’ll put out this Labor Day weekend and football season. The mushrooms are tangy and sweet, and all those flavors roll into the sweet potato slider seamlessly. These tasty sliders are also Whole30 and paleo, which is perfect for your September Whole30 journey!
For this recipe in particular, I used oyster mushrooms, but any mushrooms will do. I wanted to highlight some of the health benefits of oyster mushrooms specifically in this post, since different mushrooms have different health benefits!
Some health benefits of oyster mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms can be bought at your local grocery store, and can even be found outdoors. There are plenty of websites out there that will help you identify which mushrooms are edible and which ones are poisonous, but I’m not one of those people who will encourage you to go out there and do that. Mushroom hunting is really fun and very educational, but when it comes to eating mushrooms that I’ve picked myself? I’d rather buy mine from the store. Maybe some day I’ll feel more confident in my mushroom identification skills to eat what I forage, but for now, the grocery store it is.
There are apparently over 40 different species of oyster mushrooms, all of which are edible. One species of edible mushrooms, Pleurotus ostreatus, or the American oyster mushroom, can be found growing on decaying logs and trees. Their caps are oyster-shaped, with a slightly flat side and a half-oval side. The underside of the mushrooms have gills that run straight down the stem, also known as decurrent gills, and the top of the cap is smooth with no scales or bumps. Oyster mushrooms are often white, and sometimes grow in shelf-like clusters. There are several oyster mushroom lookalikes, all of which seem to be edible. As I mentioned, however, eating mushrooms that I’ve foraged is really not in the cards for me. If you know what you’re doing, I’d love to hear more and to see what oyster mushrooms you find in the wild!
So why choose oyster mushrooms? One little known fact is that oyster mushrooms are actually a great source of plant-based protein. One cup of oyster mushrooms has 3 grams of protein, which is impressive considering how small and light mushrooms are. Cooked down, like in this recipe, you could easily make oyster mushrooms into a protein-packed meal!
And their protein content is just where things get started. Oyster mushrooms have powerful antioxidant effects. In 2020, a study was published suggesting that oyster mushrooms could reduce liver damage from toxins. Their study published that the compound exopolysaccharide-peptide (PSP) from Pleurotus ostreatus actually reversed the damages that were found in rats. The publishers are hopeful that this breakthrough will help areas of the world with high liver disease, such as Egypt.
Yet another benefit is that oyster mushrooms encourage the creation of short-chain fatty acids, of SCFA. P. ostreatus provide two times more the amount of beta-glucans (the fiber that causes your gut microbiome to create SCFA) than white mushrooms do. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you’ll recognize that SCFAs are a great health benefit, and you can get lots of them through eating other vegetables. So what exactly does it do for you? Having a diet high in beta-glucans, or just a diet high in fibers that allow your gut to produce more SCFAs, is linked to a healthy heart. In 2011, a study that had participants eat a soup with 30 grams of dried P. ostreatus for three weeks. At the end of three weeks, participants had lower triglyceride levels, total cholesterol, and bad cholesterol (LDL). Yet another reason to eat this tasty oyster mushroom meal! If you want more recipes that help your microbiome produce more SCFAs, check out my Brussel Sprout, Broccoli, and Red Cabbage Coleslaw recipe, and my Zucchini Fritter recipe!
Last but not least, oyster mushrooms give a great boost to your immune system. Yet another beta-glucan from the oyster mushroom comes into effect here – the beta-glucan is believed to have immune boosting properties, which are only strengthened by the antiviral and antifungal aspects of the mushroom. Pleuran, which is derived from the beta-glucan in P. ostreatus, has been linked to improving symptoms of respiratory infections in children, as well as athletes.
Although these are exciting findings, it’s important to remember that further studies are always needed to explore more and confirm these health benefits. It’s also vital that you consult your medical care provider for all your medical needs, and not rely on information you’ve found on the internet or even read about in studies yourself. Your primary care doctor is your best resource to a healthy body and life!
How to make BBQ Mushroom Sweet Potato Sliders
This recipe is so easy to throw together. You will need a slow cooker for this recipe, and the slow and low method cooking makes these mushrooms deliciously sticky and tangy (as BBQ should be!).
For this recipe, you’ll need:
- oyster mushrooms (can use other mushroom types if you cannot find oyster mushrooms)
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- chilli powder
- tomato paste
- coconut aminos
- balsamic vinegar
- sweet potatoes
- olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Stir well so that all the ingredients are combined and the oyster mushrooms are completely covered in the sauce. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.
When you are ready to make your sweet potato rounds, cut the sweet potato into 1/4″ slices. Brush them with olive oil on both sides, or use a cooking spray on both sides. You can either place them in the Air Fryer for 8-10 minutes, or can cook them in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes, flipping them halfway through cooking. Be sure not to overlap the sweet potato rounds when cooking them in both the Air Fryer and the oven.
When the sweet potato rounds are cooked, remove them and allow them to cool enough so that you can handle them. Place on a serving platter and carefully spoon some of your delicious BBQ mushrooms onto each sweet potato round. Serve warm and enjoy!
BBQ Mushroom Sweet Potato Sliders (Paleo, Whole30, Vegan)
- slow cooker
- air fryer (optional – can use oven)
- 4 cups oyster mushrooms, chopped
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp chili powder (or more if you like spicy!)
- 8 dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Combine all the ingredients except the sweet potatoes and olive oil in a slow cooker. Mix well to combine the ingredients and to evenly coat the mushrooms.
- Cook the mushroom and sauce mixture on high for 2-3 hours, or on low for 5-6 hours.
- When the mushrooms have had time to cook, prepare your sweet potato sliders. Cut your sweet potatoes into 1/4" rounds, and brush with olive oil on both sides. You can also spray them with cooking spray.
- Place sweet potato rounds on a tray. Be sure not to overlap them in any way. If cooking the sweet potatoes in the Air Fryer, cook at 370°F for 7-10 minutes, or in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes. If cooking the sweet potatoes in the oven, be sure to flip them halfway through.
- When the sweet potatoes have cooked, allow them to cool enough so that you can handle them. Then, place them on a tray and gently scoop some BBQ mushrooms on top. Serve warm!