How to Cook Mushrooms

Publish Date March 15, 2024 3 Minute Read

How to Cook Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a versatile ingredient that can easily elevate any dish. Whether you're a seasoned chef or an amateur cook, learning how to cook mushrooms can open a world of culinary possibilities. From delicate button mushrooms to meaty portobellos, we’re here to help with all the cooking tips you need.

Types of Mushrooms

Did you know that there are over 2,000 different types of mushrooms? Even so, most of us only see roughly 5 varieties when shopping. So which mushrooms should you use for which recipe, and what’s the difference between them? Let’s look at the most commonly used mushrooms.

  • Portobello - Portobello mushrooms come in 2 varieties, the standard culinary size and the baby bella. The portobello is a meaty, thick mushroom that holds up well when baking, grilling, sautéing and frying. Often used as a replacement for meat, this mushroom is packed with umami flavor and a meat-like texture. These Grilled Portobello Tacos are perfect for a meatless Monday.
  • Shiitake - Shiitakes are smaller and thinner than the portobello, but they pack a lot of flavor. They have a rich, earthy taste and a meaty texture when cooked, and work well as a side or as part of a main dish. Try these Grilled Teriyaki Shiitake Mushrooms or this Gnocchi with Sautéed Wild Mushrooms for dishes that will highlight the shiitake’s natural flavors.
  • Button - These are the most common mushrooms, and you can find them in most grocery stores. They pair well with other flavors, lending themselves to stuffing and dishes sautéed with butter and herbs. Try these Stuffing Stuffed Mushrooms or this Mushroom Au Gratin.
  • Oyster - These mushrooms have a subtle seafood taste to them, making them perfect for pairing with seafood dishes or replacing the seafood in a recipe for a vegetarian option. They can be cooked in a variety of ways, and they’re excellent breaded and fried or baked.
  • Enoki - Enoki mushrooms are becoming more popular, and for good reason. They’re a bit nutty tasting but mild enough to use in soups and stir fry dishes. They’re great when pan fried until crisp as a snack, and they make a great addition to Chicken and Bok Choy Soup.

Cooking Mushrooms

There are as many ways to cook mushrooms as there are mushroom varieties. Now that you know how to choose your mushrooms, it’s time to learn how to cook them.

Sautéed Mushrooms

Start by cleaning your mushrooms with a damp cloth or paper towel (you should avoid submerging them in water since they’ll absorb it). Once you’ve cleaned your mushrooms, you can slice them or cut them in half, depending on the variety you choose and what you’re using them for.

Then, in an oiled or buttered pan, add the mushrooms. Don’t overcrowd the pan (they won’t caramelize if you do). Once the mushrooms have been added, you can sprinkle salt over them to help release more moisture. Cook on a medium-high heat and avoid moving them until the side that’s touching the pan turns a golden brown. Then, stir as desired. Sautéed mushrooms are great as a side and over chicken or steak.

Baked Mushrooms

Clean your mushrooms using a damp cloth before slicing. If you have a small mushroom like a shiitake, baby bella or button mushroom, you might want to leave them whole.

Add the mushrooms to a shallow baking pan along with the oil of your choice. You can season them however you’d like, but the best way to complement the earthy flavor of the mushroom is to season with salt and pepper, garlic butter, or rosemary, thyme and sage. Place in the oven for about 20-30 minutes at 375°F. There will be juices left in the pan once done. The juices and mushrooms can be used to top a steak, chicken or porkchop for an elevated meal.

Fried Mushrooms

Once you’ve cleaned your mushrooms with a damp cloth, slice or leave them whole depending on size and how you plan to use them. Set up a workstation with your eggs and batter before starting. Your batter can be something simple like seasoned flour or panko. Or, you can make a beer batter by mixing flour, beer and seasonings together.

In a shallow pan, heat oil to 375°F. After your mushrooms have been battered, add them to the oil in small batches. Once the mushrooms are golden brown, remove them from the oil and place them on a rack to drain. Sprinkle a little salt over them while they’re still hot.


Portobellos are the best type of mushroom for this method. Once cleaned, brush the mushroom with oil and place on the grill. Since portobellos are such meaty mushrooms, you can even marinade them ahead of time for extra flavor. Grill until your mushroom has the desired grill marks and enjoy as a side, taco filling or in place of a burger patty.

Mad About Mushrooms?

Learn more about how to use mushrooms as your main course with Easy Weeknight Mushrooms Three Ways Dinners, and get fresh meal planning tips when you visit our blog.

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