Wondering what goes with mushrooms? Learn the best ingredient pairings, meal ideas, popular flavor combinations, and other helpful tips.
Knowing what goes well with mushrooms gives you a starting point for putting meals together using the ingredients you already have on hand.
Whether you want to reduce food waste, get more creative in the kitchen, or improve your cooking skills, it starts with understanding what flavors pair well together.
What Are Mushrooms?
Although mushrooms are categorized as vegetables, they're neither animal nor plant food, but one of many types of fungi. They have a spongy, absorbent texture and fall into two distinct types: wild and cultivated.
There are over 10,000 known varieties of mushrooms, though not all are edible. Here are the most commonly used culinary mushrooms.
Beech mushrooms are white or brown-capped mushrooms that grow in clusters on beech trees. When cooked they have a crunchy texture and nutty flavor. Avoid eating them raw as they are quite bitter.
These white-capped mushrooms are the most common type in the U.S. They taste best when sauteed in butter with fresh thyme and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Cremini (Baby Bellas)
This variety has brown caps and a firm texture, which makes it great for soups and stews because it's able to maintain its structure.
These mushrooms have a large size and meaty flavor making them great on pizza, pasta, sandwiches, and more.
Black trumpet mushrooms have a wavy, cone shape with a rich, smoky flavor and black truffle flavor. It works best in risotto.
This trumpet-shaped variety has a golden hue, firm flesh, and apricot scent. These foraged mushrooms work well in French and Austrian cuisines.
Enoki have small white caps with thin, long stems. They have a delicious crunch and mild flavor and can also be eaten raw.
King Trumpet goes by many names such as King Oyster, King Brown, and French Horn. It's known for its thick stem, meaty texture, and earthy flavor. They're a great vegetarian meat replacement.
These resemble a lion's mane with their fuzzy, shaggy appearance. Its flavor is similar to lobster or shrimp but with an earthier flavor. They taste best grilled with root vegetables.
Also known as hen of the woods, they look similar to a head of cabbage as they grow in clusters with soft, feathery, overlapping caps. They have an earthy, gamey flavor and work best in Japanese cuisine.
An oblong-shaped cap that looks resembles a honeycomb. It has a woodsy, earthy flavor and is nutty with a mild smokiness.
Fan shaped with a white-ish taupe color, and a delicate texture that can easily shred with a fork. This makes it ideal for meat substitutes such as vegetarian pulled pork or fried "chicken".
A reddish, brown mushroom that is commonly used in Italian and French cuisines such as pasta dishes and crepes.
Umbrella-shaped brown caps with a light woodsy aroma. They're often used in dashi broths or sauces where you need a concentrated umami flavor like vegan oyster sauce.
When To Buy
Mushrooms are in peak season from May through December. Look at the seasonal produce guide to see what's in season right now.
What To Look For
Select mushrooms that have a smooth, plump appearance with flesh that is firm and dry (but not dried out), and a pleasant earthy aroma.
Avoid mushrooms that are slimy, shriveled, soft, or smell unpleasant as they could be moldy.
How To Store
To prolong their shelf life, store mushrooms in a brown paper bag. Avoid washing them until right before cooking. Consume within 5 days of purchasing them.
What Goes Well With Mushrooms?
Arugula, asparagus, bell peppers, carrots, celery, celery root, chard, chile peppers, eggplant, fava beans, fennel, fiddlehead ferns, frisée lettuce, garlic, ginger, green beans, green onions, leek, lima beans, onions: red, pearl, and yellow, peas, potatoes, radicchio, ramps, savoy cabbage, shallots, spinach, and sweet potatoes.
Lemon, lime, and tomatoes.
Bay leaf, caraway seeds, cayenne, cloves, coriander, cumin, garam masala, nutmeg, paprika, pepper: black and white, and salt: kosher, sea, & fleur de sel.
Basil, chervil, chives, cilantro, dill, garlic chives, lemongrass, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme.
Nuts & Seeds
Almonds, chestnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, and walnuts.
Unsalted butter: or vegan butter, cream: cashew cream or coconut cream for dairy-free, cream cheese: or dairy-free cream cheese, goat cheese, milk: any kind, mascarpone, parmesan cheese: or vegan parmesan, sour cream: or dairy-free sour cream, and yogurt: or dairy-free yogurt.
Anchovies, bacon, beef, black cod, chicken, crab, eggs, fish, game, ham, lamb, meats, mussels, pancetta, pork, poultry, prosciutto, seafood, shrimp, steak, tofu, and veal.
Champagne, barley, bread crumbs, capers, coffee, dijon mustard, fish sauce, lentils, mirin, olive oil, pasta, polenta, rice, sake, sesame oil, sherry, soy sauce, stocks: chicken or dashi, sugar, sun-dried tomatoes, tamari, truffle oil, wine, and vinegar: balsamic, red wine, rice, and sherry.
Popular Mushroom Pairings
- garlic + lemon + olive oil
- parsley + garlic
- shallots + garlic
- butter + cream + garlic + parsley
- cream + garlic + thyme
- asparagus + ramps
- polenta + spinach
- basil + onions
- almonds + balsamic vinegar
- arugula + lemon juice + parmesan cheese
- balsamic vinegar + radicchio
- carrots + sage
- tomatoes + parsley
- prosciutto + spinach
What To Make With Mushrooms
Mushrooms are a savory ingredient popular in French, Italian, and Japanese cuisines. Although some varieties can be eaten raw, they're more flavorful when cooked such as baked, broiled, fried, grilled, pan-roasted, sauteed, steamed, or stewed.
They're a common ingredient in pan sauces, pasta sauces, dashi broths, and sauces where you need a concentrated umami flavor such as vegan oyster sauce.
Saute any variety for risotto or taco salad bowls. Add marinated portobello mushrooms as a topping to deconstructed burger bowls, dragon bowls, or veggie burgers. Make a pasta with sauteed mushrooms and shallot confit.
To grab more inspiration, look in your fridge and see what ingredients you have from the above lists to create a meal.