- Wash the mushrooms.
- Slice the mushrooms.
- Place butter in a saute pan on medium to high heat.
- Once butter is melted, pour mushrooms in along with a fresh herb or any spices.
- Mix with a spatula.
Growing up whenever we ate homemade burgers my mom would always saute mushrooms with minced garlic and heaps of butter. The smell of cremini mushrooms is that soothing scent of summer bbqs and good times.
Mushrooms have infiltrated the popular zeitgeist now more than ever. From their medicinal qualities, to the carbon they soak up in our atmosphere, we need mushrooms. We also know that perfectly sauteed mushrooms are the key to enhancing any and every meal.
In this article we will tell you all about mushroom variety, how to cook mushrooms, and what kind of ways you can enhance the rich flavor of your sauteed mushroom. Then we’ll give you our top recommendations for saute pans and a few recipes to try.
1. The Lowdown on Mushrooms
There are so many different types of delicious mushrooms from the classic white mushroom to the large portobello mushroom to stuffed mushrooms to a shiitake mushroom. While a crimini mushroom is easy to find, a white button mushroom is by far the most common in most grocery stores of the western world.
I highly recommend trying a wild mushroom the next time you go to saute as they tend to 1) be easier to saute or fry and 2) more flavorful. Of course, mushrooms absorb the flavors they are surrounded by so adding in a bit of lemon juice, white cooking wine, onion, or fresh thyme can go a long way in increasing your flavor profile.
Mushroom season is usually near the end of August and well into fall as temperatures begin to drop. While foraging is a beautiful thing make sure you go with a guide and do lots of reading before ingesting any old wild mushroom. As beautiful and majestic as they are, they can also be deadly!
How do we properly store and clean mushrooms?
Take them out of their containers. Placing mushrooms in either a paper towel or one of those paper bags you can often buy mushrooms in is key to maintaining their freshness.
Keep in mind you don’t want to wash mushrooms and then store them. If you do want to wash them (which contrary to what I was taught my whole life, is totally fine to do!) you’ll want to saute them within 15 or so minutes of being washed. Another option for washing is to simply pat the dirt off with a dry paper towel and they’ll be good to saute in a bit of olive oil or garlic butter.
2. How to Saute Mushrooms
A sauteed mushroom is the perfect addition to whatever dish you’re serving up at your dinner party and a great way to get your house smelling delicious. I find a nice wild mushroom the perfect side for a steak dinner or some juicy button mushrooms as an added topping in a balsamic vinegar salad.
You may be intimidated by the thought, but for those of you rookie chefs don’t sweat it, cooking mushrooms is an absolute breeze. Grab your apron, cutting board, a good paring knife, one top of the line saute pan or skillet, and get ready to rumble.
Step one: Wash the mushrooms.
You can either wash them lightly in water and shake them dry or stick to the classic pat down with a clean paper towel. Either way, make sure you remove any excess dirt on those cute button mushrooms before you slice them.
Step two: Slice the mushrooms.
I highly recommend getting in the habit of trimming the stems of your mushrooms every time. Sometimes you will be dealt fresh mushrooms so fresh that it won’t be necessary, but more often than not you’ll want to slice off a small portion of the end bit of the mushroom stem for ultimate flavor and texture.
Next, slice those babies up. It truly does not matter how you do so and each recipe may require a different size, but I find it best to slice the mushroom as thick as you can. That way when you saute them and they reduce in size (as they ALWAYS do) you’ll still have a great bite with every sliced mushroom.
Step three: Place butter in a saute pan over medium high heat.
Of course if you don’t have butter on hand, you can use an olive oil, or butter substitute but trust me when I say that butter is best. Whether you use a bit of olive oil or a healthy slab of butter make sure you heat this up before adding your mushrooms into the saute dish.
While I love using my saute pans to, you guessed it, saute, don’t underestimate the power of a stellar skillet. This skillet for example is ideal for making one of those white wine, thyme sauteed mushroom recipes with grilled chicken that tastes, *chef’s kiss.*
Step four: Once butter is melted, pour mushrooms in along with a fresh herb or any spices.
Sauteed mushrooms with garlic are heaven sent, whether it is a freshly diced garlic clove, or a bit of garlic salt or garlic powder, it doesn’t matter! While garlic butter mushrooms are a fan favorite you can throw some dried thyme, grill up a bit of shallot, ground black pepper, add a splash of white wine (or red wine even!) and play around with your different flavors each time you saute.
If you’re cooking an Asian inspired dish try adding a dash of soy sauce or the gluten free soy sauce alternative tamari. But if you are considering adding some kosher salt, we recommend you do so after the mushrooms are fully sauteed! Otherwise they may shrink down too small!
I tend to think that the more herbs the merrier, but if you’re cooking mushrooms as a side to a very expensive cut of steak you may want to go easy on the herbs so that grilled steak can really shine. On the other hand, if you’re cooking the mushrooms with a pork chop go heavy on the parsley, onion, and add a dash of Worcestershire sauce for added flavor!
Step five: Mix with a spatula.
The trick to easy sauteed mushrooms is letting all the liquid that they release burn off. That’s why we need the pan hot, the butter generously dolloped, and some patience.
Mushrooms are fairly simple to saute and take just about the least amount of time out of all the vegetables. If I’m sauteing in a big skillet a whole lot of veggies, I’ll leave the mushrooms last.
The trick to mixing is making sure all the mushrooms get an even cook, on both sides. But really you don’t have to mix too often, just make sure the mushrooms are lightly browning up on both sides and you’re good to go.
Bonus Step: Take a few sample bites before loading the perfectly sauteed mushrooms onto their perspective dishes.
3. Top 3 Saute Pans
While finding fresh mushrooms and having some delicious herbs on hand (think thyme and parsley and maybe even rosemary) is key, the star of the saute show really is the pan you use. Make sure your saute pan or skillet is of good quality so that it can heat all the way through and make your mushroom saute as easy as possible.
Here are three saute pans that we absolutely stand by to saute up some shrooms or even cook up a steak if you’ve run out of propane on the bbq.
This sauté pan looks absolutely killer with its all black hammered finish sleek design. Sauté your mushrooms in style and then fry up just about anything else your heart could desire with 12 inches of pure functionality.
- Made from the ultimate premium steel the heat conductivity on this pan is unmatched by any other. Perfect for searing, browning, deep frying, and best of all sauteeing the mushrooms of your dreams.
- This bad boy can go straight from the stove into the oven or broiler (up to 600 degrees F), but it’s also dishwasher safe and makes cleanup an absolute breeze.
- The engraved side-handle makes sure the weight of the saute pan is evenly distributed so that you aren’t ruining your dish with each transfer.
- While this frypan is the absolute top of the line its price point reflects that. For a similarly stellar option at a lower price point consider the 12” Oberon Series option.
- I love the stainless steel all black look, but if your kitchen decor is a bit more retro or if you’re the kind of kitchen appliance consumer of all silver, all day this look may not be for you.
- While I can assure you that this frying pan won’t have your omelette sticking, if you’re looking for a non-stick sauté pan specifically, consider the Oberon Series 12” Nonstick Saute Pan.
The beautiful 3-ply aluminum core pan looks sharp, cooks cleanly, and will make your mushroom side dish shine as the star of the whole meal. It’s the all silver, non-stick pan that you’ve always dreamed of at a price point that just makes sense.
- This pan will last you for decades in the kitchen with its thick gauge layers of nonreactive 18/10 stainless steel that ensures you’ll be frying with the most durable saute pan you’ve ever seen.
- Its nonstick coating has been proven to last 26 times longer than the competition and is completely safe with its PFOA and APEO free layers.
- It can be used on any and all stovetops (including induction!) and is also oven safe (up to 500 degrees) and dishwasher friendly.
- This kind of quality comes at a price, but even still it is cheaper than most fry pans on the market.
- I’ve known chefs who are absolutely adamant against a nonstick pan. If that’s you, consider going with the option above, or scope one of these skillets.
- 12” can take up a hefty amount of space in a small apartment kitchen. While I believe having a large saute frying pan is an essential, if you’re looking for something smaller this may not be your cup of tea.
While not a nonstick frying pan, this dreamy all silver saute pan is made for getting that perfect even cook on anything and everything you throw its way. With its state of the art conductivity and easy to maintain cleanup, you can’t go wrong with this in your kitchen arsenal.
- This option has a lower price point than the Sauté Frying Pan 12" | Avalon Series, but just as much heat conductivity potential.
- It is oven and broiler safe up to 600 degrees F and refrigerator safe so you can cook, cool, and saute without a care in the world.
- It has an ultra strong 2.5 mm thickness that won’t warp or dent under prolonged heat so you can keep this baby around for a quick saute of your button mushrooms throughout your whole life.
- The all silver look makes me think of pro chefs on a cooking channel, but if you want something less traditional consider the first of the three options to get a bit wilder on the style front.
- Again, if you’re in the market for something smaller to saute mushrooms and a steak, I’d consider this 9” skillet.
- While you can transfer food easily with this stellar saute pan, if you are looking for a nonstick option, try opting for this 9” nonstick skillet.
4. Mushroom Recipes
If you aren’t cooking up mushrooms, what are you doing? While of course there are the classic steak and mushroom combinations, nowadays there are so many other things to be done with the delicious fungi on hand.
The other day I made pickle brined mushrooms from a mushroom recipe given to us from the mushroom queen herself, Sophia Roe. But there are also plenty of mushroom recipes for vegetarians, like this portobello mushroom burger, or this garlic mushroom pasta.
But here’s a little secret, the best mushroom recipe is truly adding any type of mushrooms to almost every easy recipe.
Get exploring your mushroom varieties and try cooking up a few clamshell mushrooms or a delicious buttery chanterelle with extra garlic. Have fun with your mushroom recipes and remember to add lots of extra herbs!
5. Frequently Asked Questions About Mushrooms
How do you know when sauteed mushrooms are done?
They will be golden brown. This is something that will be easier to tell the more you saute, but the rule of thumb is let the mushrooms cook for 4-5 minutes on medium to high heat and they should be good to go!
How do you saute mushrooms without oil?
You add butter! Or a butter alternative that you have on hand! You can try grilling them or doing a quick saute with no oil or butter, but I would advise against it!
Do you wash mushrooms before sauteing?
Yes or no! I never do, I always wipe them off with a cloth or paper towel. But as it turns out you can very much wash them with water and either salad spin them dry or just give them a quick shake!
Can you cook mushrooms in an air fryer?
It seems more and more kitchen tips these days are air fryer related. Yes, you can. Cook at 380F for 10-12 minutes, stirring or shaking about half way through.
Written by Monique Nicholas
Based in Vancouver, Monique enjoys jumping into bodies of water, sending postcards, and adding lemon to every single one of her dishes.