How to Saute Mushrooms

Sauteed mushrooms are flavorful and brown on the outside while moist and juicy on the inside. Learn how to saute mushrooms perfectly -- including techniques for washing and storing mushrooms. Once you know how to cook mushrooms, try our favorite ideas for using sauteed mushrooms. Plus, get our best recipes for cooking mushrooms.

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Sauteing is a quick, versatile way to cook any kind of mushroom, including basic button, cremini, stemmed shiitake, portobello, and morel mushrooms -- or, better yet, a mix of your favorites. While sauteed mushrooms take only minutes, follow our tips for the tastiest results. Once you know how to cook mushrooms, savor them as a side dish, seasoned simply with sea salt and cracked black pepper or embellished with herbs and more. When cooking mushrooms, start the process with the freshest mushrooms you can find and our pointers for cleaning and slicing them.

How to Store Mushrooms

Prepackaged mushrooms should stay in the package, but loose mushrooms or those in an open package should be stored in a paper bag or in a damp cloth bag in the refrigerator. This allows them to breathe so they stay firm longer. Storing mushrooms in a plastic bag causes them to deteriorate quickly.

How to Clean Mushrooms

The best way to clean fresh mushrooms is to wipe them, one at a time, with a damp cloth or paper towel or to use a soft mushroom brush to remove any dirt. You can lightly rinse them, but dry them immediately and gently with paper towels. Don't soak fresh mushrooms in water or they will become soggy, making browning very difficult. The key to perfectly sauteed mushrooms is to keep them dry. 

How to Cut Mushrooms

After cleaning, trim a thin slice from the end of each stem. On a cutting surface, use a sharp knife to cut the mushrooms into halves, quarters, or slices.

How to Saute Mushrooms

To saute mushrooms, in a large skillet heat oil or butter over medium-high heat. When the oil or melted butter is hot, add the mushrooms. You should hear a sizzle. If the fat isn't hot enough, the mushrooms will start to water out and steam instead of saute. Cook the mushrooms for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon.

For four side-dish servings, start with about 8 ounces (3 cups) sliced mushrooms and 2 tablespoons oil or butter.

Tip: Make sure not to crowd the mushrooms in the pan. This causes the mushrooms to water out and steam instead of saute. A single layer with space between the mushrooms is ideal.

5 Ways to Love Sauteed Mushrooms

Once you know how to cook mushrooms, try these delicious sauteed mushroom recipes. 

1. Bistro-style: Saute 3 cups mushrooms as directed above. Stir in 1/3 cup dry red wine or sherry, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce for chicken, and 2 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme. Simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Season with salt and ground black pepper.

2. Over steak or pork chops: Grill or broil your favorite cut of steak or pork chops. Serve sauteed mushrooms or Bistro-style mushrooms on top.

3. In an omelet: Fill an omelet with sauteed mushrooms and, if desired, goat cheese or shredded Swiss and quartered grape tomatoes. For extra flavor, sprinkle with snipped fresh thyme or basil.

4. Tossed with spaghetti: Add a few garlic slivers along with the mushrooms and saute as directed. Toss with cooked spaghetti, olive oil, and grated Parmesan cheese. Even better, toss with a bit of cooked and chopped bacon.

5. Sauteed with veggies: Add chopped onion and sweet pepper along with the mushrooms and saute as directed. This trio makes a tasty quesadilla filling when added with the cheese. Or toss it into scrambled eggs.

Dancing Mushrooms

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