All the Types of Mushrooms You Should Know
Mushrooms come in a bunch of wacky different shapes, colors, and textures. They each have different flavors too, so learning about mushroom varieties is important. Instead of reaching for the first one you see, we'll teach you about the different types of mushrooms and what recipes they work well in so you can make the best choice for any mushroom recipe you're cooking.
Knowing the different types of mushrooms and how you can use each one is crucial before you start cooking with them. After all, not all mushrooms are created equal, and some will taste better in certain recipes than others. We'll teach you the difference between some of the most common types of edible mushrooms so you know exactly what to grab the next time you're at the store. Plus, try the recommendations for mushroom recipes you can make with each type!
Related: How to Clean and Store Mushrooms
Beech: Named for the fact that they're usually found growing on beech trees, these small mushrooms, with their all-white or light-brown caps, offer a crunchy texture and a mild, sweet, nutty flavor. They're great for stir-fries and in sauces for poultry and fish. Add them toward the end of your recipe's cooking time so they'll keep their crunchiness.
Try beech mushrooms in our Sautéed Mushroom Medley recipe.
Chanterelle (shant-uh-REL): Best in simple recipes, trumpet-shape chanterelle are bright yellow to orange in color and have a buttery flavor. Almost like a fine wine, you might also pick up notes of apricot or black pepper when you taste this complex mushroom.
Try chanterelle mushrooms in our Mushroom Fricassee with Fresh Herbs recipe.
Cremini: Tan to rich brown in color, cremini mushrooms can be used in most any recipe that calls for white mushrooms. They're similar to button mushrooms, but cremini mushrooms have a more meaty and earthy flavor.
Try cremini mushrooms in our Creamy Mushroom and Bacon Pasta recipe.
Enoki (eh-NOH-kee): These white mushrooms with long, thin stems and tiny caps usually come vacuum-packed. You'll be able to spot them because the stems tend to look like spaghetti. Show off their delicate, almost fruity flavor and slight crunch in salads and as soup toppers.
Try enoki mushrooms in our Mushroom Salad with Soy Vinaigrette recipe.
Morel (more-EL): Great for refined sauces and other gourmet recipes, these tan, black, or yellow sponge-looking mushrooms have an intense rich and nutty flavor and aroma—and generally a high price tag. Come springtime, morel mushroom hunting is a big deal! You can also find dried morels, which might be a little easier to come by than fresh.
Try morel mushrooms in our Morel and Asparagus Crispy Pizza recipe.
Oyster: Oyster mushrooms come in a variety of colors, from cream to gray, and a variety of sizes; all have a velvety texture and a mild taste that melds well with poultry, veal, and seafood dishes. The stems are a little chewier, but still tasty!
Try oyster mushrooms in our Wild Mushroom Quesadilla recipe.
Porcini: Also known as cèpe, these pale-brown wild mushrooms are usually found dried, and they're prized for their strong woodsy flavor. Use them to add flavor to soups and pasta sauces.
Try porcini mushrooms in our Porcini Biscuits and Mushroom Gravy recipe.
Portobello: Often used to bring heartiness and a meaty flavor to vegetarian entrées, these velvety brown mushrooms boast a deep mushroom flavor; find them in large, medium, and small sizes.
Try portobello mushrooms in our Portobello Pot Roast recipe.
Shiitake (shee-TAH-kee): This brown mushroom is valued for the meaty and slightly smoky flavor and texture it brings to pasta dishes, smooth soups, and other entrées. You'll easily be able to recognize it by its umbrella-like cap, but make sure you remove the stems before adding it to recipes—they're a little too tough to eat.
Try shiitake mushrooms in our Green Beans with Shallots, Thyme, and Shiitake Mushrooms recipe.
White (or Button): This umbrella-shape creamy white to light brown mushroom, with a mild, woodsy flavor, is a great all-purpose mushroom that can be served raw, sautéed, or grilled. You can find button mushrooms at the grocery store since they can be used in so many recipes.
Try button mushrooms in our Hoisin-Garlic Mushrooms recipe.