Sautéing 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. Sautéed mushrooms take only minutes, so 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 turned into toppings on pizza and pasta. When cooking mushrooms, start the process with the freshest mushrooms you can find, and use our pointers for cleaning and slicing them.
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.
Right before you're ready to cook, it's time to begin cleaning mushrooms. Rather than washing mushrooms under a fast-running faucet, the best way to clean fresh mushrooms is to wipe them, one at a time, with a damp cloth or paper towel, or 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 difficult. The key to perfectly sautéed mushrooms is to keep them as dry as possible.
After cleaning, trim off the end of each stem. On a cutting surface, use a sharp knife to slice the mushrooms into halves, quarters, or slices. Mushroom halves and quarters go great in dishes for mushroom-lovers. If you're cooking for kids, start out with serving them finely sliced mushrooms.
Now try these recipes that use sliced mushrooms:
To sauté 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 sauté. 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 sauté. A single layer with space between the mushrooms is ideal.
Once you know how to cook mushrooms, try these delicious sautéed mushroom recipes.
1. Piled atop toast: Sauté mushrooms as directed above. Season with thyme, salt, and ground black pepper. Spoon onto cheesy toasts and top with a fried egg.
Get the recipe: Mushroom and Cheese Sourdough Toasts
2. Over steak or pork chops: Grill or broil your favorite cut of steak or pork chops, then finish with a scoop of sautéed mushrooms.
Get the recipe: Jalapeno Steak 'n' Mushrooms
3. In an omelet: Fill an omelet with sautéed mushrooms and, if desired, goat cheese or shredded Swiss and quartered grape tomatoes. To freshen things up, garnish with snipped fresh thyme or basil.
Get the recipe: Mushroom and Asparagus Omelet
4. Tossed with spaghetti: Add a few garlic slivers along with the mushrooms, then sauté as directed. Toss with cooked spaghetti, olive oil, and grated Parmesan cheese. For even more flavor, add a bit of cooked and chopped bacon to the mix.
Get the recipe: One-Pot Spaghetti with Mushrooms
5. Combined with even more veggies: Add chopped onion and sweet pepper along with the mushrooms, and sauté as directed. This trio makes a tasty quesadilla filling when added with the cheese, or stir it into scrambled eggs.
Get the recipe: Mushroom Scrambled Eggs
The best part about sautéed mushrooms? The recipe pairs well with just about any of your favorite dinners. The same sautéed mushrooms for steak work perfectly as sautéed mushrooms and onions the next day.