Julie Giuffrida is Test Kitchen coordinator for the Los Angeles Times.
Mushrooms build flavor and texture in soups, salads, appetizers, main dishes and sides. Whatever you’re cooking, mushrooms will make it better.
We have mushroom recipes galore for so many kinds of mushrooms: king trumpets, oyster, wood ear, chanterelles and more — in salads, quesadillas, soup, pasta, stroganoff and savory bread pudding. Consider this a mini cookbook of favorite mushroom recipes. This list is testimony to the so many ways to enjoy these meaty, umami-ful fungi. Whether they are the main ingredient or one of several, mushrooms always makes for good eating. Here are 17 ways to enjoy them.
King Oyster and Wood Ear Mushrooms with Cilantro Persillade
King oyster and wood ear mushrooms are sauteed or grilled and served with cilantro and garlic, adding freshness to this earthy, vegan side dish.
YieldsServes 2 to 4
The contrast between meaty king oyster mushrooms and thin, crunchy wood ear mushrooms makes this a dish of exciting textures and flavors. Cilantro and garlic brighten the earthy mushrooms. Serve it as a vegetarian main dish or as a side with grilled chops or a roast.
Roasted Mushroom Stroganoff
Roasting the mushrooms infuses this creamy, meatless stroganoff recipe with umami flavor, making it the ultimate vegetarian main dish that's just as hearty.
Time1 hour 10 minutes
YieldsServes 4 to 6.
This hearty spin on beef stroganoff is a fabulous, flavorful vegetarian main dish. King trumpets and chanterelles are beautiful, but if they aren’t in your budget, the dish is plenty tasty with white button and criminis.
Growing mushrooms at home is more complicated than buying soil and seeds, but very doable with the help of premade kits. Here are expert tips on mushroom care.
Roast Mushrooms and Broccolini With Sesame Croutons
Sesame croutons add crunch to simple roasted mushrooms and broccolini served with lightly pickled tomatoes and shallots. An easy vegetarian side dish.
Coriander, cumin and crushed red chile flakes bring deep flavor to the earthy mushrooms in this hearty side dish. Pickled tomatoes and shallots give a bit of a kick and croutons add some crunch. Whatever mushrooms you can find will work and feel free to swap regular broccoli or cauliflower for the broccolini.
Black Bean and Mushroom Quesadillas with Avocado Crema
A bright avocado cream adds freshness to these cheesy vegetarian quesadillas teeming with mushrooms and black beans.
This is a quick, easy, vegetarian meal full of flavor and texture for those weeknights when you just don’t have the time or energy for anything elaborate.
Quesadillas Stuffed with Mushrooms and Goat Cheese
These quick and easy quesadillas are stuffed with mushrooms and creamy goat cheese for a vegetarian spin on this favorite lunch or dinner recipe.
YieldsServes 4 to 6
Goat cheese adds tang and mozzarella the wonderful gooeyness that we all love about melted cheese. The two play well off of the toasted corn tortillas, and the mushrooms make these quesadillas all the more delicious.
The epicenter of L.A.’s mushroom boom is a 34,000-square-foot warehouse in Vernon, where Smallhold ramps up to grow more than 20,000 pounds a week.
Caramelized Lemon Pasta With Mushrooms and Broccoli
Caramelized lemon adds umami flavor to this vegetarian pasta, packed with mushrooms and broccoli, finished with a grating of fresh Parmesan cheese.
YieldsServes 4 to 6
Caramelized lemon brings a different kind of umami to this vegetarian pasta dish. Swap nutritional yeast for the Parmesan cheese and, poof, it’s a flavorful, texture-rich vegan meal.
Bun Bowls with Sautéed Cabbage, Mushrooms and Spare Ribs
Quick-fried rice paper adds crunch to these simple bun bowls of rice noodles, sautéed cabbage, leftover pork spare ribs and mushrooms.
Shallow-frying raw rice paper renders it puffed and uber-crispy in seconds, making this dish a sort of deconstructed spring roll. And it is really fun to watch the transformation. Feel free to use any produce you have on hand — and to use any leftover cooked pork in place of the spare ribs.
Vegan Mushroom Bisque
This vegan mushroom bisque is made with macadamia or cashew cream. Madeira or sherry brightens the flavors. A truffle oil finish makes it entirely divine.
YieldsServes 6 to 8
If you think you’ll miss the dairy in this vegan bisque, think again. Homemade (or store-bought) cashew or macadamia cream are just as unctuous as cow cream. A touch of sherry deepens the flavors and a drizzle of truffle oil brings this soup to another dimension.
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Creamy and mushroom-y, this simple, hearty and heart-warming vegetarian soup recipe can be a starter course or a quick meal for lunch or dinner.
Essentially a white sauce (bechamel) with mushrooms, this hearty, delicious soup comes together quickly. Bonus: The white sauce can be used in any number of other dishes — just make less of it.
Foraging is not the only way to bring freshly picked mushrooms to your kitchen table. You can easily grow varieties including oyster, shiitake and lion’s mane in your home.
Barley Porridge with Mushrooms, Herbs and Poached Egg
Long-simmered pearled barley and steel-cut oats create a soothing porridge topped with sautéed mushrooms, a poached egg, and grated Parmesan.
The oldest of cultivated cereals, barley’s nutty flavor and chewy texture can be incorporated into a wide variety of dishes. Here, pearled barley is simmered with steel-cut oats to create a soothing porridge that can be topped with almost anything. With sautéed mushrooms, a poached egg, grated Parmesan and a ladleful of herb broth, it is a comforting dish that’s perfect served at any hour.
Cafe Roka's Artichoke and Portobello Mushroom Lasagna
With layers packed with fresh spinach, portobello mushrooms, artichokes and gooey mozzarella, there's no shortage of creamy richness in this lasagna.
YieldsServes 10 to 12
This dish has a few moving parts but is well worth the juggling effort. Layers of chewy, meaty portobellos, sort-of-nutty and a-little-bit-grassy artichokes, and gooey mozzarella (which is its own special party) are nestled between sheets of al dente pasta, all of which is embraced by a silky tomato-bechamel sauce. Yay for no-boil lasagna, and we won’t judge if you use frozen spinach instead of blanching the fresh stuff.
Eggplant Osso Buco, Mushroom Bolognese, Rustic Polenta
Seasoned, seared eggplant "steaks" (studded with hearts of palm ) are plated over a rustic polenta, topped with a rich mushroom Bolognese sauce and served with broccolini.
Time2 hours 20 minutes
This spectacular vegetarian meal is a great project for connecting with your culinary self on a rainy day. Alternatively, each of the components can be prepared separately in advance of when you want to assemble and serve the composed dish. To ensure you will have leftover sauce for another meal, double that sauce recipe. You will be glad for another opportunity to enjoy it. To make the dish vegan, modify the polenta by swapping nut milk for the cow milk, vegan margarine for the butter and nutritional yeast for the Grana Padano cheese.
Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding
This wild mushroom bread pudding is a simple, rustic dish — and it's a terrific stand-in for the bland, mushy stuffing that often shows up on Thanksgiving tables.
Time1 hour 40 minutes
A savory bread pudding that will wow everyone at the table. Serve it as a side dish to roasted meat or poultry or on its own as a vegetarian main course. It’s sort of like stuffing on steroids — bready and comforting and also deliciously rich and cheesy.
Wild Mushroom Frittata
Thinly sliced wild mushrooms with tangy crème fraîche, Pecorino Romano, sliced garlic and shallot, and fresh herbs make for an easy, no-fuss frittata.
Frittata is a quick and easy brunch or light supper. And leftovers are good for lunch the next day. This one is full of mushroom flavor and will not disappoint. The crème fraîche makes it a little richer and fresh herbs brighten the flavors.
Wild Mushroom Strudel
Flakey, buttery filo is filled with meaty wild mushrooms and gooey Gruyere cheese for a delicious appetizer or vegetarian strudel entrée.
Time1 hour 30 minutes
Vegetables baked in pastry are seductive. and filo dough has a power no other pastry does, both from its flakiness and from the butter it needs to be pliable. This vegetarian strudel is packed with mushrooms and leeks, which have an unparalleled meatiness, especially when supplemented with a lot of Gruyère.
King Trumpet Mushroom Salad With Arugula and Shaved Parmigiano
King Trumpet mushrooms top lightly dressed arugula greens in this salad recipe finished with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano and toasted pine nuts.
YieldsServes 6 to 8
King trumpets are almost all stem, their texture is firm and meaty, and their flavor is mild and slightly briny. For this salad, slice them thin (lengthwise so you get the full effect of their size). Strew them across a bed of lightly dressed arugula greens. Shave Parmigiano-Reggiano in long, thin strips over the top and finish with a scattering of toasted pine nuts. Yum.
These vegan chilaquiles develop deep, rich flavors from both fresh and dried mushrooms. They're also quick and easy to prepare.
YieldsServes 6 to 8
These chilaquiles get deep, rich flavors from both fresh and dried mushrooms. To make mushroom powder, grind dried mushrooms in a spice grinder until powdery. You can make salsa, crema and queso ahead of time, then pull the dish together quickly. It’s as great at brunch as it is for dinner.