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How to Saute Mushrooms

Have you ever been in the middle of cooking something that you have cooked a thousand times before and suddenly wondered if there is a better way? That was me recently. I asked myself if I knew how to sauté mushrooms. It turns out there is always better or at least a more interesting way to cook something. 

One of my discoveries about sautéing mushrooms that surprised me the most was from Cooks Illustrated. We incorporated their tips into our process below.

Should you use oil or butter?

When it comes to sauteing mushrooms there are a couple of choices that you have right off of the bat. Will you use some type of oil such as olive or will you use butter? Personally, I prefer the method of using both. There is no right or wrong answer though. Try out each option and try out a combo and figure out which methods suit your tastebuds best.

When sautéing mushrooms it is best if the mushrooms lay flat, not stacked. If you have more mushrooms than can lay flat in your pan, this isn’t a problem. Place just enough mushrooms in the pan to lay flat and cook those down. As mushrooms cook they will generally reduce by half in size. Once the first set is cooked down, push them to the edge of your pan and cook the next batch. The trick to this method is to adjust the amount of water, oil, and butter that you are using accordingly. 

Cooking mushrooms in this method isn’t about exacting your ingredients. If you feel that you need a bit more water or oil, feel free to add it. I do advise that you do it sparingly though. While you want your mushrooms to be soft you also don’t want them over-saturated. 

How to Saute Mushrooms

How to Saute Mushrooms

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

How to saute mushrooms the easy method

Ingredients

  • ¼ c water
  • 2 t olive oil
  • 2 t butter
  • 1 package of mushrooms

Instructions

  1. Clean your mushrooms.
  2. Slice mushrooms
  3. Add sliced mushrooms and water to a pan at medium-high heat.
  4. Allow the mushrooms to steam until the water and juices have evaporated.
  5. Spread mushrooms around in the pan so that all of the mushrooms are laying flat.
  6. Add olive oil and stir mushrooms until they absorb the oil.
  7. Add butter and stir mushrooms until they have absorbed some butter.
  8. Mushrooms are done when they appear lightly browned and soft.

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Tips for sauteing mushrooms

1. Clean your mushrooms.

Cleaning your mushrooms well is an important step. You can wipe them down or rinse them. Be sure to dry them thoroughly before you start cooking them.

2. Cut your mushrooms slices thick.

Mushrooms are primarily water so thinly sliced mushrooms will tend to shrink and lose their shape as they are cooked. Try and cut the mushroom slices to be at least ¼” thick.

3. Don’t overcrowd the mushrooms in the pan.

Make sure that your mushrooms have plenty of space around them. 

4. Consider deglazing the pan with wine.

There is no wrong way to saute mushrooms. So feel free to get creative with your flavors. Once your mushrooms are cook pour in a few ounces of wine, while the pan is hot. Then scrape the bottom of your pan and mix in all of the yummy bits.

5. Add in minced garlic right before the mushrooms finish cooking.

Minced garlic and sauteed mushrooms were born to go together. Minced garlic only needs about 30 seconds of cook time.

6. Use a heavy pan that heats evenly.

The pan really does matter when sauteing mushrooms. I love to use my cast iron skillet for this because I know that the heat will be even and it will retain the heat well.

What does deglazing a pan mean?

Deglazing is adding a liquid of any kind to a super hot pan. This allows you scrape up all of the delicious caramelized pieces that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. This can greatly enhance the flavor of the sauce. (Read all about it here.)

Can you saute canned mushrooms?

Yes, you can saute canned mushrooms. The first step would be to drain and rinse them. Next dry them completely. A tip is to cover them with a paper towel and allow them to air dry for 30 to 45 minutes before cooking them.

How long do cooked mushrooms last?

Cooked mushrooms can last up to 24 hours in the fridge. The key is to get those cooked mushrooms in the fridge quickly. If you have cooked mushrooms but won’t be able to consume within 24 hours you should consider freezing them. (Read all about how long mushrooms last.)

How to keep sauteed mushrooms from getting slimy?

The trick to keep your mushrooms from getting slimy is to cook them a bit longer than you think you should. The reason that mushrooms start to feel slimy after cooking is because they weren’t cooked long enough to allow the moisture to evaporate. Cook your mushrooms until they have an edge of crispiness to them and that will help avoid that slimy feeling.

How to serve sauteed mushrooms?

The beauty of sauteed mushrooms is that they are tasty all on their own but there are endless options on how to serve them.

Are mushrooms good for you?

Mushrooms are fat free and low in sodium. They don’t have any cholesterol in them naturally. They are high in fiber, minerals and vitamins. You can read more about specific vitamins and nutrients here Mushrooms are low in carbs and a great food choice for those on a keto diet.

Just today I had some leftover sautéed mushrooms with a hamburger patty for lunch. I had plenty of leftover from the testing for this article. The key to sautéing mushrooms is to be patient with yourself and the mushroom. This is super easy to do but it also takes a few tries to get a feel for just how you love them. No matter what though, this is a tasty addition to any dish that is hard to mess up.

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