Skip to Content

Veg 101: What Are Portobello Mushrooms?

Veg 101: What Are Portobello Mushrooms?

Ever wondered what are Portobello mushrooms and how they differ from other regular mushrooms? Find the answers in this comprehensive FAQ guide!

At first glance, portobello mushrooms seem like any other regular mushrooms, but they are not.

You might not think much of portobello mushrooms, but this variety of mushrooms is among the most used and appreciated in cooking. 

More than 70 countries grow these portobello mushrooms, which makes them one of the most common mushroom varieties in the world.

Many chefs use these mushrooms in their dishes because of how flexible and flavorful they are as an ingredient.

Every part of this mushroom is edible! 

Each part of a portobello mushroom contributes to the overall taste and plays a role in making portobello mushrooms the versatile ingredient that they are. 

You might think that there’s not a lot to learn about mushrooms, but understanding more about portobello mushrooms allows you to use them in more ways than you can think of.

This article guides and shows you everything you need to learn about these well-loved portobello mushrooms.

You will also discover some of the best recipes that use portobello mushrooms to add versatility and flavor to your meals. 

Let’s start learning and loving portobello mushrooms!

Portobello mushrooms, scientifically known as Agaricus bisporus, are the largest mushrooms in their family. 

They originated in North America and Europe but are now commercially grown worldwide. 

They are also one of the most commonly consumed mushrooms in the world. 

The mushrooms are harvested at the “adult” stage of maturity with a dark hue and flat cap that grows up to 15 centimeters. 

This cap is dark brown with a firm and thick texture. 

Portobello mushrooms also have stems that are white and thick.

Regarding their flavor profile, they feature earthy and slightly creamy, similar to cremini or button mushrooms but with a richer and more intense umami undertone. 

Texture-wise, the mushrooms are firm and meaty akin to that real burger you always love. 

And because of its texture and rich flavor, chefs and home cooks prefer this mushroom variety over the others to make tasty dishes like burgers, pizza, tacos, stir-fries, and salads.

What do portobello mushrooms taste like?

Of all the mushroom varieties, portobello mushrooms are the ones that have the most earthy mushroom taste

Because portobello mushrooms are larger and have had more time to grow, they have already lost their moisture, making their flavor more pronounced and less watery.

Portobello mushrooms have a meat-like texture and taste that makes them favored over many others. 

Because of the texture and taste of portobello mushrooms, they are a great meat substitute. 

The rich and earthy flavor adds to the charm of its steak-like texture.

What parts of a portobello mushroom do you eat?

All parts of a portobello mushroom are edible, so there are no worries about removing parts when cooking the veggie.

However, it is the caps of portobello mushrooms that are commonly cooked and eaten. 

The stem can be consumed, but they generally have a woody feel that can take away from the overall charm of the mushroom.

Moreover, portobello mushroom stems add a rich flavor to any stock!

On the other hand, the gills of the mushrooms are edible but are usually discarded.

The reason why gills are discarded is that they pack a lot of dirt and can make the cleaning process more tedious.

Aside from this, the gills put a dark brown color to dishes which may take away the appeal of the overall dish. 

Do portobello mushrooms taste like regular mushrooms?

Since portobello mushrooms are just grown-up versions of regular mushrooms, they generally have the same taste. 

The flavor of portobello mushrooms only differs from regular varieties because they have a richer and earthier flavor. 

With portobello mushrooms, the flavors are more loaded. 

Regular mushrooms tend to release more water, so their flavor is slightly diminished compared to portobello mushrooms. 

When are portobello mushrooms in season?

Portobello mushrooms thrive in temperatures ranging from 60 to 74°F

This means that portobello mushrooms are in season from around December to March, during the colder months. 

Temperatures above 74°F prevent the growth of the mushrooms, which is why it’s not ideal for growing mushrooms during the summer. 

Any temperature exceeding 86°F will cause a portobello mushroom to die. 

How to pick out portobello mushrooms?

There are three things to remember when picking out portobello mushrooms: the right smell, feel, and look.

Fresh portobello mushrooms release a strong, earthy smell that’s hard to miss. 

When feeling the portobello mushrooms, they must be dry and firm to the touch.

However, fresh portobello mushrooms can also be smooth and a little damp, so it’s best not to rely solely on the feel of the mushrooms when picking them. 

The best way to pick portobello mushrooms is by checking on their appearance.

First off, look for portobello mushrooms that have uniform-colored caps, usually beige or light brown, and tight gills.

The mushroom caps should not be littered with any dark-colored spots, and the gills shouldn’t be dark and loose. 

Good portobello mushrooms should also have large caps, somewhere around 6 inches. 

Avoid picking portobello mushrooms that seem to develop a fishy smell and sticky surface, as this is a sign of a mushroom getting rancid.  

How to store portobello mushrooms?

If you have loose mushrooms, the best way to store them is in the refrigerator.

 to wrap them in a brown bag or paper towel, then store them in the refrigerator. 

When storing portobello mushrooms in the fridge, ensure that they are placed in some places wherein they can get good airflow around them.

Tools needed: 

  • Portobello mushrooms, unwashed
  • Brown bag, paper towel
  • Refrigerator

Instructions for storing portobello mushrooms in the refrigerator:

  1. Wrap your unwashed portobello mushrooms in a brown bag or paper towel.
  2. Store them in your refrigerator for about a week.

It is critical to note that you should not use any kind of plastic to store your portobello mushrooms; otherwise, the mushrooms will disintegrate faster because the moisture will be trapped inside the mushrooms.

Although portobello mushrooms can be frozen, it’s best not to freeze them as is.

If you freeze portobello mushrooms as they are, they will have a soggier and softer texture when thawed.

Aside from the texture, the taste will also be compromised, but the mushrooms will still be okay to cook. 

If you want to retain the firmness of the portobello mushrooms, what you have to do is sauté the mushrooms and then freeze them.

Meanwhile, sauteed mushrooms can last up to a month in the freezer.

Tips on cleaning portobello mushrooms

Fresh portobello mushrooms usually have dirt around them, especially from the cap, which is why it’s important to thoroughly clean portobello mushrooms before cooking them.

Do note that it’s best to clean portobello mushrooms before you use them to avoid them becoming spongy.

Never soak your mushrooms in water, but you can thoroughly wash them under running water before you prep them.

The best way to clean portobello mushrooms is by wiping the cap and stem with a paper or kitchen towel.

When cleaning portobello mushrooms (or any mushrooms), avoid using a lot of water.

The less water you use to clean the mushrooms, the firmer they will stay because they release moisture once cooked. 

You may also opt to remove the gills of the portobello mushrooms to lessen the overall moisture of the portobello mushroom.

Ways to cook portobello mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms are well-loved by many because of their versatile nature.

You can cook a portobello mushroom in a wide variety of ways, which is why it’s okay to have them almost every day, and you will not get bored. 

There are many ways to cook portobello mushrooms: grilled, sauteed, roasted, and fried, among others. 

Because of the solid texture of portobello mushrooms, grilling is an excellent option for them.

They hold and take in the marinade well, but they also stay firm enough to be grilled.

Portobello mushrooms are also a great meat substitute, so they cook well on both the stove and the oven. 

You can also cook portobello mushrooms whole, sliced, or diced. 

The variety of ways to cook portobello mushrooms is a testament to their flexibility as an ingredient. 

Recipes that use portobello mushrooms:

The charm of portobello mushrooms is that they are generally easy to prepare, but this dish takes it up a notch.

In under half an hour, you can whip up these delicious earthy and cheesy baked mushrooms that will make anyone crave more.

Who said burgers need meat to be tasty?

These Portobello Mushroom Burgers are all the meaty texture and taste minus the meat.

It’s hard to accept at first bite that you’re eating mushrooms because of how rich the flavor is. 

If you’re a fan of vegetables, you will be a fan of this recipe.

This recipe is filled with a handful of ingredients to bring the flavor of the vegetable out.

The mushrooms add a meaty taste that you will not expect from a dish that’s filled with only vegetables.

Sure, mushrooms are earthy in flavor, but adding a sweet and savory hint doesn’t take away from the charm of portobello mushrooms.

Hearty and unique, these grilled portobello mushrooms stand out at any gathering.

Here’s a unique take on pizzas: mushroom caps as the base!

This quick and simple recipe lets you enjoy all the pizza goodness without going through all the pizza trouble.

Anyone will be blown away by every bite.

Want more portobello mushroom recipe ideas? Check out 15 Tasty Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Recipes, 11 Portobello Mushroom Recipes, and our tried-and-tested Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Recipe!

The bottom line

There’s a good reason why many chefs and cooks cherish portobello mushrooms.

It’s versatile, flavorful, and easy to prepare. 

Unlike most regular mushrooms, portobello mushrooms have a richer flavor and better texture–which is hard to resist in any dish.

Because of how flexible portobello mushrooms are, it’s no surprise they will be one of your next favorite ingredients.

This is your sign to pick some fresh portobello mushrooms and get cooking!

How To Store Portobello Mushrooms In The Refrigerator

How To Store Portobello Mushrooms In The Refrigerator

Ever wondered how to store portobello mushrooms? You're on the right page! Learn how to store your mushrooms in the fridge here.


  • Portobello mushrooms, unwashed
  • Brown bag, paper towel
  • Refrigerator


  1. Wrap your unwashed portobello mushrooms in a brown bag or paper towel.
  2. Store them in your refrigerator for about a week

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Skip to Recipe