How To Cook Mushrooms (Like a Chef)

4.64 from 11 votes

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If you want to learn how to cook mushrooms 🍄 like a chef or don’t know how to cook them properly, you’ve come to the right place! Most people struggle when cooking mushrooms and I notice the same mistakes being made repeatedly: washing the mushrooms, salting too early, and adding ingredients in the wrong order. I will show you a fail-proof way to cook any variety of mushrooms with perfect results every time.

Mushrooms consist of 80 to 90% water and will do all the work for you. Add them in a dry pan and let them speak to you. No oil, butter, or salt is even needed until the very last step.

Why You’ll Love These Mushrooms

Cooking mushrooms in a dry pan will give you the most beautiful (in my opinion) outcome, texture, and color. The mushrooms go through a process of getting nice and golden brown first, then releasing all of their water, followed by the water evaporating completely. Lastly, we finish them with butter 🧈, salt 🧂, and aromatics of choice for the perfect bite! If you’ve been struggling with making mushrooms, let me know below, and if I helped you in any way please share this method.

How to Prepare The Mushrooms

Gather Your Tools: Ensure you have a large 12-inch skillet to prevent overcrowding.

Clean the Mushrooms 🍄: Use a damp paper towel to wipe away any dirt from ½ pound (300 grams) of sliced cremini mushrooms or your preferred variety.

Heat the Pan: Place the skillet over medium-high heat.

Sauté and Evaporate: Add the mushrooms and let them brown briefly. They will release moisture; allow it to evaporate completely.

Achieve Golden Perfection: Continue to cook and stir the mushrooms until they turn golden brown, adjusting the heat as needed.

Add Butter and Aromatics: Reduce heat or remove from heat, then add 1 tablespoon of butter and fresh thyme 🌿 or desired aromatics. Add a sprinkle of salt if using unsalted butter.

Nonna’s Tip

Don’t overcrowd the pan. Put the mushrooms in a single layer as best as possible because overcrowding will cause them to steam and not brown. 

Substitutions and Variations

Customize your mushrooms to suit your preferences, dietary needs, and culinary vision.

  • Mushroom Varieties 🍄: Use any mushroom type you prefer.
  • Aromatics: Experiment with herbs like rosemary or sage.
  • Dietary Substitutions: Use vegan butter or skip it for dairy-free. Reduce salt if needed.
  • Herbs and Greens 🌿: Add fresh herbs or wilted spinach.
  • Cooking Fat: Try olive oil, coconut oil, or a mix.
  • Optional Seasonings: Customize with ingredients like chopped garlic 🧄 or chili flakes if desired.

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Common Questions

Do I need to wash the mushrooms before I cook them?

Never wash mushrooms. Instead, Wipe off any dirt with a damp paper towel. You can wash them but they won’t be as good in texture/color.

Why don’t I put oil or butter in the pan before cooking the mushrooms?

You don’t need any oil or butter in the pan initially (my preference). Mushrooms consist of 80 to 90% water and they will do all the work in a DRY pan on medium-high heat. At first, they will start to brown and then start to release all of their moisture and the water will completely evaporate. When the pan is dry they begin to brown again!

Should I salt the mushrooms before cooking them?

Never salt the mushrooms before cooking. Salt draws out moisture and will therefore make them extremely mushy. We want a nice meaty delicious bite to them with color and texture, so salt at the end always.

What type of salt do you use? 

I use Redmond Real Salt, please note that depending on the salt you use, your dish may be less or more salty. Salt is always to taste, therefore always taste and adjust as you cook.

Why do the mushrooms need to be cooked in a single layer?

Don’t overcrowd the pan. Put the mushrooms in a single layer as best as possible because overcrowding will cause them to steam and not brown. 

How To Cook Mushrooms (Fail-Proof)

Mushrooms consist of 80 to 90% water and will do all the work FOR YOU in a DRY pan if you let them (let your food speak to you). No oil, butter, or salt is even needed until the very last step.
4.64 from 11 votes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 people
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients 

  • ½ pound (300 grams) sliced Cremini mushrooms, any variety will work
  • 1 tablespoon butter , salter or unsalted
  • sprinkle salt , if using unsalted butter
  • fresh thyme , or similar aromatics

Instructions 

  • Note: You can make as many mushrooms as you like, but they must be cooked in batches. It's important to make sure they cook in a single layer, not overcrowding the pan. I use a large 12-inch skillet.
  • If the mushrooms have any dirt on them do not rinse them. Instead, take a damp paper towel and wipe them well. Then slice them (if they are not already pre-sliced). I like purchasing sliced for convenience.
  • In a large pan over medium-high heat, add the mushrooms and make sure they are not overlapping or overcrowding the pan.
  • At first you will begin to see them brown a bit, and then they begin to release a lot of water. You need to let them go through this process and let the water completely evaporate until the pan is dry.
  • You can gently stir them if you wish and move them around while they cook.
  • Once the water has evaporated fully, they will begin to brown again. How much color you like is totally up to you, so keep an eye on them and move them around so they get golden on all sides.
  • I like to reduce the heat to low after they have reached a nice golden-brown color, or even take them off the heat so that the butter doesn't burn when added.
  • Add the butter and fresh thyme or any aromatics you like. If you used unsalted butter you can add a sprinkle of salt off the heat.
  • Feel free to also add ingredients such as finely chopped garlic, chili flakes, etc. with the butter if you wish.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 75kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 52mg, Potassium: 510mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 175IU, Calcium: 22mg, Iron: 0.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hello!
    I am needing to put bone broth in my daily nutrition. Wanted to use mushrooms and some scallions for a bit of flavor.
    The recipe is perfection! I also added some minced garlic as you suggested.
    YUMMS!
    Thank you!
    P.S.: Have made several of your recipes and they’ve been a big hit!

    1. Hi Renee! So glad you’re enjoying these mushrooms and other recipes. Thank you for your support.