Let’s forget The Last of Us for a second—mushrooms are incredible. And while the widely-binged show may have been centered on a (fictional) mass fungal infection, mushrooms deserve their spot in the sun. In the award-winning documentary, Fantastic Fungi, I learned that mushrooms comprise over five million species on the planet. Many are lured by their unique forms and flavors. More recently, however, people seem more interested in the fungi’s ubiquitous health benefits. And because there’s nothing better than combining nutrition with flavor, today, we’re rounding up our favorite healthy mushroom recipes. Buckle up, the following dishes are as good for your mind and body as they are for your taste buds.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
Why Mushrooms Should Be a Mainstay in Your Diet
If functional mushrooms aren’t on your radar yet, they should be. Varieties like reishi, chaga, cordyceps, and lion’s mane get their street cred as wellness ingredients in dietary supplements and coffee, tea, snack bars, and broth.
I’m personally looking for ways to incorporate all sorts of mushrooms into my diet. And while different species contain different levels of benefits, they’re all pretty darn good for you. So let’s dive into all things mushrooms, including how to prep and cook them, plus 21 recipes that’ll help you get your daily dose of our favorite fungi.
How to Prep Mushrooms
- Use a damp rag or paper towel to wipe away dirt. Rinsing them directly in water can oversaturate the mushrooms and prevent your desired browning.
- After that, I like to set them on a rag or towel to dry while I prep the skillet.
- Be sure to store mushrooms in a paper bag in the fridge to keep them fresher longer.
The Best Mushrooms to Cook With
- Shiitake. Shiitakes are relatively easy to find and have an unbeatable, delicate, umami flavor profile. They are high in eritadenine which lowers cholesterol.
- Oyster. With caps shaped like oysters, this mushroom variety is a delicious and interesting one to toss into your favorite stir fry and Thai-inspired soups!
- Lion’s Mane. Lion’s mane mushrooms have an incredibly meaty texture, slight seafood flavor, and neurotrophic properties. They check all the boxes!
Cooking Tips for Making Mushrooms Taste the Best
- Leave them be! When sautéing your shrooms initially, leave them alone for a minute so they can develop a bit of crispness, then sauté away.
- Adding a splash of vinegar, tamari, or red wine after a few minutes of cooking goes a long way!
- Topping mushrooms with fresh herbs balances their meatiness with a delicate vibrancy—a feast for the eyes and palate alike. Some favorites? Thyme. Parsley. Tarragon.
21 Healthy Mushroom Recipes to Try This Week
Why We Love It: More often than not, getting protein in during breakfast is a tricky challenge. This twist on toast is a great way to start your morning, jam packed with healthy ingredients and with a cook time of only 10 minutes. The vibrant green pop that the arugula adds to this toast makes the meal that much prettier. After the mushroom mixture is sautéed, it can be saved in an airtight container for a busy-morning meal or afternoon snack.
Hero Ingredient: The star of this show is undoubtedly the gorgeous green arugula. Not only does it make this dish stand out, but it also gives you an opportunity to get in a bit of veg during your morning meal.
Caramelized Onion and Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Why We Love It: This recipe is filled with vibrant flavors and tons of topping possibilities. The best part: it’s only five ingredients! These mushrooms are stuffed with a mixture of caramelized onions, spinach, and parmesan cheese. If you have leftovers from your filling, don’t fret. Elevate your morning meal by combining the savory mixture with eggs or omelets.
Hero Ingredient: Caramelized onions go so well on a wide variety of dishes. But when paired with these portobellos, they’re to die for.
One Pot Garlicky Mushroom Pasta with Sausage & Arugula
Why We Love It: This recipe covers your proteins, veggies, and carbs, all in one bowl! Health benefits aside, this recipe brings so much to the table. Your bowl will be bursting with flavor, with an added richness from the parmesan cheese. The arugula and red pepper garnish bring beautiful color and undeniable flavor to this well-rounded dish.
Hero Ingredient: You can’t go wrong with pasta and parmesan. Mixed with the mushrooms, the cheese creates a creamy texture that pairs perfectly with this protein.
Scrambled Egg and Mushroom Toast
Why We Love It: Two words: non-stick pan. Having one is the key to cooking your scrambled egg mixture quickly with easy clean-up. A good bread, such as sourdough or seeded wheat also elevates this recipe with a unique texture. How could you go wrong with this 10-minute recipe?
Hero Ingredient: While eggs and toast is a great breakfast, any mushroom of choice makes this recipe picture-perfect.
Mushroom & Black Bean Tacos
Why we love it: Mushroom and black bean tacos are an easy, delicious vegan taco dinner. They’re also gluten-free, dairy-free, and delicious!
Hero ingredient: You could say it for any of these recipes, but it’s particularly true for these tacos: the mushrooms take the cake! It seems like they’re all that anyone’s talking about in foodie circles right now. Various types have been touted for boosting immunity, fighting cancer, packing in major doses of vitamins and minerals, and containing high amounts of antioxidants.
Roasted Mushrooms With Thyme and Smoked Salt
Why We Love It: These caramelized mushrooms are next level. The variety of mushrooms in this recipe makes for unique flavors while still having all the health benefits that mushrooms provide. The possibilities are endless when serving: these flavorful fungi can be used as a side dish or even a vegetarian main.
Hero Ingredient: The dijon mustard in this recipe, while optional, is a tangy contrast to the thyme and salt.
Why We Love It: Contrary to popular belief, one way to start your morning with plenty of nutrients is in your morning coffee. We swear by this recipe for boosted, sustained energy all throughout the day. Coffee, almond milk, mushroom powder, and a mix of chocolate and collagen protein powder are all you need. Simply blend the ingredients together and you have a healthier way start to your day.
Hero Ingredient: The Reishi Mushroom Powder makes this coffee unique and provides added nutrients to kickstart your day or power your afternoon.
Mushroom and White Bean Vegan Meatballs
Why We Love It: Giving my go-to spaghetti a glow-up is exactly what I’m looking for in 2023. These vegan meatballs are a delicious and healthy alternative to the traditional ground beef meatballs that we know and love. Making the meatballs from white beans also prevents grain-on-grain meatballs that are usually presented as a vegan option.
Hero Ingredient: The cannellini beans are such a simple and delicious way to boost the nutrition of your dish.
Pappardelle with Shiitakes, Kale, & Jammy Leeks
Why We Love It: Minimal dishes meet cozy comfort in creating the perfect pappardelle dish. The umami from the shiitake mushrooms creates a light yet indulgent flavor that combines perfectly with the melted parmesan. Leeks keep this recipe from feeling heavy and pair perfectly with the mushrooms. It’s hard to go wrong with this one-pan vegetarian favorite.
Hero Ingredient: When cooked low and slow, the leeks are the star of the show. Their indulgent yet light flavor pairs with the mushrooms perfectly.
Mushroom, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Frittata
Why We Love It: Eggs and veggies keep this dish simple and streamlined, but goat cheese takes your frittata to the next level. This recipe also contains an extensive list of topping options for all of your frittata endeavors. Serving with spring greens adds even more nutrition to this easy dish while maintaining its vegetarian, gluten-free, and nut-free elements.
Hero Ingredient: While any type of cheese can be used in a frittata, goat cheese adds a sweet richness that contrasts the spinach and mushrooms. Less is more when sprinkling atop your frittata.
Banh Mí Bowl
Why We Love It: One of the most sought-after meals in Austin is a Banh Mí, and I can’t say that I disagree with this popular take. This bowl features not only mushrooms but pickled veggies and spicy tofu. The variety of ingredients in this bowl offers not only a nutritious alternative to the typical Vietnamese baguette bread but provides a unique flavor and beautiful color.
Hero Ingredient: I am obsessed with using spicy tofu as a beef or pork alternative for this Banh Mí bowl. Allowing the tofu to reach a perfect golden brown while sautéing ensures that your tofu has the ideal texture.
Creamy Polenta with Garlic-Butter Kale & Mushrooms
Why We Love It: Cozy up with this creamy polenta whenever you need to wind down. Kale and mushrooms are an added health benefit for this hearty dish. You can’t go wrong when serving these veggies with a garlic-butter sauce, which creates a flavor that contrasts the polenta’s rich creaminess. Leftovers can also be served with a protein like grilled chicken or seafood.
Hero Ingredient: Polenta is a great grain that’s quite easy to cook, super creamy, and fairly healthy.
Warm Farro Bowl with Roasted Cauliflower & Kale
Why We Love It: Bowls are undoubtably one of the most popular dishes for busy weeknights. But as is the case for many workweek wonders, there is nothing boring or basic about them. In this recipe for the most perfect farro bowl, healthy ingredients such as cauliflower, farro, kale, and mushrooms make for a filling and flavorful dish. Plus, the toppings possibilities are truly endless. Recipe creator, Gail Simmons recommends using roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes to finish the dish.
Hero Ingredient: The bowl’s freshness, especially from the chopped herbs, beautifully complements the nutty farro.
Why we love it: It doesn’t get much better than a good Thai soup. Tom Kha Gai is as nutritious as it is flavorful. The aromatics here like lemongrass and ginger are serious game changers.
Hero ingredient: Homemade chicken stock translates to deeper levels of richness and complexity. Let your Instant Pot do the work!
Why we love it: Playing with new mushroom varieties is always fun and lion’s mane are no exception! The simplicity of this recipe really highlights the actual flavor of the mushroom.
Hero ingredient: Lion’s Mane, of course!
Why we love it: This pasta is a dreamboat recipe—the kind my soul craves. Plus, it’s ready in 30 minutes or less.
Hero ingredient: Vegan cashew cream eliminates the dairy and increases the protein.
Why we love it: Another take on the classic stuffed portobello mushroom. I love filling portobellos with anything and everything, but this quinoa and vegetable combination is a light-and-bright dish that’s perfect for a spring dinner.
Hero ingredient: Quinoa, an ancient grain, is rich in protein, dietary fiber, and vitamin B. Always a good choice.
Why we love it: A departure from your typical bean-based veggie burgers, these burgers are made primarily with shiitake and portobello mushrooms. A sprinkle of smoked paprika and drizzle of sriracha keeps the flavor game on point.
Hero ingredient: I’m all about the crunch. Crushed walnuts provide just that!
Why we love it: A crostini is a classic way to amplify the flavors of whatever it’s topped with. In this case, a variety of mushrooms, garlic, shallot, thyme, and lemon. And a sprinkle of crunchy sea salt!
Hero ingredient: A squeeze of lemon here really revitalizes these swoon-worthy appetizers.
Why we love it: The kimchi here is a crunchy, tangy contrast to the savory, soft mushrooms and creamy avocado. All loaded up on a crisp baguette. Or, another idea, atop some sautéed greens.
Hero ingredient: I’m forever aiming to incorporate more fermented foods into my diet to aid my digestive system. Things like kefir, kombucha, and kimchi (in this case) help establish a healthy pH balance in the body.
Why we love it: I think this is one of the most creative ways I’ve come across with healthy mushroom recipes. These little nibbles are the perfect, savory bite any time you’re in search of an appetizer that’s out of the ordinary.
Hero ingredient: Glass noodles may be one of the most underutilized noodle in my pantry, which is a shame! The texture and shape are too fun to forget about.
This post was originally published on January 29, 2022, and has since been updated.