Whether serving as a side dish, garnish, or a component of another dish, sautéed mushrooms bring savory, umami flavor to so many meals. Our step-by-step guide on How to Saute Mushrooms will guarantee you get perfectly tender texture in every delectable golden brown bite.
I understand completely that some people have food aversions that run so deep they border on the allergic. But I do know that responses to those foods can change with time…but even more commonly, with proper preparation.
Even if the thought of sautéed mushrooms doesn’t turn you off, I’m guessing you, like me, have had a bad experience or two with the texture.
As a kid, I barely noticed them since they were usually in some kind of sauce. Once I was in my own in the kitchen, I was casual – downright cavalier – about adding them to dishes. But in those early days, I was disappointed at best when I cooked mushrooms on the stove. Limp but tough. Rubbery. Slimy. Grey. Ugh. I’m getting sad and sick just writing about it.
See, when you learn how to saute mushrooms, as when you learn to saute anything, you learn to cook quickly over high heat. But – here’s the thing about mushrooms…you can’t cook them quickly! Five minutes just won’t do – not if you want to love them. But love them you will! (Or, at least you should.)
There are so many ways to cook mushrooms that will yield delicious results. Heck, if you’re still skeptical about the stovetop, you can even air fry mushrooms and get them close to perfect. But if you want the golden brown, fork-tender, buttery bite you can practically taste when you watch any movie set in a French restaurant, then rethinking how to saute mushrooms is the best place to start.
Our Biggest Tip? Patience!
One of my biggest pet peeves is when a recipe calls for cooking mushrooms until they’re “soft.” I cringe a little every time, because I followed these instructions for years – and I detested mushrooms. They were rubbery and slimy, and a whole mouthful of no.
If you want buttery, flavorful mushrooms that elevate everything they touch, they must be cooked properly – and in the case of mushrooms, technique doesn’t matter nearly as much as time.
Pro-Tip: It takes 20-25 minutes to fully saute 1-1.5 pounds of thinly sliced mushrooms. If you’re serving them as-is, factor in an additional 5 minutes to add garlic, deglaze the pan, and season with fresh herbs.
The mushrooms are cooked through once you see them release their liquids (it will be obvious, but see the photo below), the water content evaporates, and the mushrooms are again only sautéing in the cooking fat and have turned golden brown.
What Kind of Mushrooms Should I Use to Saute?
We most often reach for cremini mushrooms (also called baby bellas, because they resembled “baby” portobello mushrooms). Cremini mushrooms are very flavorful once cooked, plus they have a meaty bite. They’re firmer than white mushrooms, and easier to work with than portobello mushrooms.
That being said, this recipe works with mushrooms of all varieties – try it with shiitake mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, white button mushrooms, or any other kind you have available for slicing.
How to Saute Mushrooms
The trick to perfectly sauteed mushrooms is all in the timing. Achieving a meaty texture that’s never slimy or rubbery means cooking them at a higher heat for a longer time. Saute mushrooms until all that moisture is gone…then saute ’em a little more for golden color, crisp edges, and irresistible flavor!
- Clean then thinly slice mushrooms, including stems.
- Heat olive oil and butter in skillet over medium high heat until butter melts.
- Add mushrooms, toss to coat in fat, then increase heat to high.
- Saute undisturbed for 5 minutes, then toss again. Repeat every 5 minutes until mushrooms release water content and liquid evaporates.
- Once liquid cooks off, reduce heat to medium high. Cook 3-4 minutes, tossing just once or twice, until edges are golden brown and crisp.
- Add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes with mushrooms, stirring frequently.
- Deglaze pan, scraping up any flavorful browned bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Cook until mushrooms absorb liquid and skillet is dry.
- Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh herbs.
More Tips for Superior Sautéed Mushrooms
- Use the right skillet size – 10″ for up to 1 pound of mushrooms, 12″ for up to 1.5 pounds. Use two skillets if sautéing more than 1.5 pounds of mushrooms.
- Use the right kind of skillet. Select a pan that holds and distributes heat well – we like cast iron, enameled dutch oven, or a heavy-bottomed non-stick skillet. Avoid stainless steel and thin aluminum skillets.
- Mushrooms are sponges – so they need more fat than you think! Our rule of thumb is 4 teaspoons of fat per 8 ounces of mushrooms (one standard container). The mushrooms will quickly soak up the fat in the skillet and it will look a bit dry for a minute or two until they start to release their liquids. Once the liquids have cooked off, however, a thin layer of fat should remain that the mushrooms will then sizzle in – this is a good visual cue that you’ve used enough fat! If the pan is completely bone dry after the liquids have cooked off, add an additional 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil and/or butter for the cooked mushrooms to finish sautéing in.
- Speed it up! If you’re confident in the kitchen, pour off the liquids to speed up the cooking process – you won’t lose much flavor, especially if you deglaze with a flavorful liquid like wine or soy sauce. To do so, hold the mushrooms in the pan using a large slotted spoon, then gently tip the pan sideways over the sink until the liquids drain off. This should speed up the cook time by 5 minutes or so.
- Leave ’em alone (mostly). There is no need to continually toss mushrooms while they saute – this will actually prevent browning and slow down the cooking process. Give them a good toss once every 5 minutes until the liquids have been released and cooked off, and they start to sizzle in the remaining fat. This will ensure lots of good contact with the pan, resulting in more tasty browning.
- Sautéed mushrooms will lose a lot of volume! Like many vegetables, mushrooms are mostly water, and properly cooking mushrooms means cooking out all of the water. Expect the cooked mushrooms to lose about 60% of their volume.
- Hold the salt! At least until the mushrooms are finished cooking. Adding salt to mushrooms while they’re still raw changes both the texture and process – they’ll take longer to cook, and will come out tougher and more rubbery. Season with salt (and everything else) once the mushrooms are golden brown and crisp.
Serving Sautéed Mushrooms
We love using sautéed mushrooms to elevate a variety of dishes:
- For topping burgers with just about any cheese (though we particularly like the combination of sautéed mushrooms and blue cheese!).
- With scrambled eggs or folded into an omelet or breakfast casserole.
- As a side dish with grilled steak – try our rosemary steak or grilled flat iron steak.
Build A Meal Around Buttery Sautéed Mushrooms
Mushrooms are a terrific substitute for meaty meatless meals and we frequently build entire dishes around them!
- For classic comfort foods, reach for Instant Pot mushroom risotto, mushroom bolognese, or vegetable stew.
- For healthier meatless meals cauliflower stir fry with shiitakes or mushroom frittata.
- Mushrooms work for sides, sauces, and appetizers too! Make a great impression with classy (but super easy) mushroom bruschetta or a decadent mushroom sauce.
Did you try our method for buttery sautéed mushrooms? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
How to Saute Mushrooms (Buttery and Crispy!)Print Recipe Rate this Recipe Pin Recipe
- Rubber Spatula
- 1.5 lb cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced to ¼"; See Note 1
- 2 tbsp olive oil, See Note 2
- 2 tbsp butter, See Note 2
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp red or white wine, or soy sauce or broth
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs, parsley, thyme, and/or tarragon
- ½ tsp kosher salt, more or less to taste
- ¼ tsp ground pepper, more or less to taste
- Heat a 12" skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and butter and heat until the butter melts, then foams. See Note 3.
- Add the mushrooms and toss to coat in the fat, then increase the burner heat to high. See Note 4.
- Saute undisturbed for 5 minutes. Give the mushrooms a good toss, then saute another 5 minutes. Continue to saute undisturbed, tossing once every 5 minutes, until the mushrooms have released their water content and the water content starts to cook off. See Note 5.
- Around the 20-minute mark, the water content be completely cooked off and the mushrooms will start to sizzle in the remaining fat. At this time, decrease the heat to medium high.
- Cook 3-4 more minutes at medium high heat, stirring frequently, or until the mushrooms have turned golden brown and the edges are crisp.
- Add the garlic and saute with the mushrooms, stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in the wine, soy sauce, or broth. Continue cooking and stirring until the liquid stops bubbling and the mushrooms have absorbed the liquid.
- Season with salt and pepper, then stir in fresh herbs. Serve right away, and enjoy!