The rich, savory taste of mushrooms can elevate the other ingredients in your dish — making them essential for everything from fall feasts to everyday comfort food. Check out the Produce department in your Whole Foods Market store opens in a new tab for a wide array of year-round varieties, plus several peak-season mushrooms that are available for a limited time only. Find your new favorite mushroom recipe and learn pro tips for getting the most out of each unique ’shroom.
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Chanterelle: nutty and delicate
While available year-round, these mushrooms are at their peak during fall. Ranging from pale white to brilliant orange-yellow, this foraged favorite has a subtle apricot aroma. Its nutty flavor shines in roasted dishes such as Smoky Mushroom Gratin, but chanterelles are equally sensational sautéed and served over toasted bread.
Oyster: mild and sweet
Available year-round, oyster mushrooms have a slightly chewy texture and are soft with a bittersweet aroma reminiscent of anise. It’s ideal for stir-fries, omelets and quick soups, and can even be stuffed into dumplings. For recipes with longer cooking times, add oyster mushrooms near the end.
Maitake: woodsy and spicy
Available in the late summer through late fall. Also referred to as Hen of the Woods, it’s similar in appearance to the feathers of a chicken. With an earthy aroma and gamey, rich flavor, it has become a popular meat substitute. When cooked, maitake mushrooms are succulent, semi-firm and chewy with a woodsy, earthy and spicy flavor.
Trumpet: delicate and nutty
Black trumpet mushrooms are available year-round and have a sweet, woodsy aroma. Their texture is soft yet chewy, with a rich, nutty and smoky taste. Since the trumpet’s delicate flavor can easily be overpowered by other flavors, try cooking them by themselves and add in lighter dishes such as pasta, seafood, soups or as a topping on a pizza.
Enoki: velvety and earthy
Enoki mushrooms are small in size and grow in bouquets of tightly packed, long-stems topped with petite, convex caps. Enoki are slightly sticky, rubbery, velvety in consistency and have an earthier flavor. Before consuming, the ends should be trimmed and any slimy stems should be discarded. Their delicate, crunchy texture is perfect to top salads or add into stir-fries.
Cremini: firm and flavorful
A lovely brown mushroom with a slightly earthy flavor that mixes well with other mushrooms. Firm flesh stands up to long cooking times in a variety of recipes, from Mushroom and Spinach Breakfast Puffs to Barley Soup with Beef and Mushrooms.
Portabello: rich and hearty
Craving comfort food? This substantial ’shroom has a dense texture that’s great on the grill or in the oven. It imparts a rich flavor that makes them a great alternative to meat. When cooked, portobello mushrooms have a memorable chewy, meaty texture and a smoky, earthy flavor. For a meatless main, roast portobello caps, then stuff with sautéed greens and cooked grains.
Morel: intense and earthy
Robust, nutty flavor is this wild treasure’s trademark, and it’s a standout in simple sautés and cream sauces. Morels should be rinsed thoroughly to remove dirt and grit from the honeycombed cap and should not be consumed raw. Try mixing into pasta and risotto — or even blend into a cream cheese spread as a creative, flavor-packed appetizer.
Shiitake: savory and satisfying
When Japanese scientists began to investigate the phenomenon of umami, the shiitake was among the earliest documented sources of this savory taste sensation. The dense, chewy texture holds together in long-simmering liquids, which makes it excellent in risotto, ragout or soup. Always remove stems before cooking.
White button: mild and versatile
This common variety is the champion of versatility. Its delightfully mild flavor profile complements other mushrooms in recipes such as Mixed Mushroom Soup. You can’t go wrong adding white button to salads, pizzas, omelets or bruschetta.
How to Buy, Clean and Prep Mushrooms
Ready to get cooking with mushrooms? Follow these pointers to buy, store, clean and prep your ’shrooms so they’re ready to be used in your favorite recipes.
Buying: How many mushrooms should you buy? Stick to this simple formula: 1 lb fresh mushrooms = 6 cups chopped or 5 cups sliced or 3 oz dried
Storing: Refrigerate fresh mushrooms in a paper bag or container that allows cool air to circulate.
Cleaning: Mushrooms absorb water easily and should never be soaked. Instead, clean with a damp cloth or rinse briefly and dry with a towel.
Prepping: Use a paring knife to trim stems as needed. Next, just slice, dice or use whole in your favorite recipes.
More Tips for Mushroom Magic
Last but not least, get the most out of your mushroom haul with even more buying, prep and storing tips.
Pump up the “wow” factor without inflating your budget. Combine intensely flavorful wild mushrooms with mellow, mixable button mushrooms.
When combining different varieties, chop or slice the mushrooms to roughly the same size to ensure that they cook evenly.
Preserve some of nature’s bounty by drying thinly sliced mushrooms in a dehydrator or a very low oven. Store in an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid for up to a year and rehydrate later for use in recipes.
Store sautéed mushrooms in the freezer for up to one month. Keep some on hand to add to soups, gravies, sauces and pot pies.