How to Freeze Mushrooms So They Stay Delicious for Months
Given their relatively short shelf lives and high price tags, it’s a relief to learn that you can freeze mushrooms to save for later. The texture and color may change slightly, but mushrooms are still good after they’re frozen — as long as you treat them right along the way.
How to Freeze Cooked Mushrooms
The best way to freeze mushrooms is to cook them first to preserve their flavor and texture.
Start by slicing your mushrooms into similar-sized portions so they cook and freeze evenly. You might go for slices, one-inch batons, or half-inch cubes, depending on how you plan to use them later. Regardless, uniformity is key.
How to Sauté Mushrooms for Freezing
To sauté your mushrooms, put a small amount of neutral oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Mushrooms release a lot of moisture when they cook, so you won’t need more than a few drops.
Cook the mushroom pieces for about five minutes or until the pan is dry and mushrooms are fork-tender. Remove the pan from heat and let the mushrooms cool completely.
How to Steam Mushrooms for Freezing
If you decide to steam your mushrooms, first, soak the pieces in a bowl with one teaspoon of lemon juice to two cups of water for five to 10 minutes to prevent discoloration. After they’ve soaked, put them in a steamer basket over boiling water for three to four minutes, or until they feel tender but not mushy. Remove your steamer basket from the pan, douse the mushrooms in an ice bath, and then let them come to room temperature.
How to Flash-Freeze Cooked Mushrooms
Whether you’ve sautéed or steamed, your next step is to flash-freeze. Place the pieces onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and put it in your freezer for about an hour, or until the pieces feel hard. Use a spatula to carefully remove and put them into freezer bags. Keep in mind that mushrooms will expand slightly in the freezer, so give them about a 1/2-inch of breathing room in the bags.
Frozen cooked mushrooms will last up to nine months in the freezer.
Can You Freeze Mushrooms Raw?
While you certainly can take fresh mushrooms straight from the package to the freezer, it’s better to freeze mushrooms cooked than raw.
Why? It’s all about moisture. Because mushrooms contain so much water, defrosted raw mushrooms will be mushy and can have an unpleasant consistency in soups, pastas, and other dishes.
If you do decide to freeze raw mushrooms, however, be sure to evenly slice and flash-freeze them before you pack them into bags so they’ll freeze evenly. Plan to use them within six months.
How to Thaw Frozen Mushrooms
One of the best parts of cooking with frozen sliced mushrooms is there’s no need to defrost. Simply take them straight from the freezer and add to your recipe.
Plus, if you need to cut them into smaller or different pieces for a certain dish, or want to blend them into a soup, frozen mushrooms are easy to chop.
How to Use Frozen Mushrooms in Recipes
Whether your frozen mushrooms are raw, sautéed or steamed, they’re best served cooked. Try them in an array of recipes.