31 Days of Vegetables

Mushrooms: The Best Ways to Pick Them, Cook Them, and Eat Them

updated Jul 9, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

Mushrooms are the little luxuries of the vegetable world: rich, meaty, deeply savory when cooked. There’s just something about that taste of mushrooms that has us greedy for them like hobbits, chasing them down to cook into chicken Marsala and steak tips. But what makes a mushroom worth eating? Want to eat more of them? Start here.

The Mushroom Top 5

A few mushroom facts and good ideas to spark your appetite.

  1. The most popular mushroom recipe on Pinterest.
  2. Yes, you can wash mushrooms (but a “shower, not a bath”).
  3. How to hunt for morel mushrooms.
  4. The healthiest way to cook mushrooms, according to science.
  5. Definitely try this major twist on mushroom pizza.

Are Mushrooms Really Vegetables?

Botanically? No, mushrooms are not vegetables. They’re not even plants, but fungi. Culinarily, yes, mushrooms are treated as vegetables and prepared primarily in savory dishes.

Are Mushrooms Good for You?

Yes, mushrooms are good for you! Even though they aren’t green and leafy like more stereotypical vegetables, they are packed with vitamins and are quite low in calories (if you track calories and consider that important to your eating style). Some varieties of mushrooms are particularly high in Vitamin D.

Types of Mushrooms

The most easily found mushroom is the white button mushroom.

  • In Praise of the Button Mushroom

Here are some looks at types of mushrooms beyond the

basic white button mushrooms

How to Choose the Best Mushrooms

Look for mushrooms that are smooth and plump with no gooey or mushy spots. Try to avoid mushrooms with excessive browning on the caps.

How Long Do Mushrooms Last?

Mushrooms should be refrigerated. They last at most a week in the refrigerator. It’s smart to use mushrooms up promptly before they turn brown and slimy on their caps. Most of the time it’s best just to leave mushrooms in their store packaging. Here is some advice on storing them.

Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms?

According to the American Kennel Club, dogs should be kept away from wild mushrooms, which are hard to identify and can very easily be toxic. Store-bought commercial mushrooms are generally safe for them to eat, but are often cooked with fats and seasonings that aren’t ideal for dogs. As always, speak to your pet’s veterinarian if you have any questions or want confirmation on serving your pet people food.

The Best Ways to Cook Mushrooms

Ready to cook up a mess of mushrooms? Start here.

Plus …

The Best Ways to Use Up Leftover Mushrooms

The first plan of attack if you have too many mushrooms is to cook them on the stovetop, then freeze them in a sealed bag for use later as a side dish or in a stew.

You can also dry mushrooms in the oven.

  • How to Dry Mushrooms in the Oven

Our Top 20 Mushroom Recipes

Twenty absolutely moreish recipes for your mushroom-loving soul.

What’s your favorite recipe or use for mushrooms? Any favorite way to cook it?

31 Days of Vegetables: How to fall in love with vegetables in 31 days. How many of these splendid veg have you eaten this month? Take a look at the whole list and take our July challenge to eat every single one!