9 Mushroom Substitutes You May Already Have (Best Options)

Mushrooms are culinary vegetables that can add flavor and texture to your meals. Numerous recipes require mushrooms, but these edible fungi are either loved or hated, and substitutes can come in handy.

Mushrooms can be substituted with a variety of plants and non-meat-based options. Some options may change your recipe and others, may have little impact on your meal. Mushrooms can be substituted with zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, eggplant, garbanzo beans, potatoes, tofu, onions, cilantro, tempeh, or vegan meat. 

Mushrooms are a versatile ingredient that, oftentimes, due to likes or availability, may need to be substituted. They are difficult to keep fresh and many people do not like them. The following options can help you alter your meals without drastically changing your recipes.

What Does Mushroom Taste Like?

Mushrooms come in a variety of species and each may have a distinct flavor or texture. Overall, mushrooms pair well with other vegetables, meats, and sauces.

Taste: Mushroom flavors affect the umami taste sense. These plants are savory and often meaty in flavor. They will have an earthy taste; the size and variety of mushrooms will dictate different flavors.

Texture: Mushrooms are spongy in texture. When raw, the vegetables can be firm with a fresh earthy scent, but once cooked will lose firmness quickly. Certain varieties of mushrooms may require their stem to be trimmed before cooking.

9 Mushroom Substitutes To For Your At Home Recipes

Mushrooms are a flexible vegetable that requires little preparation. Each substitute, may not be appropriate for every recipe. Be sure to choose a substitute that will complement its respective recipe. Food allergies and costs can impact your choice of mushroom substitute.

Onions

There are a variety of onions to choose from, and while they do not have a taste match to mushrooms, their potency and texture will help your recipe pack the flavor and vitamins needed.

Red onions can be potent and may overpower your meal. Be sure to only use this substitute if your mushrooms were meant to pack a ton of flavor into your meal. Sweeter onions such as yellow and white onions are a milder option for your recipe. To achieve a similar, mushroom texture, be sure to cook your onions and chop coarsely. A coarse, cooked onion, may meet your need to add have or add texture to your recipe.

Potatoes

Potatoes are very easy to find year-round and are a great option to swap out mushrooms for your recipe. Potatoes are a starchy vegetable but can be sliced and diced to mimic your mushroom. Their overall flavors can be bland, but like mushrooms, will absorb the flavors of your recipe easily.

Consider peeling your potatoes before cooking or keeping the skins on for a firmer, earthier flavor. Russet and Idaho potatoes will be the easiest and largest option while a fingerling or baby potatoes may offer a creamier and softer flavor and texture.

Eggplant

Eggplant is a large, oblong-shaped, purple vegetable that can easily replace mushrooms in your recipe. Many people do not like eggplant, but for those that do, their sweet taste and crunchy texture will complement a variety of meals.

Eggplants are packed with vitamins and minerals and a perfectly cooked eggplant can mimic the texture of a mushroom These vegetables can be easily overcooked; take care when preparing. Their thick purple skin can be left on or peeled off of the vegetable.

Zucchini

Zucchini is a type of squash vegetable that can add flavor and sweetness to your dish. Their green exterior and soft, sweet interior pair well with numerous dishes. These vegetables are mild in tastes and can be cooked slightly for a firm texture or fully cooked for a softer mouthfeel.

Similar to eggplant, zucchini can be overcooked easily. When cooked too long, it will not hold its shape and can become too soft to serve as a mushroom substitute.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are a potent substitute that can alter a dish. These dried tomatoes are sautéed and dried for a pungent tomato flavor. These work well in a variety of dishes or can be used as toppings in your recipe.

These will change the flavor or your recipe and should be used cautiously as their flavor and texture will not work for all meals.

Garbanzo Beans

Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, are a nutritious and versatile bean that compliments a variety of meals and cuisines. These beans are used in many Mediterranean and Indian dishes. They have a starchy, potato texture that has firm outer skin.

These beans are often used in cold dishes and salads. They can be used as toppings. Chickpeas may also be used in hot sauces and dishes. Their distinct mild flavor makes them a great substitute for mushrooms in your recipes.

Cilantro

Cilantro is a popular topping and seasoning in Mexican and South American dishes. This leafy spice has a fruity strong flavor that pairs well with chicken, beef, pork, salsas, and salads.

The green leaves contain the flavor and aromas. Be sure to wash away any rotting leaves before use and chop finely to release their flavorful oils. The stems of this spice can be removed or chopped finely with the leaves. Cilantro is best when used fresh, but when dried may provide a milder flavor. This substitute will not overfill your meal but can help remove mushrooms and add flavor.

Tempeh

Tempeh is an Indonesian fermented soy product that is similar to tofu. Compared to tofu, tempeh contains more protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins. Tempeh has a firm texture and as it ages, it develops a distinctive earthy flavor.

This substitute for mushrooms can provide a similar texture and earthy flavor. Tempeh can be cooked in a variety of ways, but deep-frying and stir-frying are the easiest. Be sure to dice your tempeh before cooking.

Vegan Meat

Plant-based meat products are gained popularity in recent years. They are easily found at many grocery stores. Vegan meat options vary in plant base, but Impossible Meats and Beyond Burger are very popular.

These meatless substitutes can be cooked and diced. They can be cooked with the main dish or as a standalone option for mushrooms.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mushroom Substitutes

How can I get mushroom flavor without mushrooms? There is no one direct substitute for mushrooms that mimic taste and texture.

If the texture is the main concern, opt for tempeh or tofu. If the flavor is what you are concerned about, opt for an earthy vegetable with meat stock or liquid smoke added. If you wish to change your meal altogether, feel free to omit mushrooms altogether.

How do I make beef wellington without mushrooms? Beef Wellington is one of the most popular mushroom-based dishes. Swap out the mushrooms for a minced leafy green vegetable such as spinach or arugula.

Another option is to finely chop roasted nuts or process them in a food processor. Both options will work to help keep your beef wellington tasting like beef wellington.

What is the best mushroom substitute? Mushroom varieties vary in size, color, texture, and taste. They are difficult to mimic, but tempeh’s firmness can match the texture of a mushroom.

Tempeh can also be seasoned with sauces and spices to take on a variety of flavors. Their versatility makes them one of the best options to replace mushrooms in your recipe.

Wrap up

Mushrooms are a unique vegetable that can serve as an afternoon snack or part of a more elaborate recipe. Often, they are difficult to find or not liked, and substituting them out of your meals can be easy and inexpensive.

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