12 Unexpected Ways to Experiment With Mushrooms
Consider weeknight dinners sorted.
Updated Oct 6, 2019 1:05 PM
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At first blush, mushrooms don’t inspire much culinary intrigue. They are arguably not a sexy ingredient. But don’t write them off just yet—not only were mushrooms recently predicted as a massive food trend but, due to the sheer number of varieties available, there are tons of ways to incorporate the vegetable into your recipe repertoire. Best of all, March is mushroom season. If there were ever a time to get experimental with fresh iterations of the veg, it would be now.
While traditionally a mainstay in plant-based diets, there are a plethora of ways to cook with mushrooms. If you want to go with a warm, filling dish during the last stretch of winter, consider something hearty like a creamy mushroom soup or gnocchi dish. Alternatively, welcome warmer weather with light, fresh ingredients—options like zesty Asada mushroom tacos or veggie-loaded summer pasta showcase the vegetable in unexpected ways. Whichever direction feels more your speed, here are 12 mushroom recipes that will fast become staples in your weeknight dinner rotation.
Try this for your next movie night in before you order takeout. With the perfect balance of cheesy decadence and healthy (okay, healthy-ish) ingredients, this vegetable-loaded pizza is a gourmet take on one of the simplest dinners ever. Pick up a store-bought dough (pro tip: Trader Joe’s has an excellent one) or go the extra mile and make your own.
With more than 2,000 pins on Pinterest, it looks like this dish is a crowd favorite. Substituting the traditional beef for shiitake mushrooms, this pho recipe is vegetarian friendly. Be sure to sauté your mushrooms lightly before adding to the broth for extra flavor.
Anything with polenta instantly becomes the ultimate comfort food. With slow-roasted mushrooms creating an earthy topping for the polenta, it’s the perfect recipe to get you through the last stretch of chilly nights.
Recipe creator Kendra Vaculin calls this a “no regrets pasta”—and between that accolade and Vaculin’s later description of the dish as having a “stroganoff vibe,” it sounds like our kind of meal. With a sizable amount of heavy cream, butter, and cheese, this is definitely one of the more decadent mushroom recipes. Whip it up on a lazy Friday night to reward yourself for a successful workweek.
While the idea of mushrooms on toast may not be as palatable as the perennial favorite that is avocado toast, you’ll be hooked after you try it once—particularly with this recipe, which features a creamy bean spread for an extra layer of flavor. If you’re in a rush for a quick dinner, it’ll be a lifesaver. Prep the spread ahead of time and keep a container of it in your fridge to use for simple dishes like this one.
If you’re the kind of person who might be offended at the idea of calling a vegetable of any kind a “steak,” think of this as a less literal substitution and more as a new way to try cooking mushrooms. Marinated portobello mushrooms charred to perfection make for either a great side dish or main course, depending on your eating habits.
You can’t go wrong with a mushroom-and-carb meal. Lightly toasted gnocchi provide textural interest that’ll be a welcome change of pace from the more creamy mushroom-based pasta dishes we all know and love. Plus, anything with gnocchi automatically feels a lot more upscale (just us?), so this dish is sure to impress whether you’re making it for your friends or your S.O.
This is not your average creamy mushroom soup. With a slightly spicy kick thanks to paprika and carefully considered ingredients (including flour for extra thickness), it’s an elevated dish that feels super-rich. This is one of those mushroom recipes that will be a staple every winter.
Mushroom “scallops” are a vegan-friendly hack that will make any recipe that much more filling. Zucchini and tomatoes make up the rest of the vegetable trifecta in this summery pasta dish, which will keep you satisfied without weighing you down.
Admittedly, the brownish green hue of this soup does not make the most appetizing first impression. But if you want a spicy soup that feels totally out of the box, you need to try it: Packed with such zesty ingredients as peppers (two kinds), salsa verde, and lime juice, it definitely does not skimp on flavor.
Risotto is one of those dishes that most people order at restaurants because they aren’t quite sure how to perfect it at home—which is why this easy-to-follow mushroom version will become a permanent addition to your recipe collection.
These tacos are another example of a mushroom-as-meat substitution that actually works. Whether gearing up for Meatless Mondays or Taco Tuesdays, you definitely won’t miss the beef in this vegetarian-friendly recipe. Simply roast the mushrooms or, if you live in a place where it’s already patio season, fire up the grill.
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