Have you ever needed mushrooms, but you don’t have any on hand? Maybe someone has an allergy, or you need that earthy, meaty flavor and texture in a recipe? Look no further than this handy list of fourteen awesome substitutes for mushrooms.
The first thing to think of when substituting food is what you need it for, and how you planned to use the ingredient. Some people love mushrooms, others hate them, but if you’re planning to replace them, their role in the recipe should always be at the forefront of your mind.
You’ll often find mushrooms in the below recipes:
- Stir fries
- Vegetarian Burgers & Barbecues
- Chicken Marsala
- Beef Wellington
Different substitutes don’t work for all dishes, so it’s good to know what you’re getting into beforehand. This list of fourteen awesome mushroom substitutes will let you know what they’re best suited to, so you’ll use the right replacement every time.
14 Mushroom Substitutes
The texture of tofu is pretty similar to that of a mushroom, with a springy, spongy mouth feel. Tofu, like mushrooms, will often take on some of the flavor of whatever you’ve cooked it in. Tofu won’t stand up to lengthy cooking times, and when substituting tofu for mushrooms, be sure to use a nice, firm tofu. Otherwise it could break down in the cooking process.
Tofu is best for stir fries and fast-cooking dishes. Avoid it in soups and stews.
Tempeh is a similar food to tofu. It’s made from fermented soy beans, and has a slightly firmer, chewier texture than tofu. Like tofu, you can use it as a substitute for mushrooms in stir fries or another flash-cooking recipe, but it’s not well-suited to stew or soup.
Zucchini is really enjoying a resurgence as a food substitute lately! Like zoodles, which can replace pasta noodles, zucchini’s spongy texture and tendency to take on the flavor of whatever it’s cooked in makes it a great mushroom substitute. Its soft texture is pretty similar to that of a cooked mushroom, too.
Onion isn’t a texture substitute for mushroom, but its aromatic quality and flavor - particularly when caramelized - can work as a great substitute in long-cooking dishes. Onions are great in soups, stews, and sauces. There’s a wide range of options, including different cooking methods. Onion is often already present in slow-cooking recipes with mushroom as well, so you just need to increase the amount of onion you’re using to substitute for mushroom.
With its soft, spongy texture, eggplant is another popular substitute for mushrooms. Eggplant, because of its high water content and soft texture, can break down when exposed to heat for a long time. Be sure not to overcook your eggplant when using it in place of mushrooms. Eggplant is a great mushroom substitute in soups and stews, or even in the duxelle for beef Wellington. Be sure to adjust your quantity in the duxelle as eggplants are higher in water content than mushrooms.
6.Sun Dried Tomatoes
Sun dried tomatoes are probably the best substitute for anyone at your dinner table who doesn’t like mushrooms. With the sweet, earthy flavor, these tasty little tomatoes don’t often taste similar to mushrooms, but they can easily substitute for them in a pasta sauce or on pizza. Use the kind that aren’t preserved in oil to get a closer flavor profile, and let them rehydrate in the dish or in boiling water to mimic the mushroom’s texture.
Butternut squash and pumpkin can be surprisingly successful seasonal replacements for mushroom in soups, stews, or a Stroganoff. They are sweeter than mushrooms, but squash’s earthy natural flavor and tendency to pick up the flavor of whatever dish it’s cooked in will work well as a mushroom substitute.
Artichoke hearts are one of the best mushrooms substitutes for pizza. Canned hearts, preserved in water rather than marinated, are best, as the marinated variety often has a distinctive flavor. Their naturally mild, earthy flavor is remarkably similar to that of the mushroom. The texture is really very close, too!
Olives are a great mushroom substitute in pasta or on pizza. Kalamata olives are best, but you can use any variety. Their salty, earthy taste and soft texture are perfect for imitating the mushroom. However, given the olive’s naturally salty flavor, you don’t want to use too many, or they’ll affect the overall palate of your recipe.
High in protein and naturally neutral in flavor, the chickpea is another great alternative to the mushroom. You can use chickpeas in soups and stews very easily. Remember that dry chickpeas need to be cooked before you use them, although the canned variety are usually ready to eat.
Lentils are legumes, like chickpeas, and with their earthy flavor are another awesome mushroom substitute. Lentils come in a variety of colors, and we recommend brown and green to replace mushrooms. You’ll need to cook dried lentils in boiling water for twenty to thirty minutes before eating.
The brown and green lentils will hold their shape when cooking without going all mushy, and they can easily replace mushrooms in a stir fry if you use them sparingly.
Leeks, related to the onion, have a very similar flavor, and are used similarly in recipes. Leeks are a little sweeter than mushrooms but you can enjoy their earthy taste in chicken marsala, soups, stews, or on pizza if you’re feeling adventurous. For pizza, try caramelizing the leeks first.
Potatoes absorb plenty of liquid and therefore the flavor of whatever they’re cooking in - just like mushrooms!
If you cook your potatoes in their jackets (that is, with the skin on) they will retain some of the earthy flavor we associate with mushroom. Potatoes are best substituted for mushroom in something like chicken marsala or beef Stroganoff, where hearty, earthy ingredients are expected.
Carrots are most appropriate as a substitute for mushroom in beef Wellington. Their texture is far from that of mushrooms, but in beef Wellington you can puree carrots instead of mushrooms to make your duxelle.
Carrots are much sweeter than mushrooms, and despite growing under the ground they lack the mushroom’s earthy flavor. However, you can use carrots instead of mushrooms in stir fries, soups, and stews.
Best Substitute for Mushrooms in Pasta
If you want to substitute for mushrooms in pasta you should use Onions, Zucchini, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Olives, Leeks in a 1:1 ratio. That is, for every gram of mushrooms, use a gram of your substitution.
Best Substitute for Mushrooms on Pizza
For pizza, you can use Onions, Artichokes (canned hearts), Sun Dried Tomatoes, Olives, or Leeks. Use a 1:1 ratio for all these ingredients except olives, where you should use fewer olives than you would mushrooms.
Best Substitute for Mushrooms in Stir Fry
In a stir fry, try using Zucchini, Tofu, Lentils, Leeks, or Onions. Zucchini and tofu can follow a 1:1 ratio, lentils in 1:4 as they expand during cooking, and leeks or onions in a 1:2 ratio.
Best Substitute for Mushrooms in Stroganoff
In a beef Stroganoff, use Zucchini, Squash, Potatoes, or Pearl Onions. Zucchini and pearl onions can follow a 1:1 ratio, while potatoes and squash with their higher levels of starch should follow 1:2.
Best Substitute for Mushrooms in Chicken Marsala
Potatoes, pearl onions, carrots or leeks are best for marsala in 1:1 ratio except for potatoes, in 1:2.
Best Substitute for Mushrooms in Beef Wellington
We recommend onions, eggplant, or carrots in the duxelle. Use a 1:1 ratio, except for the high-water eggplant, which is better off in a 1:2 ratio.
Best Substitute for Mushrooms in Soups and Stews
In a soup or a stew, try using Leeks, Zucchini, Lentils, Chickpeas, Squash, or Carrots. A 1:1 ratio works for zucchini, carrots and leeks. A 1:2 ratio works for chickpeas and squash, and 1:4 for lentils.
Best Substitute for Mushrooms in Veggie Burger
Use chickpeas or carrots to make a homemade veggie burger.
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