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A Guide to the Most Common Mushroom Varieties

Grocery stores are starting to carry more and more types of mushrooms; here's your guide.

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Variety of Mushrooms in a basket, closeup and overhead; Shutterstock ID 267579800; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of HomeShutterstock/Rebecca Fondren Photo

Mushrooms vary in size from teeny-tiny to large-and-in-charge. While you’ve probably seen all different sizes in the store, you might not know the difference in flavor, texture and use in cooking those different mushrooms possess.

Love mushrooms? Try these irresistible recipes.

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Portobello mushroomShutterstock / Rawpixel.com

Portobello


Especially popular in many vegan and vegetarian diets as a meat substitute in dishes like fajitas and burgers, portobellos are mild in flavor, but meaty in texture and big in size—hence the easy transition to being a substitute.

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Mushrooms chanterelle in the basket. Raw wild mushrooms chanterelles in basket with dill on wooden background. Composition with wild mushrooms;Shutterstock / Julia Lototskaya

Chanterelles

These fleshy golden mushrooms add a peppery and fruity flavor to your dishes, and last longer than your average mushrooms in the fridge—about 10 days. Prepare them without oil, since they have a high moisture content and will release water quickly. Try these delicately aromatic mushrooms in a marsala sauce or in a quiche with asparagus.

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Fresh whole white button mushrooms, or agaricus, in a bowl on a rustic wooden counter ready to be cleaned and washed for dinner, overheadStephen Gibson/Shutterstock

Button

The most common mushrooms, these buttons account for 90 percent of the United States mushroom intake annually according to the United States Department of Agriculture. These mushrooms are extremely versatile and work just as well in a lemony soup as they do a steak salad.

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group of porcini mushrooms on wooden backgroundShutterstock / Pronina Marina

Porcini

Similar in flavor to portobello, porcini’s are particularly popular in Italian dishes like risotto and pasta dishes. These mushrooms are high in protein, and loaded with fiber and antioxidants and have a hearty and nutty flavor profile. Available dried, fresh or in a powder, you’ll love them anyway you have them.

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Oyster mushroomsShutterstock / ORLIO

Oyster

While these don’t look like your average mushroom, there’s no need to be scared! Oyster mushrooms don’t have anything to do with oysters, and they may look exotic but they’re actually some of the most popular mushrooms out there. Add them to a mixed medley with pasta or on a flaky tartlet with your other favorite fungi.

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Containers of brown cremini mushroom at the farmers marketEQRoy/Shutterstock

Cremini

Sometimes mistaken for baby portobellos, these are really just a more mature button mushroom with a deeper flavor profile and color and a meatier cap. Blend them up with butternut squash for a hearty soup or mix them with apricot for a delicious stuffing in a tenderloin.

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Fine cuisine, Morchella esculenta, (commonly known as common morel, morel, yellow morel, true morel, morel mushroom)Mircea Costina/Shutterstock

Morels

These look like dried honeycombs, but are far more savory than sweet in flavor. These mushrooms can get pretty pricey, going for up to $20 a pound. If you can find them fresh, saute them with some butter, salt and pepper for fungi perfection. The dried option still adds great flavor to your ravioli or seafood primavera.

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Raw Shiitake mushrooms as high detailed close-up shot on a vintage wooden tableShutterstock / HandmadePictures

Shiitake

Grown mainly in China, Korea and Japan, shiitake mushrooms add a particular umami flavor to dishes and are popular in Asian cuisine. Give them a try in a hearty weeknight pot roast or in your favorite stir-fry.

Jacqueline Weiss
Jacqueline is a blogger and writer, passionate about sharing the latest in helpful tips and trends in food and cooking. In her spare time, you’ll find her trying new restaurants and experimenting in the kitchen.

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