How to Sauté Mushrooms

5 from 3 votes

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Golden brown and lightly caramelized, sautéed mushrooms are a savory side, and a great topping for anything from a burger to a baked potato!

Sauteing mushrooms in large skillet and stirring with wood spoon.

Sautéed mushrooms can make almost anything better! Whether they’re piled on a Grilled NY Strip Steak, spooned over some polenta, arranged daintily on top of bruschetta, or plated on the side of some salmon, a scoopful of tender caramelized mushrooms adds savory substance to lots of dishes. They are also great in quesadillas, burritos, casseroles, soups, stews and ragouts, chilis, risottos, quiches, dips, pastas, and so on, and so on, and so on…Plus, I should probably mention that they are also a great side all on their own.

But how do you properly sauté mushrooms? Do you always need to cook mushrooms before eating? What’s the best type of mushroom to cook? Excellent questions, all!

Pork Schnitzel with Sautéed Mushrooms on white plate.

Sautéed Mushrooms: Golden brown and lightly caramelized, sautéed mushrooms are a savory side, and a great topping for anything from a burger to a baked potato!

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How Much Do Mushrooms Shrink When You Cook Them?

Mushrooms shrink down quite a bit! One pound of mushrooms may look like a lot, but they shrink down considerably when they are cooked. This happens because mushrooms have a very high water content. When the mushrooms are cooked, they release a lot of water and end up somewhere around ¼ of the original volume once browned. Here’s a handy table to help you remember how much your mushrooms will be shrinking when you cook them depending on volume:

Raw/Uncooked MushroomsCooked Mushrooms
4 cups 1 cup
3 cups about ¾ cup
2 cups ½ cup
1 cup ¼ cup
How much raw mushrooms shrink down when cooked.
Mushrooms being sauteed in a pan on the stove.

Ingredients

  • Mushrooms – It doesn’t really matter what mushrooms you use — all of them sauté up similarly. Personally, I love using cremini mushrooms, which I used when we took photos for this recipe.
  • Olive oil – Because there are so few ingredients in this dish, use a good olive oil!
  • Minced garlic – Mushrooms and garlic make wonderful companions, and the little boost of garlic is critical in this dish.
  • Salt and pepper – To taste.

How to Sauté Mushrooms

  1. Heat the skillet.
  2. Cook the mushrooms: Add the oil, then add the mushrooms and the garlic, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms have turned nicely browned. (The mushrooms will not get nicely browned and caramelized until the water that is released is evaporated.)
Woman adding mushrooms to a skillet.
  1. Season and serve: Taste and adjust seasonings, spoon into a serving bowl, or use as desired. Serve hot or warm.
Mushroom Bruschetta with Herbed Mayonnaise on a wooden plate.
Mushroom Bruschetta with Herbed Mayonnaise

What Kinds of Mushrooms are Best for Sautéing?

Whatever type floats your boat — an assortment of cremini, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms is lovely, but play around and see what you like. Plain old button mushrooms are just fine as well!

Can You Eat Mushrooms Raw?

It’s common knowledge that most nonpoisonous, edible mushrooms have toxins in them that need to be cooked out. However, there’s a lot of debate about which mushrooms can be eaten raw. While some experts may say that eating a small portion of uncooked mushrooms is safe, Mycologist Paul Stamets notes that the fungi’s strong cellular walls make them pretty difficult to digest and “eating raw mushrooms could be dangerous.” With all of these questions swarming around and not a lot of agreement in the scientific community, I tend to stick with sautéed mushrooms. (They taste better, anyway.)

Woman adding garlic to mushrooms in a pan.

Pro Cooking Tips

  • The mushrooms will not get nicely browned and caramelized until the water that is released is evaporated. So, while they might be cooked, if there is water left in the pan, they won’t brown up. Keep going until all of the water is gone and the mushrooms are tender and golden.
  • You should definitely think about doubling this recipe if you want more mushrooms in your meal. However, it is best to cook the mushrooms in two batches, which will allow them to caramelize nicely. If you have a large enough pan, you can do it in one batch.
  • Also see How to Cook Mushrooms and How to Cook with Dried Mushrooms for a refresher on the basics.

FAQs

How long do you need to cook mushrooms?

Generally, mushrooms will get to that browned, caramelized state after 8 to 10 minutes in the pan.

Can you eat mushroom stems?

Mushroom stems are edible, but they tend to be tougher than caps — so it’s better to remove them if you want sautéed shrooms that are tender and flavorful. You should trim off the bottom of the stems if you want to leave them on, as they can be dried out.

What to Serve With Sautéed Mushrooms

Sauteed polenta with Sautéed Mushrooms being added.

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5 from 3 votes

How to Sauté Mushrooms

Golden brown and lightly caramelized, sautéed mushrooms are a savory side, and a great topping for anything from a burger to a baked potato!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
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Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound sliced mushrooms (any assortment)
  • ¾ teaspoon minced garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Instructions 

  • Heat a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, allow to coat the bottom of the pan, then add the mushrooms and the garlic, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms have turned nicely browned.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings, spoon into a serving bowl, or use as desired. Serve hot or warm.

Notes

One pound of mushrooms may look like a lot, but they shrink down considerably when they are cooked. 
  • 4 cups raw/uncooked mushrooms – 1 cup cooked mushrooms
  • 3 cups raw/uncooked mushrooms – about ¾ cup cooked mushrooms
  • 2 cups raw/uncooked mushrooms – ½ cup cooked mushrooms
  • 1 cup raw/uncooked mushrooms – ¼ cup cooked mushrooms
 
The mushrooms will not get nicely browned and caramelized until the water that is released is evaporated. So, while they might be cooked, if there is water left in the pan, they won’t brown up, so keep going until all of the water is gone and the mushrooms are tender and golden.
You should definitely think about doubling this recipe if you want more mushrooms in your meal. However, it is best to cook the mushrooms in two batches, which will allow them to caramelize nicely. If you have a large enough pan, you can do it in one batch.

Nutrition

Calories: 57kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 6mg, Potassium: 363mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 4mg, Iron: 1mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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