Mushrooms come in so many varieties, and can be prepared in so many different ways, that the novice cook might feel slightly overwhelmed by it all. They take a little bit of care to select, clean, and prepare, but no matter what final dish they’re a part of, they pay serious dividends in both flavor and depth. So here are The Takeout’s best ideas for what to do with those mushrooms: a crop of recipes that show just how versatile fungus can be.
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Cream of Mushroom Soup
The store-bought canned version of this classic soup can be gloopy and pale, better used as an ingredient rather than being the main event. This version of Cream of Mushroom Soup is made much more complex thanks to a base of stock formed from boiling pork and chicken bones together, concentrating their flavors to achieve spectacular depth. It’s a meaty, umami dinnertime revelation that uses mushrooms three different ways. Get the recipe for Cream of Mushroom Soup here.
Soy-Wasabi Butter Mushrooms
This recipe for Soy-Wasabi Butter Mushrooms takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish, and the resulting dish is a life-changer. (We wouldn’t say that unless we truly meant it.) Make it your go-to side dish when you’re looking for something satisfying, flavorful, and vegetarian. You can adjust the amount of wasabi if you can’t handle the heat, but you’ll want to stick with the specified amount of butter—butter is key. Get the recipe for Soy-Wasabi Butter Mushrooms here.
Caramelized Mushroom Pasta
Though this recipe for Caramelized Mushroom Pasta takes a decent amount of time to come together, nearly all of that time is inactive, requiring little more than occasional stirring. It’s built on the backs of two whole pounds of mushrooms, because when an ingredient tastes this good, why skimp on it? Simmering the mushrooms with olive oil until their moisture evaporates helps them caramelize to a rich amber color, concentrating and elevating their flavor. With this trick in your back pocket, you’ll never settle for mediocre mushrooms again. Get the recipe for Caramelized Mushroom Pasta here.
Mushroom & Beer Runzas
Runzas are stuffed yeast rolls by way of Nebraska, where they were popularized by German immigrants. Traditionally they’re filled with ground beef, onions, and either cabbage or sauerkraut—but we’ve swapped out the beef for lots of mushrooms, and the result is spectacular. Best of all, a can of beer is split between the dough and the filling. What could be better? Get the recipe for Mushroom & Beer Runzas here.
The word “fajita” means “little belt” in Spanish, and refers to a cut of beef (usually skirt steak) that’s sliced into thin pieces and cooked. But these Mushroom Fajitas prove how easy it is to make a vegetarian swap for steak without losing flavor or heft. This recipe also includes instructions for homemade pico de gallo and guacamole, so you can assemble the whole spread the next time you sit down to a big family meal or entertain guests. Get the recipe for Mushroom Fajitas here.
Somerset’s Mushroom Bolognese
This recipe for mushroom bolognese tagliatelle comes from the Chicago restaurant Somerset, provided by Michelin-starred chef Lee Wolen. This vegetarian pasta feels like the last thing in the world that could be labeled vegetarian—it’s rich and indulgent, even for lifelong carnivores. The dish feels meaty and substantial, and it’s worth every minute you invest in it. Get the recipe for Somerset’s Mushroom Bolognese here.
Mushrooms on Toast with Mornay Sauce
Just because this meal is meat-free doesn’t mean it’s not indulgent. Upon a sturdy canvas of white bread, gussied-up mushrooms take center stage, enrobed in a thick, cheesy sauce and runny egg yolk. The ooh-la-la part comes from the Mornay sauce, a a bechamel mixed with cheese; its flavors are deepened with mustard, aromatics, and bay leaves. You’ll hardly be able to get this meal onto a plate before digging in. Get the recipe for Mushrooms on Toast here.
Air Fried Harissa Mushrooms with Toasted Couscous
Air fryers can take vegetables—or, in this case, fungi—from “okay” to “outstanding” in a matter of minutes, lending a crispy exterior and getting everything brown and toasty without becoming soggy or mushy along the way. If you’re wondering whether to invest in an air fryer, this recipe might be all the convincing you need. In addition to the mushrooms, cooked couscous gets its turn in the fryer basket, too, and the whole dish is livened up with bright lemon juice. Get the recipe for Air Fried Harissa Mushrooms here.
Lazy Lasagna With Mushrooms And White Bolognese
Lasagna is one of those dishes that can be sort of overwhelming to face. So many steps! Enter lazy lasagna, which eliminates all the layering by just using large cheese-filled ravioli to roll that into one step, no smearing or spreading involved. Boil ’em up, stack them in, and layer with homemade mushrooms and sauce. It’s far less fussy than traditional lasagna, but still almost entirely made from scratch. Get the recipe for Lazy Lasagna With Mushrooms And White Bolognese here.
Ram-don à la Parasite
Parasite is not a horror movie, technically, but it does inspire a certain type of dread, which sets in when the wealthy Park family tells the housekeeper to prepare a bowl of “ram-don.” Ram-don is a portmanteau of ramen and udon, an Americanized translation of a popular South Korean dish called jjapaguri. Jjapaguri is just two cheap packaged brands of instant noodles—Chapagetti and Neoguri—cooked together in the same pot. But the Parks’ recipe includes seared Hanwoo beef, one of the most expensive meats in the world. It’s this blend of everyday fare and one-percenter indulgence that we wanted to recreate in our own recipe for ram-don, complete with oyster mushrooms to add an extra touch of elegance. Get the recipe for Ram-don here.