The Best Pan-Seared Mushrooms Recipe for a Fast Weeknight Side

We are an Amazon Affiliate and earn from qualifying purchases. For more information please see our disclosure page.

Learn how to make pan-seared mushrooms for deep umami flavor and a quick savory side dish with one healthy vegetable. 

Here’s how to pan-sear mushrooms: First, clean them with a damp towel, dry them, chop them into quarters, cook them in a hot frying pan for about  4 minutes at high heat, then reduce the heat to medium for 5 minutes. Finally, season with olive oil, vinegar, and parsley and serve them up hot!

Making pan-seared mushrooms is not only deeply delicious, but it’s also incredibly easy and probably takes less time than you think. Use this guide to make beautiful dark brown mushrooms in a frying pan for dinner tonight. 

Three tips for a 5-star mushroom experience

If you don’t think you like pan-seared mushrooms, it may be because you’ve only had soggy or limp mushrooms in the past. However, with a few important tips, you can perfect crisp, golden mushrooms that are soft but not floppy. 

Here are three important tips to keep in mind before you start cooking your mushrooms:

  1. Give them the space they need

The number one key to making the best pan-seared mushrooms is to give them the space they need in the skillet. First, make sure to use a large skillet. The bigger the better! Secondly, when you add the mushrooms to the pan, keep them separated. If you crowd them together, you’ll end up with a mushy mess that only resembles mushrooms. By giving the fungi some breathing room in the skillet, the mushrooms will sear, not steam. This is how you develop a nice dark brown crust on the outside and delicious caramelized flavor. 

  1. Wash and dry them well

Using too much water to clean your mushrooms can be a major mistake and can make the difference between crisp seared mushrooms and soggy, mushy ones.  It’s true that mushrooms are dirty (they grow in soil, after all!), but don’t wash them like other types of produce. Instead of rinsing the mushrooms under running water, use damp paper towels to gently remove the dirt from the surface of the fungi. Then, use a dry towel to gently dry the mushrooms before searing. Moisture is the enemy of crispiness so removing as much water as possible is key to that sear you’re after

  1. Season wisely

Mushrooms have a naturally earthy flavor. You can easily play to their meaty texture and natural umami notes by adding the right amount of seasoning to your pan-seared mushrooms. Salt is always a must for seasoning vegetables, but a splash of acid in the form of vinegar, wine or citrus juice can really liven up the flavors of your dish. And fresh herbs add a pop of color, freshness, and a refreshing taste to balance the rich earthiness of mushrooms. 

Other seasonings that pair well with mushrooms include:

  • Garlic and other alliums like onion, shallot, and scallions
  • Cheese, especially hard cheeses like parmesan
  • Greens, like spinach and kale
  • Dried herbs, including thyme, oregano, and rosemary

What kind of mushrooms are best for pan-searing?

There are over 10,000 varieties of mushrooms in the world. And while we only know that several dozen of these species are safe to eat, each variety has a unique set of characteristics, from flavor to texture to appearance.

Some of the most common varieties of edible mushrooms for pan-searing include:

  • Baby bella
  • Portobello
  • White
  • Button
  • Oyster
  • King
  • Shiitake

How to pan-sear mushrooms

With these tips in mind, it’s time to get in the kitchen and start cooking your ‘shrooms! Let’s get to the recipe for easy and delicious pan-seared mushrooms. 

Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make this quick and easy vegetarian side dish to feed 4:

  • 1 pound of mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 1 piece of chopped parsley leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Note that you can use any variety of mushrooms for this recipe. Button, white, crimini, portobello, shiitake, oyster, and other specialty mushrooms are all delicious pan-seared. Feel free to use a mix if you like!

Prepping the mushrooms

Step 1: Clean the mushrooms

Avoid placing the mushrooms under running water or soaking them in a bowl. Instead, clean the fungi with a damp paper towel. Gently pat the mushrooms to remove any dirt. Then carefully dry them with a clean dry paper towel.

Step 2: Cut the mushrooms

Using a chef’s knife, cut the mushrooms into quarters on a cutting board. If your mushrooms have stems, leave them intact and slice directly through the stems.  

As always, try to make your cuts as even as possible. That way, they’ll cook at the same rate!

Cooking the mushrooms

Step 1: Heat a frying pan

Heat a large frying pan on the stove over high heat. Wait for 2-3 minutes, until the pan is hot. 

Step 2: Cook the mushrooms for the first time

Add a drizzle of olive oil or a pat of butter to the hot skillet and swirl the pan to coat the bottom in a thin layer of fat. 

Next, carefully place the mushrooms in the pan. Instead of dumping all of your mushrooms in at once, add them to the pan in small batches. And remember to ensure that there is space between each mushroom piece. If necessary, use two skillets or work in batches. 

Sear the mushrooms undisturbed for 2 minutes. Then flip them and sear for another 2 minutes undisturbed.

Step 3: Reduce the heat

Once the mushrooms are nice and brownish on both sides, reduce the heat to medium. Cook the mushrooms for 5 more minutes. Stir them every minute or so. Remove the pan from the heat when the mushrooms are dark brown and tender.

Step 4: Season the mushrooms and serve

With the mushrooms still in the pan, add the vinegar, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and chopped parsley. Gently stir to combine everything together. 

Finally, plate and enjoy a delicious meal!

How do you know when pan-seared mushrooms are cooked?

Cooked mushrooms are slightly tender and look brownish. After 5 to 10 minutes of cooking, they’ll start to change color. By the time they look dark brown, gently poke them with a fork. If the fork yields little resistance, the mushrooms are done and you can serve them up. 

How do you cook mushrooms without getting them soggy?

The best way to prevent soggy mushrooms are to keep the heat high and the mushrooms separated. There are two things’ll make mushrooms soggy, low heat and crowding.

If the heat isn’t high enough, the mushrooms will steam instead of sear. This happens because, at low and medium heat, mushrooms will release moisture and end up steamed (and mushy) even if you haven’t added water. 

Crowding the mushrooms in the pan will leave you with a similar result. If you have too many mushrooms together, they will end up steamed and not seared.

What to serve with pan-seared mushrooms?

Depending on the flavors you add to your skillet of mushrooms, you can serve this dish with a wide range of entrees. Mushrooms pair especially well with red meat, so try serving pan-seared mushrooms alongside slices of beef roast

You can also turn this simple recipe into a complete meal by adding a poached or fried egg on top or serving the mushrooms in a sandwich or wrap. 

Other ways to cook mushrooms

There are several other great ways to cook any variety of mushrooms. Once you master pan-seared mushrooms, try these other fantastic and flavorful cooking methods with your favorite funghi:

  • Oven-roasted
  • Sautéed
  • Puréed
  • Make into a souffle
  • Stuffed into crepes
  • Atop pizza
  • As a creamy pasta sauce
  • As a delicious dumpling filling
mushrooms

Pan-seared Mushrooms

This is the best way to make crisp pan-seared mushrooms that are golden-brown on the outside and soft in the center.
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Cutting board
  • Chef's knife
  • Large skillet
  • Spatula

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound of mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 1 piece of chopped parsley leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Clean and dry the mushrooms with paper towels.
  • Using a chef’s knife, cut the mushrooms into quarters on a cutting board. If your mushrooms have stems, leave them intact and slice directly through the stems.
  • Heat a large frying pan on the stove over high heat. Wait for 2-3 minutes, until the pan is hot.
  • Add a drizzle of olive oil or a pat of butter to the hot skillet and swirl the pan to coat the bottom in a thin layer of fat.
  • Carefully place the mushrooms in the pan. Instead of dumping all of your mushrooms in at once, add them to the pan in small batches.
  • Sear the mushrooms undisturbed for 2 minutes. Then flip them and sear for another 2 minutes undisturbed.
  • Once the mushrooms are nice and brownish on both sides, reduce the heat to medium. Cook the mushrooms for 5 more minutes. Stir them every minute or so. Remove the pan from the heat when the mushrooms are dark brown and tender.
  • With the mushrooms still in the pan, add the vinegar, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and chopped parsley. Gently stir to combine everything together.
  • Plate and serve!
Keyword pan-seared mushrooms

Share with your friends

Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email