This is the ultimate guide on the 10 most popular and common mushroom varieties in the world. Giving you an information overview and great healthy recipes for each mushroom kind.
Table Of Contents:
- What Are Mushrooms?
- Are Mushrooms Keto?
- Mushroom Types & Recipes:
- In Conclusion
I remember there was a time when I used to shudder at the thought of eating mushrooms. I don't know exactly when things changed for me, but I absolutely love them now!
Mushrooms are an incredibly versatile (and delicious) ingredient that can be eaten raw or cooked in a variety of ways, and used in countless dishes.
What Are Mushrooms?
Are mushrooms a vegetable?
A very common question and the answer is actually, no!
Mushrooms are a fungus! They are immediately recognizable by their domed cap (with gills underneath) on top of a stalk.
There are many types of mushrooms - some edible and some not. In this guide, we focus on the most common edible kind!
Are mushrooms a protein?
Mushrooms can have a very meaty flavor, as well as a meaty texture in some varieties, but although they are a source of protein, their protein content is fairly low.
They have about the same protein content as vegetables like:
Therefore they are not a great meat substitute.
Mushroom Nutrition and Benefits:
They are also packed with nutritional health benefits - and although it varies between different types of mushrooms, they are overall a good source of these nutrients:
- Beta Glucan
- B Vitamins
Are Mushrooms Keto?
Yes! Mushrooms are very low in calories and carbs, making them a perfect addition to your keto diet.
As seen in the previous sections, apart from being low carb, mushrooms also have a host of other health and nutrional benefits.
Listed below are the most popular and common mushroom varieties. Scroll down to find all the information you’ll need about each kind PLUS great recipes to use them in!
- Hen Of The Woods
Mushroom Recipes (By Type):
I’ve divided this section by mushroom type. It starts with a brief information overview of each mushroom, followed by a few healthy recipes that features each mushroom flavor perfectly.
If you’d like to skip to the specific RECIPE section, use the links below to scroll you down quickly.
- Healthy Button Mushroom Recipes
- Healthy Cremini Mushroom Recipes
- Healthy Portobello Mushroom Recipes
- Healthy Enoki Mushroom Recipes
- Healthy Shiitake Mushroom Recipes
- Healthy Oyster Mushroom Recipes
- Healthy Porcini Mushroom Recipes
- Healthy Hen Of The Woods Mushroom Recipes
Button, Cremini and Portobello Mushrooms:
Cremini, Portobello and Button Mushrooms are actually mushrooms of the same variety called Agaricus bisporus.
What makes them different is just the age of the mushroom. Crazy, right?
- Button Mushrooms are the youngest,
- Cremini Mushrooms are aged a little more (thus the browner color and more intense flavor), and finally,
- Portobello Mushroom have just been left to grow to a large size.
Although these mushrooms are technically “the same” mushroom, there is a noticeable difference in flavor.
Button Mushrooms have a very mild “woodsy” flavor and is very versatile. They can be used raw or cooked, in basically any dish.
Cremini’s have a deeper and more complex flavor than regular white Button Mushrooms. This difference in flavor is also noticeable when used raw, although it is a bit less noticable.
So, if you’re after a bolder flavor, go for Cremini over Button. The difference in price (Cremini Mushrooms tend to be more expensive) is well worth it if you’re trying to impress!
Portobello Mushrooms on the other hand, have an intense earthy, almost smoky flavor. It also has a very firm and meaty texture.
5 Healthy Button Mushroom Recipes:
- A Mushroom Sauce For Everything by RecipeTinEats.com
- Creamy Mushroom Soup by EverydayEasyEats.com
- 3 Ingredient BBQ Mushroom Skewer by LivingChirpy
- Risotto-Style Mushroom Zucchini by LivingChirpy
- Ground Beef Stroganoff by LivingChirpy
5 Healthy Cremini Mushroom Recipes:
- Italian Sautéed Mushrooms by OhSweetBasil.com
- Cream Mushroom Pasta by SaltAndLavender.com (Use Zucchini Noodles For Low-Carb or Keto)
- Buttery Garlicky Mushroom Rice by Diethood.com (Use Cauliflower Rice)
- Green Beans with Cremini Mushroom Sauce by FoodAndWine.com
- Pepper and Cremini Mushroom Skewers by FamilyCircle.com
5 Healthy Portobello Mushroom Recipes:
- Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms by HealthyRecipesBlogs.com
- Portobello Mushroom Bacon by MotherOfRecipes.com
- Chunky Portobello Veggie Burgers by TheKitchenWhisperer.com
- Keto Chicken Parmesan Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms by KudosKitchen.com
- Portobello Pizza Keto Stuffed Mushrooms by WholesomeYum.com
Enoki mushrooms are very delicate and unique in the mushroom family in the fact that they have an extremely mild and sweet, slightly fruity flavor.
While they have a slight crisp when raw, they become almost noodle-like in texture when cooked.
They are extremely popular in Asian cuisines, because of their versatility.
How To Cook Enoki Mushrooms?
Enoki mushrooms can be eaten raw or cooked in basically any and every way.
- Boiled in soup
- Deep fried
It’s an amazing recipe and a great addition to many dishes, because they are a good source of Iron and Copper, as well as Dietary Fiber, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus and Potassium. (See THIS fact sheet from Self.com).
Enoki Mushroom Recipes:
- Vegetable Pho with Enoki Mushrooms by FoodyFirst.com
- Enoki with Garlic Scallion Soy Sauce by VForVeggie.com
- Zucchini Enokie Stirfry from BeyondKimchee.com
- Mackerel Stew with Enoki Mushrooms by MyCakies.com
- Bacon Wrapped Enoki Mushrooms by Delish.com
Shiitake Mushrooms have a very rich, savory taste. They are one of the most popular mushroom varieties and for good reason - they have very diverse health benefits. See THIS great Shiitake Mushroom article by healthline.com.
Native to East Asia, they are eaten like vegetables.
They are eaten fresh, dried or in dietary supplements. Dried shiitake being the most popular.
Because of their great umami (savory/meaty) flavor they are an excellent choice for stir-fries, soups, stews and other dishes.
Shiitake Mushroom Recipes:
- Simple Shiitake Mushroom Chicken Ramen (Use Zoodles instead of Ramen!) by ProjectMealPlan.com.
- Vegan Shiitake Mushroom Bacon by CookingLight.com
- Brothy Shiitake Soup with Ginger and Garlic by MyCancaleKitchen.com
- Quick Sauteed Shiitake Mushrooms with Fresh Herbs by RealFoodForLife.com
- Sesame Asparagus and Shiitake Mushrooms by TheMom100.com
One of the most widely consumed mushrooms in the world - Oyster Mushrooms (when) cooked have a smooth, almost oyster like texture.
Many people argue that they even taste “seafoody“.
When incorporated into a dish, this becomes undetectable since the flavor is very mild and subtle.
Got some oyster mushrooms, but not sure what to do with them? Here’s a few great recipes to help you decide how to cook Oyster Mushrooms:
Oyster Mushroom Recipes:
- Pan Fried Oyster Mushrooms by TheSofisticatedCaveman.com
- Fried Oyster Mushrooms GiveRecipe.com
- Kimchi Egg Skillet with Oyster Mushrooms by AvocadoPesto.com
- Tom Yum Soup by KillingThyme.com
- Stir-Fried Oyster Mushrooms with Green Beans by KikuCorner.com
According to mushroom-appreciation.com, Porcini Mushrooms have a great strong nutty flavor and is a great addition to many dishes.
Because Porcini mushrooms are so difficult to cultivate, they tend to be hard to find and expensive when fresh.
Thus, it is more likely to find dried Porcini Mushrooms in a grocery store. This is still a great choice as dried Porcini still add a strong flavor to whichever dish you add them in.
Dried Porcini mushrooms need to be soaked in hot water for 10-20 minutes before use.
They have a high protein content, which makes them a great meat substitution in vegetarian dishes.
Porcini Mushroom Substitutes:
Because of the fact that Porcini Mushroom are a very gourmet, hard to find item - you’ll often need to find a substitute.
According to organicfacts.net, the best substitute for Porcini Mushrooms is Shiitake Mushroom, since the texture is similar. Although Shiitake Mushrooms has a much milder flavor AND are much more readily available.
Of course, you can also use regular button mushrooms, which will yield a similar texture, but a slightly different flavor.
Porcini Mushroom Recipes
- Porcini Mushroom Gravy by MakingThymeForHealth.com
- Polish Mushroom Soup by EarthyDelightsBlog.com
- French Onion Brisket with Porcini Mushrooms by ZenBelly.com
- Porcini Mushroom Pate by MyFoodBook.com
- Porcini Lovers’ Tagliatelle (Use Zoodles) by RachaelRayMag.com
Hen Of The Woods
Hen Of The Woods usually grow in clusters at the base of trees, particularly oaks. It is also known by its Japanese name “Maiktake”, as well as “Signorina Mushroom” in Italian communities.
This mushroom has a pleasant aroma, but can quickly start to smell very bad - due to it being a very short-lived mushoom (See THIS page on WildFoodUK.com)
The Maitake Mushroom has a good, strong mushroomy flavor, that gets intensified by drying.
Hen Of The Woods/ Maitake / Signorina Mushroom Recipes:
- Maitake Mushroom “Pulled Pork“ by MontereryMushrooms.com
- Grilled Thai Marinated Maitake Mushrooms by VeganInTheFreezer.com
- Whole Roasted Maitake with Miso Butter by Dartagnan.com
- Seared Maitake Mushrooms by Epicurious.com
- Maitake BBQ “Skirt Steaks“ by WickedHealthyFood.com
Mushroom are a delicious, and in most cases, affordable ingredient that is great on its own or incorporated into many dishes.
Low in calories, but high in nutrients AND delicious flavor to boot!
I hope this guide to the most common mushrooms helped you find some good mushroom inspiration! If you make any of these great recipes, or have any other recipes or tips to add - please let me know in the comments below!