If you’re someone who loves mushrooms, you may be interested in learning how to prepare them for tacos and other delicious recipes that your family will enjoy. With my expert tips and tricks, you’ll be able to cook mushrooms like a pro.
About this recipe
My family loves mushrooms (even the kids!), so I always ensure they’re on my grocery list. They’re easy to prepare and a great way to add veggies to your meals. You can enjoy them as a side dish or as a main meal, like in the mushroom tacos I’m sharing today!
Before we talk about the taco ingredients, let’s talk about the different mushrooms and how to prepare them for cooking!
What are mushrooms?
Mushrooms are a type of fungus that belongs to the kingdom of Fungi. They are distinctive in appearance, with a fleshy, umbrella-shaped cap and a stem. Mushrooms come in various sizes, shapes, and colors, depending on species.
They are widely consumed around the world and are known for their unique earthy flavor and versatile culinary uses. Mushrooms can be enjoyed cooked or raw and are commonly used in soups, stews, stir-fries, salads, and as a meat substitute in vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Types of mushrooms
There are so many different types of mushrooms. Here are just a few that we enjoy:
- Button mushrooms – This is probably the most common type of mushroom. They’re white with a mild flavor and come in sizes ranging from small (button size) to large.
- Cremini (or Crimini) – They are between a button mushroom and a portobello, which may also be called baby Bellas. They’re brown with a firm, meaty texture, and earthy flavor.
- Portobello – This is a cremini mushroom that’s fully matured. They are brown in color, with a meaty texture and large shape, making them perfect for stuffing or using as a bun for vegan burgers.
- Chanterelle – These are beautiful golden yellow. They taste earthy and nutty but milder than cremini mushrooms. They are a little more expensive but worth the splurge.
- Oyster – They can vary in color from light grey or beige to dark brown and have a cap that resembles a fan or an oyster. They have a mild flavor and work well in veggie stir-fries.
- Shiitake mushrooms have a brown cap resembling an umbrella and a meaty texture. These mushrooms are also great in stir-fries and pasta. Their stems are tough, so I recommend removing them before cooking and eating.
Nutritional benefits of mushrooms
Mushrooms have several nutritional benefits that make them a healthy addition to your diet. Here are some key benefits:
Low in calories: Mushrooms are low in calories, making them ideal for those watching their weight or looking for a satisfying yet low-calorie food option.
Good source of vitamins and minerals: Mushrooms are a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, potassium, copper, selenium, and B vitamins such as riboflavin and niacin. These nutrients contribute to overall health and are important for proper functioning of the body.
High in antioxidants: Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, which help protect the body against damage from harmful free radicals. Antioxidants also play a role in reducing inflammation and supporting a healthy immune system.
Source of fiber: Mushrooms are a good source of dietary fiber, which is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system and promoting regular bowel movements.
Support immune function: Some types of mushrooms, such as shiitake and maitake mushrooms, contain compounds that may help support the immune system and have been used in traditional medicine for their immune-boosting properties.
How to store fresh mushrooms
They are best stored in a paper bag on a shelf in the refrigerator. Keep them out of the crisper drawer, as there may be too much moisture.
Ingredients for vegan mushroom tacos
- Mushrooms – You’ll need 4 ½ cups of sliced mushrooms. You can use any kind, but meatier mushrooms like cremini or portobello work well.
- Olive oil – For flavor and to help sauté the mushrooms.
- Garlic – There is no better flavor with mushrooms than garlic, so I use 4 cloves in this recipe. You’ll want it minced so it easily mixes in with the mushrooms.
- Jalapeño – It’s optional, but a finely chopped jalapeño adds heat to the mushrooms and works well in tacos.
- Sea salt – For maximum flavor, ensure you use sea salt and not table salt.
- Pepper – You’ll just need a pinch of freshly ground black pepper.
- Lemon juice – One tablespoon is added at the end to enhance the flavor of the mushrooms and garlic. Make sure it’s freshly squeezed and not bottled lemon juice.
- Cilantro – Chopped fresh cilantro is added to the mushrooms just before serving. This is optional, but it adds a pop of flavor to the tacos.
- Tortillas – You’ll need some corn or flour tortillas to enjoy the mushroom filling as tacos.
How to sauté mushrooms for mushroom tacos or any recipe
- Once cleaned, cut your mushrooms into slices. Make sure they’re roughly the same thickness for even cooking.
- To prepare mushrooms, first heat up some oil in a large skillet. Next, add the mushrooms and let them cook without disturbing them or adding salt for 3-4 minutes until they brown on one side. Once you hear them squeak, move around and season them to your liking.
- Continue by adding minced garlic, salt, and pepper to a pan. Sauté the mushrooms over medium-high heat until they release their juices. Make sure to stir occasionally to prevent sticking, but avoid over-stirring as you want them to brown quickly.
- Cook for 5 -7 minutes, and then add the jalapeño (if using).
- Keep cooking the mushrooms until the juices cook off. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
- Sprinkle the chopped cilantro on top and serve in warmed tortillas.
How to clean mushrooms
- Use a dry paper towel to rub any dirt or debris off the mushrooms.
- If your mushrooms have a lot of dirt, give them a quick rinse under some running water and pat them dry with a paper towel.
- It’s important not to soak mushrooms as they absorb water, affecting how well they cook.
- Tacos (obviously!) or quesadillas would be delicious too.
- Serve them on a baguette or a slice of toast (mushroom toast is so tasty!)
- Try them as a topping for pizza.
- Serve them on top of brown rice, pasta, or risotto.
- Include them as a side dish to your main meal (think BBQ season!)
- Add them to soups or stews.
- Try adding them to sauces and dips for extra flavor.
Storage and freezing tips
Storage: Since the mushrooms take very little time to prepare, I think they are best enjoyed right after they are sautéed. If you want to prepare them in advance, leave the lemon juice and cilantro and store them in the fridge in a covered container for 3-4 days. When ready to eat, reheat them in a skillet and add lemon juice and cilantro.
Freezing: You can freeze sautéed mushrooms, but again, I think they are best enjoyed freshly cooked, especially in these tacos. If you want to freeze them, leave out the lemon juice and cilantro and let them completely cool in the fridge. Once cooled, arrange a single layer on a baking sheet and pop them in the freezer. Transfer them to a freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to a month.
Additional recipe tips
- Make sure you’re using fresh mushrooms for the best taste and texture. Fresh mushrooms should be dry and firm without any soft spots.
- You can use any type of mushroom for the tacos (or even a mix of mushrooms), but our favorites for this recipe are the meatier varieties like crimini and portobello.
- Before sautéeing, ensure your mushrooms are dry and cut them into the same size slices to ensure even cooking.
- If you want bigger pieces of mushrooms, try quartering them instead of slicing them.
- You can use a cast iron pan or a non-stick skillet to sauté the mushrooms. Make sure it is a large pan so the mushrooms can be spaced in a single layer.
- To ensure your mushrooms brown evenly, don’t overcrowd the pan. Cook them over medium-high heat to help them brown and caramelize quickly.
Other mushroom recipes to try
- Vegan Ragu with Mushrooms and Lentils
- Hummus with Roasted Garlicky Mushrooms
- Vegan Birria
- BBQ mushroom sliders
- Vegan Mushroom and onion sandwich
- Vegan Lentil and Mushroom Ragu
- Winter soup with leeks, mushrooms, and rice
- Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
- Air Fryer mushrooms
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What is the best way to prepare mushrooms?
- Iron Cast pan
- 4 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 jalapeno chopped minced *Optional
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Clean the mushrooms with a dry paper towel, scrape out the dirt only. Slice them more or less all the same thickness.
- Put a large pan to heat. Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and when hot add mushrooms . Leave until they squeak when you move them.
- Add the garlic, salt and pepper. The mushrooms will release some juice, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Let them 5 -7 minutes add the jalapeño, if using
- Let them until the juice from the pan dries, remove from heat and add lemon juice.
- Mix, sprinkle the chopped cilantro on top and serve.
Nutritional information of this recipe is only an estimate, the accuracy for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.