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These sauteed mushrooms swimming in garlic deliciousness will convert any mushroom skeptic. This versatile mushroom side dish uses just five ingredients and is ready in just a few minutes – perfect for quick weekday dinners.
There’s no one sure-fire way how to sauté mushrooms, but is there any savory dish that isn’t improved by garlic? I love mushrooms and if you’re here, you probably do too. And these caramelized mushrooms are a delicious alternative to the traditional pan-fry method (aka oil only).
And, even better, these sauteed garlic mushrooms can be made with any mushroom type – I’m talking traditional white button mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, mixed wild, cremini, white, oyster, or whatever you’ve got to hand.
Mushrooms are super high in protein, so this side dish is easy to use for any meal of the day. Try them with your breakfast toast (additional avocado is very much encouraged!), served with an easy chicken, fish, or vegan-friendly protein, sprinkle over pasta, or enjoy with other veggies for a complete dinner.
They’re also easy to add to other meals, like eggs, pizzas, burgers, grains, and more. This sauteed mushroom recipe are so versatile, they can liven up any meal.
How to Clean Mushrooms Before Sautéing Them
Pan-fried mushrooms need to be cleaned thoroughly before cooking to remove any dirt and bacteria. I usually use a damp towel to clean them, but if needed, rinse them under running water – but don’t let them soak.
Dry completely – you don’t want any extra moisture on your mushrooms.
How to Make Sauteed Mushrooms with Garlic
For this sauteed mushroom recipe, all you’ll need are mushrooms, butter, fresh garlic, fresh thyme (or your favorite herbs), salt, and pepper – all pantry staples!
Chef’s Tip: If you want to avoid the chance of burning the butter, you could use ghee (clarified butter) or use a combination of butter and oil, which helps to keep the butter from burning.
Once the mushrooms are completely dry, I like to slice them thinly. You can make thicker slices or keep them whole – this will depend on your preference and on the type of mushrooms you’re using, so it’s your call.
Then, mince or grate the garlic. You can use a garlic press and press it directly into a pan – it’ll save washing extra dishes!
Add the mushrooms to a large, dry pan (no butter or oil) over medium heat for around 8-10 minutes. Flip them midway, but don’t touch them otherwise – this will make your garlic mushrooms deliciously caramelized.
As the mushrooms cook, they’ll release a lot of water, which will evaporate before they caramelize.
Once the mushrooms have softened and begun to brown, add the butter, garlic, and thyme (or any herbs you enjoy) to the pan. Saute on medium-high heat for a further 2-3 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add the salt, pepper, and any other spices you like in the last 30 seconds of cooking.
Tips to Caramelise Sautéed Mushrooms
- Slice Evenly: Use a good knife to get even pieces – this ensures your simple sauteed mushrooms cook evenly. It’ll also make the caramelization process easier; small pieces can cook quickly and might burn if you leave them too long.
- Get The Right Heat: Did you know mushrooms are made of 80-90% water? No matter how you slice them, sauteed mushrooms release a lot of water during cooking. Getting your pan to the right temperature will evaporate the liquid as it’s released, avoiding dreaded soggy garlic mushrooms. Let your pan get to medium-high or high heat before cooking.
- Don’t Crowd Your Mushrooms! When cooking your sauteed mushrooms with garlic, don’t crowd the pan and keep the pieces in one layer. If you have a lot of mushrooms, work in batches and keep the cooked mushrooms in a covered bowl so they stay warm.
- Bring On The Caramelization: Take your time when it comes to caramelizing mushrooms. Let the sauteed mushrooms cook for a few minutes without stirring so they can properly brown and start to caramelize. Then, stir occasionally so they cook evenly. So, don’t be tempted to move the mushrooms around a lot – the taste will be so much better.
It’s all in the temperature. Allow your pan to get to medium-high or high heat before you add the mushrooms. This will immediately start the cooking process. Some mushroom varieties have a higher water content than others – your ordinary white mushrooms will likely produce more water while cooking than with a shiitake mushroom, for example. So, keep an eye on your pan!
I prefer slicing my sauteed mushrooms thinly – it makes for easier caramelizing and they cook a lot faster than whole mushrooms. However, the way you cook them is entirely up to you. If you prefer your garlic mushrooms whole, you’ll just need to adjust the cooking time to allow the water they produce to fully evaporate before serving.
More Delicious Side Dishes
If you try this best sautéed mushrooms recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
Easy Sauteed Mushrooms with Garlic
- 13 oz mushrooms button, white, portobello, mixed wild, cremini, etc.
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 oz butter 2 Tbsp
- few sprigs thyme or your favorite herbs; about 1 Tbsp
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper optional
- Use a damp towel to wipe any dirt off the mushrooms. If they need washing, rinse them under running water – but don't let them soak.
- Pat them dry with a kitchen towel or paper towels.
- Chop the mushrooms if you need to. I like to slice them thinly. You can make thicker slices or keep them whole – this will depend on your preference and on the type of mushrooms you're using, so it's your call.Also, mince or grate the garlic. You can use a garlic press and press it directly into a pan – it'll save washing extra dishes!
- Add the mushrooms to a large pan with no oil over medium heat for around 8-10 minutes, flipping once after 5 minutes. DON'T stir the mushrooms during the first 5 minutes, otherwise, they won't brown nicely.As the mushrooms cook, they'll release lots of water, which will evaporate before they can caramelize.
- Once the mushrooms have softened and begun to brown, add the butter, garlic, and thyme (or herbs of choice) to the pan and saute over medium-high heat only stirring very occasionally, to allow the mushrooms to further brown and become coated in the garlic butter mixture (2-3 minutes)
- Add salt and pepper, along with any other spices in the last 30 seconds of cooking.
- Sauteed wild mushrooms don’t release as much water as white mushrooms – at least in the case of chantarelles, morels, shiitakes, etc. This means they are usually easier to sauté.
- If you’re using shiitake remember to remove their stems, which are quite leathery. Do so by trimming them where they attach to the cap. They can be saved to make vegetable stock or broths.
- Adding a little wine to de-glaze the pan can easily add tons of flavor. If you don’t have wine then you can use a little sherry, stock, or water. All you need is just a tablespoon or two – once added, stir the mushrooms continually until the liquid has evaporated. This will help to capture all the extra flavor from the bottom of the pan.
- Herbs: feel free to experiment with other herbs – rosemary, parsley, etc., or even a teaspoon of Italian Seasoning.
- Soy sauce: to ramp up the umami flavor, add a light splash of dark soy sauce to the pan in the last 3-4 minutes. It will help to caramelize the mushrooms further and add depth to the flavor.
- For Spice: you could use a little chili oil in place of some of the butter. Also, add a pinch or two of red pepper flakes.
- Mushrooms and onions: thinly slice an onion and saute it in the pan for 20-30 seconds before adding the mushrooms and cooking as suggested.
- Mushrooms and spinach: spinach is packed with water, so you’ll never achieve super ‘crispy’ results when adding it to this mushroom dish. I suggest adding the spinach right at the end of the process until it ‘just’ wilts.
- Add wine: in the last 2-3 minutes of cooking, add a generous splash of white wine and allow it to cook off as you continue to sauté the mushrooms, stirring occasionally.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.