Mushrooms are nutritious products that are widely used in various cuisines to make the perfect recipes.
Most people use mushrooms in their dishes to bring out the meal’s unique tastes and bold flavors. Others use it as a meat substitute to get that special mushroom meaty taste.
The best thing about mushrooms is that they are incredibly versatile and are packed with essential anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
Unfortunately, we don’t always have mushrooms in our pantry, especially because some types are very expensive.
But you don’t have to worry as we’ve compiled the nine best mushroom substitutes that you can use in your recipes.
Some alternatives provided here imitate the earthy and meaty flavor you get from mushrooms, so you can use them if you are allergic to mushrooms.
Read on to find out which mush substitute will work best for your recipes.
9 Best Mushroom Substitutes
Also known as the squash vegetable, zucchini is a summer vegetable that is very versatile. It has soft flesh and a sweet taste, making it a perfect option for pasta.
You can use it in different foods like soups, grills, sautés, stir-fries, and other meals prepared in one pot. The options are endless when using it as a mushroom substitute.
While zucchini doesn’t have a very strong flavor, it absorbs flavors from other ingredients used in the pot and tastes great. It will also deliver essential nutrients to your body, including magnesium and vitamin B6
If you want to prepare a recipe that requires raw mushrooms, like salads, you can grate a zucchini instead.
However, you’ll need to keep in mind that zucchini has a lot of water and can add more to your food, especially when used on slow-cooked dishes.
To avoid excess water, you can cover your sliced zucchini pieces with salt to draw out moisture, then dry them with a paper towel.
This is a creative mushroom substitute that delivers the same great taste. Depending on the type of food you want to prepare, you can slice tofu and dip it in soy sauce before using it.
Soy sauce will make your tofu have that earthy taste and umami flavor you get from mushrooms.
If you wanted to make a mushroom sauce, sliced tofu would give excellent results too. The taste may not be similar, but tofu is an equally satisfying choice.
You can also use it when making fried dishes and soup to reap adequate nutrients like proteins and boost your estrogens.
Eggplant is another effective way to substitute mushrooms in a recipe. It has a good flavor but can still absorb the savors from other foods when cooked together.
Many chefs prefer eggplants to other vegetables as mushroom alternatives due to their sweet taste and their vitamins.
You just have to peel and cut them into small pieces the same you would slice mushrooms. If you don’t want to peel your eggplants, you can cut them into nice small rounds and grill them.
When cooking them with other dishes, pay attention to the cooking time as eggplants can easily overcook and become soggy.
- Russet Potatoes
Russet potatoes are a suitable option as they also provide a lot of flavors absorbed from other ingredients, just like the mushrooms.
They give perfect results when baked or fried to replace mushrooms in various dishes. The taste is different, but the satisfaction is the same.
However, it’s not wise to use russet potatoes for soups or making salads since they quickly absorb a lot of liquid.
While onions have a distinct taste compared to the mushroom’s earthy and meaty flavors, they are still are excellent vegetables to add to your meals.
White onions are the best in this case as they are a bit sweet and less spicy than the red ones. You can slice and use them as mushroom substitutes for various dishes and healthy snacks.
They work magic when used on poultry and fish dishes as toppings. When fried or sautéed as mushroom substitutes, onions give perfect results, though the taste is different.
Cilantro is one of the most preferred toppings that we love using on hearty meat, fish dishes, and poultry dishes. It has a unique flavor that suits meals of all kinds.
When using these vegetables on your dishes, it’s essential to wash them carefully and remove any discolored leaves.
Cilantro work well as mushroom alternatives since they are vegetables that are easy to add to nearly any food. You can use it for your main dishes to give them some mouth-watering aromas.
They are also edible as snacks and are a good source of nutrients, not to mention how affordable they are in supermarkets and groceries.
Tempeh is an excellent mushroom substitute that you can use on any dish that calls for the use of mushrooms.
It tastes almost the same as mushrooms even though it has no mushrooms in it. You can use it to achieve the umami flavor in your dishes.
If you are allergic to mushrooms but crave the earthy, meaty flavor they give, you can use tempeh to give similar results.
Tempeh’s texture is almost the same as mushrooms, provided you cut it into small thin pieces.
- Garbanzo Beans
Popularly known as chickpeas, garbanzo beans have a unique cream color and packs vital nutrients and good flavors. There are also other small garbanzo beans that are a little bit darker.
Both types of garbanzo beans are ideal for substituting mushrooms when making varied dishes. You just need to rinse them carefully and remove any spoiled beans before boiling them.
- Sundried Tomatoes
Sundried tomatoes are also excellent mushroom substitutes for various dishes due to their earthy flavor.
You can use them to add a unique flavor to any dish you want to prepare with mushrooms, then season them with herbs and parsley to make a delicious meal.
While their taste is different from mushrooms, sundried tomatoes will deliver the earthy taste and umami flavor in your dishes.
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Whether you love eating mushrooms in intricate meals or just as a snack, you can always use its substitutes whenever you don’t have them.
Using substitutes will also help you get more creative in cooking and save some money as most substitutes are more affordable.
You can use the mushroom substitutes listed in this article to make burgers, soups, homemade pizzas, salads, and any other dishes.