Looking for substitutes for mushrooms? Maybe you don’t have any on hand, you’re allergic or maybe you just need a quick replacement that has a similar taste or texture? No matter what you are using it for, here you’ll find 14 great replacements for mushrooms!
HOW MUSHROOMS ARE MOST COMMONLY USED
Love them or hate them, mushrooms are used in so many dishes across the globe! I feel like there is an intense LOVE for all things mushrooms (that would be ME!) or an intense AVERSION to the fungus (that would be my husband)!
Here are a few of the most popular dishes that use mushrooms:
- Stir fries
- Chicken Marsala
- Beef Wellington
- Soups and Stews
- Veggie Burgers
Because not every substitute is appropriate for every type of dish (I don’t want potatoes in my pasta, thank you!), I have broken down the most popular substitutes for mushrooms in certain types of dishes.
Here is a quick overview of the best substitutes for mushrooms.
14 SIMPLE SUBSTITUTES FOR MUSHROOMS: QUICK OVERVIEW
Tofu is one of the most popular substitutes for mushrooms. Mainly because the texture is slightly similar to mushrooms and, like mushrooms, tofu picks up the flavors of whatever it’s cooked in. Keep in mind that tofu cannot be cooked for long periods of time before falling apart. When substituting tofu for mushrooms, use super firm tofu so it doesn’t break down in your dish. Avoid using it in soups/stews. It’s best in stir fries and dishes that are quick cooking!
Tempeh, similar to tofu, is made from fermented soybeans. Tempeh is slightly firmer than tofu. It is more chewy and earthy tasting making it a great substitute for mushrooms, especially in stir fries.
Zucchini is also a good substitute for mushrooms in many dishes because to takes on the flavor of whatever it’s cooked in. Also zucchini’s soft texture when cooked makes it similar to cooked mushrooms.
4. Onions/Caramelized Onions
Although you might not immediately think of onions as a substitute for mushrooms, they work so well in a variety of dishes including pizza, pasta and stews! The wide variety of onions and cooking methods (sautéd, caramelized, pearl onions, sweet onions) give you a wide range of options to substitute for mushrooms.
Eggplant is a very soft “fleshy” veggie and, if not overcooked, can have a texture that is very similar to mushrooms. You have to be very careful with eggplant when substituting it for mushrooms–if it’s overcooks it can get very soggy and break down, especially in soups and stews. If using eggplant, just be aware and don’t over cook it!
Eggplant can also be used as a substitute in beef Wellington as part of the “duxelle” as long as a small amount is used, given the higher water content.
6. Sun Dried Tomatoes
Sun dried tomatoes are my husband’s (#teammushroomhater) favorite substitute. Make sure you get the ones NOT packed in oil if you want to most closely mimic the earthy texture of mushrooms. If you like, you can rehydrate them in your dish or in a some boiling water–just let them sit for a few minutes until them a plump and hydrated. Sun dried tomatoes are an especially good replacement for mushrooms in pasta and on pizza!
Popular squash like butternut squash or pumpkin can work well as a substitute for mushrooms in soups and stews, as well as in beef stroganoff. Although slightly sweeter in flavor than mushrooms, squash does have an earthy flavor and does well at picking up flavors in whatever dish it’s cooked in.
8. Artichoke Hearts
Artichoke hearts are a great sub for mushrooms on pizza! Use artichoke hearts from the can that are packed in water and not marinated or you’ll completely change the flavor. Artichoke hearts have a very mild, earthy flavor and mimic the texture of mushrooms surprisingly well!
Olives, especially kalamata olives, are a fabulous substitute for mushrooms on pizza and in pasta! They are salty, earthy and have that mushroom texture! Given the saltiness of olives, you don’t want to overdo it, though. Use sparingly!
Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are all the rage right now! They are in the legume family and have so many health benefits, mainly their high protein content. They have a very bland, “natural” flavor which makes them an excellent substitute for mushrooms in some dishes, especially stirred into soups and stews.
Dry “raw” chickpeas needed to be cooked like any other dry bean, low and slow for an hour or two. Here is a great guide on several method on cooking them: How to Cook Dried Chickpeas. You can of course, also opt for the canned version that are widely available at all major grocery chains.
Lentils are a “cousin” to chickpeas are very earthy tasting and make a good substitute fro mushrooms in soups and stews. There are several different varieties of lentils, with brown or green being the most popular. Dried lentils must be cooked in boiling water for 20-30 minutes before eating.
Brown and green lentils tend to hold their shape well and not get mushy, so they could definitely give that earthy taste to replace mushrooms in a stir fry as well, if used sparingly.
Leeks are related to onions and can replace mushrooms in a variety of dishes. They are sweeter than mushrooms but mild with a slightly earthy taste. Cooked leeks go well in chicken marsala, in soups and stews, in pasta and even on pizza! This Caramelized Leek Pizza looks AMAZING!
Potatoes tend to absorb lots of liquid and take on the flavor of whatever they are seasoned with–similar to mushrooms. Leaving the skins ON the potatoes will give that “from the earth” taste of mushrooms. Unpeeled potatoes can replace mushrooms in beef stroganoff or in chicken marsala.
Carrots make the list mainly because they are an appropriate substitute for mushrooms in beef Wellington. The texture is no where near that of mushrooms, but for beef Wellington, they can be pureed to make the duxelle, in place of mushrooms.
Carrots are sweeter and don’t have that same earthiness as mushrooms, but can also be suitable replacements in stir fries and in soups and stews.
Next, let’s go into which of these mushroom substitutes work in specific dishes:
BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR MUSHROOMS IN PASTA
Onions, Zucchini, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Olives, Leeks
Ratio: Use a 1:1 ratio of onion, zucchini, sun dried tomatoes olives and leeks to mushrooms when using them as replacements.
Notes: Onions, zucchini and leeks need to be cooked a bit with your pasta dish or cooked beforehand. Sun dried tomatoes and olives can be stirred right into the dish!
BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR MUSHROOMS ON PIZZA
Onions, Artichokes (canned hearts), Sun Dried Tomatoes, Olives, Leeks
Ratio: Use a 1:1 ratio of onions, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, and leeks to mushrooms when using them as replacements. Given the saltiness of olives (especially kalamata olives) you may want to use less olives.
Notes: All of these replacements can be used on pizza before putting it into the oven. No need to cook beforehand unless you are using fresh, raw artichokes.
BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR MUSHROOMS IN STIR FRY
Zucchini, Tofu, Lentils, Leeks, Onions
Ratio: Use a 1:1 ratio of zucchini and tofu to mushrooms when adding to stir fry dishes.
For lentils, use 1:4 ratio of lentils to mushrooms. Lentils expand when cooked, so they can add a lot of bulk to your dish if you add too many.
For leeks and onions, you can add to taste, but I generally use the 1:2 rule of thumb. So half the amount of leeks/onions vs. mushrooms. Again, this is personal preference!
BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR MUSHROOMS IN STROGANOFF
Zucchini, Squash, Potatoes, Pearl Onions
Ratio: When substituting zucchini or pearl onions for mushrooms, use a 1:1 ratio.
Because of their high starch content, use a 1:2 ratio for both potatoes and squash.
Notes: Cut potatoes and squash into very small 1/4″ pieces for quick cooking.
BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR MUSHROOMS IN CHICKEN MARSALA
Potatoes, Pearl Onions, Carrots, Leeks
Ratio: When substituting pearl onions, carrots and leeks in chicken marsala, use a 1:1 ratio.
For potatoes, use 1:2, since they are heavy and can weigh down the dish.
BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR MUSHROOMS IN BEEF WELLINGTON
Onions, Eggplant, Carrots
Ratio: All 3 of these veggies can be used to replace mushrooms in the duxelle or “stuffing” in beef Wellington. Onions and carrots can be used in a 1:1 ratio. Because of the high water content in eggplant, use a 1:2 ratio.
BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR MUSHROOMS IN SOUPS AND STEWS
Leeks, Zucchini, Lentils, Chickpeas, Squash, Carrots
Ratio: When substituting zucchini, carrots and leeks, a 1:1 works well, but use personal preference.
When substituting lentils, use a 1:4 ratio as lentil expand when cooked and can weigh down a dish!
Chickpeas and Squash can be a 1:2 ratio, again, depending on personal preference. The starch content in these items can add a heaviness to the soup or stew, so it will depend on the type of soup/stew you are making.
BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR MUSHROOMS IN VEGGIE BURGERS
Ratios: When making homemade veggie burgers, you can substitute chickpeas and carrots in a 1:1 ratio. Just note that using carrots will yield a “sweeter” tasting burger while using chickpeas will be slightly more bland. So season burger appropriately!
OTHER GOOD ALTERNATIVES TO MUSHROOMS IN A RECIPE
Here are a couple of other good mushroom replacements:
- Shallots: Work nearly the same as onions and leeks.
- Brown Rice: Can be appropriate when a recipe called for shredded mushrooms. It may also work in beef Wellington as well, but I have not tested it!