The Best Sautéed Mushrooms – Fooduzzi

This is an easy recipe for the sautéed mushrooms I make literally every single week.

I actually crave these when it gets close to dinnertime. And I made these for my parents a few weeks ago, and they both were like, “These are really good mushrooms.”

So yeah, I think they’ve earned the right of being called “the best.”

The technique for this recipe comes from none other than Dan Souza from America’s Test Kitchen. Have you watched the What’s Eating Dan? series on YouTube? It’s so good.

He kind of reminds me of Alton Brown in the way he approaches cooking. It’s a great series, but his mushroom video in particular is fascinating.

Mushrooms are such a weird, cool, versatile, and delicious ingredient to cook with, and in his video, he talks about why it’s impossible to overcook them (it has to do with the substance in mushroom cell walls called chitin, which is very heat-stable).

That said, I think it’s easy to cook them in the wrong way.

They can be slimy or overly oily and just… not very pleasant to eat.

But! When you know how to cook them right, it’s magic. These sautéed mushrooms are so chewy and meaty and actually kind of sweet thanks to this brilliant cooking method..

I guarantee you this cooking method will change the way you approach sautéing mushrooms from now on. And luckily, it’s very simple:

Step 1: Clean and slice your mushrooms. Add them to a skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of water.

Yes, water!

If you’ve ever sautéd mushrooms and cooked them in oil, you’ll know that they really love to suck up that oil. You’ve probably added more and more oil to the pan as the mushrooms cooked because the pan looked dry and your mushrooms start to stick.

Well by starting the cooking process with water, we allow the mushrooms to cook and release their water (which they have a lot of!) before adding a little oil to get them nice and caramelized.

Also, cleaning mushrooms is one of my least-favorite kitchen tasks, but this method has worked well for me:

I stick them in my salad spinner whole, fill it with water, and just spin the mushrooms in the water so that the dirt is gently removed. Then I take the strainer basket out, pour out the water, and spot-clean the shrooms as necessary. Then slice!

oil being poured on cooked mushrooms in a pan

Step 2: Let the mushrooms to cook, stirring frequently, until all of the water has evaporated.

You’ll sauté the mushrooms until there’s no more visible liquid at the bottom of your pan and the sizzling sounds “dry.” Your mushroom slices will also shrink through this process since they release a lot of their own water while cooking.

If it looks like the mushrooms have stopped shrinking and there’s still a lot of water in the bottom of the pan, you can carefully tip some of the water out and discard. I ended up doing that with this batch.

Once the sizzling sounds dry, you can go ahead and add your oil and toss the mushrooms to coat. You’ll add salt and pepper to season here as well.

caramelized mushrooms in a pan

Step 3: Spread your mushrooms in an even layer in your pan, reduce the heat to medium, and cook undisturbed for 1-2 minutes.

Adding the oil at this stage (and not before) helps the mushrooms caramelize and become beautifully chewy –– almost meaty! You’ll notice that the mushrooms brown quickly, so after you wait for a minute or two, toss again, spread into another even layer, and continue this process until the mushrooms are almost browned to your liking.

minced garlic in a pan of cooked mushrooms

Step 4: Optionally, add more flavor!

I feel like sautéd mushrooms scream for some minced garlic, so that’s what I added here. I like adding the garlic 2-3 minutes before the mushrooms are done to make sure it doesn’t burn.

I also added some fresh parsley once I took the mushrooms off of the heat, but fresh thyme is excellent here as well.

a bowl of parsley garlic sauteed mushrooms

And that’s that! It definitely takes a bit of time, but it is so worth it. I really love using these mushrooms on pizza or pasta, and there may just be a new creamy vegan pasta recipe using these on the horizon here on Fooduzzi very very soon. 😉


The Best Sautéed Mushrooms

My very favorite way to cook mushrooms! I love these sautéed mushrooms on pizzas and in pasta dishes, but they’re great as a stand-alone side!

  • Author: Alexa []
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 servings
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
  • 16 ounces mushrooms*, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons high-heat oil (like avocado)
  • pinch salt
  • 34 cranks of freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • fresh parsley


  1. Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add your mushrooms and water, and cook, stirring frequently, until the water has evaporated and the mushrooms have released their water and shrunk in size. The sizzling will start to sound dry, and you’ll no longer see any bubbling. This can take 6-10 minutes. If you find that your mushrooms have stopped shrinking but there’s still a lot of water in the pan, feel free to carefully tip some of the extra water out and discard.
  2. Once no more (or very little) water remains in the pan, add your oil, salt, and pepper. Toss your mushrooms to coat.
  3. Spread your mushrooms in an even layer in your pan, reduce the heat to medium, and cook undisturbed for 1-2 minutes.
  4. You’ll notice that the mushrooms brown quickly at this stage. Toss again, spread into another even layer, and continue this process until the mushrooms are almost browned to your liking. For me, this took 8-10 minutes.
  5. 2-3 minutes before your mushrooms are done, add your minced garlic. Continue cooking and tossing until your mushrooms are caramelized and browned to your liking. You can’t really overcook these, so do what feels best! I love a deep golden color.
  6. Add your herbs off the heat, toss and serve. Feel free to adjust any seasoning at this stage as well. I like mine with extra black pepper.


*I used plain ol’ white button mushrooms here, but baby bellas work great too. And as you can see in Dan’s video, any kind of mushroom is really a-okay!

Keywords: mushroom side dish, how to cook mushrooms

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