What are the best mushrooms for pizza? Well, it depends! From mild white button mushrooms to wild morels, this list compares 12 different types of mushrooms and the best ways to use them on your next pizza.
With so many different kinds of mushrooms to choose from, it can be hard to know which ones are best for pizza.
Button mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, and portobello mushrooms are some of the best mushrooms for pizza. And I often find myself reaching for these mushrooms over and over again.
However, there is a whole world of mushrooms out there. All of which can be used as fun and unique pizza toppings.
In this article, we will cover 12 of the best mushrooms for pizza, both common and uncommon varieties, and other ingredients to pair them with. We will also discuss how to prepare mushrooms for pizza and tips for making the best mushroom pizza at home.
>> Need a good mushroom pizza recipe? This Classic Mushroom Pizza is my go-to homemade pizza recipe.
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Best Mushrooms for Pizza
Here are the 12 best mushrooms for pizza.
Button mushrooms, also known as white mushrooms, are one of the most common mushroom varieties you'll see on store shelves. They are small, round mushrooms with a pale color, firm texture, and mild flavor.
Due to their mild flavor, button mushrooms pair well with a wide variety of pizza toppings.
Perfect Pizza Pairings: Bell Peppers, Onion, Garlic, Black Olives, Sausage, Pepperoni
Porcini mushrooms, also known as cèpes or penny buns, are popular in Italian cuisine. They are known for their distinctive nutty, earthy flavor and meaty texture. Porcini mushrooms are large and they range in color from dark brown to tan.
These large and flavorful mushrooms go well with other ingredients commonly found in Italian cooking.
Perfect Pizza Pairings: Garlic, Spinach, Basil, Thyme, Lemon, Pesto, Provolone Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, Creamy Sauces
Portobello mushrooms are recognized for their large, flat caps, which can measure up to six inches in diameter. These edible mushrooms have a firm, meaty texture and a rich, earthy flavor that makes them a popular choice in vegetarian dishes.
The rich flavor of portobello mushrooms works well alongside other bold and flavorful ingredients.
Perfect Pizza Pairings: Sun Dried Tomatoes, Artichoke Hearts, Spinach, Garlic, Basil, Rosemary, Goat Cheese
Cremini mushrooms, sometimes called "baby bella" mushrooms, are similar in appearance to button mushrooms. However, they are slightly darker in color than button mushrooms and have a firmer texture.
These tasty mushrooms have a rich, earthy flavor that is slightly more intense than that of button mushrooms. Cremini mushrooms are my personal favorite mushroom for pizza.
A great middle ground between button mushrooms and portobello mushrooms, cremini mushrooms compliment a wide variety of other ingredients.
Perfect Pizza Pairings: Tomatoes, Kale, Spinach, Garlic, Roasted Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese, Parmesan Cheese
Shiitake mushrooms are a type of edible mushroom that is native to East Asia, particularly Japan and China. Found both fresh and dried at grocery stores, these delicious mushrooms have a distinctive earthy and meaty flavor with a slightly chewy texture.
Commonly found in Asian cuisine, fresh shiitake mushrooms pair well with other ingredients typically used in Asian recipes.
Perfect Pizza Pairings: Scallions, Garlic, Ginger, Red Bell Pepper, Bok Choy, Tofu, Eggs, Soy Sauce
Maitake mushrooms, also known as "hen of the woods," are a type of edible mushroom that is native to Japan, North America, and Europe.
These beautiful mushrooms grow in clusters at the base of trees and have a distinctively frilly appearance. They're rich and earthy in flavor and have a slightly meaty texture.
Another popular mushroom in Asian cuisine, maitake mushrooms also pair well with similar ingredients to the shiitake mushroom.
Perfect Pizza Pairings: Kimchi, Arugula, Bok Choy, Japanese Sweet Potato, Red Chili Pepper, Garlic, Ginger, Tofu, Miso Paste, Sesame Oil
Another mushroom native to East Asia, enoki mushrooms are characterized by their long, thin stems and small, button-shaped caps. They're one of the cutest mushrooms ever, in my opinion!
Enoki mushrooms have a delicate, slightly sweet flavor with a crunchy texture and are often used in soups, salads, stir-fries, and sushi.
Again, enoki mushrooms are Asian mushrooms, which means they pair well with other ingredients commonly found in Asian cuisine.
Perfect Pizza Pairings: Scallions, Garlic, Ginger, Bok Choy, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Other Mushrooms, Tofu, Sausage
Oyster mushrooms have a delicate, sweet flavor and a tender texture that is often described as "meaty."
They grow in clusters on the sides of trees and have a distinctive fan-shaped cap with a slightly velvety texture. Oyster mushrooms are named for their shape and resemblance to oysters.
Often used in stir-fries, oyster mushrooms pair well with other vegetables commonly found in stir-fry dishes.
Perfect Pizza Pairings: Broccoli, Spinach, Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Onions, Thyme, Parsley, Garlic, Lemon, Arugula, Pine Nuts
Chanterelle mushrooms are beautiful mushrooms with trumpet-shaped caps, deep ridges, and a bright golden-yellow color. They have a firm texture and a subtle, earthy aroma.
Highly prized for their delicate, fruity flavor and meaty texture, chanterelle mushrooms are native to Europe, but can also be found in North America and other parts of the world.
In season from late spring through early fall, chanterelles complement a variety of other seasonal ingredients.
Perfect Pizza Pairings: Butternut Squash, Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Spinach, Asparagus, Leeks, Garlic, Creamy Sauces
Typically appearing in the spring, morel mushrooms are seasonal wild mushrooms found most commonly in certain parts of North America, Europe, and Asia.
Morel mushrooms have a conical shape with a honeycomb-like cap that is pale brown in color and are highly prized for their distinctively earthy and nutty flavor.
These beauties are the perfect pairing for other seasonal spring flavors. So, take advantage while you can!
Perfect Pizza Pairings: Fiddlehead Ferns, Asparagus, Peas, Spring Onions, Artichokes, Radishes, Lemon, Garlic, Creamy Sauces
11. Chicken of the Woods
Chicken of the woods is a type of wild mushroom that is named after its resemblance to chicken meat when cooked.
These unique mushrooms are often sought after for their meaty, chicken-like texture and mild, slightly sweet flavor. They have a bright yellow to orange color and can range in size from small, individual clusters to large, shelf-like formations.
Often used as a chicken substitute, chicken of the woods mushrooms are fantastic paired with a variety of ingredients.
Perfect Pizza Pairings: Broccoli, Bell Peppers, Spinach, Onion, Garlic, Buffalo Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Creamy Sauces
Truffles are a type of edible fungi that grow underground and are prized for their unique and intense aroma and flavor.
They have a rough, warty exterior and a fleshy, edible interior that is highly aromatic. Known as a delicacy around the world, truffles have a complex flavor profile, with earthy, nutty, and slightly sweet notes.
Truffles elevate and enhance the flavor of a variety of other ingredients. Just remember, a little truffle goes a long way.
Perfect Pizza Pairings: Mushrooms, Potatoes, Garlic, Thyme, Rosemary, Lobster, Scallops, Beef, Parmesan Cheese, Creamy Sauces, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Mushroom Pizza Ingredient Pairing Chart
|Mild, Pale, Firm
|Bell Peppers, Onions, Olives, Pepperoni, Sausage
|Nutty, Earthy, Brown, Meaty
|Garlic, Thyme, Basil, Pesto, Parmesan Cheese
|Rich, Bold, Earthy, Brown, Meaty, Firm
|Sun Dried Tomatoes, Artichoke Hearts, Spinach, Rosemary, Goat Cheese
|Mild, Earthy, Brown, Very Firm
|Tomatoes, Kale, Garlic, Roasted Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese, Parmesan Cheese
|Earthy, Intense, Brown, Chewy, Meaty
|Scallions, Garlic, Ginger, Red Bell Pepper, Bok Choy, Tofu, Eggs, Soy Sauce
|Rich, Earthy, Slightly Meaty, Frilly
|Kimchi, Arugula, Japanese Sweet Potato, Red Chili Pepper, Garlic, Ginger, Miso Paste, Sesame Oil
|Slightly Sweet, White, Delicate, Crunchy
|Scallions, Garlic, Ginger, Bok Choy, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Other Mushrooms, Tofu, Sausage
|Delicate, Sweet, Tender, Velvety
|Broccoli, Spinach, Arugula, Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Onions, Parsley, Garlic
|Trumpet-Shaped, Orange/Yellow, Sweet, Delicate, Fruity
|Butternut Squash, Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus, Leeks, Garlic, Creamy Sauces
|Cone-Shaped, Honeycomb-Like Cap, Brown, Earthy, Nutty
|Fiddlehead Ferns, Asparagus, Peas, Spring Onions, Artichokes, Radishes, Lemon
|Chicken of the Woods
|Mild, Slightly Sweet, Bright Orange and Yellow, Meaty
|Broccoli, Bell Peppers, Spinach, Onion, Garlic, Buffalo Sauce, BBQ Sauce
|Complex, Intense, Earthy, Nutty, Rough Exterior, Fleshy Interior
|Mushrooms, Potatoes, Garlic, Thyme, Rosemary, Lobster, Scallops, Beef, Parmesan Cheese
Why Put Mushrooms on Pizza
Whether you're a vegetarian looking for a meatless pizza option or just want to add some depth of flavor to your pizza, mushrooms are a great addition that can take your pizza to the next level.
- Flavor- Mushrooms have an earthy, umami flavor that complements a wide variety of other pizza toppings.
- Texture- Their chewy, meaty texture makes them a satisfying substitute for meat.
- Nutrition- Mushrooms are low in calories and fat. They're also a good source of nutrients such as potassium, B vitamins, and fiber.
How to Choose the Best Mushrooms for Pizza
When it comes to choosing the best mushrooms for pizza, there are a few factors to consider.
- Flavor- Think about the overall flavor of your pizza and choose mushrooms that will complement or enhance it. For example, if you're craving Asian flavors, pair shiitake mushrooms with scallions, garlic, and ginger.
- Texture- Some mushrooms, like portobello, have a meaty texture that can make them a satisfying substitute for meat. Other mushrooms, like enoki, have a more delicate texture that can add a subtle crunch to pizza.
- Other Toppings- Consider the other flavors you want on your pizza. For example, grilled portabella mushrooms pair well with other strong flavors like sun dried tomatoes while chanterelles are more delicate and pair well with asparagus and leeks.
- Availability- Button mushrooms and portobello mushrooms can usually be found at grocery stores year-round. On the other hand, wild mushrooms are typically seasonal, which means you can only find them at certain times of the year.
How to Tell if Mushrooms Have Gone Bad
Mushrooms spoil quickly, so it's best to use them as soon as possible. If you're unsure, here are a few signs that your mushrooms may be spoiled:
- Texture- Mushrooms should feel firm and dry to the touch. If they feel slimy, sticky, or damp, they are likely past their prime.
- Appearance- Fresh mushrooms should appear uniform in color. Dark spots and other discoloration are a sign they are no longer fresh.
- Smell- A light earthy scent is good. But, if your mushrooms smell fishy or otherwise "off," throw them out.
- Mushy- Give the mushrooms a light squeeze. If you notice any soft or rotting spots, I'd err on the side of caution and get rid of them.
How to Prepare Mushrooms for Pizza
While not complicated, mushrooms do require a little bit of preparation before they can be used as a pizza topping.
Step 1: Clean mushrooms. Gently wipe any dirt off of the mushrooms using a dry paper towel or cloth. If you're struggling to get some of the dirt removed, use a damp towel or quickly rinse them under cold, running water. Never soak fresh mushrooms.
Step 2: Remove the stem (optional). For mushrooms with woody stems, like shiitake mushrooms, it's best to remove and discard the stem. However, some mushrooms, like button mushrooms, have softer stems that can be enjoyed along with the rest of the mushroom.
Step 3: Cut the mushrooms. For pizza, mushrooms are typically sliced thin or cut into small cubes. To slice, place the mushroom flat on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut slices across the mushroom. To cube, cut the mushroom into thick strips before cutting each strip into cubes.
Step 1: Heat the skillet. Melt butter or heat oil in a skillet over medium.
Step 2: Cook the mushrooms. Add mushrooms to the skillet and sprinkle them with salt to help them release their liquid. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until all of the liquid has been released and evaporated.
Step 3: Season. Season the mushrooms with black pepper, seasonings, and fresh or dried herbs.
Can Mushrooms Be Prepared Ahead?
Yes, mushrooms can be cooked ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator to use later.
For best results, store cooked mushrooms in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Then, add them straight to your pizza whenever you're ready to assemble.
Fresh Mushrooms vs Canned Mushrooms
Canned mushrooms have a different texture and flavor compared to fresh mushrooms. Packed in a salty liquid, canned mushrooms are already cooked and are often softer and saltier than their fresh counterpart. Therefore, I recommend using fresh mushrooms whenever possible.
But, if you find yourself with a can of mushrooms on pizza night, here are a few tips to help you succeed:
- Drain the liquid. Use a strainer or colander to completely drain the can of mushrooms.
- Pat them dry. Use a clean dishcloth or paper towel to thoroughly pat the mushrooms dry. The goal is to get rid of as much liquid as possible.
- Season with herbs and spices. To counteract the salty flavor of canned mushrooms, season them well with your favorite spices and herbs. Garlic, thyme, and rosemary are great choices.
Tips for Making Mushroom Pizza
- Always cook mushrooms first. Cooked mushrooms won't dehydrate and release all of their liquid into your pizza as it cooks. I always recommend pre-cooking your mushrooms before adding them as a pizza topping.
- Use a variety of mushrooms. No need to limit yourself to just one type of mushroom. Get creative and add a few different types of mushrooms to your pizza.
- Slice mushrooms thin. The thinner you slice the mushrooms, the quicker they release their liquid and cook.
- Homemade ingredients are best. Making pizza at home is all about the ingredients. And taking the time to make your own pizza dough and pizza sauce from scratch makes a huge difference in terms of quality and flavor.
- Bake your pizza right away. Bake your pizza as soon as you've finished assembling it. Letting the toppings sit for too long will result in soggy pizza dough.
What to Serve With Mushroom Pizza
- Salad- Like this Spinach Caprese Salad, this Kale Crunch Salad, or this Ancient Grain Salad.
- Roasted Vegetables- I love pairing these Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with mushroom pizza. Other options include Air Fryer Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Roasted Green Beans and Carrots.
- Soup- Creamy Pumpkin Soup pairs well with mushroom pizza in the fall. Tomato soup, vegetable soup, or Chicken Noodle Soup are fantastic as well.
- Bruschetta- This Burrata Bruschetta is crispy, fresh, and flavorful, and tastes delicious alongside mushroom pizza.
- Other Options- Garlic bread, garlic knots, breadsticks, antipasto, caesar salad, french fries, and onion rings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, I highly recommend cooking fresh mushrooms before putting them on pizza. Fresh mushrooms are full of water, which they release as they cook. If you cook the mushrooms on top of your pizza, they'll release all of that liquid, leaving you with a soggy mess.
Typically mushrooms and other pizza toppings are placed on top of the cheese layer so that they cook and crisp up in the oven. However, if you cook your mushrooms before adding them to your pizza, you can put them under the cheese if you prefer.
To prevent mushrooms from getting watery on pizza, you should always cook them before using them as a pizza topping. Cooking mushrooms allows them to release their liquid in the skillet instead of on your pizza.
Yes, frozen mushrooms can be used on pizza. I recommend sautéing frozen mushrooms to help get rid of any excess liquid before adding them to your pizza.
Dried mushrooms can be used on pizza, although they need to be rehydrated first.
Place dried mushrooms in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Allow them to soak for 10-15 minutes. Then, pat them dry and slice them up. If they seem too wet, you can sauté rehydrated mushrooms in a little oil before adding them to your pizza.
Common dried mushroom varieties include dried shiitake mushrooms, porcini mushroom, and morels.
So, whether you're a fan of the classic mushroom and cheese combo or like to mix things up with some exotic varieties, there's no denying that mushrooms add a delicious and earthy flavor to any pizza.
From meaty portobello to delicate shiitake, each mushroom has its own unique flavor and texture that can take your pizza game to the next level.
Whatever you decide, you’re now armed with all of the knowledge you need to choose the best mushrooms for your next pizza. So, get a little adventurous and think outside of the pizza box!