Flavorful sauteed mushrooms are the perfect topping for steak. The secret is to use lots of butter and cook them slowly and patiently.
These mushrooms are amazing. They are so delicious! It’s difficult to believe that such depth and complexity of flavor can be achieved with minimal seasonings.
But the mushrooms themselves are very flavorful, and cooking them in butter (or extra-virgin olive oil) brings out their rich flavor.
A mushroom story
I tried a version of this recipe for the first time many years ago. My husband and I were in our early twenties, hardly ever cooking and mostly eating boxed stuff.
But on weekends, we loved to cook. We would clip interesting recipes we found in magazines, and go over them on Friday to decide what we needed to buy at the grocery store.
One of the first recipes we tried was an incredible recipe for sauteed mushrooms. It was the simplest recipe – mushrooms, butter, salt and pepper – and the flavor was so intense!
I have since learned that mushrooms are a rich source of umami, the fifth basic taste. Which explains why we perceive them as so very flavorful on their own, with very little added seasonings.
The ingredients you’ll need
I love that the list of ingredients is so short! Take a look (the exact measurements are included in the recipe card below):
Fresh mushrooms: I use either white or Cremini mushrooms in this recipe.
Unsalted butter: I love using creamy European butter, but any butter will be great. You can also use olive oil.
Minced garlic: Mince it yourself, or use the stuff that comes in a jar. Both work. You can also use thinly sliced garlic cloves.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Dried thyme: Make sure it’s fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Parsley: Used mostly for garnish.
How to make perfect sauteed mushrooms
The most important tip I can give you is to be generous with the butter or olive oil and to be patient.
Mushrooms are best when cooked in lots of fat, over medium heat, slowly and patiently, until very tender. That’s when the mushrooms release their flavor.
The detailed instructions for making this recipe are included in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
1. Start by wiping the mushrooms clean with damp paper towels, then slice them. Generally speaking, you should never wash mushrooms – they could absorb the water and become soggy.
2. Cook the mushrooms and garlic in butter until the mushrooms are tender, about 7 minutes. Then garnish and serve.
What spices should I use?
Mushrooms are very flavorful all on their own. So there’s no need for a lot of spices. In addition to salt and pepper, I like to use garlic and thyme. Other spices you could experiment with include onion powder and oregano.
What to serve with sauteed mushrooms?
They are wonderful with steak. It’s no coincidence that most steakhouses offer them as a side dish. They also make a hearty and tasty meatless meal when topped with a couple of fried eggs.
What about leftovers?
If you have any leftovers, they keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days. In fact, they tend to become even more flavorful after a day or two! You can reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
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- 1 lb fresh, firm mushrooms (I like to use cremini mushrooms)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (or extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish
- Wipe the mushrooms with damp paper towels, then slice them into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
- In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add the sliced mushrooms, minced garlic, kosher salt and dried thyme.
- Cook, stirring often, over medium heat, until the mushrooms are tender, 5-7 minutes.
- Season the mushrooms with freshly ground black pepper and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.