20 Great Substitutes for Mushrooms

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Wondering what substitutes can be used to replace Mushrooms? 

This is a personally curated guide to some of the best mushroom substitutes!

So without further ado, let’s start. 

Best Substitutes for Mushrooms

1. Tofu

This is the best, most accessible, and cheap substitute you can find for Mushrooms.

Besides, it is extremely popular in the vegan community.

Tofu has a pretty bland taste but absorbs the flavours that it is cooked in easily, like mushrooms.  

How to Substitute

You can replace mushrooms with tofu in a 1:1 ratio but make sure to use firm tofu. Sticky to dishes that are quick in cooking time for this replacement.    

Here’s how to cook with Tofu –

2. Zucchini

This substitute is healthy, easily available, and extremely versatile. It can replace mushrooms in a heartbeat.   

The texture of zucchini is a perfect alternative for mushrooms in many dishes, and the taste also adapts to whatever ingredients it is cooked in.

How to Substitute

Since the taste and texture are quite similar, you can use a 1:1 ratio for replacement.   

Here’s how to cook with Zucchini –

3. Eggplant

Eggplant is infamously used in many vegan recipes to imitate the texture of meat, just like it can imitate mushrooms.

Eggplant has a certain taste that some might not like, but when not overcooked, it works perfectly well in place of mushrooms.   

How to Substitute

You can use a 1:1 ratio here but make sure to not overcook or use this in a soup recipe. The best way for the replacement is to use eggplants for the filling outside the beef in a beef wellington.      

Here’s how to cook with Eggplant:

4. Sundried Tomatoes

Although not very popular or used daily, sundried tomatoes can be a great substitute.

Though they will obviously have the taste of tomatoes, adding these in will create the same depth in your recipe that mushrooms do.  

How to Substitute

Feel free to use equal amounts for a replacement here but keep in mind that mushrooms cook down but this substitute will not. Use the ones that are not drenched in oil. 

Here’s how to cook with Sundried Tomatoes:

5. Tempeh

Tempeh is often confused with tofu, but it’s not. And yet, it is still a great substitute.  

Tempeh is also made from fermented soybeans like tofu. However, Tempeh is much firmer and has a deeper, earthy flavor. 

How to Substitute

Use a 1:1 ratio here for replacement but be careful to season your Tempeh well and use it in recipes that are quick for cooking.   

Here’s how to cook with Tempeh:

6. Chickpeas

Another great substitute that is famous in the vegan community is chickpeas.

You might know these as the stuff that hummus is made from. 

These have a mild, butty, and creamy flavour along with a texture that gets softer the longer you cook it.

How to Substitute

A 1:1 ratio can work here. You may use canned chickpeas or dried ones but the dried ones will need to be boiled before use.  

Here’s how to cook with Chickpeas:

7. Onions

While this may not sound like it works as a substitute, it does. The plus point is: Onions are versatile and a constant in all kitchens.  

Onions obviously have a really strong taste.

This just means that you need to be selective with the recipe that you make this substitution in.

How to Substitute

You cannot use a 1:1 ratio here. Add onion according to your preference and cook it according to the taste and texture you are replacing in your dish. Works best in pasta, pizzas, and stews. 

Here’s how to cook with Onions:

8. Squash

Before you get weirded out by this substitute as well, let me explain why squashes make for a really great alternative to mushrooms.  

Though a little sweeter than mushrooms, the texture and adaptability to other flavours work really well in most dishes. 

How to Substitute

You may use equal amounts of replacement here but stick to using butternut or pumpkin squash for best results.  

Here’s how to cook with Squash:

9. Artichoke Hearts

No, these don’t just work for a spinach and cheese dip.

They are a great replacement for mushrooms as well. 

The texture mimics mushrooms extremely well. Artichoke Hearts also have an earthy and deep flavour that works well in recipes that call for mushrooms.

How to Substitute

You can use a 1:1 ratio here. Do not use marinated ones.    

Here’s how to cook with Artichoke Hearts: 

10. Olives

We all know the Olive theory.

Some like them, and some do not, however, we cannot deny their ability to replace mushrooms. 

Olives have a strong flavour but can easily replace mushrooms in pasta and pizzas.  

How to Substitute

This can replace mushrooms in equal amounts.

Here’s how to cook with Olives:

11. Lentils

I understand that this substitute might make you start questioning my credibility but let me explain. 

Lentils are basically a distant relative of chickpeas. They also have an earthy, mild flavour and work extremely well in soups and stews. 

How to Substitute

You can use a 1:1 ratio here but it’s better to reassess the recipe to examine how much you really need.    

Here’s how to cook with Lentils:

12. Leeks

Leeks are kind of like onions but have long green leaves that work magnificently in place of mushrooms.  

Leeks are sweeter in taste but also have an earthy flavour that adapts well to dishes that call for mushrooms.

How to Substitute

This substitution will work best on pizzas, soups, stews, and recipes that have a more solid nature.  

Here’s how to cook with Leeks:

13. Potatoes

There is no debate about liking this. And don’t even get me started on how versatile potatoes are.

Potatoes have a soft, fluffy texture when cooked. These have a bland flavour that is left for us to season as we like.   

How to Substitute

The trick of substitution in a 1:1 ratio lies in keeping the skin on to imitate that earthy flavor of mushrooms.  

Here’s how to cook with Potatoes:

14. Carrots

We all know about the health benefits of carrots but what we don’t know is that they can replace mushrooms quite well.

Carrots have a sweet flavour that can be battled with seasonings to make them taste closer to what your recipe calls for.  

How to Substitute

This replacement can follow a 1:1 ratio for stir-fried, stews, and soups.   

Here’s how to cook with Carrots:

15. Cilantro

Even though Cilantro is famous in Mexican, Indian, and other exotic cuisines and is mainly used as a garnish, it works well here as well.   

This does not have the same flavour or texture.

But in the absence of mushrooms, this can add that something little extra that your recipe needs. 

How to Substitute

Using a 1:1 ratio might be too much so add according to taste. Also, make sure that Cilantro is well-liked in your household because to some, it may taste like soap. 

Here’s how to cook with Cilantro:

16. Umami Seasoning

This is obvious because we know and love mushrooms for having that deep, earthy, umami taste. 

This blend is made from ingredients like dried mushrooms, tomato powder, garlic, onion, chilis, and much more.

How to Substitute

Use as much amount as you want but keep in mind that this is only for taste.  

Here’s how to cook with Umami Seasoning:

17. Miso

Japanese cuisine has quickly become popular worldwide, which is why we are no strangers to miso.

This is made from fermented soybeans and a mold called koji. Miso has a salty and umami flavour, which is why it works fascinatingly well here.    

How to Substitute

A little miso goes a long way so be careful with how much you use. Mix it with water before adding.   

Here’s how to cook with Miso:

18. Dried or Canned Mushrooms

Obviously, if you cannot find fresh mushrooms in the market, canned or dried options will work just fine.   

They have the same flavour, though preservatives might be added to increase their shelf life.

Dried mushrooms can be soaked in water to recover some of the texture.

How to Substitute

A 1:1 ratio is ideal here as well.   

Here’s how to cook with Mushrooms:

19. Beef Broth

Beef broth is used in many recipes to increase flavour, and they make for a great alternative to mushrooms.   

This is made by boiling beef bones in water and adding seasonings as you see fit for your particular application. They can add the same depth and umami flavour to your dish as mushrooms do.

How to Substitute

A 1:1 ratio cannot work here because the beef broth is much more subtle in flavor.   

Here’s how to cook with Beef Broth:

20. Walnuts or Pecans

These are ubiquitously used in baked goods for that crunchy texture.

However, they’re a great alternative for mushrooms in savory recipes as well. 

Walnuts and Pecans have a fatty, butty flavor that has a great texture when cooked that mimics mushrooms.

How to Substitute

A 1:1 ratio can’t work here because too many nuts can be quite overpowering.  

Here’s how to cook with Walnuts and Pecans:

FAQs

What can I use instead of Mushroom flavour?

Any of the substitutes mentioned above could work. They are ranked according to their popularity so choose accordingly. However, if you are looking for one that flavours your recipe without altering the texture or the quantity of your dish, then go for the umami seasoning. This exotic blend will add rich, savory, and delicious flavours to your cooking without changing the cooking time or the individual taste of your other ingredients. You can find this at any local store, usually in the Asian food section.  

What vegetable is similar to mushrooms?

Eggplants. These have the same texture as mushrooms and can easily be cooked to have the same mushy feel. In fact, even eggplants reduce by a lot when cooked, just like mushrooms do. In terms of flavour, they’re not exactly the same but have a really high ability to soak the flavours of whatever they are cooked in. So if you are looking to substitute another vegetable in your cooking to replace mushrooms, use eggplants without a doubt.

What’s the best substitute for Mushrooms in Beef Wellington?

As mentioned above, Eggplants work especially well to recreate the filling that goes indie the puff pastry but outside your beef without using mushrooms. However, Onions and Carrots can be used in place of mushrooms as well. Just add the same seasonings as you would normally, along with an agent that can battle the sweetness that comes with Onions and Carrots. You won’t even notice the absence of Mushrooms. 

Bottom Line

I hope this article has helped you choose the right substitute for Mushrooms!

Please feel free to leave a comment below for any feedback or suggestion you might have. 

And lastly, do share this article with your family and friends as I’m sure it will help them if it has helped you! 


References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tofu
https://www.britannica.com/topic/tofu
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zucchini
https://www.britannica.com/plant/zucchini
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggplant
https://www.britannica.com/plant/eggplant
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun-dried_tomato
https://www.britannica.com/plant/tomato
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempeh
https://www.britannica.com/topic/tempeh-murni#:~:text=Firmer%20than%20tofu%20with%20a,then%20skinned%20before%20being%20cooked.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chickpea
https://www.britannica.com/plant/chickpea
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onion
https://www.britannica.com/plant/onion-plant
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squash_(sport)
https://www.britannica.com/plant/summer-squash#:~:text=description&text=Summer%20squashes%2C%20such%20as%20zucchini,diversity%20of%20fruit%20forms%2C%20from%E2%80%A6
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artichoke
https://www.britannica.com/plant/artichoke
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive
https://www.britannica.com/plant/olive-plant
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lentil
https://www.britannica.com/plant/lentil-plant
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leek
https://www.britannica.com/plant/leek#:~:text=leek%2C%20(Allium%20porrum)%2C,mild%2C%20sweet%2C%20onionlike%20flavour.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potato
https://www.britannica.com/plant/potato
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrot
https://www.britannica.com/plant/carrot
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coriander
https://www.britannica.com/plant/coriander
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umami
https://www.britannica.com/science/umami
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miso
https://www.britannica.com/list/some-like-it-hot-9-soups-from-around-the-world
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiitake
https://www.britannica.com/science/mushroom
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broth
https://www.britannica.com/topic/stock-cookery
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pecan#:~:text=The%20fruits%20of%20the%20pecan,bracts%20and%20the%20bracteoles%20only.
https://www.britannica.com/plant/pecan#:~:text=pecan%2C%20(Carya%20illinoinensis)%2C,close%20to%20that%20of%20butter.


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About Judy Taylor

Judy has been fascinated with food and drinks since her teenage years. She loves experimenting with various cuisines, her favorite being pairing food with wine and drinks. She travels 7-8 months a year across the globe, exploring local food and culture. Her dream is to open a small Mexican outlet on a beach someday.

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