Inside Our Test Kitchen: 3 Reasons Dried Mushrooms Rock

If you’re curious about those packets of 
dried porcini or cremini or shiitake, but aren’t 
sure how to use them, these three reasons should convince you to snag a bag right away and start cooking.

1. They last. A package of dried mushrooms will keep at least a year in your cabinet. And if you store them in an airtight container and stick them in the freezer, they’ll be good for years. Talk about shelf life!

2. They’re cheap. It takes nine ounces of fresh ‘shrooms to make one ounce of dried, but they still cost about half as much. Use them in any recipe calling for cooked mushrooms: Just pour boiling water over them, let sit until softened and they’re ready to use.

3. They’re so good. Dried mushrooms are umami gold! They’re full of extra-concentrated flavor, and so it their soaking liquid. Substitute it for water to cook grains, use as a broth for soup, or add it to the dish you were constituting the mushrooms for.

Try these recipes!

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A Meatless Labor Day

Happy Labor Day! An end-of-summer celebration means lots of time by the grill, and what better way to include your vegetarian guests than by grilling something so savory and delicious, no one will miss the meat? Here’s your life-saver: The Big, Beefy Mushroom Cheddar Melt. Although this dish has the word “beef” in its name, the only meatiness you’ll find is from the flavor-packed Portobello mushrooms.



For more meatless main’s, including these awesome Vegetarian Chickpea Burgers, click here.



Previous Meatless Monday Posts


Terrific Tofu Recipes

Mushroom Madness

Reinvent Taco Night


Meatless Monday: Mushroom Madness

Exotic MushroomsMushrooms can be a bit of an intimidating ingredient. I remember as a kid, my scientist mother told me that that they’re actually an “edible fungi” and that yes, I am supposed to eat them despite my knee-jerk reaction. “But don’t eat all of them,” she warned, “because certain varieties, like the ones in the park, could be poisonous.” Wait, what? Poisonous?! Talk about being confused from a young age!


Don’t recognize the exotic varieties (pictured, left)? Click here to get the scoop on each one plus how to cook with it.


These days though, I am a true believer in the magic of mushrooms–no, not that kind of magic–I’m talking about their ability to provide tons of flavor and enhance the other foods that they’re paired with. Don’t believe me? Well, it’s science! Mushrooms are high in glutamate, (an amino acid), making them the king of “umami,” that fifth hard-to-describe savory taste also found in aged cheeses, soy sauce and cured meats.


So what does this have to do with Meatless Monday? When you’re looking for a vegetarian recipe that will satisfy every palate, reach for mushrooms! With their distinctive texture and flavor boosting powers, you won’t even notice that the meal is missing meat! (Plus, by going for mushrooms, you can even save a couple bucks compared to buying meat and calories!) Check out some of our favorite meatless mushrooms recipes below!


Tuscan Risotto with Walnuts & Mushrooms recipe

Tuscan Risotto with Walnuts & Mushrooms

This 30-Minute Meal from Rachael Ray features porcini mushrooms and is great when you’re looking for a comforting bowl of rich and luxurious risotto. Plus, it’s as easy as making a bowl of steamed rice!

Mushroom, Ancho & Black Bean Chili recipe

Mushroom, Ancho & Black Bean Chili

This hearty 30-Minute Meal features cremini or your choice of mixed mushrooms and is delicious topped with shredded cheese, pickled jalapeno chile peppers and crushed tortilla chips! Make a large batch on the weekend and you’ll have lunch all weeklong!

Mushroom and Garlic Pizza

Mushrooms and Garlic Pizza

This simple pizza features shiitake and white mushrooms. Make prep time even faster on busy weeknights by substituting a store-bought crust. Then, once you’ve memorized the easy recipe, experiment by using different combinations of mushrooms and cheese and adding on some of your other favorite ingredients! My personal favorite? Cracking an egg on top and letting it bake slowly!

Mushroom & Egg Toasts

Mushrooms & Egg Toasts

Mushrooms are great any time of the day! Try them for B, L or D–breakfast, lunch or dinner–with these tasty toasts. Once you master this basic sauté, get creative and add in your own mix-ins like cheese or avocado.








What’s YOUR favorite mushrooms? Tell us below in the comments!







Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Curry Recipes 

Meatless Monday: Eggplant

Meatless Monday: Tofu Ramen Soup