From Fungi to Fantastic: How to Prepare Mushrooms for Pizza?
Mushrooms are a quintessential pizza topping. Their earthy aroma, meaty texture, and gentle umami flavor pair flawlessly with any other topping. While most people use the classic “button mushroom” for pizza, there is also an endless world of different gourmet mushrooms that pair excellently with pizza.
So, are you wondering what the best mushrooms for your pizza are? Look no further! This selection of mushrooms I am going to cover below is available in most grocery stores and supermarkets, making your homemade pizza bursting with flavor.
And don’t worry, I will also cover how to prepare mushrooms for pizza.
The Classic Pizza Mushroom
The “Button Mushroom” is the classic pizza mushroom with which most people are familiar. It’s usually white, sometimes brown, and also goes by the name Crimini, Baby Bella, and Champignon. This mushroom is straightforward to add to Pizza.
How To Prepare Mushrooms For Pizza:
- Like most pizza restaurants, you can use raw, uncooked button mushrooms on your homemade pizza.
- Make sure your button mushrooms are fresh and clean. If necessary, use a brush or damp paper towel to brush off any dirt.
- Cut them into thin slices, about 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) or less. If your slices are too thick, they may not thoroughly cook in your oven.
- If you bought pre-sliced mushrooms that are thicker, saute them lightly on a pan or skillet with some olive oil before adding them to the pizza.
- Most people like to add mushrooms directly on top of the cheese, along with other pizza toppings. If you’d like, you can also add them below the cheese.
- Cook your pizza and enjoy!
If you’re not going to use the mushrooms right away, check out my latest post here: How To Store Mushrooms After Washing? (quick hacks, tips, and tricks).
Best Gourmet Mushrooms For Pizza
There are quite a few choices when it comes to gourmet mushrooms for your pizza. These can take your pizza to the next level and make for a unique culinary experience.
While most of these can be prepared similarly to the button mushrooms as toppings, there are things you should consider that are unique to each variety.
1. Boletes (Boletus edulis)
Boletes mushrooms are an excellent pizza topping due to their flavor profile. Specifically, the high umami content of this variety of mushrooms lends a savory characteristic to the pizza that is otherwise difficult to replicate without the presence of Boletes.
Additionally, the texture of Boletes mushrooms helps create a pleasing texture contrast when combined with other toppings such as cheese and pepperoni.
You will begin by cutting the stem and making it into thin slices. If you’re working with a really large stem, cut it length-wise to make easier bite-size pieces.
For the cap, I recommended removing the pores, which can give the mushroom a slimy texture. These can be utilized in other recipes.
Now cut the cap into thin bite-size pieces and spread them on top of your pizza, and place it in the oven.
2. Chanterelles (Cantharellus sp.)
Chanterelles also make a good pizza topping, although their subtle flavor can be overpowered easily. I recommend avoiding strongly flavored toppings alongside this mushroom.
For preparation, simply cut it into thin slices. Chanterelles tend to hold a lot of moisture, so I recommend precooking them first until they release their moisture. Sautéing is the best way to precook them, which helps to remove some of the excess water and concentrate their delicious flavors.
3. Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus)
Oyster mushrooms are available year-round in most supermarkets. The inclusion of Oyster mushrooms on pizza is an example of a successful culinary fusion.
The texture and flavor of the mushroom complement the cheese, sauce, and other toppings traditionally placed on a pizza base, adding an additional layer of gastronomical delight to the dish.
More specifically, the umami taste of Oyster mushrooms pairs well with tomato sauce and cheese, creating a heightened dining experience.
Simply slice thinly into small pieces and put them on top of your pizza before cooking.
Alternatively, you can also shred Oyster Mushrooms by hand, which I usually do.
4. Black Trumpets (Craterellus sp.)
The Black Trumpets’ smoky, earthy flavor provides an interesting counterpoint to the sweetness of tomato sauce and other popular toppings, while its dark hue adds a visually appealing element to the dish.
Furthermore, its texture is both crunchy and delicate – making it a unique addition to any culinary concoction.
You can simply cut them into small pieces and add them on top, but I personally like to saute them lightly in olive oil before adding them to the pizza.
5. Morels (Morchella sp.)
Morels make excellent pizza toppings, but it is important to cook them thoroughly. Uncooked morels are TOXIC! For this reason, it is recommended to precook the morels on a hot pan with oil for 5-10 minutes before placing them as a topping.
I would recommend cooking them in small batches so you can sautee them only in a single layer till they take on a slight color on each side.
6. Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinula edodes)
Shiitake is a delicious edible mushroom that is easily available and often found dried. If you have been drinking mushroom coffee, you have probably seen Shiitake on its ingredient list.
Before cooking with dried Shiitake, it is important to rehydrate it properly in warm water for 30-45 minutes till they have almost doubled in size.
It is also a good idea to precook it like the morels just because it can otherwise be hard to digest.
7. Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus)
The consumption of this edible mushroom known as Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) has increased in recent years, particularly due to its culinary versatility. Its mild flavor and texture make it an ideal pizza topping.
However, it must be handled with caution. It is not toxic raw but can be difficult to digest for some individuals. It is a good idea to blanch, fry, sauté, or bake it before using it as a topping for 5-10 minutes to improve its digestibility.
Truffles will take any pizza to the next level in terms of taste as well as price.
I would say that the flavor profile of truffles on pizza is highly nuanced, providing a unique taste experience.
The subtle earthy notes of the truffle complement the savory richness of the cheese and dough while imparting a hint of sweetness to the dish.
The intensity of the truffle taste varies depending on its age quality and how much of it you are using, adding an element of complexity to the overall flavor profile. This complex interplay between sweet and savory creates a flavor balance that is both intriguing and delicious.
If you have fresh truffles, grate or slice them directly onto the pizza after cooking. Truffle oil should also be added after cooking as well. Never cook the truffles to avoid losing their flavor.
Tips and Tricks
- For mushrooms with subtle flavors, you can use white sauce instead of classic pizza sauce.
- If your mushrooms have a high moisture content, you may want to precook them until they have released all or most of their water before using them as a topping. Alternatively, let them dry in the sun for a day.
- You can also cook mushrooms directly into the pizza sauce to enhance its flavor.
- If using dried mushrooms, make sure to rehydrate them properly for at least 30 minutes before using them.
- Most mushrooms require thorough cooking to be easily digestible. For this reason, I always recommend cutting them thinly. If you are not using a proper pizza oven, consider precooking the mushrooms regardless of variety. Quick sauteeing in hot oil will do the trick.
Worst Mushrooms For Pizza
While most mushrooms pair pretty well with pizza, some do not. They’re either too strong in flavor or don’t have the best texture once cooked. While it is surely possible to incorporate these into a pizza, an experienced culinary technique may be required.
- Enoki mushrooms
- Yellow Feet
- Puff Balls
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Use Canned Mushrooms on Pizza?
Canned mushrooms can be used as a convenient alternative to fresh mushrooms for pizza toppings. Drain the liquid and pat them dry before placing them on the pizza. However, fresh mushrooms are generally preferred for their texture and flavor.
How To Cut Mushrooms For Pizza?
Clean the mushrooms with a damp paper towel, and using a cutting board and a sharp knife, cut the mushrooms with the cap side facing up into thin and even slices, about 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) thick.
How To Stop Mushrooms Making Pizza Soggy?
To avoid your pizza turning soggy, make sure not to clean or soak your mushrooms in water before using them. Instead, use a wet paper towel or a brush. Also, ensure the mushrooms are thinly sliced, and you do not use too much on the pizza. Also, sauteing the mushrooms before adding on pizza will help to remove some of the water content.
How To Prepare Mushrooms For Pizza?Course: Pizza toppingCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Well, we’ve got some good news for you – you can use raw, uncooked mushrooms on your pizza! Not only is this method quick and easy, but it also adds a delightful earthy flavor and satisfying texture to your favorite slice. All you need to do is slice your mushrooms and layer them on top of your pizza before baking. However, if you prefer to cook them beforehand, below is how to do it.
1 cup of fresh button mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat your oven to the desired temperature for baking your pizza.
- Clean the mushrooms by brushing off any dirt with a brush or damp paper towel.
- Slice the mushrooms into thin pieces, about 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) or less.
- Sauté them lightly on a pan or skillet with some olive oil before adding them to the pizza.
- Arrange the sliced mushrooms on top of the pizza, either on top of the cheese or cover the mushrooms with cheese after.
- Bake the pizza according to your recipe or preference.
- Choose the right mushrooms: When it comes to pizza toppings, not all mushrooms are created equal. For a delicious pizza, it’s important to choose the right mushrooms. Button, Cremini, Portobello, and Shiitake mushrooms are all great options. Avoid using mushrooms with too much moisture, such as Enoki or Oyster mushrooms, as they can make the pizza soggy.
- Clean them properly: Mushrooms have a tendency to absorb moisture, so it’s important to clean them properly before slicing. Avoid washing them under running water, as this can make them too wet. Instead, use a soft brush or a damp cloth to gently wipe off any dirt or debris.
- Slice them thinly: To ensure that the mushrooms cook evenly on the pizza, it’s important to slice them thinly. My favorite tools are a mandoline or a sharp ceramic knife to slice them into uniform pieces.
Mushrooms have long been a controversial topic within the pizza-eating community, with some individuals ardently advocating for the inclusion of this delectable topping and others staunchly opposed. Although mushrooms are often likened to pineapple due to their shared ubiquity as toppings, one must remember that the two fungi are fundamentally different in terms of their nutritional and taste profiles.
With the grand variety of gourmet and seasonal mushrooms that are available, it is also possible to be inventive and make unique combinations that will impress vegetarians and omnivores alike.
Enjoy and Bon Appetite!