There is a whole world of toppings for pizza from which to choose, but one of the healthiest without sacrificing flavor is mushrooms! They pack pizza with a punch and offer a lovely texture when you chomp on it. But, what are the best mushrooms for pizza?
Any edible fungi you like will make an excellent pizza topping. However, the most advisable ones are porcini, button, cremini, Portobello, chanterelle, truffles, shitake, morel, and oyster mushrooms. They cook perfectly, there isn’t too much preparation involved with them and they all add a wonderful flavor on pizza.
For the most delicious results, you’ll want to find these as fresh as possible. In fact, wild mushrooms are ideal in this regard. However, it’s acceptable to use mushrooms out of the can or ones dried. But it won’t be nearly as tasty. If you get dried mushrooms, you will have to reconstitute them in water or broth before putting them on a pie.
9 of the Best Mushrooms for Pizza
A favorite mushroom in Italian cuisine, porcini mushrooms are the perfect topping for traditional-style pizzas. You can find these both dried and fresh at the store or in the wild, as they grow naturally in deciduous forests at the base of pine trees.
If you can hunt them yourself, you’ll hit a goldmine. Otherwise, they do cost quite a bit when purchasing them. But, these brown babies with white, thick stalks make a meaty, nutty and earthy addition to any meal, especially pizza. They can be as small as an inch to nearly a foot.
To prepare them for your pie, never soak or rinse them in water. Use a paper towel to gently sweep away dirt and debris. You can moisten or dampen the towel slightly if need be. Any excess water will cause the porcini to begin deteriorating quickly, even before cooking.
2. Button Mushrooms
This is the youngest stage of the common mushroom, Agaricus bisporus. Whenever you order a roasted mushroom pizza or make stuffed mushrooms, it’s this fungi. They’re small, easy to prepare, and make a delectable pizza topping. But, they aren’t as flavorful as others mentioned on this list.
Yet, they are very affordable and you can find them out in the wild. Plus, they pack tons of healthy vitamins and nutrients you can’t get from most other pizza toppings. You simply clean them with a soft-bristled brush or rinse them well. Then, slice or chop them for your pizza.
Cremini mushrooms are yet another great topping for pizza. These are simply the “juvenile” stage of the common mushroom, Agaricus bisporus. They are the stage that’s one step ahead of the button mushroom. The moisture content is a little higher than its Portobello counterpart is and thereby leaves a bit slimier mouthfeel.
Regardless, they pack with fresh flavor but have more of that mushroomy taste with a spongier effect. This makes baking them on a pizza a perfect accompaniment with other toppings such as spinach, ham, sausage, onions or basil.
Because they already packed with water, you can gently rinse the cremini mushrooms to clean them. Allow them to dry somewhat and use paper towels if necessary. You can either use these chopped as toppings or mix it into the pizza sauce you’re going to use.
4. Portobello Mushrooms
The big and beautiful, mature form of Agaricus bisporus is the Portobello. They have a rich, meaty, and savory flavor with a texture that’s also very much firm like meat. It isn’t spongy or slimy like other mushrooms.
They are large and dark brown, being about six inches across, and very dense. The Portobello mushroom caps are fully open, which exposes the gills. When this happens, more moisture evaporates from the mushroom, which is what gives the Portobello its umami, or unique flavor. All this is what makes it a top pick for pizza.
To prepare them, scrub lightly with a vegetable brush or your clean fingers to remove dirt. Don’t wash them unless absolutely necessary. If so, allow them to dry before putting them on your pizza. You can either create stuffed Portobello pizzas or chop them as a topping.
Coming from the Cantharellus species, chanterelles are highly sought after as a wild mushroom. These are one of the most delicious and most expensive mushrooms. They are only available for a short period during the year and found only under specific conditions.
Even still, their attractive texture, shape and color give pizza a splash of pizzazz. To clean them, you can opt to rinse them or not. However, it’s best to sauté the mushrooms in olive oil or butter prior to using them on pizza. This will bring out the best flavor in the chanterelle while making it cook evenly with the pizza.
Chanterelles are good for ham mushroom pizza and they make an excellent addition to spinach pizza. If you want to go with a more French theme for your pie, using these mushrooms are ideal.
Truffles are some of the most mouthwatering fungi available but they also come with the heaviest price tag. Still, they make for a wonderful pizza topping that should not go overlooked on a list of best mushrooms for pizza. There are black and white truffles, with both of them being a heavenly choice.
If the real thing is too much for your budget, there is truffle oil or salt you can buy which is infinitely cheaper. Use these in the sauce for the pizza and drizzle the oil on after your pizza cooks to give it that wonderful luscious flavor.
Shitake mushrooms are porcini’s Japanese cousin and people often mistake one for the other. However, this meatier-flavored mushroom doesn’t have the earthiness that porcini mushrooms do. Plus, they’re a little easier on the budget, which makes them the most desirable pizza topping.
You can usually find shitakes dried, which means all you have to do to use them is rehydrate them with water. However, some people do like to top their pizzas with them dry so they provide a wonderful crunchy texture to the pie.
Morel mushrooms are a mycological hunter’s trophy and you can find them in the wild at specific times of year, usually early spring. As long as you know what you’re doing, gathering plentitudes of these delicious morsels means you can freeze them and have scrumptious morel mushrooms for several months!
These cone-shaped caps with spongy textures require more care and delicacy than other mushrooms. You must thoroughly wash and clean your morels because tiny white worms can lodge inside of them when coming directly from the source. Plus, you must have a delicate and ginger touch so as not to break or destroy them.
Also, do not wash your mushrooms until you’re ready to cook with them. That is of course if you freeze them ahead of time. But, once clean, you can slice them with a paring knife and put them right onto your pizza. They will bake beautifully with the cheese, sauce, and other toppings you add.
9. Oyster Mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms are large, white fungi that can be expensive from the store but you can also easily forage for them as well. They make a delicious topping for pizza once cleaned and sliced. They crisp up nicely and add a wonderful earthy texture and flavor. In fact, many people will make it the star of the show because of how delicious they are.
Do you agree these are the best mushrooms for pizza? If not, you are welcome to use any kind of edible mushroom you like. Just make sure you clean them appropriately and prepare them correctly before adding them to your pizza creation.