Pan-Roasted Mushrooms

This technique for pan-roasted mushrooms might seem counterintuitive but our testers unanimously agreed that it made perfectly textured, not soggy and just a little crisp, mushrooms with loads of buttery, herbal flavor. Not only that, it’s pretty simple.

Pan-roasted mushrooms and a knob of butter melting in the center, in a cast-iron skillet

Mushrooms have high water content and must be cooked over high heat long enough to remove the excess moisture. I add a splash of water to the skillet to prevent them from burning before they can release their natural, flavorful juices. Undercooking mushrooms is a common mistake for both home cooks and chefs. I like to cook mushrooms until they are dark and crispy. They become sponge-like, soaking up the rich flavors of butter and herbs added in the cooking process.–Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann

Pan-Roasted Mushrooms FAQs

When should I add salt to sautéed mushrooms?

This recipe relies on the careful timing of moisture to make the mushrooms cook up without being soggy and ending up just a little crisp. Adding the salt at the very end means that you won’t upset that balance by drawing out more moisture than you should.

Can I double the number of mushrooms that I roast?

This recipe uses 8 cups of mushrooms, all cooked at once in a large cast-iron skillet. If you just really love mushrooms or if you’re cooking for more than 4 people, you can do it but with this word of caution–crowding mushrooms in a pan will lead to them steaming, rather than cooking as intended. Because they’re better freshly roasted, the best way to increase the amount is to cook 2 batches at once in separate pans.

Pan-Roasted Mushrooms

Pan-roasted mushrooms and a knob of butter melting in the center, in a cast-iron skillet
Pan-roasted mushrooms are first cooked until golden and crispy, then seasoned with butter, shallots, chives, thyme, and garlic. This method results in mushrooms that absorb loads of rich flavors and aren't soggy.

Prep 25 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 35 mins
4 servings
217 kcal
5 / 5 votes
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  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 cups sliced wild mushrooms such as chanterelle, shiitake, oyster, trumpet, or morel, preferably just a single variety and not a mix
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small chunks
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 garlic cloves minced
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper


  • To make the pan-roasted mushrooms, heat your largest skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium-high heat. Add the oil and wait for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and water and cook, without stirring or, okay, stirring just once or twice, until the mushrooms are crisp at the edges and golden, about 8 minutes or maybe even 12 minutes, depending on the type of mushroom.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat, stir in the butter, shallots, thyme, chives, and garlic, and toss just until the butter melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 217kcal (11%)Carbohydrates: 8g (3%)Protein: 6g (12%)Fat: 20g (31%)Saturated Fat: 7g (44%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 23mg (8%)Sodium: 12mg (1%)Potassium: 646mg (18%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 4g (4%)Vitamin A: 378IU (8%)Vitamin C: 8mg (10%)Calcium: 20mg (2%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

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Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I used wild foraged chanterelle mushrooms, and this was a delicious way to prepare them. I was dubious about not stirring or shaking the pan while they cooked, but the end result was perfectly roasted mushrooms. I can’t wait to make them again.

We bought a wonderful selection of wild mushrooms from the mushroom purveyor at our farmers’ market. We used organic tree oysters, king trumpets, and pioppinis. We used a cast-iron skillet to cook them in. I had never added water with mushrooms when cooking them, but I’ll be trying that again. After just a few minutes, the mushrooms began to caramelize.

I added the herbs as well as the shallots and garlic and, last, some butter, all earlier than the recipe suggests because I didn’t want the condiments raw. The resulting mushrooms were very golden, moist, and yet a bit crispy, and really delicious. This is a method that I’ll use again.

I found that the mushrooms started to caramelize by the end of the 8 minutes, so I would recommend perhaps stirring the mushrooms once and cooking them a little longer to ensure that they are more evenly caramelized.

I used 4 tablespoons of butter, and while it was tasty in the finished dish, I was left with a small puddle of butter on the plate, so I would suggest using perhaps a little less butter. Neither the garlic nor the shallot was too raw in the final dish.

Sometimes you open your fridge and need to cook up whatever is lurking. And so it went for my baby Bella mushrooms. When I looked at this recipe, I realized it was a technique I had never used and was anxious to try it. Adding water? Not stirring? Add the flavorings at the end, off the heat? All of these thoughts were counterintuitive to me but I grabbed my enameled cast iron skillet and got to work.

Admittedly, I didn’t measure my sliced mushrooms, instead, I used 12 ounces. I cut back on the water and flavorings a bit and in 10 minutes I had the most delicious roasted mushrooms with caramelized edges. The flavorings cooked from the residual heat in the pan (the beauty of cast iron!) which means the garlic and shallots were mellowed and went great with the thyme and chives.

I used far less butter than called for just because that’s how I cook. And I only stirred twice! The end product was fantastic. I actually ended up using it as an omelet filling for some farm-fresh eggs. It would make a fabulous side dish for any meat, fish, or chicken.

Originally published November 28, 2011



  1. I think maybe based on the type of mushrooms I chose (Japanese oyster) and the climate I live in (Singapore), I could have done with a minute or two less on the heat. The mushrooms became quite hard and rubbery. However, I now know to choose either different types or take them off the heat sooner. Flavour: unbeatable.

    1. Miki, it’s so interesting how things such as weather and water content in vegetables can affect the final dish. But I agree with you, fewer minutes on the fire Will do the trick.

  2. Hi David, I eyeballed 6 cups after chopping (and my eyeballs are pretty well calibrated from many years of catering).

          1. Maybe the cast iron is the key. I’m planning to make them again on Saturday, so I’ll try the 12″ cast iron and see how that works.

          2. Okay, let us know what how it goes, Lisa. I do think the mix of mushrooms may play into it, too. When we tested it, several folks noted that the various varieties exuded liquid at various rates, so I’m wondering if perhaps that played into your situation as well…

  3. I made these in the biggest pan I have but they still came out stewed more than caramelized. And I only had about 6 cups. (boletes, shitakes and buttons, fwiw). Otherwise I followed the recipe to a T (okay, I deglazed the pan with a little wine at the end to get the good stuff off the bottom.) Did anyone else have this problem? I would either do them in two batches or cut the amount of mushrooms in half next time. Still delicious, but not what is pictured or what I was hoping for.

  4. I’ve been using a couple of tablespoons of wine as part of my saute process with mushrooms for as long as I remember. I let the fungus get good and dry before adding it and then giving everything a spin in the pan before letting the wine cook almost to dry. Your thoughts?

    1. Our thoughts, Kitchenbeard? We think wine trumps water any day in our book. From our admittedly non-science-based perspective, it sounds perfect. Besides, anything that has worked for as long as a cook can remember doesn’t truly need anyone else’s stamp of approval! Appreciate you sharing the trick…

      1. I also use wine…different types, depending on what the ‘shrooms will be served with. For a more strident taste, I use red; for a more subtle, delicate flavor, white. Experiment! Marsala and Sherry are also options, but they are distinctive, and may be overpowering.

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