A Better Way to Cook Mushrooms

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Wondering how to cook mushrooms without the fat? Try dry sautéing them! This method is an easy and fast way to perfectly cook mushrooms, but without extra butter or oil.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Do you know the easiest way to cook mushrooms? There’s a method I’ve been using for years. It’s called “dry sautéing.” It’s the technique I use with our fabulous Marsala Mushrooms.

Perfectly Cooked Mushrooms, Less Fat

You cook sliced or chopped mushrooms in a hot pan without adding any fat, liquid, or sauce. As the mushrooms heat up in the pan, they release their juices and cook in their own liquid, concentrating the flavor of the mushrooms.

Towards the end of cooking (after about 5 to 10 minutes), once the mushrooms have released much of their moisture, you can swirl in some butter for added flavor if you want. But the cooking of the mushrooms themselves doesn’t require anything but heat.

Even if you do add butter in at the end, you’ll need less than you would have if you started out cooking the mushrooms in butter at the beginning.

VIDEO! How to Dry Sauté Mushrooms

Here’s a quick video of the process:

The Best Mushrooms for This Method

You can cook many mushroom varieties using this technique, from white button mushrooms to wild mushrooms. Fleshy mushrooms that naturally have a high moisture content — cremini, button, portobello, chanterelles, porcini, and oyster mushrooms — work best.

Work with the freshest mushrooms. Mushrooms that are a bit dried out won’t have enough moisture for this method.

The Best Pan for This Method

I find a relatively stick-free pan like cast iron or hard anodized aluminum works well. If you have a non-stick-free pan, you’ll need to stir more frequently to keep the mushrooms from sticking to the pan in the beginning.

How to Cook Mushrooms without Fat

Ways to Use Dry Sautéed Mushrooms

This is an excellent way to prepare mushrooms for use in a recipe that already has sufficient fat, but needs cooked mushrooms, like for a stew or casserole. Try them in these recipes:

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Updated January 22, 2020 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle! No changes to the original recipe.

A Better Way to Cook Mushrooms

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: varies

Work with fresh mushrooms. Old mushrooms that are a bit dried out won't have enough moisture for this method.

I find a relatively stick-free pan like cast iron or hard anodized aluminum works well. If you have a non-stick-free pan, you'll need to stir more frequently to keep the mushrooms from sticking to the pan in the beginning.


  • 1/2 to 1 pound of fresh cremini, button, or porcini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • Sprinkle of salt (optional)


1 Add mushrooms to a hot pan: Heat a large relatively stick-free skillet on high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and stir. Lower the heat to medium high.

You can sprinkle the mushrooms with salt at any point during the cooking process.

2 Stir frequently. Once the mushrooms heat up to a certain point, they will start releasing their moisture. Moderate the heat so that the mushrooms are hot enough to release moisture, but not so hot as to get too browned or dry up.

3 When the mushrooms have given up most of their moisture, remove from heat (about 5 to 10 minutes).

4 Finish the mushrooms (optional): Swirl in a little butter for flavor, sprinkle with salt, pepper, or parsley, deglaze the pan with some marsala, or use the cooked mushrooms as part of another recipe.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

18 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. ArtyJ

    If you cover the pan they cook faster without browning; then you can take the top off and turn up the heat.

  2. Riley

    Don’t salt till end half

  3. Stacey

    Perhaps I did something wrong…I don’t even have it on medium high heat. But rather than releasing juices and becoming soft and tender, they shriveled and got dry and crisp. Not ideal for a tender French omelette ‍♀️


    Show Replies (2)
  4. Christine

    Or, add a little bit of balsamic vinegar, they brown up nicely and the added flavor is a bonus.

  5. Mac

    I’ve been told moving them around the pan is a bad thing as it doesn’t crisp them up.
    Also adding so many at once will turn them slimy : (

    Show Replies (1)
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