Skip to content

How to freeze mushrooms to preserve flavor, nutrients and texture – Common methods and tips.

There are some simple ways in which you can freeze mushrooms and keep them in the freezer throughout the year. After all, there’s nothing like the taste of fresh wild mushrooms or champignons. Whether sliced raw for salads, sauteed in garlic and olive oil, or stuffed with breadcrumbs, their rich flavor makes them the star of many dishes. The fact that they are nutritious also adds health benefits. In addition, freezing mushrooms in the fall is a great way to enjoy the nutrients they contain during the winter. Here are the best ways to store this versatile ingredient in the freezer.

Stock up for the winter season and freeze mushrooms

thaw whole frozen porcini mushrooms and add them to delicious dishes

If you’re a lover of mushrooms, you’ll thank yourself if you stock up on frozen supplies before the cold season . However, various types of mushrooms and cultivated mushrooms usually last less than a week in the refrigerator. Fortunately, there’s a solution that won’t require you to eat a bowl of mushrooms or toss them in the trash instead of cereal for breakfast: you can freeze your mushrooms. Then freeze them until you’re ready to use them in all your favorite dishes, and to make sure you don’t waste a piece when you do have some on hand. When doing this, choose ones that look and smell fresh. It is better to avoid mushrooms that are dry, shriveled, darkened, moldy, have stains or give off an unpleasant odor. In addition, you should only freeze mushrooms that are in good condition.

What types of mushrooms are suitable for storage in the freezer.

freeze various types of mushrooms such as boletus and wild mushrooms as well as regular mushrooms and preserve their nutrients

You can also successfully dry most types of mushrooms, but not all. Some will have a much better texture if you freeze them. While some are better cooked before freezing, others freeze well raw. Mushrooms from the grocery store are cultivated mushrooms that you can freeze raw or cooked. Chestnut sponge and leaf fungus (maitake) also freeze well raw. Wild mushrooms of the slimy genus Schmerling are delicious, but they have a high moisture content that makes them almost impossible to dehydrate well. You should rather preserve these.

prepare for winter with stocks of vegetables like mushrooms

For both raw and cooked mushrooms, the goal in freezing is to prevent them from becoming mushy. Also, when it comes time to use them in a recipe, you should be able to take out just what you need and not have to defrost an entire block of frozen food. With raw mushrooms, this problem can be avoided by first freezing them in a single layer before packing everything in freezer bags.

Choose the best method and prepare the mushrooms

drain fresh whole mushrooms in a sieve and remove the dirt before preparing them

There are several ways to freeze mushrooms. For example, you can blanch them, which preserves the nutrients. Sautéing is just as good to keep the mushrooms nutritious. Most of them have a high water content and can be mushy when thawed, so it’s best to cook them directly frozen. If you want to freeze the mushrooms raw, you can, but it will affect their nutritional value.

cut mushrooms with a sharp knife and freeze them ready for cooking

  • Wash the mushrooms in cold water and cut off the ends of the stems. Mushrooms with a diameter of more than 2.5 cm should be cut into slices or quarters.
  • Freezing changes the color and texture of mushrooms, making them both darker and softer.
  • Steamed mushrooms have a longer freezer life than sauteed mushrooms.
  • Scrub and brush the vegetables to remove dirt. Do not wash the mushrooms as they can become soggy. You can slice them or leave them whole, though smaller mushrooms are best as whole for freezing.
  • Place them on a tray and freeze until firm, then transfer to a labeled, resealable freezer bag, pushing out excess air.
  • It’s best to then consume the frozen mushrooms within a couple of months.

Here’s how to freeze raw mushrooms.

collect wild mushrooms in autumn and either dry them or prepare them directly

Freezing mushrooms raw will cause them to take on a softer texture when thawed. It is still possible to preserve them this way, although they are better for adding to soups and sauces than eating them plain. Here’s how:

  • Clean and prepare mushrooms. You can freeze them whole or slice them, depending on how you want to use them later after thawing.
  • Spread them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze.
  • If you separate the mushrooms, you can freeze them individually instead of in one big clump.
  • Once frozen, you can remove them from the baking sheet and divide them into freezer bags or suitable plastic containers. Then place them in the freezer until you can use them again.

Saute mushrooms or mushrooms and then store them in the freezer.

saute mushrooms cut into quarters in a pan before storing them in the freezer

A quick sauté helps to better preserve the flavor of mushrooms you plan to freeze. If you plan to make mushrooms or wild mushrooms the star of your dish, sauteing them first is recommended from a culinary perspective. In addition, sautéing is another method to bring out their flavor.

  • First, heat some olive oil in a pan over medium heat and then add the mushrooms in an even layer.
  • Sauté them until the mushrooms are golden brown on one side, about three to four minutes.
  • Flip them over and brown the other side for another three to four minutes.
  • Then remove the mushrooms from the heat and let them cool to room temperature.
  • Again, transfer everything to suitable bags or containers.
  • If you like, you can freeze the mushrooms on a tray first, just like the raw version, to keep them separate.

Blanch first and then freeze the mushrooms.

dry whole and sliced mushrooms on kitchen paper and on a kitchen board

To minimize the darkening effect of steaming, you can soak the mushrooms for five minutes in a solution of one teaspoon of lemon juice or 1 1/2 teaspoons of citric acid to one pint of water. Then steam according to these recommended times:

  • Whole mushrooms: 5 minutes
  • Mushrooms: 3 1/2 minutes
  • Quartered mushrooms: 3 1/2 minutes
  • Sliced mushrooms: 3 minutes

Flash freeze mushrooms for better flavor

for the winter freeze mushrooms in a storage box raw or cooked

Another method is to let the mushrooms cool completely. Then you can again spread the pieces on a baking sheet and freeze them in a blast freezer. Once they are completely frozen, use a spatula to lift the mushrooms off the baking sheet. Then pack them all into the desired containers, leaving some room for expansion, and return them to the freezer. Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing the containers. This will help prevent freezer burn. You can also use a vacuum bag to pack your mushrooms in this manner. Because of their high water content, mushrooms are more susceptible to freezer burn than other foods. Also, keep in mind that washing mushrooms can sometimes soak them and cause freezer burn. Some people prefer to simply brush or wipe them off before putting them in the freezer.

Thaw and use frozen mushrooms.

preserve the taste and texture of whole mushrooms and keep them fresh in the refrigerator

When you are ready to use your frozen mushrooms, you can cook them while they are still frozen if you want them to go directly into soups or sauces. Again, mushrooms have a high water content, so the extra water from any ice that may have formed is not a problem. If you want to enjoy the ingredient plain, it is better to thaw them first. Just take them out of the freezer and place them in the refrigerator overnight. Frozen mushrooms have a shelf life of 9 to 12 months. However, for the best flavor and texture, keep them no longer than four months. But if you like mushrooms, you probably won’t leave them in your freezer that long anyway. Avoid piling other foods on top to prevent bruising. Also, keep mushrooms away from strong smelling foods, as they are like sponges and absorb the odor.