Can you freeze mushrooms? Yes, you can! I bought these mushrooms at Costco today to show you how to freeze them, step by step. Freezing mushrooms is actually something that comes in handy for emergencies. During a crisis, you will still want flavor and nutrients in your food. Mushrooms can provide both!
I love pictures because I learn better that way. So let’s get started. If you want to learn how to freeze mushrooms, you are going to learn all about it today!
Learn How to Freeze Mushrooms
It’s okay to wash your mushrooms by hand, or you can use a mushroom brush to clean them. I washed mine. Then I cut off the stem and any bruised area I could see that didn’t look good to me.
Then I sliced them about 1/4 inch thick. I tried using a mushroom slicer but it didn’t work that great for me. If the mushrooms had been smaller it would have worked great.
I would not recommend a wire slicer since they tend to break too easily. Having the right tools when you are freezing mushrooms is important. Freezing mushrooms is something I do a few times a year, so I just went ahead and bought the right tools to have on hand.
How To Choose Good Mushrooms
Be sure and look for the smooth rounded tops without blemishes and a firm top. The surfaces should be plump, dry, and definitely not dried out. Look under the cap, if you see a closed veil it will have a very delicate flavor and not too strong. If the veil is open you should expect a rich, strong flavor.
You will want to choose good mushrooms for freezing because they will keep better. When you freeze something like mushrooms, you can still keep the delicious flavors, but you do need good quality mushrooms on hand.
Which Mushrooms Freeze The Best?
Maybe it’s just me, but I only buy mushrooms from Costco or a store called Albertson’s, so I buy what they have on sale. These work great for my taste buds and my grocery budget. They do not turn out rubbery because I steam them or fry them before freezing.
If you have a local farmer’s market, you may get lucky by finding mushrooms there. Sometimes it’s trial and error with finding mushrooms that your family loves to eat.
How To Store Fresh Ones
When I bring mushrooms home from the store I store them in the original container until I’m ready to use them. Once opened, I replace the plastic wrap with a fresh piece and poke holes in it to let the air circulate. I typically use them within 3-5 days.
You do want to make sure you store fresh mushrooms properly. If you plan on freezing them you don’t have to worry about this too much. However, if you plan on keeping the mushrooms in the fridge for a few days, you’ll want to follow these tips.
How To Freeze Mushrooms
There are three ways to freeze mushrooms. The first one is to just freeze them raw, I wouldn’t recommend this because they become quite rubbery.
You slice them about 1/4 inch thick, spread them on a cookie sheet and flash freeze them. Then bag them in 1-2 cups per freezer bag.
Blanch or Steam Sliced Mushrooms
The second way is to steam (blanch) the mushrooms for a couple of minutes (see list below for size), then drain the water.
How To Steam Mushrooms
- Large whole mushrooms steam 4-5 minutes
- Sliced large mushrooms steam 3 minutes
- Large quartered mushrooms steam 3-1/2 minutes
- Whole Button mushrooms steam 3 minutes
You will then cover the mushrooms with ice water to cool them down quickly and to stop the steaming/blanch step.
You can see below that after taking them out of the ice water they become translucent. Spread them out to dry. After drying, place them on parchment paper and freeze them.
Saute Mushrooms Before Freezing
I grabbed a frying pan and started heating it over medium heat. After placing the 1/4-inch sliced mushrooms in the pan, I added about a tablespoon of butter. I fried them until they were almost fully cooked.
I wish you could smell my house, it smells like mushrooms! Add a little butter in the frying pan and I wish I had a steak to go with these babies.
Let the mushrooms cool down in the frying pan until they are cool enough to handle. Place them on parchment paper and flash freeze them in your freezer.
We do this so they won’t stick together when we bag them up later.
On the left, you can see the frozen sauteed ones and the right are the steamed ones. I let them freeze for a day so I can use my FoodSaver to bag them up without them sticking to each other.
It’s so easy to freeze them, and they taste fabulous after freezing. These were not rubbery at all after thawing in the refrigerator a week later.
How Can I Use These Frozen Gems?
- Serve warm with steaks
- Add to spaghetti sauce
- They work great in soup or stews
- Perfect for omelets
- Delicious on pizza
How Long Can I Store Them In The Freezer?
For best results, the steamed or sauteed mushrooms will store safely for 6-8 months in an air-tight container in the freezer. Making sure your mushrooms are in an air-tight container is so important.
You don’t want these mushrooms to go bad! There are lots of options out there when it comes to choosing a freezer-friendly container.
Health Benefits of Mushrooms
Don’t worry, I wouldn’t insist that you learn how to freeze mushrooms if they weren’t good for you. There are many health benefits of mushrooms, follow along to learn some of those benefits!
- Protect the body from free radicals
- Lots of fiber
- Protect your body from aging
- Boost your immune system
- Full of micronutrients
- Mushrooms are also low in calories
Although mushrooms are not considered an actual plant, they are considered a superfood because of their nutrients. Oyster mushrooms and shitake mushrooms have the most fiber.
Do Mushrooms Boost the Immune System?
I’d have to say that it’s a no brainer that mushrooms boost the immune system. If you are looking for a specific type of an immune-boosting mushroom, you’ll want to check out the shitake mushroom.
This particular mushroom has amazing nutrients such as:
- 7 of 8 of the essential amino acids
- Niacin – is a form of Vitamin B3, which can reduce the risk of a heart attack.
- Vitamins B and D
- Selenium – an essential mineral that must be obtained through what you eat. It helps with cognitive function.
There is something awesome about preserving our food in different ways. Let me know if you have tried freezing mushrooms, I love to hear from you. May God bless this world, Linda