Preserving Portobello: A Guide to Freezing Mushrooms

Can you freeze Portobello mushrooms?

Portobello mushrooms, with their meaty flavor and versatile nature, are a popular choice among mushrooms. However, their shelf life is relatively short, and it’s a shame to let these nutritious vegetables go to waste when you’ve bought more than you can cook and eat. The question arises: Can you freeze portobello mushrooms? The answer is yes. Freezing portobello mushrooms is a convenient way to preserve them for later use and avoid wasting them. In this article, we will explore different methods of freezing portobello mushrooms, their shelf life, and how to thaw and use them effectively.

Is it a good idea to freeze mushrooms?

Before we get into the specifics of freezing portobello mushrooms, let’s address whether freezing mushrooms in general is a good idea. Mushrooms, including portobellos, do not keep as well as some other vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, onions, or cabbage. Mushrooms also require special storage conditions. While you can buy frozen or dried mushrooms, they don’t have the same flavor and texture as fresh mushrooms and are not as versatile.
Fresh mushrooms have a short shelf life. They maintain their best quality for 2-3 days when stored in the refrigerator and can last up to 5-7 days if stored properly. Proper storage involves transferring them from their supermarket packaging into a paper bag and storing them in the main compartment of the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can wrap the mushrooms in a paper towel and place them in a loosely covered plastic bag, as this will help absorb excess moisture and extend their shelf life.
However, if you have more mushrooms than you can use in a week, freezing them is an excellent solution. Mushrooms have a high water content, so it is important to freeze them using the proper techniques to minimize changes in flavor and texture. It’s important to note that freezing mushrooms, like other fresh produce, causes them to lose some of their nutritional value. However, frozen mushrooms are still a good source of B and D vitamins and minerals.

How to Clean Portobello Mushrooms for Freezing

Proper cleaning is an important step before freezing portobello mushrooms. Cleaning mushrooms by submerging them in water is not recommended, as mushrooms tend to absorb liquid like a sponge. Here’s a simple and effective way to clean portobello mushrooms:

  1. Wipe the dirt and debris from the mushroom caps with a damp paper towel.
  2. Use a brush to scrape off heavy dirt, using minimal water during the cleaning process.
  3. Twist or cut off the mushroom stalks with a knife.
  4. Scrape off the brown gills under the caps. These gills are edible but may contain dirt.
  5. Repeat this process for any Portobello mushrooms you wish to freeze.

Freezing Raw Portobello Mushrooms

The easiest and quickest way to freeze Portobello mushrooms is to freeze them raw. Follow these steps:

  1. Clean the mushrooms as described above.
  2. Cut the mushroom caps into equally sized cubes.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the mushroom cubes on top, making sure they do not touch.
  4. Place the baking sheet with the mushrooms in the freezer for 1-2 hours or until they are firm and no longer stick together.
  5. Transfer the frozen mushrooms to a heavy-duty zip-top bag or airtight container.
  6. Squeeze excess air out of the bag or container and date it.
  7. Store mushrooms in the freezer, flattening the bag to save space.

Freezing Blanched Portobello Mushrooms

Blanching is a recommended step for freezing most vegetables, including portobello mushrooms. Here’s how to blanch and freeze portobello mushrooms:

  1. Clean the mushrooms as described above.
  2. Plunge the mushrooms into boiling water for about 2 minutes.
  3. Remove the mushrooms from the hot water and transfer them to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
  4. Transfer the blanched mushrooms to a plate and pat dry with paper towels.
  5. Place the mushrooms in a zip-top bag, squeeze out any excess air and label with the date.
  6. Place the bag of blanched mushrooms in the freezer for storage.

Freezing Cooked Portobello Mushrooms

If you want to preserve the texture of portobello mushrooms, it’s best to cook them before freezing. Sauteing in particular will help maintain the firmness of the mushrooms when they thaw. Follow these steps:

  1. Clean the mushrooms as described above.
  2. Dice or slice the portobellos.
  3. Sauté the mushrooms in a little oil or butter over high heat until cooked but still firm.
  4. Allow the cooked mushrooms to cool completely.
  5. Transfer to a zip-top bag or airtight container, removing any excess air.
  6. Label the bag or container with the date and place it in the freezer for storage.

Shelf life and thawing

Now that you’ve successfully frozen your portobello mushrooms, it’s important to understand their shelf life and how to properly thaw and use them.
Frozen portobello mushrooms can maintain their quality for up to 12 months in the freezer. However, for the best flavor and texture, it is recommended that they be used within 3-6 months.
When it comes to thawing the frozen mushrooms, there are a few options available:

  1. Refrigerate overnight: Place the frozen mushrooms in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. This method allows for slower defrosting and helps maintain the texture of the mushrooms.
  2. Thawing with cold water: If you need to defrost mushrooms quickly, place them in a sealed plastic bag and submerge in cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the mushrooms are completely thawed.

Once the mushrooms are thawed, it’s important to use them immediately. Avoid refreezing previously frozen mushrooms as this can affect their quality and texture.

Using Frozen Portobello Mushrooms

Frozen portobello mushrooms can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, stir-fries, pasta sauces, and more. Here are some tips on how to use them effectively:

  1. Cooking: Frozen portobello mushrooms can be added directly to cooked dishes. They will release some moisture during cooking, so adjust the liquid content of your recipe accordingly.
  2. Saute: Thawed mushrooms can be sautéed in a pan with oil or butter before adding to a recipe. This method helps to enhance their flavor and texture.
  3. Grill: Thawed Portobello mushrooms can be marinated and grilled for a delicious vegetarian burger or hearty side dish.
  4. Stuffing: If you enjoy stuffed portobello mushrooms, you can freeze them after cleaning and removing the gills. Thaw the mushrooms before stuffing and baking with your favorite filling.


In conclusion, freezing portobello mushrooms is an excellent way to preserve their flavor and prevent waste if you have an oversupply. Whether you choose to freeze them raw, blanched, or cooked, proper cleaning and preparation are essential to maintaining their quality. Frozen portobello mushrooms can be stored for up to 12 months and are a convenient way to add flavor and texture to a variety of dishes. By following the recommended defrosting methods and using them promptly, you can enjoy the benefits of frozen portobello mushrooms in your culinary creations.


Can you freeze Portobello mushrooms?

Yes, portobello mushrooms can be frozen using various methods to preserve their quality for later use.

How long can you store frozen portobello mushrooms?

Frozen portobello mushrooms can be stored in the freezer for up to 12 months, although it is recommended that they be used within 3-6 months for the best flavor and texture.

Do frozen portobello mushrooms lose any of their nutritional value?

Freezing mushrooms, like other fresh produce, can cause a slight loss of nutritional value. However, frozen portobello mushrooms retain their B and D vitamins and minerals.

What is the best way to thaw frozen portobello mushrooms?

The recommended methods for thawing frozen portobello mushrooms are refrigeration overnight or thawing under cold water. Avoid refreezing previously frozen mushrooms.

Can I freeze stuffed portobello mushrooms?

Yes, you can freeze stuffed Portobello mushrooms. Clean and prepare the mushrooms, then freeze them before stuffing. Thaw the mushrooms before baking with your favorite filling.

How can I use frozen portobello mushrooms in my cooking?

Frozen portobello mushrooms can be added directly to cooked dishes, sauteed, grilled, or used for stuffing. They add flavor and texture to soups, stews, stir-fries, pasta sauces, and more.