The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Mushrooms for Steak

The best mushrooms for steak: Enhancing the Perfect Combination

Steak and mushrooms make a fantastic dinner combination that is sure to delight your taste buds. Whether you prefer sauteed or creamed mushrooms, adding mushrooms to your steak dish can enhance the flavors and create a memorable dining experience. In this article, we will explore the best mushrooms to pair with steak, providing you with a variety of options to enhance your culinary creations.

Portobello Mushrooms: A Hearty and Flavorful Pairing

Portobello mushrooms are a popular choice when it comes to pairing mushrooms with steak. These large mushrooms, measuring about 6 inches across, offer a similar umami flavor to steak and pair well with cuts such as sirloin. When preparing a dish with portobello mushrooms and sirloin, consider grilling the mushrooms and steak together in a skillet with some garlic and butter. This cooking method allows the mushroom to infuse the steak with its earthy flavor, resulting in a delicious and satisfying meal.

Shiitake Mushrooms: Adding Smokiness and Depth

If you’re looking to add a smoky flavor to your steak, shiitake mushrooms are an excellent choice. When cooked, shiitake mushrooms release a distinct smoky flavor that complements steak beautifully. For best results, grill some flank steak and sauté the shiitake mushrooms separately. When the flank steak is cooked, add the sauteed shiitake mushrooms to the steak, allowing their robust flavors to meld together. The strong flavor of garlic works especially well with shiitake mushrooms, creating a delightful sensory experience.

Cremini Mushrooms: Earthy and flavorful

Cremini mushrooms, also known as brown button mushrooms, offer a uniquely earthy flavor that enhances the overall flavor profile of your steak dish. These mushrooms are actually immature portobellos and have a more robust flavor compared to regular white button mushrooms. When working with Cremini mushrooms, sauteing is an ideal method of preparation. Their low water content allows them to absorb the flavors of oils, butter, and herbs, making them a delicious addition to your steak. Consider using cremini mushrooms as a topping or cooking them with your steak for an earthy flavor infusion.

Oyster Mushrooms: Delicate Brininess and Tender Texture

Oyster mushrooms offer a delicate and salty flavor that can take your steak dish to the next level. These mushrooms come in a variety of colors, such as pale ivory, yellow, pink, or gray-blue, and become tender and moist when cooked. For best results, sauté oyster mushrooms in olive oil and butter, then add them to a grilled steak. Be careful not to overcook them, as you want to preserve their delicate texture. Oyster mushrooms can also be quickly sauteed in the same pan used to grill the meat, picking up the browned bits and adding extra depth of flavor to your dish.

Porcini Mushrooms: A woodsy flavor for special occasions

While not as commonly served with steak as portobello or shiitake mushrooms, porcini mushrooms bring a distinctly woodsy flavor to the table. Popular in Italian and French cuisine, porcini mushrooms are often used in risottos, lasagna, and various pasta sauces. However, when skewered, brushed with olive oil and grilled with your steak, they can provide a unique and satisfying culinary experience. Skewering small porcini mushrooms helps to keep them together during grilling, and once cooked, they can be removed from the skewer and placed on top of your grilled steak.

Morel Mushrooms: An Exquisite and Nutty Delight

Morel mushrooms are known for their distinctive appearance, with tall caps and intricate crevices running along their surfaces. Although they can be harder to find and more expensive, they are worth considering for special occasions. Morels have a strong nutty flavor and a spongy texture that absorbs sauces and other flavors exceptionally well. Sautéing morel mushrooms in butter and serving them atop a perfectly cooked steak is a surefire way to impress your guests and enhance your dining experience. When working with morel mushrooms, be sure to clean them thoroughly as they are typically foraged and may contain tiny insects.

Choosing the right mushrooms: Freshness and Quality Matter

When choosing mushrooms to pair with your steak, there are a few key factors to consider. Look for mushrooms with a firm texture and no bruising. Check the gills under the mushroom to make sure they are firmly attached. Loose gills can indicate that the mushrooms are past their prime. Also, choose fresh mushrooms over dried mushrooms whenever possible, as fresh mushrooms tend to have a better flavor and texture.
It’s also important to store mushrooms properly to keep them fresh. Store them in a paper bag or loosely wrapped container in the refrigerator. Avoid storing them in plastic bags, which can trap moisture and cause the mushrooms to become slimy.

Experimenting with Mushroom and Steak Pairings

While the mushrooms mentioned above are some of the best options for pairing with steak, don’t be afraid to get creative and try different combinations. Consider mixing different types of mushrooms to create unique flavor profiles. For example, combining shiitake and cremini mushrooms can provide a balance of smokiness and earthiness.
You can also enhance the flavors of your mushroom and steak dishes by incorporating additional ingredients and seasonings. Garlic, butter, herbs such as thyme or rosemary, and balsamic vinegar can add depth and complexity to your culinary creations. Don’t hesitate to experiment with different cooking methods such as grilling, searing, or roasting to discover new flavors and textures.


When it comes to enhancing your steak dishes, mushrooms are an excellent choice. From the hearty and meaty flavor of portobello mushrooms to the delicate brininess of oyster mushrooms, there are many options to explore. Each type of mushroom brings its own unique characteristics and can enhance the natural flavors of the steak in different ways.
Remember to choose fresh, high-quality mushrooms, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different pairings and cooking techniques. Whether you’re hosting a special dinner or simply want to enjoy a delicious steak meal at home, incorporating the best mushrooms for steak will undoubtedly take your culinary skills to new heights.


Why are portobello mushrooms a recommended choice for steak?

Portobello mushrooms have a similar umami taste to steak, adding an earthy flavour without overpowering the natural flavour of the meat. Their meaty texture and robust flavour make them an excellent complement to various cuts of steak.

Can I use white button mushrooms instead of other types of mushrooms?

Although white button mushrooms are widely available, they tend to be less flavourful than other mushroom options. Exploring alternatives such as portobello, shiitake, cremini, oyster, porcini or morel mushrooms can significantly enhance the flavour profile of your steak dish.

How should I cook portobello mushrooms to go with steak?

A popular method is to grill portobello mushrooms alongside the steak in a pan with garlic and butter. Another option is to marinate them in olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sauté or grill them on a charcoal grill for a tangy, flavourful result.

Are there vegetarian or vegan alternatives to steak with mushrooms?

Yes, portobello mushrooms are often used as a vegan/vegetarian alternative to beef steak. Their meaty texture and umami flavour make them a satisfying substitute that can be grilled, sauteed or marinated to create delicious plant-based steak options.

How can I be sure that the mushrooms I choose are fresh and of good quality?

When choosing mushrooms, look for a firm texture, avoid bruised or discoloured mushrooms and make sure the gills are tightly packed. Choose fresh mushrooms over dried ones whenever possible, as they tend to have better flavour and texture.

Can I mix different types of mushrooms with steak?

Absolutely! Mixing different types of mushrooms can add complexity and unique flavours to your steak dish. Experimenting with combinations such as shiitake and cremini mushrooms can provide a balance of smokiness and earthiness that complements the steak perfectly.