Can You Freeze Mushrooms?

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You can freeze mushrooms, and knowing how will make all the difference in your mushroom recipes. Read on to learn how to freeze them, along with tips and recommendations for using them in recipes.

two bags of frozen mushrooms
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

When it comes to versatile plant foods, you can’t go wrong with mushrooms. Not only are mushrooms packed with myriad nutrients, but they boast a meaty texture, too. This makes them an excellent ingredient for recipes like vegan bacon, tacos, stews. 

But what if you have more mushrooms than you know what to do with? Naturally, you might wonder if it’s possible to freeze extra mushrooms to save for later use. The same goes if your meal prep plans changed for the week — because life happens! — or if you simply found mushrooms on sale and stocked up. 

You’ll be glad to know that you can freeze mushrooms. However, instead of popping them in the freezer and calling it a day, it’s worth learning the best practices for doing so. That’s because leftover mushrooms can easily become mushy and slimy when frozen incorrectly. On the other hand, adding a few extra steps will ensure that your mushrooms retain their earthy flavor and meaty texture once thawed.

Read on to learn how to freeze mushrooms, along with tips and recommendations for using them in recipes.

Get Your Mushrooms Ready

Make Sure Your Mushrooms Are Fresh

Before you start prepping them to freeze, you want to make sure your mushrooms haven’t gone bad. When fresh mushrooms have gone bad, they will be slimy and mushy. They will also darken in color. Only use mushrooms when they are firm and free of blemishes.

Don’t Wait Too Long to Freeze Them

In the refrigerator, whole fresh mushrooms last for 7 to 10 days in an air-tight container. Sliced mushrooms will last for about 4 to 7 days in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. Be sure to freeze mushrooms within this time frame, while they’re still fresh.

Clean the Mushrooms

It’s best to avoid washing mushrooms in water. Yes, really! Raw mushrooms are like sponges, so they’ll absorb moisture and become mushy — even after they’re cooked. Instead, use a paper towel or mushroom cleaning brush to remove any dirt and debris.

Step By Step Freezing Process

Now that your mushrooms are ready, it’s time to start the freezing prep. As mentioned above, fresh mushrooms soak up moisture, so freezing them will increase their water content even further. This can make the mushrooms exceptionally mushy once thawed.

Therefore, for optimal flavor and texture, it’s recommended to cook mushrooms before freezing them. There are two main ways to do this: 

Sautéing Method

To maintain the mushrooms’ firm texture and earthy flavor, sauté them before freezing. This cooking method will help reduce the water content of the mushrooms. 

Here’s how to sauté mushrooms for freezing:

1. Cut the mushrooms into slices. You can also cut them into quarters or small cubes.

sliced mushrooms on a bamboo cutting board with a knife
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the mushrooms in a single layer and sauté until brown, about 3 minutes. Work in batches, adding more oil if needed.

sautéing mushrooms in a skillet
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

3. Line a plate or cookie sheet with a paper towel. Add the cooked mushrooms.

sauteed mushrooms drying on a paper towel
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

4. Let the mushrooms cool, then transfer them to freezer bags. Remove the excess air and seal the bags properly to prevent freezer burn. Write the date on the bags.

5. Place the mushrooms in the freezer until frozen.

Frozen Mushrooms in a plastic bag
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Steam Blanching Method

Another option is to steam blanch mushrooms before freezing. Blanching is traditionally used to preserve the flavor and nutritional content of vegetables before freezing them.

Here’s what the blanching process involves:

1. Cut the mushrooms into slices, quarters, or small cubes. You can also leave them whole.

2. Fill a bowl with 2 cups cold water and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Soak the mushrooms for 5 minutes. You can add a small dish on top to keep the mushrooms underwater.

Mushrooms floating in lemon water
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

3. Using a steamer basket, steam sliced mushrooms for 3 to 5 minutes and whole mushrooms for 5 minutes. Dunk the mushrooms in a cold water bath for 3 to 5 minutes, then drain.

Mushrooms in a green colander
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

4. Pat the mushrooms dry with a clean towel. Place in a freezer-safe bag, remove the excess air, then date and seal.

steam blanched mushrooms in a plastic bag
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

5. Place the mushrooms in the freezer until frozen.

Frozen Mushrooms in a plastic bag
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Can You Freeze Raw Mushrooms?

Although you can freeze uncooked mushrooms, it’s usually not recommended. Raw mushrooms become very mushy when frozen then cooked, which is why freezing cooked mushrooms is ideal. However, if you absolutely must freeze mushrooms raw, simply slice them up and place them in a freezer-safe bag.

Can You Freeze Mushrooms Without Plastic Bags?

Definitely. Plastic bags are not necessary to freeze mushrooms, or any vegetable, for that matter. Feel free to use your favorite reusable bag or container, as long as it’s freezer-safe and airtight. This is key for preventing freezer burn. We’re big fans of Stasher bags and Souper Cubes, a silicone freezer-safe container. 

How to Flash Freeze Mushrooms

Some people prefer to flash freeze mushrooms before adding them to bags or containers. To do this, spread the mushrooms on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Place in the freezer for about 2 hours, or until the mushrooms are completely frozen. Use a spatula to transfer the frozen mushrooms into freezer bags, then seal and date. This is very similar to our process for freezing blackberries.

How Long Can You Keep Mushrooms In the Freezer? 

In general, mushrooms last in the freezer for 10 to 12 months. Try to use them as soon as possible for best results.

How to Thaw Frozen Mushrooms

The process of thawing frozen mushrooms depends on the type of dish you’re making. You can add frozen mushrooms directly to recipes that will be completely heated through, like casseroles or soups. Avoid adding them to dishes that involve brief cooking or reheating, as it might not be long enough to fully defrost the mushrooms. You can also simply thaw the mushrooms first by placing them in the refrigerator until they’re fully defrosted. 

How to Use Frozen Mushrooms

Depending on the recipe, you can use frozen mushrooms straight from the freezer or thaw them first. The best option depends on how much time you have and how you are using them.

Not sure how to use mushrooms in recipes? Here are some of our favorite recipes featuring mushrooms (or ingredients that work well with mushrooms):

Frozen Mushrooms in a plastic bag

How to Freeze Mushrooms

Freezing mushrooms is an excellent way to save the versatile ingredient for later use. Here's how to freeze mushrooms so that they stay meaty and flavorful.
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5 Ratings
Print Pin Recipe
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Any
Keyword: can you freeze mushrooms, frozen mushrooms, how to freeze mushrooms, mushrooms
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Freeze Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Kirsten Nunez, MS

Ingredients

Sautéing Method

Steam Blanching Method

  • Mushrooms
  • Lemon juice
  • Water

Instructions

Sautéing Method

  • Cut the mushrooms into slices. You can also cut them into quarters or small cubes.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the mushrooms in a single layer and sauté until brown, about 3 minutes. Work in batches, adding more oil if needed.
  • Line a plate or cookie sheet with a paper towel. Add the cooked mushrooms.
  • Let the mushrooms cool, then transfer them to freezer bags. Remove the excess air and seal the bags properly to prevent freezer burn. Write the date on the bags.
  • Place the mushrooms in the freezer until frozen.

Steam Blanching Method

  • Cut the mushrooms into slices, quarters, or small cubes. You can also leave them whole.
  • Fill a bowl with 2 cups cold water and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Soak the mushrooms for 5 minutes. You can add a small dish on top to keep the mushrooms underwater.
  • Using a steamer basket, steam sliced mushrooms for 3 to 5 minutes and whole mushrooms for 5 minutes. Dunk the mushrooms in a cold water bath for 3 to 5 minutes, then drain.
  • Pat the mushrooms dry with a clean towel. Place in a freezer-safe bag, remove the excess air, then date and seal.
  • Place the mushrooms in the freezer until frozen.

Notes

  • Mushrooms last in the freezer for 10 to 12 months.
  • You can add frozen mushrooms directly to recipes that will be completely heated through, like casseroles or soups.
  • Avoid adding them to dishes that involve brief cooking or reheating, as it might not be long enough to fully defrost the mushrooms.

Recommended Tools & Products

Freezer-safe plastic bags or reusable containers
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