By Lora O’Brien

It seems ‘shrooms are the new elixir of life. They contain a potent mix of beneficial vitamins and minerals, are great for our skin and hair, help prevent diseases such as diabetes and breast cancer, and unlike most veggies, they don’t lose nutritional qualities when cooked.

Neither a fruit or a vegetable, mushrooms are fungi that can be used in a variety of ways. But before you go foraging for mushrooms and chow down on some potentially poisonous varieties, let me guide you towards the best varieties you can consume to not only add a wonderful flavour and texture to your food, but to also overhaul your health.

Reishi: Loaded with ganoderic acid, reishi is a species of the mushroom family that can help to service your body and give it a well-needed reboot. From reducing cholesterol and even help to lower high blood pressure, its strong immune boosting powers also help to hail it as an antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-cancer fighting fungus.

Maitake: The maitake mushroom is loaded with anticancer, antiviral and immune-system enhancing properties – perfect if you’re looking to control both high blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Consuming half a cup of these bad boys per day can also help them to sweep our system, find abnormal cells and cause them to self-destruct.

Shiitake: Not only are shiitake mushrooms a brilliant source of vitamin D, they also contain lentinan, which is a natural anti-tumour compound. And if you’re looking to halt wrinkles, they’re a wonderful anti-ageing agent, too. One of the easiest ways to get them into your diet? Drinks! I’ve just discovered this shiitake/turmeric latte mix by Four Sigmatic, and I. Am. Obsessed!

Oyster: Looking for a source of proteins? Oyster mushrooms are rich in protein, alongside vitamin B and fibre. They also contain a small amount of magnesium, zinc and selenium, a powerful mineral that can give the body a boost. 

Porcini: The porcini mushroom is similar in its meaty texture to the Portabello mushroom and works hard to fight inflammation. The fungus food contains a compound called ergosterol, which attacks enemy cells within the body. Porcini also play a crucial role when it comes to aging, so if you’re looking to make it to 100, you’d better snap some of these guys up!

Chaga: Another mushroom that has gained popularity within the health industry as of late, chaga mushrooms have been consumed in tea for centuries. Why? They contain huge amounts of melanin which causes it to have super high antioxidant levels, making it one of the most potent of superfoods. Additionally, chaga can also help with diabetes, cardiovascular health, immune health and lowering cholesterol. 

White Button: Button mushrooms are the world’s most commonly eaten variety, and one that we’ve probably all eaten before now. Whilst you may overlook the button mushroom while at the supermarket, this humble fungus has been linked to the prevention of both breast and prostate cancer.

Shimeji: If you struggle with asthma, you may be intrigued to learn that the shimeji mushroom can go a long way in helping, due to its high levels of beta-glucans which suppress allergic reactions. It can also give the immune system a boost.

Chanterelle: Looking to give your metabolism a kick-start? Chanterelle mushrooms are loaded with vital vitamins such as vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B5 which play a vital role in converting food into energy. They’re also high in fibre and can help to keep your gut health thriving.

Black Truffle: Now for the fanciest member of the fungus family: the truffle. Not only does a tiny dash of trufflegive food a distinctly gourmet flavour, it also contains a ‘bliss molecule’ which gives us those feel-good vibes!

20+ Vegan Mushroom Recipes

If you’re looking to get fancy with your fungi, scroll down for an array of delicious recipes that will help you to turn mushrooms into tasty dishes!

1. Coconut Adaptogenic Mushroom Latté

Think that adding mushroom to your morning latté will taste of mushrooms? Think again! This healing beverage tastes like caramel and is packed full of medicinal shrooms, herbs and blended with creamy coconut milk. Yum!

Get the recipe here.

2. Banana Carob Smoothie with Chaga

Love a smoothie? Why not give it an antioxidant boost by adding in some chaga powder? Not only will this healing potion taste delicious and leave you feeling wonderfully revived, it will also help to rejuvenate skin leaving you glowing.

Get the recipe here.

3. Golden Milk Latte with Chaga

Chaga tea has many health benefits, but when combined with anti-inflammatory turmeric and health-boosting ginger, it creates what can only be described as a ‘superfood drink’. To keep this 100% vegan, swap honey for agave syrup.

Get the recipe here.

4. Korean Mushroom Porridge

Most of us associate porridge with fruit and cinnamon, but why not reinvent your bowl with this savoury recipe? The oats are infused with stock and an array of aromatic flavours, making it anything but bland.

Get the recipe here.

5. Sautéed Mushrooms and Sage on Toast

Wanna keep it simple? It doesn’t get easier than mushrooms on toast! These savoury ‘shrooms are sautéed with sage, garlic and white wine and then served over crispy toast. A perfect light lunch or snack.

Get the recipe here.

6. Truffled Mushroom Pizza

What’s not to love with this pizza recipe? It calls for just a handful of ingredients, is quick and easy to make and is tastier than any takeaway pizza! If you don’t have any truffle oil in your kitchen yet, you must get some – it’s seriously a vegan staple! Buy some here.

Get the recipe here.

7. Porcini Mushrooms Risotto

The porcini mushrooms give this risotto a deep, earthy flavour that pairs perfectly with a glass of wine. And it’s easily made vegan by subbing the butter for a vegan butter, and swapping the parmesan out for a vegan alternative.

Get the recipe here.

8. Portobello Mushroom & Cashew Cheese Burgers

I LOVE me a veggie bean burger, but more often than not I’m left feeling sluggish (and possibly gassy) afterwards – ugh! Portobello mushrooms make perfect buns for this recipe, whilst providing a meat-like texture. Plus the cashew cheese is wonderfully gooey and tasty as heck!

Get the recipe here.

9. Smoky Roasted Portobello Sushi Rolls

Bored of vegetable sushi? You’ll love these mushroom rolls. The portobellos add a smoky flavour which blends smoothly with the creaminess of the heart of palm and crisp green onions. Personally, I also love the combo of ‘shrooms with soy sauce.

Get the recipe here.

10. Garlic Mushroom Pasta

Pasta dishes are a quick and easy option for days when you’re in a rush. Here, thick noodles are cooked with garlic and mushrooms to create a super simple and savoury dish that’s very satisfying.

Get the recipe here.

11. Mushroom Pâté

I don’t know about you, but normally, the notion of pâté has me feeling a little queasy. Ground up animal, anyone? However, this tasty mushroom pâté is super delish! Make with dried porcini mushrooms for added flavour, this is great smeared on some crusty bread.

Get the recipe here.

12. Field Roast Oyster Mushrooms & Tiny Potatoes over Polenta

Thought going vegan meant ditching scallops? Wrong! Okay, so they’re not real scallops but these oyster mushroom alternatives will have everyone fooled! Paired with tiny potatoes and seasoned with Old Bay, dill and melted vegan butter, this is the quick and easy dinner that will become a firm-fave.

Get the recipe here.

13. ‘Shroom Hunter Smoky Grilled Cheese

Hands up if you didn’t think a grilled cheese could get any better? The shiitake and crimini mushrooms here add a fab texture, whilst the vegan cheese melts to become nice and gooey. I also love how the rustic bread turns crispy and golden once cooked in a little vegan butter.

Get the recipe here.

14. Maitake Mushroom Smoky Tea Broth

Whilst maitake mushrooms can be a little pricey, their distinct flavour makes the perfect base for this broth. If you’re new to lapsang souchong tea, then you’ll love this recipe. It’s intensely smoky, and the perfect broth base to show off the earthiness of roasted maitakes.

Get the recipe here.

15. Shiitake & Oyster Mushrooms Dumplings

Who doesn’t feel comforted by a plate of steaming hot dumplings? They’re hearty yet light at the same time. Here, shiitake and oyster mushrooms are cooked with garlic and scallions before being pan-fried to perfection.

Get the recipe here.

16. Vegan Mushroom Soup

There’s nothing that hits the spot quite like a steaming bowl of mushroom soup on a cold day! This recipe is packed with herbs to make it rich and flavourful. Great with some toasted bread!

Get the recipe here.

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17. Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff

Beef broth and heavy cream are the main ingredients of this Russian dish – usually. But it just got a vegan makeover, thanks to Blender Girl. And you know what? Mushroom stroganoff has never been lighter, or tastier!

Get the recipe here.

18. Vegan Cioppino with Oyster Mushrooms

This vegan take on cioppino, a popular Italian fish dish, uses seared oyster mushrooms in place of fish. It has a similar texture and tangy, citrusy flavour as the original recipe, and only takes 30 minutes to make from start to finish.

Get the recipe here.

19. Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Garlic Sauce

Not a huge fan of the texture of mushrooms? Grilling them can make them more solid and meaty. This recipe is super quick to throw together, and yet loaded with flavour. The caramelized sweetness pairs perfectly with the garlic sauce and basil. Serve with either salad for a lighter meal or potatoes for more of a heartier dish.

Get the recipe here.

20. Vegan Pulled Mushroom Tacos

Pulled mushrooms are stewed in spices and then baked in the oven until the edges are charred and crispy before being stuffed inside corn tortillas and dressed with a tomato salsa, crisp lettuce, pickled onions and a dollop of vegan sour cream for a quick and easy taco recipe.

Get the recipe here.

21. Mushroom Walnut Bourguignon with Cauliflower Mash

If you love French cuisine but hate the dairy and meaty ingredients, then this vegan mushroom bourguignon is for you! It’s hearty and wholesome – just what we need with autumn around the corner.

Get the recipe here.

22. Soyrizo-Stuffed Mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms are wonderful when stuffed, and this recipe offers some unique flavours! Even if you can’t find soyrizo (which is a soya based sausage), just use juicy tomatoes, spicy chips and creamy guacamole for a Mexican vibe.

Get the recipe here.

23. Mushroom Lentil Loaf

Lentil loaf may sound a little bland, but this dish is packed with flavour and texture, thanks to the combination of mushrooms, lentils, walnuts, sunflower seeds and fresh herbs. Why not pair it with some fresh vegetables and potatoes for a quick and easy dinner?

Get the recipe here.

24. Biscuits and Mushrooms Gravy

Sometimes we all need a mouthful of comfort food, and with the weather getting cooler, this recipe is perfect! Warm, hearty and packed full of the best savoury flavours, these biscuits topped with mushroom gravy will hit the spot. Perfect as a side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas, too.

Get the recipe here.

25. Garlic Mushroom Spaghetti

If you’re not a fan of mushrooms, try cooking them with garlic. Game. Changer! Creamy spaghetti is topped with mushrooms and garlic and then coated in a creamy white sauce….anyone else salivating?

Get the recipe here.

26. Vegan Mushroom Ravioli

You don’t need eggs to make delicious ravioli; flour, water and olive oil are enough. These vegan ravioli parcels are stuffed with a delicious mushroom and thyme filling and then topped with a creamy white sauce that has lots of added nooch to give it a cheesy vibe.

Get the recipe here.

27. Crispy & Chewy Sesame Shiitake

This dish is a vegan version of sesame beef, and the shiitake mushrooms have the perfect texture to replace the meat. Slightly crispy on the outside, super chewy and juicy on the inside, they’re coated in a sticky sweet and spicy sauce that is fabulous paired with simple rice.

Get the recipe here.

28. No-Bake Chocolate-Peanut Butter Reishi Balls

Not sure about using mushrooms to create sweet treats? The flavours of peanut butter, chocolate and coconut 100% mask the flavour of the reishi powder in these balls, leaving you with a delicious treat that’s packed with protein, fights cancer, and DOESN’T taste like mushrooms!

Get the recipe here.

Main image: Vegan mushroom lasagne. Get the recipe here.

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