How To Dry-Sauté Mushrooms

Dry Sauté Mushrooms in a pan with a wooden spoon
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Whether we’re spooning them over grilled burgers, tossing them with rigatoni, or gobbling them straight out of the pan, meaty dry-sautéed mushrooms are as easy as they are delicious.

Dry-Sauté Mushrooms, as Easy as it Sounds.

Dry-sautéeing is a unique method of cooking mushrooms on the stovetop that yields perfectly browned, ultra-flavorful mushrooms. This handy technique is easy to master and is precisely what it sounds like—sliced mushrooms that are simply cooked in a dry pan. Whether we’re topping burgers or tossing them with pasta, or even just gobbling them straight out of the pan, buttery, meaty sautéed mushrooms are addictively delicious.

a bowl of quartered mushrooms in a bowl with salt and a stick of butter

Mushrooms 101: Cleaning and Prep

Before your mushrooms are ready to hit a hot pan, you’ll need to do a little quick cleaning and prep. Here’s the 101:

  • Rinse your mushrooms! Contrary to popular belief, it is OK to rinse mushrooms! Mushrooms—especially common mushrooms like white button and cremini—have a lot of moisture in them, and the dry-sauté cooking method is designed to pull that moisture out of the mushrooms, so a little extra moisture from a quick rinse is fine. It’ll evaporate when you cook them.
  • Quarter your mushrooms. You don’t want to slice your mushrooms too finely when prepping them for a dry-sauté, because if they’re super thin they will cook much faster than you want. We want browned mushrooms—not burnt.
quartered brown crimini mushrooms in a bowl

The Dry-Sauté: Hot Pan, No Oil, Perfectly Browned Mushrooms.

Here’s how to cook mushrooms in a dry pan:

  1. Warm a heavy pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Once the pan is warm, add a handful of mushrooms, being careful not to crowd the pan. If there are too many mushrooms in your pan, they’ll release too much moisture and instead of lovely browning, you’ll wind up with a steamed mushroom situation. Yuck.
  3. Let the heat work its magic. The heat of your hot, dry pan will cause the mushrooms to release liquid. This liquid will cook off as the mushrooms brown. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.  
  4. When the mushrooms are lovely and brown, they’re done! You could stop here, but it’s also the perfect moment to add some flavor to your cooked mushrooms. We like to keep things simple and just add a bit of butter and a sprinkling of salt. The still-hot sautéed mushrooms will behave like delicious little sponges, soaking up the richness of the butter.

So, I Made Perfect Sautéed Mushrooms. Now What?

Now it’s time to eat them! We are not above eating these meaty, umami-rich sautéed mushrooms straight out of the pan—in fact, dry-sautéed mushrooms are a favorite toddler food around here—but they’re are also terrific in lots of things. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Browned mushrooms are the base of this creamy mushroom sauce.
  • Omelettes! A little shredded cheese (Gruyére if you’ve got it) and these sautéed mushrooms make for one perfect little omelette. Or if you’ve got a pie crust handy, make it a cheese-and-mushroom quiche.
  • Serve them alongside a simple grilled steak or piece of chicken, or on top of a homemade burger.
  • Spooned generously over a big slab of good toasted bread.  

Tools You’ll Need:

Our Favorite Mushroom Recipes:

  • This creamy mushroom sauce is just about the greatest thing since sliced bread. Pour it on steak or over your favorite pasta.  
  • Brunch at home doesn’t get much more delicious than this rich spinach and mushroom strata.
  • And classic, paprika-laden creamy Hungarian mushroom soup is the simple, cozy weeknight supper that us mushroom fanatics crave on the regular.
Dry Sauté Mushrooms in a sauté pan with butter and a wooden spoon

Are You A Dry-Sauté Pro Now?

Snap a photo of your gorgeously browned, buttery sautéed mushrooms and show us how you gobbled them up! On pasta? Straight from the pan? Did your kids love them? We want to see! Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

How To Dry-Sauté Mushrooms

Ingredients

1 lb mushroom
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter

Method

  1. Heat a large skillet on high heat. Add the quartered mushrooms in a single layer taking care not to crowd the pan (this may need to be done in a few batches depending on the size of the pan. Lower the heat to medium high.
  2. Sprinkle the mushrooms with salt.
  3. Once the mushrooms start to cook, they will start releasing their moisture. Stir a few times, keeping an eye on the heat so that the mushrooms are hot enough to release moisture, but not burn. This step will take 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Once the moisture released from the mushrooms has burned off, add the butter to the pan. Sauté until the mushrooms have reabsorbed the butter and have turned a golden brown.