9 Best Porcini Substitutes You Must Try Today

Porcini mushrooms are prized for their unique nutty and buttery flavor, earthy aroma, delicate texture, and useful properties. Porcini is added to many dishes, including pasta, risotto, pizza, salads, pies, soups, and sauces, to make the dish more flavorful and creamy. Since porcini only grows in winter and fall, it may be hard to find fresh ones during other seasons.

No need to worry, though, as we have prepared an ultimate guide of the 9 best porcini substitutes that will make your dishes mouth-watering.

Porcini Mushroom Substitute Ultimate Guide – 9 Best Porcini ALternatives

If you ran out of porcini, here are the 9 best porcini mushroom substitutes you must try today:

  1. Shiitake mushroom
  2. Button mushroom
  3. Cremini mushroom
  4. Portobello mushroom
  5. Oyster mushroom
  6. Chanterelle mushroom
  7. Thyme
  8. Zucchini
  9. Tomato paste

Shiitake Mushroom

Shiitake is the number 1 porcini substitute as it has a similar meaty texture, nutty and creamy aroma, a pungent earthy flavor, and similar useful benefits. Even though shiitake mushrooms are less earthy, they have the same texture, do not lose shape when cooked, and go well with soups, pasta, risotto, pies, salads, and make excellent sauces for fish and meat. To learn more about the shiitake flavor, head over to What Do Shiitake Mushrooms Taste and Smell Like?

Shiitake is also a little bit sweeter than porcini and is often added to mushroom sauces. Porcini’s taste is more pungent and earthy, so it goes better with pasta, potatoes, and rice.

The other advantage of shiitake mushroom over porcini is the time it takes to cook. If you are using shiitake as a porcini mushroom substitute, you will need only 7-10 minutes to fry the mushrooms and add them to your dishes. Shiitake does not lose its shape and useful properties under the heat treatment, so your meals will be flavorful and healthy.

Shiitake has a lot of riboflavin, niacin, copper, manganese, selenium, vitamin B5, B6, and D, and contains many of the same amino acids as meat, so if you want to reduce your meat consumption, shiitake is a good choice.  Overall, shiitake is the closest porcini substitute and can be added to any salad, pasta, rice, potatoes, goes well with meat (pork, beef, veal, chicken), and makes an excellent flavorful mushroom sauce. 

See also: 12 Best Cremini Mushroom Substitutes – Mushroom and Non-Mushroom

Button Mushroom

Button mushrooms are one of the most affordable and cultivated varieties in the world. They cost as little as $5 per pound and can be found in the shops all year round. Button mushrooms have a delicate texture, creamy and nutty taste, and earthy aroma. They also act as an umami booster and are a perfect porcini mushroom alternative.

This mushroom is very nutritious and can even substitute meat. Button mushroom is rich in proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. It also contains such useful substances as glucose, starch (glycogen), mushroom fiber, and hemicellulose. It also contains vitamins A and, C, D, as well as B1 (thiamine), B2, B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B9 (folic acid), B12, vitamin PP, biotin.

Button mushrooms are used for soups, salads, sauces, soufflés, gravies, main courses, and pies. They can be fried, stewed, pickled, boiled, dried, fried, and baked. They can be added to pizza, pies, pasta, and meatballs. Button mushrooms go well with seafood, cheese, fish, meat, cereals, vegetables, and eggs. Nutritionists do not recommend eating these mushrooms with potatoes, as this can lead to an upset stomach.

Cremini Mushroom

Cremini are small to medium-sized brown mushrooms that have a mild earthy taste. There is practically no flavor difference between porcini and cremini, but some say that the taste of the latter is richer and more woodsy.

Cremini will give your dish a spicy aroma and a nutty taste. They are great for sauces, salads, omelets, stews, and casseroles. Cremini and other similar mushrooms go well with onions, garlic, feta, goat cheese, basil, parsley, hot peppers, tomatoes, soy sauce, butter, rice, bulgur, barley, and other grains.

See also: Why Are Matsutake Mushrooms So Expensive? Matsutake Price 2022

Portobello Mushroom

Young portobello mushrooms are very popular in soups, salads, pasta, rice, potatoes and they go well with fish and meat (pork, beef, veal, chicken, etc.) Portobello mushrooms have a delicate creamy taste and pleasant earthy smell.

Before cooking, mushrooms need to be thoroughly cleaned under cold running water. Do not leave them in the water for a long time, because they can lose their taste and aroma. Portobello can be eaten raw or added to salads and sauces. To make a dish even more flavorful, sprinkle portobello mushrooms with lemon juice. Do not store fresh chopped portobello mushrooms for too long, as they lose their beneficial properties and taste.

Oyster Mushroom

Oyster mushrooms are another great substitute for porcini thanks to their sweet and nutty flavor and velvet-like texture. You can serve oyster mushrooms as the main course, with some side dishes (pasta, rice, potatoes), salads, and add to the mushroom stew. It is not recommended to fry oyster mushrooms in butter, so you should opt for any vegetable oil, for example, olive oil. Oyster mushrooms are great for making soups and sauces and go well with fish, meat dishes, vegetables, and rice.

See also: What Do Oyster Mushrooms Taste Like? All You Need to Know

Oyster mushrooms remove salts of heavy metals and improve metabolism. Potassium contained in mushrooms regulates the work of the heart muscle. Iron is involved in the formation of hemoglobin and some enzymes. Overall, oyster mushrooms are a valuable dietary food.

See also: Oyster Mushrooms Cooking 101: Best Ways to Prepare Oyster Mushrooms

Chanterelle Mushroom

Chanterelles can be boiled, fried, stewed, pickled, dried, and frozen. They are used to make soups, snacks, fillings for various pies, as an addition to cereals, meat, and vegetable dishes. Fried chanterelles taste the best.

It is not necessary to boil the mushrooms before frying. They need to be rinsed, chopped, pan-fried, and mixed with potatoes, meat, eggs, and other foods, depending on the recipe. Fried chanterelles with onions and sour cream are especially popular. Chanterelles can be stored raw in the refrigerator for up to three days without losing color, flavor, and shape.

Chanterelle mushrooms boost immunity and stress resistance, regulate metabolism, resist infectious diseases and adverse environmental factors, and improve vision. Substances found in these mushrooms prevent the deposition of fat on the thighs and abdomen, so chanterelles can be added to the menu for those who want to lose weight. Regular consumption of chanterelles in food removes heavy metals and salts from the body.


Since thyme has an earthy, minty, slightly lemony flavor, it is a perfect porcini substitute. Thyme leaves have a pronounced pleasant smell and characteristic taste. It has a pungent spice and a specific bitterness, which gives the dishes a special piquancy.

Thyme seasoning can improve the taste of meat, fish, and vegetable dishes and add a special flavor to smoked meats, canned foods, and dough products. At the same time, fatty, fried, and smoked foods are more easily absorbed by the body.

The high concentration of flavoring and aromatic substances allows the herb to be used both fresh and dried. Moreover, you do not need to use much of it, 5-10 g is more than enough to make a dish more flavorful. Thyme is used for making sauces, marinades, poultry, fish, meat, vegetables, salads, broths, and soups. It is also used as a seasoning to make cheeses, sausages, and smoked meats.

See also: Why Are Morel Mushrooms So Expensive? Morel Mushrooms Taste


Zucchini has slightly sweet, fruity, fat-abundant with a unique earthy aroma and is a great dried porcini substitute. You can cook a lot of tasty and healthy dishes from zucchini and use them as a porcini substitute.

Young zucchini with delicate flesh is often used in vegetable salads. Zucchini can be used raw and boiled, fried, baked, or pickled. Mature vegetables have denser skin and flesh, so it is recommended to put them under heat treatment. Young zucchini will make a delicious and delicate soup-puree, vegetable stew, stuffed or fried zucchini, or even pancakes.

Tomato Paste

The super-concentrated tomato paste will be a great substitute for porcini mushrooms in salads, stews, sautees, and sauces. Tomato paste is thick, concentrated, and has a sweet, creamy, and even savory flavor that goes well with pasta, rice, pizza, pies, and vegetable stew.

The high-quality tomato paste will add richness and sweetness to the dish and make it more flavorful. If you cannot make tomato paste, stew tomatoes with onion and garlic, and add to the dish to make its flavor brighter.

Porcini Mushroom Taste

What does porcini mushroom taste like? Porcini mushroom has a rich, nutty, creamy woodsy taste with hints of creaminess, a strong earthy aroma, meaty yet delicate texture. Porcini mushroom does not taste bitter. Thanks to its unique umami taste, porcini mushroom is often added to soups, pasta, risotto, and pizza. 

The chemical composition of porcini mushrooms has a high content of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber, vitamins (B3, B9, C, E), macro- (potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus), and microelements (iron, cobalt, fluorine).

See also: 10 Best Shiitake Mushrooms Substitute — Mushroom and Non-Mushroom

Are porcini mushrooms strong-tasting? Porcini mushrooms do have a strong nutty, earthy, and woodsy taste with hints of creaminess. Porcini does not lose its strong umami taste even after heat treatment, so it is often added to risotto and pasta to make the dish more flavorful.

How do you use porcini? Porcini mushrooms go well with vegetables, primarily potatoes, carrots, and cabbage, as well as beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and most spices and seasonings. Porcini mushrooms are also used in pasta, risotto, pizza, and pies, or eaten as an independent dish. 

Porcini mushrooms are widely used in cooking thanks to their sweet, nutty taste and pungent earthy aroma. They are used raw, dried, frozen, fried, boiled, grilled, and pickled. Here are some of the porcini mushrooms dishes:

  • First courses: mushroom soup with vegetables, puree soup, cabbage soup, miso soup, milk soups.
  • Second courses: roasted mushrooms, meatballs, risotto, lasagna, pasta with mushrooms, mushroom sauces, sautee, cabbage rolls.
  • Hot starters: fried mushrooms in batter, fried mushrooms in sour cream sauce, julienne, mushroom stew.
  • Cold snacks: vegetable and meat salads, pickled mushrooms, pies, eclairs, casserole.

Porcini mushrooms have a strong taste, so they make the whole dish much more flavorful. Porcini is very easy to cook as it does not require pretreatment and does not lose shape, color, and useful properties under heat exposure. Fresh, dried, and frozen porcini mushrooms are most often used for soups and fried and stewed dishes from vegetables, meat, and poultry. Porcini mushrooms are sold in the form of a dry powder used in cooking as a seasoning, which gives the dish a characteristic mushroom flavor and aroma.

Regular consumption of porcini mushrooms improves the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract by stimulating the secretion of digestive juices. They also lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, as well as reduce the risk of infectious and oncological diseases, providing antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and immunostimulating effects.

Porcini Mushroom Substitute FAQ

Which Mushroom Tastes Most Like Porcini?

Shiitake tastes most like porcini, both fresh and dried. They have a similar meaty yet soft texture, a strong nutty, woodsy flavor, and a pungent earthy aroma. Shiitake is the #1 porcini mushroom substitute and is added to soups, pasta, risotto, pizza, salads, and sauces and eaten as an independent dish. 

What Is A Good Dried Porcini Mushroom Substitute?

The best substitutes for dried porcini mushrooms are dried shiitake mushrooms (a strong nutty taste, meaty texture, and pungent earthy flavor), portobello mushrooms (has a mild and muskier taste), and thyme (a popular evergreen shrub with an earthy aroma and is nice to add to soups and sauces).

What Are Porcini Mushrooms Similar To?

Porcini mushrooms are similar to shiitake and button mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms have a similar meaty texture, creamy flavor, and a pungent woodsy aroma, while button mushrooms have a mild, buttery flavor and can be used in all salads, pizza, pasta, risotto, pies, and sauces.

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