Several excellent alternatives can replace cremini mushrooms. In this post, I will provide 16 cremini mushroom substitutes to give you more choices. Most of the substitutes can imitate the flavor or texture of cremini mushrooms.
When you rush to prepare your upcoming party or cannot find any cremini mushrooms at grocery stores, these alternatives would be the best choices.
Besides, in case you are not a fan of mushrooms, but the recipes call for that ingredient, this post also offers non-mushrooms replacements! Sounds fascinating, right? If so, what are you waiting for not to scroll down and explore those alternatives?
Table of Contents
Let’s Get To Know More About Cremini Mushrooms!
Cremini mushrooms are also called baby Bellas or chestnut mushrooms. They are one of the variations of Agaricus bisporus – the most versatile and widely consumed varieties around the world.
White button mushrooms and Portobello mushrooms are the same variety as cremini mushrooms. However, people harvest them at different growth stages. These types of mushrooms’ flavors tend to be more intense during the growing process.
You can recognize cremini mushrooms by their small and round brown top. Cremini mushrooms have a firm texture and a nutty and savory flavor. Their smell is also aromatic. People prefer adding cremini mushrooms in their burgers, soups, sauces, etc. (1)
Cremini Mushrooms Are Not Only Delicious But Also Beneficial
Have you ever wondered about the health benefits of this scrumptious fungi? Besides the exquisite taste and aroma, cremini mushrooms offer various health benefits. Although they are packed with a small number of minerals and vitamins, their health benefits are excellent!
The enzymes and bacterias (prebiotics) packed in cremini mushrooms offer several essential advantages. Cremini mushrooms also help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and control blood pressure, especially for women during pregnancy.
Also, cremini mushrooms are beneficial for your immune system and digestive tract. The intense flavor of cremini mushrooms enhances the foods’ taste and helps in reducing the amount of salt used to season the foods. They also prevent lung and breast cancer. (2)
These Cremini Mushrooms Alternatives Won’t Disappoint You.
The fresh and earthy taste combined with the aromatic smell of cremini mushrooms can be replaced by various foods. In this article, I will talk about the 16 most popular placements divided into 2 parts: mushrooms and non-mushrooms substitutes.
6 Types Of Mushrooms Are The Best Replacements For Cremini Mushrooms
Below are some mushrooms that have a similar flavor and texture to cremini mushrooms. You can choose one of these to replace cremini mushrooms when you run out of them.
1. Shiitake Mushrooms
You can also come across shiitake mushrooms under the names Donko, golden oak, or Chinese black. Both fresh and dried shiitake appear in various East Asian cuisines, including Japanese and Chinese cuisine.
Shiitake mushrooms yield a similar size and bright brown color to cremini. However, shiitake provides a slightly earthier flavor compared to cremini. The texture is also meaty, so shiitake will taste good when replacing cremini in sauteed or stir-fry dishes.
Shiitake can also be used as an alternative for cremini in pasta, risotto, stew, or barbecues. Making dips and sauces with them is also a great idea. But, you should use fresh shiitake to imitate the best flavor and texture of cremini.
Sauteed shiitake is never easy and quick like this! Try it now!
2. White Mushrooms (Button Mushrooms)
People also call white mushrooms button mushrooms. They are the same variety of cremini mushrooms, so there is no doubt that white mushrooms are one of the best alternatives to cremini mushrooms.
You can find white mushrooms at any supermarket or grocery store at a very affordable price. Since white mushrooms are harvested at a sooner growth stage than cremini mushrooms, their texture is slightly more tender.
White mushrooms taste nearly the same as cremini mushrooms. However, because they are tender and moist, you have to cook them quicker than cremini. You can use them in many dishes that call for cremini mushrooms, including soups and salads.
How about having Chinese chicken soup with button mushrooms for dinner? Watch this video:
3. Portobello Mushrooms
Portobello mushrooms have various names; some of them are giant cremini, field mushrooms, or Portobella. Portobello mushrooms are cremini mushrooms that have reached full maturity.
Because Portobello mushrooms are the oldest type, they have a deep brown color with a solid and savory flavor. Also, they present a larger size than cremini, and the texture is also denser. Portobello is easy to find, and the price is affordable.
Small-sized Portobello has a fleshy texture and earthy taste, and the larger ones are less moist. You can replace cremini mushrooms with Portobello in roasting, baking, and grilling. It is not recommended to use Portobello for stuffed mushroom dishes.
4. Porcini Mushrooms
Porcini mushrooms are the luxurious alternatives to cremini mushrooms as they are sold at a higher price. Although they share a similar earthy taste with cremini, they are way too bigger than cremini mushrooms.
However, porcini mushrooms are significantly tender, so the larger size is not a significant problem when substituting. But you should pay attention to the cooking time; porcini mushrooms should be cooked in a short time due to their tenderness.
Porcini mushrooms would be the best substitutes for cremini mushrooms in risotto. In addition, they also taste good when being used in roasting, stir-frying, and stews recipes.
5. Oyster Mushrooms
It is a little bit harder to find oyster mushrooms because they are wild mushrooms. As a result, they are sold at a pretty higher price than other variations.
Although oyster mushrooms share a similar mild-strong and nutty flavor with cremini mushrooms, they are very meaty in texture. In addition, the texture tends to be tougher when aged, and you should use the younger ones with white color.
Oyster mushrooms can replace cremini mushrooms in stews, soups, sauces, stir-fried, and sauteed recipes. Thanks to their meaty flavor, they are also one of the best choices to replace meat for vegan dishes.
6. Chestnut Mushrooms
They are also known as brown cap mushrooms. Chestnut mushrooms are the mature form of white mushrooms, and they have a tan-colored top. The larger chestnut mushrooms are Portobello mushrooms.
Since they are in the same family as cremini, they are considered an excellent substitute. Chestnut mushrooms’ taste, flavor, and even size are very similar to cremini mushrooms.
You can substitute cremini with chestnut in almost all the dishes that call for cremini, including roasting, grilling, sauces, soups, etc.
7. Shimeji Mushrooms
Here is another type of Japanese mushroom that can replace cremini mushrooms: shimeji mushrooms. Shimeji mushrooms have a meaty, nutty, and savory flavor that is similar to cremini mushrooms.
There are two most popular types of shimeji mushrooms: white and brown shimeji. The brown one is a little bit more bitter. Unlike other mushrooms, shimeji mushrooms yield a chewy texture that will not turn mushy when being cooked.
Shimeji mushrooms are widely used in Japanese cuisine, particularly soba, stir-fries, rice, dashi, mirin, miso, and hot pots.
The last one of the best mushroom substitutes for cremini that I want to introduce today is morels. Although morels have a much softer texture and lighter flavor, they are still a decent substitute for cremini mushrooms for their nutty and earthy taste.
Morels are considered a premium class of fungi, so not everyone can afford them, and they are not so easy to find anywhere out there. Morels have an intensive nutty and meaty flavor that would be best to replace cremini in various dishes.
Some dishes that you can use morels instead of cremini are sauteed, stewed, and roasted dishes. Morels are also delicious when serving raw. Moreover, both fresh and dried morels can substitute cremini mushrooms.
This delightsome French chicken and morels sauce deserves a try!
Some Excellent Non-Mushrooms Substitutes You Shouldn’t Miss.
Non-mushrooms substitutes can not duplicate the texture and flavor of cremini mushrooms. However, they are perfect for people who are not fond of mushrooms, but the recipes they want to try call for them. Or they just want to make a small change for their dishes.
You may see eggplant appear under the name garden egg, guinea squash, or brinjal. Eggplant is one of the most suitable non-mushrooms substitutes for cremini mushrooms because it has the perfect meaty texture like a fungus.
However, it carries its unique flavor. But thanks to the texture, eggplant can absorb the flavor of other cooking elements. People tend to eat cooked eggplant rather than raw one. Its skin and seeds are edible.
Because eggplant may taste bitter sometimes, you should add sugar on top after cutting it. In addition, sprinkle a pin of salt to prevent it from being moist and enhance its meaty texture.
Cauliflower is a beloved vegetable of people who stick to a balanced diet. It is also known as a gluten-free version of rice and flour. In addition, a vast amount of nutrients load in cauliflower.
Cauliflower tastes mild and very light, but the texture is crunchy. Therefore, although it can be eaten raw, I highly recommend cooking cauliflower for the best results when replacing cremini. Roasted, grilled, steamed, or fried cauliflower are delicious.
A small but useful tip for you when preparing cauliflower is to remember to cut off the florets and tenderize them before cooking. It will help enhance the texture of cauliflower.
Try to steam cauliflower to make it tender and enjoy cauliflower salad!
People also call zucchini Courgette. It is a very popular vegetable. Substituting cremini mushrooms with zucchini is a wise choice because zucchini offers nearly the same nutrition and health benefits.
Zucchini has a meaty and delicate texture and a mild flavor that is reminiscent of cremini mushrooms. Though, it gives a different aroma. Cooking it with other ingredients and spices can resemble a cremini flavor.
On the other hand, zucchini can also be a perfect alternative for meat and bring a beautiful flavor to vegan dishes. You can stir-fry, bake, roast, and grill zucchini or add it in dipping sauces.
12. Artichoke Hearts
Artichoke hearts share a similar meaty texture with an earthy taste with cremini mushrooms. Nevertheless, they also have a unique flavor but can replace cremini while you need a mushroom-like side dish.
Artichoke hearts taste the best when being steamed and marinated. Besides, the artichoke dipping sauce is also a famous sauce you must try when having artichoke hearts available.
Also, artichoke hearts offer extraordinary health benefits. Some of the advantages are losing weight, reducing cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Nonetheless, they are not so easy to find fresh. You can choose the canned ones instead.
You can find canned artichoke hearts and use them to make satisfying dishes. Watch this video:
Chickpeas are also known as Garbanzo beans – a tasty and healthy substitute for cremini mushrooms. Some people consider them mini mushrooms. Chickpeas have a meaty texture that can mimic the texture of cremini.
People prefer ground chickpeas instead of whole ones. The best way to enjoy chickpeas is to mince and cook them, then season them with spices to enhance the flavor.
Ground chickpeas also appear in various mouth-watering dishes, including omelets, bread, pizza, and cookies. Besides, chickpeas are rich in protein and gluten-free. It is easier to buy canned chickpeas and drain the brine before using it.
Lentils are very similar to chickpeas; that is why they are here to be an alternative to cremini mushrooms. Lentils have a meaty texture with a mild and nutty flavor like cremini.
Nevertheless, you can notice a slightly peppery taste of lentils. Also, lentils do not have the earthy taste of cremini. The best way to imitate cremini’s flavor is using other spices for seasoning them.
Lentils can vary in many types, including red, green, and brown colors. To replace cremini mushrooms, you should cook these types and add them to your burgers, soups, salads, curries, pies, and casseroles.
15. Marinated Tofu
You may be surprised when seeing this substitute, but marinated tofu works more amazing than you imagine. Tofu is made from coagulated and pressed soy milk. And it is marinated with vegetable broth to have a similar taste to cremini mushrooms.
Marinated tofu also offers a soft and meaty texture that is reminiscent of cremini. It is also easy to make or purchase. Also, marinated tofu brings essential nutrients and health benefits.
Marinated tofu tastes good when being combined with sauces. It can also replace meat in many dishes for vegetarians.
Do not mistake tempeh and tofu and grab the wrong thing! Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans, while tofu is made from soymilk. The texture of tempeh is more solid than soybeans, but it is also a decent choice to replace cremini mushrooms.
The dense texture of tempeh also reminds you of nougat candy. Consider it a substitute for cremini mushrooms when you are in need!
To mimic the texture of cremini mushrooms, you should cut tempeh into thin slices. Tempeh tastes nutty and works very well in vegan burgers and stir-fries.
It is time to look at some questions related to cremini mushrooms and their substitutes that you may have after reading the process. Check them out!
Extra Tips To Make These Substitutes Taste More Like Cremini
Some of the substitutes above do not taste exactly like cremini mushrooms. Here is a tip to enhance their mushroom-like flavor: using umami seasoning. Cremini tastes like meat because of the umami flavor. Seasoning the substitutes with umami can help!
Besides, you can add beef broth (or stock), miso paste, or horseradish to mimic the flavor of cremini mushrooms.
After reading my article, I’m sure you have had some choices for substituting cremini mushrooms. Do not like and share this post to support me. By the way, please share with me your experiences in using these substitutes. Thanks for spending time!
- En.wikipedia.org. 2021. Agaricus bisporus – Wikipedia.
- 2021. [online] Available at: <https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168434/nutrients>.