Pizza is a very versatile type of food where you can put almost anything on it. I generally love mushrooms so why not mushrooms on pizza.
But what type of mushrooms go on pizza? There are a lot of different choices when it comes to that, and this post is all about those mushrooms.
Mushrooms on pizza might not be as popular as pepperoni or ground beef as a topping but it is not as frowned upon as pineapples on pizza.
Unlike other toppings like pepperoni, beef, pork, and herbs, mushrooms have not been documented as much but they have slowly become the favorite vegetarian topping for many.
I personally love mushrooms on pizza because they add this earthy flavor and umami that accentuates not only the toppings but the entire pizza as well.
There are a lot of types of mushrooms that can be added to a pizza. The most popular types are shiitake, button mushrooms, portabella, and morel mushrooms.
So what type of mushrooms should you put on your pizza? Well, let’s look at each type and see what pizza they go well with.
Different Types Of Mushrooms That Go On Pizza
Whether you are ordering a pizza from your favorite pizza place or you are making your own pie at home, here are the best types of mushrooms that you can put on your pizza.
1. Button Mushrooms
You might not know it, but when someone mentions mushrooms, the first thing that comes to mind is probably that small white mushroom with a thick stem.
These are white button mushrooms and are the most popular choice when it comes to pizza toppings. They go well with pineapples, which some might not like.
The best way to make these mushrooms elevate the flavor of your pizza is by sauteing them with garlic and salt. They are also perfect when combined with ground beef as a topping.
Another reason why button mushrooms are popular is that they are high in protein and low in calories.
2. Shiitake Mushrooms
I love meat toppings on my pizza, and I think the best combo with meat is shiitake mushroom. Shiitake mushrooms have this unique smoky flavor, which is good with meat.
There is also a buttery texture and flavor on shiitake mushrooms that you will not find on any other type of mushroom.
Some people say that shiitake has a strong flavor that they do not like. That flavor is accentuated when it is cooked over high temperatures.
The strong smoky flavors on shiitake mushrooms usually come when cooked over high heat or when dried. So, dried shiitake mushrooms are the best if you want a stronger smoky flavor.
3. Portabella Mushrooms
Have you ever eaten a grilled mushroom? It is most likely that the mushroom that has been grilled is a portabella mushroom because of its thick and wide structure.
Portabella mushrooms are perfect for people who are trying out vegetarian diets. They have a meaty taste that is quite hard to find in other vegetable toppings.
Portabella mushrooms are slightly thicker than most types of mushrooms, so they do well with cooking temperatures that are as high as when cooking pizzas.
I love combining portabella mushrooms with pizza toppings that are slightly sweet and savory. Pineapples also go well with this mushroom and tangier flavors like basil and tomatoes.
4. Cremini Mushrooms
Button mushrooms have a mild flavor, while Portabella mushrooms have this strong meaty flavor. If you want something in between, “Baby Bellas” or cremini mushrooms are for you.
Cremini mushrooms are called baby Bellas because they are from the same type of mushroom as button mushrooms and portabella mushrooms.
See, portabella mushrooms are button mushrooms that are matured for longer. Their middle ground is cremini mushroom which has this slight meaty flavor but is not as strong as portabellas.
The soft earthy flavor of cremini mushrooms is perfect with vegetable toppings. You also get that hint of meaty flavor from cremini mushrooms, so it is also a good vegetarian ingredient.
5. Morel Mushrooms
Morel mushrooms might not be the most popular and cheapest option there is for pizza toppings. These are rare types of mushrooms which explains their expensive price.
People love the deep earthy flavor of Morel mushrooms, but for me, the best part about Morel mushrooms is the nutty flavor that they produce.
It lingers in your mouth, but is also not strong enough to overpower other flavors in the pizza. I love adding Morel mushrooms to pizzas with sausage and ground beef toppings.
It is a bummer that you are less likely to find Morel mushrooms in supermarkets and groceries because they are really rare, but if you have the chance, please try it, and I guarantee it will satisfy your palate.
6. Chanterelle Mushrooms
This is another type of mushroom that is not that common. They are great for adding flavors to the pizza but are also vibrant enough to add color to the toppings on the pizza.
Most chanterelle mushrooms are yellow to orange in color, except for the black trumpets. They have a subtle fruity flavor but they are not that sweet.
So the best way I can describe the flavor of chanterelle mushrooms is they have this hint of peach flavors without the sweetness, instead, it is just the umami and savory earthy flavors.
Chanterelle mushrooms are great for pizzas with meat and fats because they are a great source of vitamins and minerals to counter the calories and fats on your pizza.
7. Porcini Mushrooms
Porcinis are tan to dark brown, almost imitating a bun of bread. They taste like how they look, and no matter how weird that might sound, they do.
The earthy and slightly woody flavor from Porcini mushrooms is perfect for combining with sweet and savory-flavored pizza toppings.
Porcini mushrooms also have a subtle nutty flavor which I like. They are also high in protein, so Porcini mushrooms are a great substitute for meat toppings on your pizza.
8. Oyster Mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms have this refreshing flavor and color that will add exceptional taste to your pizza. This white mushroom is warm and earthy and can liven up the pizza flavors.
These mushrooms are named oyster mushrooms because they do resemble oysters. They have a light earthy flavor that goes well with meat and other vegetable toppings.
The subtle hint of earthy flavors and chewiness of the oyster mushrooms are sure to elevate the falvors of the pizza but also make sure not to overpower the flavors of the other toppings.
The king of mushrooms. Truffles are perhaps the most popular and most expensive types of mushrooms, and for that, they are often replicated and imitated with fake ones.
True, natural, authentic, and rare truffles are a fancy treat. They are often used as a garnish in high-end restaurants on pasta dishes and other fancy recipes.
Truffles are the definition of elegance and exclusivity when it comes to mushrooms. They are rare on pizzas unless you order from a fancy restaurant.
Natural truffles are wild-caught using pigs or dogs that have sensitive smelling. This is because truffles are subterranean and cannot be found easily, hence the expensive price.
Okay, I admit I might be cheating on this since mushrooms grow above ground while truffles are found underground. But then again, they are a type of fungus like mushrooms.
Truffles come in black or white, with the white color having a high fiber content. They have a unique creamy and pungent smell that is good with pizzas.
There is nothing that I can compare the flavors of truffles with. They are expensive, with some species costing over $4000 a pound.
Which Is The Best Mushroom For Pizza?
The cremini mushroom is the best mushroom for pizza. It combines mild earthy flavors and a subtle meaty taste that vegetarians and meat-lovers will like.
I have been using button mushrooms for a long time on my pizzas and thought that while they are really good, I wanted a slightly stronger flavor.
Since cremini mushrooms are between the mild flavors of button mushrooms and the more robust taste of portabella mushrooms, I’d say I found my perfect mushroom topping in the cremini mushrooms.
Cremini mushrooms have the perfect balance of mild flavors as well as earthy and meaty flavors. They go well with either meat, vegetable, or a combination of the two.
They take less time to cook than button mushrooms since cremini mushrooms are less watery and absorb less water than button mushrooms.
Because of this, they cook evenly with the other pizza toppings. I also love combining cremini mushrooms with other mushrooms, such as chanterelle mushrooms.
This, of course, is a personal preference, and you might want other types of mushrooms with stronger or more subtle flavors than what cremini mushrooms bring.
So here are a few pointers to consider when using mushrooms as pizza toppings:
- As much as possible, use fresh mushrooms instead of the canned options.
- Always cook or saute the mushrooms before putting them on the pizza to eliminate germs and bacteria.
- Do not use raw mushrooms on your pizza. Pre-cook or saute them before putting them on the pizza.
- Do not overcook the pizza to ensure the mushrooms retain enough moisture.
- Mix different types of mushrooms to get the flavor that you want.
Do Mushrooms Go On Authentic Neapolitan Pizza?
No, mushrooms do not go on authentic Neapolitan pizzas. While mushrooms go well with cheese and pizza sauce, they are not authentic pizza topping.
Pizza Napoletana is the most authentic type of pizza and is protected to ensure that the ones labeled “authentic” are made with guidelines to follow.
Neapolitan pizza highlights the dish’s simplicity, and no fancy toppings are added to the pizza.
There is, however, a type of Neapolitan pizza with mushrooms. It is called Pizza Boscaiola, and it uses porcini mushrooms with mozzarella cheese toppings.
So while the authentic and original version of Neapolitan pizza does not use mushrooms, you are not committing any crimes against the authenticity of the pizza if you use mushroom toppings.
Mushrooms are not a complicated type of pizza topping; they pair well with cheese, so you can use them on any of your pizzas.
Should Mushrooms Be Cooked Before Being Put On Pizza?
Yes, mushrooms should ALWAYS be cooked before putting them on your pizza. Cooking the mushrooms beforehand ensures that they stay juicy and prevent them from drying out.
Sauteing mushrooms before putting them on the pizza makes sure that they remove any excess moisture from the mushrooms while also locking in the juiciness in them.
The oil coats the mushrooms, locks all the needed juices, and prevents the mushrooms from drying out when cooked over high heat in the oven.
Sauteing the mushrooms also does another function where it can alleviate the flavors of the mushrooms, especially with garlic, salt, and herbs that are added when sauteing the mushrooms.
Fresh Or Canned Mushrooms For Pizza?
To cap off this post, I remind you that using FRESH mushrooms almost always results in better pizzas.
No matter the type of mushroom you use, choosing fresh ones instead of the more accessible canned mushrooms is better for more flavor and healthier pizzas.
Canned mushrooms are convenient, but they also contain a lot of sodium, which is used to preserve them in the can, which can be unhealthy.
Fresh mushrooms are better as they have less sodium and contain more helpful minerals such as protein and fiber.
Fresh mushrooms contain fewer calories, less sugar, and fewer carbohydrates. So ALWAYS use fresh mushrooms on your pizza to get the best flavors and textures!
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Which type of mushroom is your favorite, let us know in the comments!
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Alice Carroll says
It’s interesting to know that there are some traditional pizzas that don’t have mushrooms in them at all. I’m interested in looking for a good place that can serve customized pizza because I’m a huge fan of mushroom on any sort of dish. Finding pizza places where I can have a lot of them on pizza will surely be huge.