Whether you’re a card-carrying vegetarian, an advocate for eating more conscientiously, or just have a solid appreciation for foods that grow out of the ground, it’s a good thing to have a few meatless recipes in your back pocket. The sort that are a little more sophisticated than veggie burgers à la microwave and more substantial than a sprig of parsley with a side of lemon water. Ones that aren’t shy about the fact that they are herbivore-friendly, yet every bit as satisfying as a filet mignon.
This is where mushrooms come in. The taste of an earthy portobello or woodsy shiitake is unmistakable for what it is. But at the same time, funghi hit at all the points that we crave in meat: a chewy texture, savoriness to spare, and the ability to hold on to spices, seasonings, marinades, and more. Plus, with so many edible species to choose from, there’s a mushroom for every mood, preference, and flavor profile.
When Meatless Mondays (or any dinner occasion, really) roll around, a mushroom-centric main is a surefire bet for covering all of your bases. Some of these recipes might even have you reaching for your stretchy pants after taking in all of their ‘shroomy decadence.
1. Herbed Pea Sprout, Fennel, and Mushroom Salad
A salad for light appetites and heavy-handed palates: between the sweetness of the pea sprouts, the aromatics of fennel and herbs, and the vinegary kick of marinated creminis, there’s an entire garden’s worth of contrasting flavors in this spring-y combination. Get our Herbed Pea Sprout, Fennel, and Mushroom Salad recipe.
2. Barbecued Portobello Mushrooms with Black Bean and Corn Succotash
Portobellos are like sponges around the smoky flames of the grill. That intensity gets played up to maximum effect when contrasted with the cheery brightness of a summer vegetable succotash. Get our Barbecued Portobello Mushrooms with Black Bean and Corn Succotash recipe.
3. Mushroom, Spinach, and Parmesan Crêpes
A savory crêpe fits right in a breakfast, lunch, or dinner. No judgements if you opt for these delightfully garlicky and buttery packages at all three meals. Get our Mushroom, Spinach, and Parmesan Crêpes recipe.
4. Creamy Mushroom Soup with Blue Cheese Toasts
If your idea of creamy mushroom soup is the gluey stuff from a can, it’s time for an intervention. This recipe gives it a revamp with the power duo of fresh mushrooms and mushroom broth, for double mushroom flavor. Get our Creamy Mushroom Soup with Blue Cheese Toasts recipe.
5. Kale and Mushroom Stroganoff
Stroganoff gets dug out of retro purgatory and transformed into a recipe for the modern ages with porcinis, creminis, and kale. There’s plenty of brown sludgy stuff to go around too, with a white wine and mushroom sauce that coats it all in a savory sheen. Get our Kale and Mushroom Stroganoff recipe.
6. Mixed Mushroom Casserole
Think you can handle all the mushrooms? And some cheesy, bread-studded goodness too? Here’s a casserole for you, packed with enough mushrooms to send a mycologist into a tizzy and topped with an oozy heap of baguette pieces and cambozola cheese. Get our Mixed Mushroom Casserole recipe.
7. Mushroom and Chile Tacos
You heard it here first: mushrooms are the new carnitas. Not only are portobello slices the perfect size for stuffing into tacos, they take beautifully to seasonings like cumin and oregano. Get our Mushroom and Chile Tacos recipe.
8. Broccoli, Mushroom, and Gouda Quiche
When flaky pie crust is part of the equation, nothing can go wrong. Just fill it up with some diced mushrooms, shredded gouda, and some broccoli bits (to, you know, keep it healthy) and let the oven work its magic. Get our Broccoli, Mushroom, and Gouda Quiche recipe.
9. Creamy Mushroom Pasta Bake
Pasta and mushrooms are simply meant to be together, there’s no doubt about that. In this recipe, a cream of mushroom sauce and plenty of cheese seal the union between the two, then shield it in a crispy, oven-baked top layer. Get our Creamy Mushroom Pasta Bake recipe.
10. Spinach-Mushroom Enchiladas
If mushrooms had minds of their own, they’d probably spend their days curling up in tortilla blankets, going for a swim in pools of salsa, and hanging out with veggie pals like spinach. In other words, these over the top enchiladas are just about the best thing that could happen to a ‘shroom. Get our Spinach-Mushroom Enchiladas recipe.
11. Eggplant and Mushroom Polenta Bake
The bottom layer of mushrooms and eggplant roasting in their own juices, along with the cheese-draped island of polenta on top, may suggest that this dish is a warmer for winter weather. But we’d be more than happy to tuck into it at any time of year. Get our Eggplant and Mushroom Polenta Bake recipe.
12. Creamy Mushroom-Potato Gratin
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that potatoes + cheese can never go wrong. But with slices of mushrooms sauteéd in butter added to the equation, the deliciousness factor goes up by a degree. Get our Creamy Mushroom-Potato Gratin recipe.
13. Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with French Onion Soup
Forget putting your soup in a hollowed out loaf of bread. Portobello mushrooms are the ultimate edible bowl. I mean, can you think of a better way to eat tureen-loads of caramelized onions and melty cheese? I think not. Get our Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with French Onion Soup recipe.
Header image: Creamy Mushroom Pasta Bake from CHOW
Miki Kawasaki is a New York City–based food writer and graduate of Boston University's program in Gastronomy. Few things excite her more than a well-crafted sandwich or expertly spiced curry. If you ever run into her at a dinner party, make sure to hit her up for a few pieces of oddball culinary trivia.