Sautéed Mushrooms and Onions

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Sautéed mushroom and onions on a turquoise plate with a spoon on the plate.

Credit: Laura Rege

When prepared correctly, fancy foraged mushrooms have nothing on the classic cremini. Combine this humble and easily accessible grocery store variety with onions, butter, and the slight acidity of lemon juice and white wine, and you have a dish that bursts with umami.

Enjoy this recipe as a side or upgrade dinner with sautéed mushrooms and onions by using them as a topping for some of your favorite dishes. Pile them over grilled chicken breast, salmon, or steak; top flatbreads or pizzas; or make it the centerpiece or an accent in a grain bowl. 

The Best Way to Wash Mushrooms

Mushrooms are like sponges and they will soak up excess water, which means you want to be careful when cleaning them. Sure, you can cook the moisture off, so it’s not a big deal if they absorb some water, but more water means they will take a longer time to cook, and they will steam before they brown. If the mushrooms are really dirty, submerge them quickly in a bowl of water, then drain or rinse them quickly. If they are fairly clean, just wipe off any excess debris with a damp paper towel.  

What’s the Best Oil to Sauté Mushrooms In? 

Any oil works, but the best combination is olive oil and butter. This power duo tackles both browning and flavor. The oil keeps the butter from browning too quickly and burning, and the butter brings a richness you can’t achieve with oil alone. If you don’t want to use butter, use an extra 2 tablespoons of oil. The oil will cook the mushrooms nicely on its own — it will just lack that extra bit of richness and nuttiness that the butter brings.

Do You Sauté the Onions First?

To keep the onions from cooking in the mushroom juices, wait to add the onions until the mushrooms have released their excess liquid and almost all of that liquid has evaporated. Once you get there, add the onions and let them sauté and brown in the fat alongside the mushrooms. 

How Long Should You Sauté Mushrooms for?

While the mushrooms may be ready to eat once the moisture has evaporated, don’t stop the cooking there! Sure they are cooked, but this is the point where the mushrooms can finally start to sauté and brown, which adds richness to their flavor. You are looking at just around 15 minutes total on the stovetop for the perfect sautéed mushroom. 

Combine sautéed mushrooms and onions with the slight acidity of lemon juice and white wine for a dish that bursts with umami.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound

    cremini mushrooms

  • 1

    large sweet Vidalia or yellow onion (about 12 ounces)

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 1/4 bunch

    fresh parsley

  • 1/4 cup

    dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc

Instructions

  1. Trim and thinly slice 1 pound cremini mushrooms into 1/4-inch pieces. Halve 1 large sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, then slice into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons. Mince 2 garlic cloves.

  2. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the butter melts, add the mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release their liquid and the liquid is almost evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes.

  3. Add the onion and season with the remianing 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and mushrooms are tender and golden-brown in spots, 7 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, finely grate the zest from 1 medium lemon until you have 1/2 teaspoon. Juice the lemon until you have 2 tablespoons. Pick and finely chop the leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh parsley until you have 2 tablespoons.

  4. Add the garlic to the onion and mushroom mixture and cook, stirring often, until golden and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup dry white wine and cook until completely evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.

  5. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and parsley, and toss to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed.

Recipe Notes

Substitutions: The white wine can be substituted with red wine or a fortified wine such as marsala, sherry, or vermouth, which will provide a more distinct flavor profile. Replace the parsley with any leafy, tender green herb such as cilantro, basil, or dill. Tarragon is also a lovely substitution but a stronger herb, so start with 1 1/2 tablespoons and add more as needed.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

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