Pizza with mushrooms, salami and tomatoes. Top view.
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9 Best Mushrooms For Pizza

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Mushrooms can elevate any type of pizza by adding not only a delicious umami flavor, but also a meaty texture that can complement any assortment of pizza toppings. 

What are the best mushrooms for pizza? The best mushrooms for pizzas are portabella, porcini, button mushrooms, cremini, shiitake mushrooms, and much more. Also, while not technically a mushroom, you can try truffles as a great topping for any type of pizza too!

Read below to learn more about the pairing of mushrooms on pizza, what they taste like, and the best ingredients they pair with!

Pizza And Mushrooms — An Unlikely (Yet Delicious) Pairing 


Mushrooms weren’t always the first choice when it came to pizza toppings. 

Pizzas were usually considered a simple and easy dish that could be whipped up in under 10 minutes without using a lot of ingredients. 

But of course, this is how people used to perceive pizza around the 18th and 19th century

Fast forward a few decades and the humble pizza underwent a slow but steady exploration of new ingredients for toppings.

Many believe that the diversity of toppings was directly proportional to the popularity of pizza around the world.

As it became more famous, this blue-collar dish was eventually boosted into the mainstream market — and this is around the time when people started to truly reimagine what a pizza could be.

Pizza makers started introducing new ingredients that could enhance the flavor of the pie without adding too many condiments or too much protein. This is how mushrooms were thrown into the mix!

Mushrooms are perhaps one of the most versatile foods in the world. These edible fungi offer meaty textures and an umami-laden flavor that can enhance any dish.

The use of mushrooms on pizzas was further cemented with the introduction of Pizza Boscaiola.

This special pizza brought together the meatiness of the porcini mushrooms and the brilliant and contrasting texture of champignon mushrooms.

The pie was further topped with cream and loads of cheese and basic veggies — talk about heavenly!

Why Mushrooms On Pizzas Is A Great Idea

Here are some of the characteristics that mushrooms add to pizza: 

Umami Flavor

Needless to say, mushrooms open up opportunities to experiment with flavors. 

One of the primary reasons why mushrooms are so popular is that they offer an unmistakable umami flavor to any type of pizza. 

They are the number one choice among vegetarians who want a distinct meaty flavor in their food — and you can get a range of different and subtle flavors from various types of mushrooms too (more on this below).

Perhaps the best characteristic of mushrooms is their ability to take on various flavors as they cook.

For example, while mushrooms can be added raw, they will usually offer a deeper and more pronounced flavor if they are cooked with herbs beforehand.

This is why some pizza makers may also marinate mushrooms before adding them to the pizza to give them an even richer flavor. 

Meaty Texture

The second reason why mushrooms are so beloved as a topping is that they add a lot of texture. 

Most pizzas have a combination of soft and firm textures that come from the dough and the toppings. 

But with mushrooms, you can dig a bit deeper and add a chewy, meaty texture that elevates the mouthfeel of the pie.

Mushrooms usually have a firm texture, but as they cook, they tenderize in the oven. They will also lose moisture, which further concentrates their flavor and adds a unique chewy feel to them.

The best part is that they don’t require any specific cooking technique and can be very forgiving to cook too!

Best Mushrooms For Pizza

Here are some of the best mushrooms that you can add to virtually any pizza!

1. Portabella Mushrooms

Portabella mushrooms are by far the most common type of mushrooms that you will find on most pizzas around the world — and for good reason!

These mushrooms can mimic some flavor notes of meat and are the default choice for many vegetarians thanks to their intensely umami-laden flavor.

They have a firm but juicy texture and can become deliciously tender when cooked in the oven. 

Portabella mushrooms work great with any type of cheese and can also complement strong-tasting cheeses (like goat cheese) in pizzas.

For the best results, chop or add slices of fresh portabella mushroom and top with tomatoes, chopped chili peppers, and of course, lots of freshly grated cheese!

As the cheese melts and caramelizes over the mushrooms, it will add an irresistible flavor to the pie, even if you don’t have any protein on it. 

2. Cremini Mushrooms

mushroom  isolated on white background.

Cremini mushrooms are also called baby portabella mushrooms or Baby Bella Mushrooms. 

These mushrooms are just like portabella mushrooms, but have a slightly softer texture and more or less the same flavor. 

You can think of these mushrooms as a slightly less mature version of portabella in size and texture. They are prized for their flavor and are also sometimes the preferred choice over portabella in small pies due to their compact shape.

Just like portabella, you can use cremini in any type of pizza. They work great with cheese, tomatoes, onions, and other savory vegetables that accentuate and complement their natural umami flavor. 

These mushrooms can also be sautéed beforehand, but please bear in mind that precooked mushrooms may take on an even softer texture when cooked in the oven with the pie. 

Try marinating the mushrooms with salt, garlic, and spicy seasonings before adding them to the pizza for an irresistibly meaty flavor and texture. Always cook on high heat and for shorter times for the best experience. 

3. Button Mushrooms

One look at button mushrooms and you will know exactly why they are named that way. 

These small, button-like fungi are one of the most widely consumed varieties of mushrooms in the world and they have a lot in common with portabella and cremini mushrooms (since they are all the same). 

That’s right, button mushrooms are just immature versions of cremini mushrooms, which are also called baby portabellas!

You can think of this mushroom species in three growth stages: the first growth stage produces button mushrooms, then comes cremini, and finally, mature portabella. 

Although button mushrooms come from a lineage of tasty and texture-rich mushrooms, this particular variety has a milder flavor due to it being less developed. 

However, you will find them to have a smooth, firm, and lightly chewy texture that will play well with virtually any topping.

We recommend adding sliced or chopped button mushrooms with fresh onions, tomatoes, basil, and spicy condiments. Top it off with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and we guarantee that this simple topping idea will steal the show!

4. Morel Mushrooms

Group of one yellow and two gray morel mushrooms (Morchella esculenta) collected in a back yard in Indiana, USA, isolated against a white background

These mushrooms can be difficult to find because of their rarity, but they are perhaps one of the tastiest mushrooms in the pizza game.

Morel mushrooms break away from the meatiness and intense umami flavors of other popular mushrooms — instead, they provide a balanced flavor and texture with hints of woodsy and earthy flavor notes.

These mushrooms are more suited for classic pizzas that demand a balance of ingredients. Since portabella, cremini, and button mushrooms provide a deeper flavor, they can often mask the subtle flavors of the other ingredients on a pizza.

This is where morel mushrooms shine! They cook well in the oven and can be paired with any type of topping and cheese. 

These mushrooms might not stand out immediately, but they will certainly play a huge role in defining the overall flavor of the pizza — and this is exactly why they are so prized!

Don’t want a mild-tasting mushroom? Then go with darker morel mushrooms which have a very tasty, smoky flavor to them.

5. Oyster Mushrooms

Not only are oyster mushrooms tasty, but they also add visual flair to any pizza!

These mushrooms are known for their oyster-like caps and are beloved for their particularly seafood-ish flavor and balanced texture

The best thing about oyster mushrooms is that they provide a break from other types of common toppings and can help you unlock a new dimension of flavor. 

It is very difficult to describe the exact flavor notes of oyster mushrooms but many people agree that it has prominent hints of umami flavors along with some subtle notes of licorice

You get a faintly sweet, earthy, and mildly spicy flavor that works extremely well with rich ingredients like cheese and flavorful protein.

We recommend using oyster mushrooms with seafood toppings to get a well-rounded flavor from all the ingredients. Add them whole, chopped, or sliced for the best experience!

You can even marinate these mushrooms with garlic and other seasonings to push their flavor profile even further.

6. Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms are the default mushroom of choice in Asia. 

Not only are these mushrooms prominently featured in many delicious and iconic Asian recipes, but they also make for one of the tastiest toppings on any type of pizza!

Shiitake mushrooms share a lot of flavors and textural characteristics with portabella or cremini mushrooms. They offer more or less the same meaty flavor with a slightly more tender mouthfeel when cooked. 

What sets these mushrooms apart is their shape. They have a light brown color and a slender body, which includes an inedible stem. 

Chop off the stem, and use these mushrooms just like button mushrooms. You can also slice them, or use them whole in pizzas for meatier bites!

7. King Oyster Mushrooms

Looking for a mushroom that maintains its original texture even after cooking? Then look no further than king oyster mushrooms.

As you may have expected, these mushrooms belong to the oyster mushroom family — but are larger and tougher!

King oyster mushrooms have a meaty texture and a savory flavor that rivals that of cremini and portabella mushrooms.

They are known to take on a deeper flavor when cooked and they stand out, especially when paired with mozzarella and cheddar cheese. 

But before you use them, please keep in mind that these mushrooms can be a bit chewier than other types of fungi on our list. We recommend using these mushrooms with a topping-heavy pizza to balance out its chewy texture

8. Maitake Mushrooms

Raw Organic Maitake Mushrooms in a Bunch

Maitake mushroom loosely translates to “dancing mushroom” in Japanese

This mushroom type is centuries old and has been prominently used in a lot of recipes in many cuisines around the world. 

What makes maitake mushrooms a great pizza topping is their interestingly peppery yet savory flavor that plays well with fish, beef, and chicken. 

They have a very eye-catching shape that resembles a rose, but with brown petals that spiral into themselves. 

The best way to use this mushroom is to slice or chop it. You can also alternatively sauté it with extra virgin olive oil and garlic to add even more flavor.

Try using these mushrooms with a combination of any type of strong cheese and virtually any assortment of vegetables. 

9. Canned Mushrooms

Canned Mushrooms

Don’t have the budget or time to get some of the options mentioned on our list?

Just know that no one will judge you for using run-of-the-mill canned mushrooms when making pizza at home.

Sure, these mushrooms might come second to the varieties listed above (and may have a slightly altered texture due to brining), but canned mushrooms are an excellent alternative when you can’t source the “gourmet” varieties. 

Canned mushrooms usually contain portabella or cremini mushrooms. Always check the back of the can to know exactly what type of mushrooms you are purchasing!

Just drain the brine, give them a rinse, and chop them as needed. Canned mushrooms also come pre-chopped to save time!

This is perhaps one of the most convenient ways to add a rich flavor and texture to your pizza without breaking the bank and without making a grocery run. 

Bonus Round: Truffles!


Okay, this might be considered cheating, but hear us out! 

Truffles are essentially spores that grow on some underground fungi.

They provide a very unique and delicious flavor that can add a premium finish to your pizza.

Truffles might be expensive, but if you have access to them, then we highly recommend that you add a few thin slices to your pizza to give it an earthy, savory, or slightly gamey flavor, depending on the type of truffle.

For the best experience, bake a pizza with cremini mushrooms. Once baked, shave a bit of truffle (or dust, or oil) over the rest of the toppings to give your pizza a more complex flavor profile!

Related Questions

Mushrooms are a great way to expand the flavor and texture of any pizza. Now that you know their value as a topping, plus the best ones to use on pizza, here are some related questions we thought you might have!

Can you add multiple combinations of mushrooms to a pie?

Yes, you can add a combination of different mushrooms on a pizza, but we recommend adding just one type per pie so that they can add their unique flavors to the pizza without overcrowding the surface.

Adding more mushrooms may also mask the taste of other ingredients!

How do you stop mushrooms from getting soggy?

Mushrooms may get a soggy texture when they are cooked in the oven with other moisture-rich ingredients.

The best way to avoid this problem is to sprinkle a bit of salt on them. The salt will help draw out the moisture and will keep the mushrooms from getting overly soft in the oven. 

Should you always cook mushrooms before adding them to a pie?

You can add raw mushrooms when using thin slices or chopped pieces as their shape and size will help cook them faster and release excess moisture. 

When using larger pieces, try to cook the mushrooms with a bit of butter, garlic, or just olive oil to help them release excess moisture. Sautéing them will also prime the texture of larger mushrooms before they go in the oven! 

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