If you’re a mushroom fan and you see a good price on a huge container, it’s nearly impossible to pass up. Even if you don’t have the time or a plan to use them before they go bad.
Can you freeze fresh mushrooms? Freezing fresh mushrooms is not a good idea. They will develop a slimy, mush-like texture. Instead, you should cook mushrooms before freezing them, as cooked mushrooms will freeze well for about one year.
There are a few tricks that you can use to freeze fresh mushrooms, which we’ll explain in detail in the following article, but the better solution is to just cook your mushrooms before you freeze them instead.
The good news is that you can freeze cooked mushrooms and we’ll teach you exactly how to do so in this article.
Can You Freeze Mushrooms?
Mushrooms can be frozen, but they’re very fragile, so they need to be handled with care.
One of the most important steps to freezing mushrooms is making sure you only freeze the best quality mushrooms.
If they have any bruises or dark spots indicating decay, they will end up degrading the quality of your entire batch. Sift through your mushrooms carefully and only plan to freeze the very best of your bunch.
You also want to avoid freezing mushrooms that are starting to be old. If a mushroom seems dry or shriveled, the flavor won’t be as nice after it’s frozen, so it’s best not to even try and avoid risking the rest of your mushrooms.
Once you’ve separated the prime candidates for freezing, you can decide how you want to freeze them.
How to Freeze Mushrooms
Aside from choosing only the best mushrooms to freeze, you also want to be sure they’re clean before you freeze them.
However, you want to avoid washing your mushrooms with water. Mushrooms are sponge-like and they’ll soak up the water. This is the worst thing that can happen with any food item you’re trying to freeze. You want to minimize the water content as much as possible.
Instead, brush your mushrooms lightly with your fingers or a soft brush to remove any visible dirt. Trim the stems. If you’re freezing large mushrooms like portobellos, remove the gills with a spoon before freezing as well.
Can You Freeze Raw or Fresh Mushrooms?
Mushrooms have incredibly high water content which means that if you freeze them raw, they will thaw into a mushy mess.
The water inside the mushrooms will turn into ice crystals. The more water, the more ice crystals will form. And the more ice crystals you have, the mushier your food will be when it thaws and those crystals melt. Ick.
It is not a good idea to freeze fresh or raw mushrooms however if you are determined to try, your best bet is to thinly slice or dice your mushrooms before freezing.
Spread your mushroom slices or pieces in a single layer over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If you freeze them individually like this first they will freeze more quickly.
Not only will this help prevent your pieces from sticking together, but the faster your mushrooms freeze the smaller the ice crystals will be and the better the consistency will be once they defrost.
Once the pieces are completely frozen, transfer them all to a freezer-safe bag and remove as much air as possible before sealing tightly.
Can You Freeze Cooked Mushrooms?
You can, however, freeze cooked mushrooms very effectively. Cooking mushrooms allows the water to be released as steam, leaving a more solid mushroom for freezing that won’t be broken down as badly by ice crystals.
How to Blanch Mushrooms
Before you blanch your mushrooms, decide whether you want to freeze them whole or in slices or pieces.
You can prepare them accordingly by following these easy blanching steps:
- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Prepare a bowl of ice water.
- Place your mushrooms into the boiling water.
- For whole mushrooms, boil for 4-5 minutes.
- For sliced or diced mushrooms, boil for only 3 minutes.
- Using a large strainer spoon, transfer your mushrooms from the boiling water to the ice bath to cool quickly.
- Allow your mushrooms to cool for the same amount of time you boiled them.
- Transfer the mushrooms to a clean kitchen towel or a few sheets of paper towel and allow them to air dry.
How to Freeze Cooked Mushrooms
You can freeze mushrooms that have been blanched or cooked in any style that you enjoy. Before you freeze them, however, you want to be very sure they reach room temperature or fridge cold.
Never put warm or hot mushrooms in your freezer, because the temperature difference will create condensation. That moisture will turn to ice and compromise the quality of your mushrooms.
If you have blanched your mushrooms, you can flash freeze them by spreading the cooled and dry mushrooms out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Make sure they are not overlapping or touching each other because that will allow them to fuse together as they freeze.
Place them in your freezer uncovered for 1 hour. This should be plenty of time to allow them to freeze solidly in individual pieces. Transfer to a dated freezer-safe bag and press out as much air as possible.
If you have fried or cooked your mushrooms in any other style, transfer them either to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag or Tupperware container once they’re cooled.
Remove as much air as possible from the bag. If you’re using a container, make sure they have about 1 inch of headspace because they will expand slightly when they freeze.
Can You Freeze Canned Mushrooms?
Yes, you can freeze canned mushrooms after the can has been opened.
However, you should never freeze canned goods before they’ve been opened because the tins or glass containers are pressurized. When the contents inside freeze, they’ll expand and the added pressure can make the container explode.
To freeze opened, leftover canned mushrooms, simply transfer the contents to a freezer-safe bag. Remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag.
Date the bag so that you know when you should eat them by. Frozen canned mushrooms will maintain their quality for about 2 months. Although they’ll be perfectly safe to eat well beyond that time.
Can You Freeze Stuffed Mushrooms?
Contrary to most of the advice given above, stuffed mushrooms are best frozen before they’re baked. If you’re making stuffed mushrooms ahead of time, prepare them as you normally would but stop short of baking them.
The steps for freezing stuffed mushrooms are pretty much the same as freezing cooked mushrooms that we discussed above:
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread out the stuffed mushrooms evenly so that they aren’t touching or overlapping each other.
- Make sure there is space in your freezer where the baking sheet can be placed, levelly, and won’t be disturbed for at least 2–3 hours.
- Once your stuffed mushrooms are solidly frozen you can transfer them to freezer-safe Ziploc bag.
- Remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag. If you’d like to protect your mushrooms from being physically crushed, you can place the sealed airtight bag into a Tupperware container.
Can You Freeze Mushroom Soup?
You can freeze mushroom soup successfully, but you absolutely must allow it to cool completely before you freeze it.
Transfer your soup to a freezer-safe container that will fit your soup with an extra inch of empty space to allow for expansion as it freezes. If there is more space, consider placing a layer of plastic wrap on the surface of your soup to protect it from air exposure.
If you’re freezing cream of mushroom soup, the fat may separate during freezing. When you thaw it should mostly go back to its proper consistency, but it may require a good whisking to help it along.
If you don’t want to cook your mushrooms before freezing them and you also don’t want to risk ruining them completely by freezing them raw, there are a few tricks and techniques to storing fresh mushrooms in a way that will protect their lifespan as much as possible.
Mushrooms are finicky, delicate fungi, but if stored correctly, they can stay fresh and in good condition for up to 1 week.
How to Preserve Fresh Mushrooms
Keep your mushrooms in a paper bag if at all possible. Paper bags will absorb small amounts of moisture rather than allowing moisture to collect inside and turn your mushrooms slimy and soggy.
Mushrooms act like sponges. So you want to store them away from any other food items that have strong odors of flavors, as your mushrooms will soak them up greedily.
Mushrooms are also quite delicate, so keep them in your fridge where they will not be crushed, jostled, or tossed around too frequently. They bruise easily and, when bruised, will turn bad quickly.
Finally, never wash your mushrooms before storing them. The water will soak into the mushroom cap and stay there, destroying the taste, texture, and health of your mushrooms.
How Long Will Mushrooms Last? [Chart]
Here’s a handy chart for your reference so you know exactly how long your mushrooms can keep, and where:
|How They’re Prepared
|How They’re Stored
|Whole, room temperature
|Cut, Blanched, and Frozen
|Follow the best before date