These delicious, sautéed garlic mushrooms are inspired by an appetizer from one of our favorite restaurants that is seriously drool-worthy. Flavored with lots of fresh garlic, herbs and a bit of white wine, they are a simple vegetarian side dish that go with just about any meal.
A Simple Side Dish Using Mushrooms
There are many times while meal planning that I simply write “chicken” or “a vegetable to go with fish” on my list. That way when I go to the store, I can choose what looks good or is on sale.
That’s when having an arsenal of simple side dish recipes comes in handy. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s nothing more than just steaming some pre-chopped broccoli or tossing some baby carrots on a plate.
However, I truly consider myself a “sides” kind of gal — meaning I’ll choose an entrée at a restaurant based on the side dishes served with it. Sometimes I’ll just order a bunch of side dishes and skip the entrée all together. What can I say, I’m wild.
Mushrooms are one of my favorite ingredients to use in the kitchen. I love the flavor, texture and heartiness that they add to a dish. This recipe uses mushrooms to create a healthy, simple side dish that goes with a variety of meals.
Adding Flavor with Garlic and Herbs
One of the secrets to really great sautéed mushrooms is adding lots of bold flavors. In this case — fresh garlic and thyme. Mushrooms are so versatile though and you could add so many other flavor combinations like shallot, rosemary, red pepper, oregano, basil, etc.
We also add a little dry white wine to deglaze the pan and add even more flavor. This step is optional or you could substitute in a little vegetable broth instead.
Cooking Tips for these Sautéed Mushrooms
Mushrooms can be a little tricky to cook if you’ve never prepared them before. Undercook them and they are very chewy and tough (depending on the variety). Overcook them and they become soggy little fungi. Finding that sweet spot is simple though once you learn how to cook them.
Use a Variety of Mushrooms (if possible)
This isn’t a must, but we love the different shapes, textures and flavors of a variety of mushrooms. If you do use a variety of mushrooms, just realize that they will all sauté at a slightly different rate. If you have larger mushrooms that you plan on serving whole or just roughly chopped, you may want to add them to the pan first before adding your smaller varieties or diced versions.
However, button mushrooms or baby portobello mushrooms work equally as great in this recipe. Trust us, we’ve had it with almost every mushroom under the sun and all taste great. You could even leave some whole and slice others for a variety of sizes.
Liquid and Fat is Required
Mushrooms will absorb liquids very quickly, so you’ll probably need more fat/oil than you think. Traditionally, we would cook these mushrooms in a combination of butter and olive oil. However, we tried to make this a bit more Mediterranean diet friendly and replaced the butter with just extra virgin olive oil. It worked, but we had to keep an eye on them while cooking and found ourselves adding a few extra drizzles of oil to keep them from drying out.
We also used a bit of dry white wine for flavor and extra cooking liquid. We didn’t want to steam the mushrooms by adding too much wine, so just a bit in a hot pan will help the wine cook off quickly.
Keep an Eye on the Heat
You want to sauté these garlic mushrooms over medium-high heat. If you cook them too low, they’ll just simmer and steam in their own juices. But if you cook them too high, all your liquid will burn off and the mushrooms will get too crispy.
We prefer to add the olive oil to a cold pan so it can warm up as the pan warms up. This also helps control the cooking speed the garlic, so it doesn’t burn. Be sure to occasionally stir your mushrooms to prevent uneven cooking or sticking to the bottom, but don’t over stir or you won’t get any nice color on their surface.
Sautéed Garlic Mushrooms
- 12 to 16 ounces fresh mushrooms (preferably assorted varieties but you can use your favorite type)
- 4 to 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 to 5 cloves garlic, minced (depending on how garlicky you want it)
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- Fresh thyme for garnish (optional)
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and minced garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir constantly to prevent garlic from burning. Once garlic is fragrant (about 45 to 60 seconds), add the mushrooms and dried thyme. Increase the heat slightly to medium-high, drizzle with another tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the mushrooms for about 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. [Note: Keep an eye on the pan and add more olive oil (about 1 tablespoon at a time) as the mushrooms absorb the liquid. If you pan is dry, the mushrooms will stick and burn. Add it slowly though as you don’t want to over saturate your mushrooms.]
Once your mushrooms begin to soften, add black pepper and stir to combine. Sauté for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Add white wine (be sure heat is at medium-high) and allow to cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until white wine is reduced by about half.
Remove from heat and serve immediately. Garnish with fresh thyme if desired.