Fresh raw mushrooms are a staple in many households as they are a perfect addition to many savory dishes. But how can you keep raw mushrooms on hand without running to the store every time you need some? Can you freeze mushrooms raw?
Freezing mushrooms raw is the best way to preserve them long-term while retaining their freshness and flavor. Frozen mushrooms can be quickly thawed or added directly to many recipes. You can keep frozen raw mushrooms in the freezer for up to six months.
Keep on reading as I tell you how to prepare and freeze mushrooms raw, plus how to thaw them. In addition, I’ll share some of the benefits of storing your mushrooms in the freezer.
How to Freeze Raw Mushrooms
Can you freeze mushrooms raw without any prep?
Mostly, but you do need to clean them. Rinse the mushrooms under cold water and then dry them with a paper towel.
Next, trim the mushrooms. Cut off the stem and any damaged or discolored parts.
Finally, you need to slice the mushrooms. Slice them into thin pieces so they will thaw evenly when you are ready to use them.
Freezing Raw Mushrooms
Once you have prepared the mushrooms, it is time to freeze them. There are two methods you can use.
The first method is to place the mushroom pieces on a cookie sheet with space between them and put them in the freezer. Once they are frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container.
Using this method will ensure that the mushroom pieces don’t all freeze together, making them easy to use.
The second method is to place the mushrooms in a freezer-safe bag or container and then put them in the freezer. With this method, they’ll likely freeze together in clumps, but that’s not a problem if you plan to add them to a dish you’re cooking. Remove as much air from the bag as possible before sealing it.
Either way, the mushrooms should be good in the freezer for up to six months.
Other Ways to Freeze Fresh Mushrooms (Cooking, Steaming, Blanching)
In addition to freezing mushrooms raw, you can also cook mushrooms before freezing. Freezing cooked mushrooms is a good option if you plan to use mushrooms in cooked dishes.
Blanch Mushrooms Before Freezing
To blanch mushrooms, drop whole mushrooms in boiling water for two minutes. Remove them from the water and place them in a bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking process and help to preserve their flavor. Once cooled, drain them and pat them dry.
You can then slice cooled mushrooms or leave them whole before freezing.
Freezing Sauteed Mushrooms
Another option is to sauté mushrooms before freezing. This is a good choice if you plan to use the mushrooms in recipes that call for sautéed mushrooms. To sauté the mushrooms, cook sliced mushrooms in a pan with some oil over medium-low heat until they are tender.
Once they are cooked, let them cool and freeze them in freezer bags or containers.
No matter which method you choose, label the mushrooms with the date, so you know how long they have been in the freezer.
Freezing Steamed Mushrooms
Another option is to steam mushrooms before freezing. This is a suitable option if you plan to use the mushrooms in recipes that call for steamed mushrooms, such as a stir-fry.
To steam mushrooms, add 1 inch of water to a pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Place the steamer basket in the pot and add mushrooms. Cover the pot and steam them for 5 minutes. Remove from the pot and let mushrooms cool off in a colander.
Alternatively, you can soak the mushrooms in ice water for a few minutes to cool them. This will help stop the cooking process and preserve their texture so you won’t get squishy mushrooms. You can also add some lemon juice to help retain the color.
Once cooled, transfer the mushrooms to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months.
How to Use the Frozen Mushrooms
When you’re ready to use the frozen mushrooms, there is no need to thaw them first. You can cook them directly from frozen. Simply add frozen mushrooms to the dish you are preparing and cook them until they are tender.
Remember that the mushrooms will release a small amount of water as they cook, so you may need to adjust the other ingredients accordingly.
Using Frozen Raw Mushrooms for Baking Recipes
For baking recipes, it is best to thaw the mushrooms before using them. This will help prevent them from releasing too much water and making the dish soggy. To thaw the mushrooms, place them in a bowl of cold water for about 30 minutes. Then, drain them and pat them dry before using them in your recipe.
Or you can simply leave them in the refrigerator overnight to thaw.
Benefits of Freezing Raw Mushrooms
There are several benefits to freezing mushrooms raw:
Great Addition to Your Recipes
Frozen mushrooms can add a great taste and meaty texture to your weeknight dinners. Mushrooms are a low-calorie food, so freezing them raw can help you slash calories from your diet.
Frozen mushrooms come in handy when you’re in a hurry and don’t have as much time to prepare a meal. You can add mushrooms to your stir-fries, soups, or pasta dishes to enjoy a quick and healthy meal.
Locks in Flavor and Freshness
Freezing raw mushrooms is the best way to preserve their flavor and freshness. If you have leftover mushrooms, don’t throw them away. Pop them in the freezer and use them later in your favorite recipes.
Mushrooms are a delicious topping on pizzas, salads, and other dishes. If you have some mushrooms that you need to use up, freezing them is a great way to prevent food waste.
Freezing uncooked mushrooms also helps to preserve their nutritional value. Research has shown that cooking can destroy up to 50% of some vitamins and minerals in mushrooms. So, if you want the most nutrients from your mushrooms, freezing them is a good option.
Keep Mushrooms On Hand
Keeping mushrooms in the freezer means always having them on hand when needed. Whether you’re making a last-minute dinner or planning ahead for a party, having frozen mushrooms on hand can be a lifesaver.
Frozen mushrooms will last for several months, so you can always have them on hand for recipes or meal prep.
Convenient Way of Storage
Freezing mushrooms raw is also a convenient way to store them. You can simply pop them into the freezer; they’ll be ready whenever you need them.
Can You Freeze Mushrooms Raw – Final Thoughts
Freezing mushrooms raw is an excellent way to preserve extra mushrooms and have them on hand when needed.
Just make sure to clean them thoroughly and slice them thinly before freezing. With proper care, frozen mushrooms can last for up to six months. This is great news for a mushroom lover who can’t get enough of these meaty treats.