Portobello mushrooms have distinct meaty flavor and a chewy texture that makes them an ideal alternative to pork or beef. Unlike more delicate varieties of mushrooms, Portobello mushrooms have a longer shelf life thanks to their denser texture. However, any type of mushroom will turn slimy when improperly stored. What if you bought Portobello mushrooms in bulk? Can you freeze Portobello mushrooms?

Yes, Portobello mushrooms freeze so well. Of course, they have to be prepped properly to minimize texture or flavor changes. Prepping the mushrooms for freezing involves cleaning the Portobello mushrooms to remove deep-seated dirt.

Tips for Buying Mushrooms

When picking the mushrooms, avoid those with a musty or moldy odor. Mushrooms have a naturally woodsy, clean smell. Check the firmness of the mushrooms and avoid bruised, soggy, or discolored ones. Broad mushrooms such as Portobello mushrooms have a thick, fleshy, and firm texture.

Image used under Creative Commons from Ruth Hartnup

The underside of the Portobello mushroom, called the gills, should be firm and brown, not black.

How to Clean the Mushrooms for Freezing

Most chefs and cooking experts do not recommend rinsing the mushrooms in running water. Instead, they use a special brush to brush off unwanted debris. How you clean the mushrooms will be entirely up to you but if you need help, check out this quick video:

How to Freeze Portobello Mushrooms?

There are so many ways of prepping Portobello mushrooms prior to freezing and we are outlining each one! If you want to retain the natural flavors of the Portobello mushrooms, consider freezing the shrooms fresh. Do note that frozen fresh mushrooms should only be used in making soups, casseroles, and stews.

If you want to extend the shelf life of the Portobello mushrooms even further, steaming, sautéing, or blanching the Portobello mushrooms first prior to freezing is your best bet. Steaming, sautéing, or blanching the Portobello mushrooms allows you to use the mushroom in a variety of ways!

Freezing Raw and Chopped Portobello Mushrooms

Clean the mushroom by brushing off visible debris. With a sharp knife, trim the stem ends and remove the gills on the underside of the mushrooms. Once the Portobello mushrooms are clean, chop them into equal sizes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the chopped Portobello mushrooms evenly. Make sure the pieces are not touching each other. Stick the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze for an hour or two. After an hour or two, place the chopped Portobello mushrooms in a heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Write the date before sticking it flat in the freezer.

Freezing Raw and Whole Portobello Mushrooms

Clean the mushroom by brushing off visible debris. With a sharp knife, trim the stem ends and remove the gills on the underside of the mushrooms. You can freeze the raw and whole Portobello mushrooms by simply sticking them in the freezer or flash-freezing them first.

If you’d like to take the simpler route, just wrap each of the clean Portobello mushrooms in cling wrap then place them in a heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Write the date before sticking it flat in the freezer.

If you’d like to flash-freeze the raw Portobello mushrooms, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the Portobello mushrooms evenly. Make sure the mushrooms are not touching each other. Stick the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze the mushrooms for an hour or two.

Image used under Creative Commons from Quinn Dombrowski

After an hour or two, place the Portobello mushrooms in a heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Write the date before sticking it flat in the freezer.

Freezing Sautéd Portobello Mushrooms

This method will retain the firmness of the mushrooms the longest! Clean the mushroom by brushing off visible debris. With a sharp knife, trim the stem ends and remove the gills on the underside of the mushrooms. Slice or chop the mushrooms in equal sizes then sauté in butter over high heat in a skillet. Do not cook the mushrooms all the way through. Leave the mushrooms half-cooked so they’ll cook fully once you’re using them for your recipe.

After sautéing the mushrooms, place them on a plate, remove the excess oil and pat leftover oil dry with paper towels. Leave the sautéed mushrooms to cool completely. Once the mushrooms have cooled completely, place them in a heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Write the date before sticking it flat in the freezer.

Freezing Steamed Portobello Mushrooms

If you want to preserve the Portobello mushrooms’ flavor, this is the perfect method to try! Start by prepping the mushrooms for steaming. Clean the mushroom by brushing off visible debris. With a sharp knife, trim the stem ends and remove the gills on the underside of the mushrooms.

Chop the mushrooms or leave them whole, if desired. Then, place the mushrooms in a steamer basket or a double boiler and steam for several minutes. For whole mushrooms, steam for five minutes. For chopped or sliced mushrooms, they should be ready in 3 minutes or less. After steaming the mushroom, soak them in a pot of ice water. This will stop the cooking process. If you want to preserve the color of the mushrooms, soak them first in a lemon juice and water solution prior to steaming.

After the ice bath, shake the excess water and pat the steamed mushroom dry with paper towels. You’re ready to pack the mushrooms for freezing. Place them in a heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Write the date before sticking it flat in the freezer.

Freezing Blanched Portobello Mushrooms

Blanching the Portobello mushrooms first prior to freezing will stretch their shelf life the longest. It’s a simple method that involves parboiling or blanching the mushrooms. Start by prepping the mushrooms. Clean the mushroom by brushing off visible debris. With a sharp knife, trim the stem ends and remove the gills on the underside of the mushrooms. Place the clean mushrooms in a colander and boil a pot of water. Submerge the colander into the boiling water and blanch for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not cook the mushrooms fully or they’ll turn soggy once defrosted!

After 1 to 2 minutes, give the mushrooms an ice bath. This will stop the cooking process. After the ice bath, shake the excess water and pat the steamed mushroom dry with paper towels. Place the mushrooms in a heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Write the date before sticking it flat in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from Jan Murin

Shelf Life and Thawing Suggestions

The shelf life of the frozen Portobello mushrooms will depend on the preservation method you used prior to freezing. Raw Portobello mushrooms will last in the freezer for at least 10 months. Sauteed Portobello mushrooms have a shorter shelf life, about 3 to 6 months. Steamed Portobello mushrooms will keep for up to a year in the freezer, just like blanched Portobello mushrooms.

Thawing the frozen Portobello mushrooms is easy. Just transfer the mushrooms to the fridge and leave to defrost overnight. Once defrosted, the mushrooms are ready for any recipe!

Summary

Can you freeze Portobello mushrooms? As you can see, Portobello mushrooms freeze so well and there are so many ways to do it too. With this guide, you can take advantage of sales and get as much Portobello mushrooms as you can. Just freeze the rest for later!