Mushroom powder is an incredibly versatile ingredient that adds a rich, earthy, umami flavor to dishes. Its deep savory taste takes recipes to the next level.
Unfortunately, mushroom powder can be difficult to find in regular grocery stores. When a recipe calls for it and you don't have it on hand, you need a reliable substitute.
There are many potential alternatives, both in the produce and seasoning aisles. With a little creativity, you can mimic both the flavor and texture of mushroom powder.
Dried mushrooms pack an intense earthy, woodsy flavor. Their taste transforms during the drying process, becoming even more umami-rich than their fresh counterparts. Grinding them magnifies this tasty essence.
You likely have a bag of dried mushrooms in your pantry right now. To make mushroom powder:
- Place dried mushrooms (any variety) in a blender or food processor.
- Pulse several times until the mushrooms are broken down.
- Let the machine run for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until a fine powder forms.
That's all it takes to DIY flavorful mushroom powder with ingredients you already have on hand!
Use it sprinkle on meats before cooking, blend into burger mixes, or stir into sauces, soups, and stews. Homemade mushroom powder keeps for 2-3 months stored in an airtight container.
When substituting, use the same amount of dried mushroom powder as the mushroom powder called for in the recipe.
Key Takeaway: Grinding your own dried mushrooms makes the best substitute for store-bought mushroom powder.
Poultry seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices optimized to flavor chicken and turkey. Common ingredients include sage, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, and nutmeg.
These herbs mirror many of the woodsy notes in mushroom powder. Poultry seasoning has an earthiness reminiscent of mushrooms' musty aroma.
Swap in a equal amount of poultry seasoning when mushroom powder is unavailable. It adds complexity and a subtle savoriness to dishes.
Use it to season roasted vegetables, mix into breading for chicken, or sprinkle on popcorn. Combine poultry seasoning with a little soy sauce or miso to reinforce the umami flavor lost by omitting the mushrooms.
Onion and Garlic Powders
Onion powder has a bittersweet, concentrated onion flavor. Garlic powder is pungent, with a warm garlic essence. Both ingredients add a meaty, mouthwatering richness.
Use garlic and onion powders together to replace mushroom powder at a ratio of 1:1. Their robust taste mimics the earthiness of mushrooms.
For the best flavor, sauté onion and garlic powders in oil for 1 minute before adding to your dish. This blooms their aromatic compounds.
Onion and garlic powders lack mushrooms' distinct fungal flavor. Add a dash of soy sauce or miso to round out the umami taste.
Nutritional yeast is a popular supplement in vegan cooking. It has a nutty, cheesy flavor that adds savory depth to plant-based dishes.
Made from deactivated yeast, its taste profile includes earthy, mushroom-like notes. It provides umami flavor without using any animal ingredients.
Substitute nutritional yeast for mushroom powder using a 1:1 ratio. Add a bit more if you want a stronger cheesy flavor.
Nutritional yeast comes fortified with vitamins and minerals or unfortified. Both types work well, so use whichever variety you have in your pantry.
Seaweed might seem like an unusual substitute, but it shares savory flavor compounds with mushrooms. Seaweed contains natural glutamates that enhance umami taste.
Dried seaweed sheets make the easiest substitution. Grind them into flakes using a blender or spice grinder. Sprinkle the seaweed flakes on meals in place of mushroom powder.
You can also brew kombu or kelp seaweed in soups and sauces. Remove the kombu before serving. The savory seaweed broth provides a flavor base.
Aim for dried seaweed rather than fresh. The drying process concentrates its taste. A little bit of seaweed powder goes a long way. Start with 1/4 the amount of mushroom powder called for in the recipe.
Soy Sauce or Tamari
A small amount of soy sauce adds tremendous umami impact to recipes. The fermented soybeans contain glutamates just like mushrooms.
Use soy sauce or tamari to recreate the rich, meaty flavor notes of mushroom powder. Tamari is gluten-free, while soy sauce contains wheat.
Start with 1/4 teaspoon liquid aminos per teaspoon mushroom powder. Add more if you want a more pronounced soy flavor.
Whisk a dash of soy sauce into marinades, dressings, dips, and sauces. Try a few drops in ground meat mixtures and breading to boost juiciness.
Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
If you have another variety of dried mushroom on hand, use it! Dried shiitakes make an especially good stand-in for other dried mushrooms.
Shiitake mushrooms have a concentrated, woodsy flavor with subtle sweet tones. Rehydrate them by soaking in hot water for 20 minutes before using.
Chop rehydrated shiitakes or pulse them in the food processor to achieve a minced mushroom texture. Use shiitakes to replace any dried porcini, morel, chanterelle, or oyster mushrooms.
Adjust the quantity based on the intensity of flavor desired. For a subtle mushroom taste, use a bit less dried shiitake. For a robust earthiness, increase the amount slightly.
Sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato puree, and canned diced tomatoes offer an unexpected umami flavor boost. Tomatoes contain glutamic acid that enhances savory taste.
Sun-dried tomatoes have an intensified sweet and acidic tomato flavor. They get chewy and concentrated as moisture evaporates during drying.
Tomato paste is thick with tomato essence. Its bold taste enhances the other ingredients it's cooked with.
Pureed tomatoes provide fresh tomato sweetness and a velvety texture. Diced tomatoes lend juicy bursts of tomato to recipes.
Replace mushroom powder with equal parts tomato product. Cook it into sauces, soups, stews, and casseroles to allow the flavors to meld.
Add a pinch of dried herbs to tomato products to achieve more of an earthy essence. Tomato and mushroom flavors pair deliciously together.
Spinach contains small amounts of natural glutamates that stimulate umami taste receptors. Cooking amplifies spinach's savory flavor.
Use thawed, chopped frozen spinach in place of mushroom powder. Squeeze out excess moisture before adding to recipes.
Add spinach to casseroles, pastas, eggs dishes, and soups to provide a hint of earthiness. Add garlic, onion, and soy sauce to round out the umami taste.
Double the amount of frozen spinach to equal the mushroom powder quantity. Its flavor is more subtle. For one teaspoon mushroom powder, use two teaspoons spinach.
Don't worry about your dish turning green. The color fades as spinach cooks. Enjoy its sneakily savory flavor!
Mushroom Stock or Broth
When you need an umami flavor base, use mushroom broth or stock instead of mushroom powder. Mushroom stock contains the juices of cooked mushrooms for intense earthy flavor.
Replace mushroom powder with an equal amount of mushroom broth or stock. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon mushroom powder, use 1 teaspoon mushroom stock.
Increase the stock amount if you want a more pronounced mushroom essence. Reduce the quantity if you want a delicate mushroom background note.
Thinly slice and sauté fresh mushrooms before making your stock for even more mushroom presence. Sieve the solids out after simmering to yield a crystal clear umami infusion.
Porcini Bouillon Cubes
Bouillon cubes offer concentrated flavor in an easy to use format. Porcini bouillon cubes distill the umami taste of porcini mushrooms.
Many stores sell porcini bouillon along with chicken and beef broth cubes. They often come in jars for easy dispensing.
Substitute one porcini bouillon cube for every 1-2 teaspoons of mushroom powder. Crumble the cube into soups, stews, sauces, and rice dishes.
Porcini bouillon works best when you need mushroom flavor in liquid recipes. The cubes dissolve and release their intense mushroom essence into the surrounding dish.
Mushroom Soup Base
Mushroom soup base is a highly concentrated paste that imparts robust mushroom flavor when diluted. Also called mushroom soup starter, it provides instant umami.
Find this convenient product near the broth and bouillon in the soup aisle. Popular brands include Better Than Bouillon and Savory Choice.
Follow package instructions to dilute the soup base with water. Use it instead of mushroom broth or stock in recipes.
One teaspoon reconstituted soup base equals approximately one teaspoon mushroom powder. Add more or less to adjust the intensity of the mushroom taste.
Cooking onions slowly over low heat until they turn amber brown yields sweet, rich caramelized onions. Their flavor becomes jammy and concentrated.
Caramelized onions lack mushrooms' meaty texture but provide similar deep, earthy notes. They add satisfying savory flavor to recipes.
Try this simple mushroom powder substitute:
- Thinly slice 1 medium onion
- Cook over medium-low heat in 1 Tablespoon oil, stirring often until dark brown (30-45 minutes).
- Use caramelized onions instead of mushroom powder.
For 1 teaspoon mushroom powder, substitute 2 teaspoons caramelized onions. Their flavor is more mellow than mushrooms. Increase the quantity to achieve the right intensity for your dish.
Umami Seasoning or Mushroom Extract
You can buy umami seasonings that add an instant hit of savory flavor. These spice blends contain ingredients high in natural glutamates.
Mushroom extract powder provides straight umami flavor derived from mushrooms. It skips the earthy nuances and delivers just the savory taste.
Use umami seasoning or mushroom extract instead of mushroom powder in a 1:1 ratio. A little bit goes a long way, so start with just half the amount and adjust to suit your tastebuds.
Sprinkle these instant umami boosters in soups, gravies, meat rubs, and anywhere you want a flavor pick-me-up. They dissolve seamlessly into recipes.
Worcestershire sauce includes fermented anchovies that provide savory umami flavor. The sauce also contains molasses, garlic, and spices.
Just a few drops of Worcestershire sauce in place of mushroom powder adds deep, aromatic flavor notes. It seasons recipes without overpowering other ingredients.
Start with 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce per 1 teaspoon mushroom powder called for. The fermented taste is intense. Add more if you want a more prominent savory fermented flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
What recipes use mushroom powder?
Mushroom powder works well in any savory dish. Use it to add earthy flavor to meats, soups, stews, sauces, roasted vegetables, pasta, and more. It provides a flavor foundation for recipes.
Can I make mushroom powder from fresh mushrooms?
You can make mushroom powder from both fresh and dried mushrooms. However, dried mushrooms have more concentrated taste. Reconstitute dried mushrooms before grinding for the most flavor.
Is mushroom powder gluten-free?
Yes, mushroom powder is naturally gluten-free. Be sure to use a certified gluten-free brand or check ingredient lists if you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance. Some brands add gluten-containing fillers.
What else can I do with leftover mushroom powder?
- Make mushroom tea or broth by steeping in hot water.
- Use it as part of a breading or coating for fried foods.
- Add to dips, sauces, and dressings.
- Make mushroom butter by blending it with softened butter.
- Mix into ground meat for burgers or meatballs.
- Combine it with olive oil for a savory finishing drizzle.
Mushroom powder is a magical ingredient that boosts the savory flavor of recipes. When you run out, don't let its absence prevent you from cooking your favorite dishes. With a little creativity, you can recreate its earthy, musty aroma and rich umami flavor using ingredients you likely have on hand.
Dried mushrooms, soy sauce, tomato products, caramelized onions, and Worcestershire sauce are just a few options for bringing intense, savory satisfaction to recipes when mushroom powder runs out. Blend a few of these alternatives together for the closest match.