Mushrooms are delicate and tasty foods with a wide range of nutrients. Cremini mushrooms are small dark brown mushrooms also called baby bella mushrooms with a subtle meaty texture and earthy-savory flavor.
Cremini mushrooms are widely used in cooking and baking especially in soups, pizzas, pastas, salads and roasted or grilled dishes. You can also mix them with creamy sauces and dairy products. Many people choose them instead of meat for vegan-friendly recipes.
Like many other mushrooms, cremini mushrooms are mostly cooked. However, you may eat them raw too, especially in salads.
Read the guide below If you are looking for a cremini mushroom substitute for your recipe.
Best Cremini Mushroom Substitutes
1. White Button Mushrooms
White button mushrooms come from the same family as cremini mushrooms. As the name indicates they are white in color but the taste is quite similar to cremini mushrooms.
Let’s say they are the least aged mushrooms from this family because cremini is considered to be semi-aged and portobellos are aged mushrooms.
They come with a softer texture and milder flavor, which allows you to eat them raw and use in salads. They can be used to replace cremini mushrooms in stews, pizzas, pastas, burgers and salads.
These mushrooms also go well with sauces and appetizers and perfectly work with garlic, cheese and cream-based dishes.
2. Chestnut Mushrooms
Chestnut mushrooms are considered to be the same as white button mushrooms, but they differ in color. These mushrooms have many similarities with cremini mushrooms which make them a perfect alternative for many dishes.
They come with a tan-to-brown color and are actually much closer to cremini mushrooms than the white ones. They have the same size and shape as cremini mushrooms and they taste more similar to cremini mushrooms than white bottom mushrooms.
3. Portobello Mushrooms
Portobello mushrooms are other great substitutes that belong to the same group of fungi. They are sometimes called giant cremini and common cremini mushrooms, in their turn, are called baby bello.
Yes, they differ in size but the taste and look is similar. These mushrooms also come with the same brownish color which makes them a perfect option for dishes where the color matters.
Portobello mushrooms have a meaty texture and savory taste. They can be used in soups, grills, roast and sauteed dishes and bakery. You can choose them instead of cremini in almost all recipes.
4. Shiitake Mushrooms
Native to East Asia, shiitake mushrooms are little brown fungi with an intense taste and woody flavor. Although you can eat them raw, their rich meaty taste and creamy-to-buttery flavor becomes even more appealing and delicious when cooked.
Choose them instead of cremini mushrooms in stews, soups, risotto, barbecue, vegetable dishes or salads. Shiitake mushrooms go well with sauces, especially with pasta sauces.
5. Porcini Mushrooms
Small, cute and eye-catching; porcini mushrooms can be your next choice. They come with a tender aroma and delicate texture. They are as nutritious as cremini mushrooms and can be used in the same recipes as cremini.
Porcini mushrooms are more popular in Italian cuisine. They have a strong aroma and earthy flavor. They share many similarities with cremini such as the size, the color and the texture.
You can use them in stews, soups, sauteed dishes, eggs, meats as well as all kinds of pasta. When added to soups and stews, they tend to enrich the flavor of the broth making it smell meaty.
6. King Oyster Mushrooms or Oyster Mushrooms
King oyster mushrooms are the largest of the oyster mushroom varieties, mostly available in Asian markets. These thick, stump-like mushrooms come with small, flat caps. They are kind of woody and tough to eat raw but you can use them instead of cremini in cooked dishes.
As for oyster mushrooms, they are ideal for quick cooking as they come with a smaller stem and cup and seem to be subtler in texture. Unlike king oyster mushrooms, which grow separately, these mushrooms come with bunches. They have an umami flavor and chewy meaty texture.
You can use either of these mushrooms in stir-fries, pastas, with grilled and roasted vegetables or meats.
7. Maitake Mushrooms
Maitake mushrooms are another bunch-formed mushroom. It mostly grows in the wild forests of Asia, North America and Europe. They are considered to be delicacies in Japanese cuisine.
Maitake mushrooms have a peppery and earthy flavor. It’s better to use them in cooked dishes. You can choose them to replace cremini mushrooms in pizzas and sauteed dishes.
8. Enoki Mushrooms
Although enoki mushrooms come with a totally different size, color and shape they are still good substitutes for cremini mushrooms. They are one of the subtlest bunch mushrooms in white color. They are thin and long in shape and have small dot-like heads.
You may often see them in Asian dishes. They have a crunchy texture and delicate flavor.
Enoki mushrooms go well with soups, hot-pots, stir-fries, noodle dishes, rice dishes, rolls, sushi, salads and many more. As you see, you have a wide range of ideas where to use enoki mushrooms to replace creminis.
9. Morel Mushrooms
Morels are a wild type of mushroom with earthy and umami flavor. They come with a meaty and velvety texture and unique appearance. These small mushrooms can be used instead of cremini mushrooms in many recipes but you may add some herbs and seasonings to make it taste more similar to cremini. However, avoid overseasoning.
Choose morel mushrooms for salads and cooked dishes including risotto, fish, pies, pastas, grilled and roasted meats. In general, the use of morel mushrooms is as diverse as cremini mushrooms.
Compared to many other mushrooms, this one is a bit expensive.
10. Shimeji Mushrooms
If shimeji mushrooms are available in your region, you can consider them as suitable substitutes for creminis. They are native to northern Europe and East Asia and are often used in Japanese cuisine.
There are white and brown shimeji bunches between which brown ones are bitter in taste. Overall they taste savory and nutty with some buttery and sweet touches.
You can use Shimeji mushrooms in many Japanese dishes such as rice bowls, ramen and dashi, but when substituting with cremini, they work well in stir-fries, soups and roasted vegetables. It’s not recommended to eat them raw, as they taste bitter and are difficult to digest.
Other Cremini Mushroom Substitutes (Non-Mushroom Options)
In case you don’t have any of the above-mentioned mushroom substitutes for cremini mushrooms, you can refer to other foods such as eggplant. It is a good option if you don’t like mushrooms but your recipe calls for it. It has a similar meaty texture and earthy flavor.
Eggplants are quite easy to find in common stores and markets. You can use them in any mushroom-based recipe including soups, stews, bakeries, roast and grilled dishes and even sauces and salads. Just make sure to saute them before adding to the dish.
12. Ground Chickpeas
Although ground chickpeas are totally different foods, they surprisingly go well in dishes that call for cremini mushrooms. It has a different texture, different flavor and color but if you are after a mild umami flavor, then this can be a good choice. Season it with matching condiment to get the desired taste.
Just like eggplant, zucchini is another suitable vegetable to choose instead of cremini. It has a crunchy texture but again you need to cook or saute it before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.
It is mild, sweet and savory at the same time. Add it to stir-fries, soups and baking recipes. They carry similar nutrition values.
14. Sun-Dried Tomatoes
This is a weird option but it works. Sun-dried tomatoes are perfect for pasta sauces. They carry that umami flavor as cremini mushrooms and offer some sweetness. You can fry them, roast or boil to match with your recipe.
In order to replace cremini mushrooms with dried tomatoes you may need to use a good combo of condiments and herbs.
If you boil cauliflower a little bit you will get a similar texture to cremini mushrooms. Then you can use them in baked goods, combine with meats, mix with creamy sauces as well as add to salads with a pinch of well-balanced spices.
And your last choice can be tofu. Well, let’s say “marinated tofu” to make things clearer. Add soy sauce to this food or marinate it in chicken or vegetable broth and it will get an umami flavor. It works well with pies, rice dishes and pasta in fried, smoked, baked or boiled versions.
FAQs on Cremini Mushrooms
Are cremini mushrooms safe for dogs?
Dogs can eat a wide variety of mushrooms bought from stores: either canned or fresh. Between those mushrooms you can find cremini mushrooms as safe foods for dogs.
Can I eat cremini mushrooms raw?
Yes, you can eat cremini mushrooms raw in salads but it’s more delicious when cooked.
Is every part of cremini mushrooms edible?
Yes, it has a subtle texture and you can eat both the stem and caps. They come with the same flavor and taste.
Whichever cremini mushroom substitute you choose, you’d reach a delicate and interesting taste that will please you and your guests. However, if you are mushroom-intolerant, try to use non-mushroom substitutes listed above. They are as suitable as fresh mushrooms.