Compared to other mushroom varieties, like the button mushroom, cremini takes pride in its more mushroom-like aroma and taste. The versatility of cremini mushrooms is also undeniable. You can prove it based on its ability to go well with various recipes and dishes.
These include rice, pasta, any type of meat, salad, and potatoes. You can also make tasty sauces from it. You are even allowed to use dried cremini if that is what your recipe prefers. It is a great addition to risottos, casseroles, pastas, soups, quesadillas, omelets, salads, bruschetta, tarts, and tacos.
In any case, if you run out of it, you can choose from any of its great substitutes, including:
- Button Mushroom
- Oyster Mushroom
- Chestnut mushroom
- Morel mushroom
As there are many types of mushrooms on the market, let’s briefly understand why cremini mushroom is so popular and what are its health benefits.
2o Best Substitute For Cremini Mushroom
Cremini mushrooms are small to mid-sized brown mushrooms that fall under the same classification as portobello and white mushrooms. Just like portobello and white button mushrooms, cremini is easily accessible. You can easily find it in all produce sections in any store.
Cremini is easily distinguishable, though, because it has this distinctive meaty texture and mild and earthy flavor. Cremini is also tastier than white mushrooms.
Apart from being flavorful, cremini mushroom is also good for your health. It is healthy and nutritious as it has various vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. Among them are B vitamins, manganese, potassium, folic acid, zinc, phosphorus, selenium, Vitamin D, copper, and manganese. [Source]
If you are fond of using cremini but don’t have some on hand, you can use the following alternatives:
Probably the closest out of the many cremini mushroom substitutes you will learn now is the button mushroom. It is a good alternative to cremini because they have the same woodsy and mild nutty flavor.
The two also seem to have a velvety texture and earthy aroma. It is a good substitute as it is available the entire year, promoting ease of access. You will love using it for your vegetable stew, as well as any potato recipe. It works well whether you are making baked, mashed, or fried potatoes.
Being a versatile mushroom variation, it is also suitable for vegetable stew, poultry, meat, pasta, and rice. Moreover, you can add it to your salads, sauces, pizza, and burgers.
The process of preparing button mushrooms is also quite similar to how you do it when using cremini. You can fry, marinate, dry, pickle, boil, or grill it.
It is affordable and easily available. This means it is the closest and most accessible alternative to cremini when planning to prepare a mushroom sauce, salad, or soup. It is also a great addition to burgers, pasta, and pizza.
The next cremini mushroom substitute we are going to talk about is the oyster mushroom. It is a fantastic alternative to cremini due to its flavor, texture, and color. Note, though, that it is not as tasty and meaty compared to other cremini substitutes.
Despite that, it can still make your dishes tastier and more interesting. Oyster mushrooms usually come in white colors. There is also a brown version of it, which looks almost the same as cremini.
Another thing that makes oyster mushroom an incredible alternative is that it has a nice texture and flavor. This specific flavor and texture will be incapable of changing the taste of your recipes excessively.
Also recognized for its other names, like black forest and oak, the shiitake mushroom works as a fantastic substitute for cremini. It is light brown and easily recognizable because of its spongy and soft nature. It has a size and shape that resembles cremini.
One fact about shiitake is that its flavor is quite earthy. It also has a flavor profile that is a bit subtler than cremini. It has a delicate flower that makes it an even better cremini substitute, especially when preparing stews, pasta, barbecues, stir-fries, and barbecues.
This mushroom is also an effective sauce thickener. Be more mindful when using this mushroom to replace cremini, though, since it is quite chewy. Ensure that you also use fresh ones to improve the taste.
Portobello has an earthy and velvety flavor, making it quite the same as cremini. With its umami taste, portobello also works as a meat alternative, similar to what you can expect from cremini.
Portobello mushroom has high water content, which is why it may get misshapen once cooked.
Despite that, you still have an assurance that their flavors will stay intact. There are so many things you can do with portobello, too, including roasting and grilling. It is also a great addition to pizza, sauces, soups, and pasta.
You can also go for porcini mushrooms if you are looking for a cremini substitute with a strong flavor and delicate scent. This mushroom contains the same nutrients as cremini.
One thing that differentiates this mushroom from the others, though, is its porous texture. This specific texture is the reason behind its water-absorbent nature.
If you plan to use it in your cooking, rinse it first then use paper towels to dry it. The reason is that the mushroom may release water as you cook the dish. You can also stew, boil, or sauté it. Roasting the porcini mushroom is also the best way to maximize its flavor.
Due to its brownish tan color, the chestnut mushroom is also known as the brown mushroom. It grows in clusters in most cases and is considered the mature variation of the white mushroom.
The size, flavor, and taste of chestnut mushrooms can be likened to cremini, which makes it a good cremini alternative. It is safe to use it in place of cremini in all dishes requiring such ingredient, like sauces and soups, as well as in grilling and roasting.
With the distinctive umami and buttery flavor of morel mushroom, using it in your recipes can surely make them even more interesting to the taste buds. You will also notice the velvety texture of morel mushrooms.
Use it in any recipe that requires baking and frying. It is also a good alternative to cremini when planning to prepare stews, salads, pies, and risottos. Ensure that you do not over-season this ingredient, though, to avoid losing its delicate yet nice aroma.
If what you are searching for is an alternative to cremini that is not mushroom, then go for cauliflower. This tasty yet inexpensive substitute is a good choice as it is readily available regardless of the time of year.
Cauliflower is creamy and known for having a dense texture, making it compatible with meat dishes, vegetables, cream, rice, pasta, and fish. The buttery taste and crunchy texture of cauliflower also make it a great replacement for cremini. This is especially true if you cook it with butter, spices, or cream.
Note, though, that being a non-mushroom substitute, you can’t expect cauliflower to possess that woodsy and earthy taste. Despite that, it can still significantly improve the taste of your dishes.
Eggplant can add more flavor to any dish that requires cremini because of its meaty and tender texture. It can also make your dishes a bit bitter.
It is a versatile substitute that you can do several things with it, including baking, frying, boiling, and grilling.
It is also compatible with meat, like tender beef and pork. You can use it in vegetable stews, too. Once cooked, you can expect eggplant to resemble other mushrooms, like cremini, as it will become delicate, soft, and velvety.
Chickpeas have this grainy and creamy texture and nutty taste, which makes them wonderful substitutes for cremini. It is rich in protein, too, which is a good thing as it can replace meat while ensuring that the fat content of your dish remains low.
You will also love using this ingredient, especially if you like preparing vegetarian dishes.
You can also use zucchini if you are in search of a cremini substitute that is not a variety of mushrooms. The good thing about zucchini is that it holds a sweet, savory, and mild flavor, as well as a soft texture upon cooking it.
There are several things that you can do with zucchini. You can grill, fry, bake, roast, pickle, or stew it. The mild earthy aroma and velvety texture of zucchini can also remind you of cremini.
Note, though, that it is quite the same as eggplants when it comes to bitterness. It is also highly recommended to sprinkle zucchini with salt, so you can eliminate all excess water before cooking.
Tofu tastes a bit differently than cremini. The two also have different textures. However, if you combine tofu with soy sauce, you can expect it to hold that earthy and nutty flavor, turning it into a good substitute for cremini.
It is also a good idea to marinate tofu in either chicken or vegetable stock in case there is no soy sauce. This is to make the taste of this ingredient more pronounced. You can also sprinkle it with some lemon juice for it to mimic cremini.
The savory and sweet flavor of sun-dried tomatoes, combined with their soft and chewy textures, makes it a good substitute for cremini. You will be able to use it in vegetable stews, soups, risotto, sauces, and pasta.
Another reason to like this cremini substitute is that it goes well with spices and herbs. It is a good addition to salads and can provide your dishes with an intensely sweet and tart taste.
You can also see how versatile sun-dried tomatoes are with their ability to blend with almost all vegetables, cereals, and pasta.
Russet potatoes are also among the best alternatives to cremini mushrooms. You can easily distinguish this potato because of its long size and tough and thick skin. The toughness of its skin makes it quite difficult to peel.
The good thing about this potato is that it can absorb liquids well. You can also easily combine it with dishes that call for mushrooms. You will be fond of using it when frying and baking.
It may not be that suitable for salads and soups, though, as it may only lead to soggy results.
Lentils have this rich and great flavor, as well as thick and meaty consistency once cooked. It is a good cremini mushroom alternative if you are planning to prepare stews and soups.
What’s even better about lentils is that they have high nutrition value. It is rich in fiber and protein. Note, though, that it does not have the earthy flavor that mushrooms possess.
Onions are great additions to any dish because they carry plenty of health benefits.
Aside from being highly nutritious,onions can also improve your dishes due to their rich flavor. You can choose to use white onions known for being sweeter. They work great in meat, soups, and toppings.
Caramelized onions are also good substitutes for cremini, especially when used in steaks and pies. If you want your dish to have a bit of a spicy taste, go for red onions. It is advisable to use fresh onions in your recipe, so you will get to enjoy their strong flavors.
Yellow Summer Squash
When planning to use squash as a cremini substitute, go for the yellow summer squash as other varieties are extremely watery.
The yellow summer squash variety has this meaty nature that makes it a good replacement for cremini. This is true for soups, sauteed and baked dishes, and side dishes.
While yellow summer squash does not have any mushroom taste, it is possible for you to mimic it by using some seasoning. This low-calorie squash is also healthy as it is rich in Vitamins A and C, protein, iron, and calcium.
The white, thin, and small enoki mushroom also works as a good cremini mushroom alternative. It has a slightly sweet flavor and crunchy texture. It is also healthy, thanks to its high fiber and protein content.
The small size and earthy taste of enoki can easily remind you of cremini. You can use it in your side dishes and stir-fries that require the use of cremini mushrooms. They are delicious enough that they can make your dishes more enjoyable to eat.
Maitake is also one of those mushroom varieties that have the same feel and taste as cremini. This means that you will be able to use it as an alternative when cooking.
What’s great about maitake is that it is not only delicious but also has a low-fat content. It has a higher nutrition value, which makes it effective in boosting one’s immunity.
Shimeji is a commonly used mushroom variety in Japanese cuisines. It has this chewy and crunchy texture and meaty and savory flavor that makes it the same as cremini.
The brown shimeji mushroom has a more bitter taste, so be careful when using it.
The fact that shimeji and cremini mushrooms have the same flavor profiles makes it possible for you to use either one in the absence of the other. Once cooked, it will not have that mushy feel. This makes it ideal for use in many recipes, including stir-fries, soba, and hot pots.