I adore mushrooms! There is something delicious about the creamy flavor, unique texture, and diverse colors that these bite-size edible fungi have. But when I recently wanted to make my favorite pasta dish with some cremini mushrooms, I was devastated to see the local grocer didn’t have any cremini in stock.
Desperate, I Googled for help. Could I substitute cremini mushrooms for other mushrooms that were available? Yes, I could.
Substitute cremini mushrooms with any of the following mushrooms: portobello mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, morel mushrooms, or white button mushrooms. Non-mushroom substitutes include tofu, coconut, chickpeas, eggplant, or cauliflower.
Choose your substitute for cremini mushrooms based on the flavor profile of the dish you want to prepare, as well as what’s available at your grocery store.
What Is a Cremini Mushroom?
Cremini mushrooms (also spelled crimini mushrooms) are members of the same mushroom variety as white button mushrooms and portobello mushrooms.
The family species is known as Agaricus bisporus, with white button mushrooms being the most immature stage of growth, followed by cremini mushrooms as the next stage of maturity.
Finally, portobello mushrooms are in the last stages of growth when the mushroom takes on a brown color.
Popular uses for cremini mushrooms include soups, omelets, casseroles, on burgers, and even stuffed or coated for a starter or side at your favorite restaurant.
Cremini mushrooms are certainly versatile and a staple in every kitchen.
7+ Best Cremini Mushroom Substitutes
So, what are some great substitutes for cremini mushrooms? And what do you do when there are no mushrooms in the house, but you need cremini mushrooms for your favorite dish?
Here are the top mushroom substitutes for cremini mushrooms and also how to substitute cremini mushrooms with non-mushroom options.
1. White Button Mushrooms
White button mushrooms are the most commonly available mushroom, and as a bonus, it belongs to the same family as cremini mushrooms, ensuring a similar flavor profile and texture.
In mushroom terms, white button mushrooms are the step of mushroom development just before you get a cremini mushroom.
Use white button mushrooms to substitute cremini mushrooms in soups, sauces, casseroles, egg dishes, and more.
Substitute white button mushrooms 1:1 for cremini mushrooms.
2. Portobello Mushrooms
If you can’t have cremini mushrooms, why not take the next stage of development—portobello mushrooms?
When cremini mushrooms mature before harvesting, they are known as portobello mushrooms, and these make a great substitute for cremini mushrooms.
Portobello has a more robust flavor profile, and you can expect a more savory taste that is ideal with meat dishes and any dishes that call for cremini mushrooms.
Add in some sun-dried tomatoes and you are good to go.
Substitute portobello mushrooms 1:1 for cremini mushrooms.
3. Shiitake Mushrooms
A milder substitution for cremini mushrooms is to use shiitake mushrooms. Expect a spongier texture, light flavor, and tender meat that melts in the mouth.
To enhance the flavor profile, add spices and oil such as coconut oil or olive oil to beef up the taste.
Use a simple 1:1 substitution.
4. Oyster Mushrooms
I love oyster mushrooms because of their delicate shape, but they are also a good substitute for cremini mushrooms.
The sweetness and soft texture may give away your secret if you have discerning guests and substituted with oyster mushrooms. However, if you cut them into bite-sized pieces, it becomes easier to hide your clever trick.
Substitute oyster mushrooms for cremini mushrooms in a 1:1 ratio.
5. Morel Mushrooms
Morel mushrooms are also great as a substitute for cremini mushrooms. Using Morel mushrooms enhances the flavor profile of your recipe, adding a nutty taste and a delicate texture.
A simple 1:1 substitution works well.
Top Tip: If you are going to use morel mushrooms as a substitute for cremini mushrooms, turn the heat down to low when frying as morel mushrooms are far more sensitive to heat and may burn much more easily.
6. Porcini Mushrooms
If you are making a stew or wholesome meal that calls for an earthy taste, then adding porcini mushrooms is a great call.
Porcini mushrooms are ideal for a direct 1:1 substitution with cremini mushrooms.
7. Other Non-Mushroom Substitutes for Cremini Mushrooms
When there are no mushroom alternatives available, you can turn to these great non-mushroom substitutes:
- Eggplant – A slightly bitter taste but a dense texture that appeals to meaty dishes.
- Tofu – Bean curd is the origin of tofu, but the texture and taste are ideal for substituting cremini mushrooms.
- Cauliflower – In cooked meals, substituting cauliflower with cremini is a great way to keep the slightly tangy flavor alive.
- Coconut – Fresh coconut is a great substitute for cremini mushrooms, and add the coconut flesh cubed or sliced to stews and stir-fries.
Are Baby Bella and Cremini Mushrooms the Same?
While baby Bella and cremini mushrooms aren’t exactly the same, they are like non-identical twins, as baby Bella mushrooms are in the next stage of development after cremini mushrooms.
The flavor and texture will be very similar.
Are Crimini and Portobello the Same?
Cremini and portobello are in different stages of development of the same mushroom family, the Agaricus bisporus mushrooms.
Portobello mushrooms are more mature, and these have a richer flavor profile than cremini mushrooms, yet they make a great substitute too.
Can You Use Shiitake Instead of Cremini?
Shiitake mushrooms can replace cremini mushrooms, but the taste and texture are lighter, with some difference in the overall recipe to be expected.
Adding a little more spice to your recipe will enhance and boost the final taste. Substitute cremini mushrooms with shiitake mushrooms in potato dishes, pasta, and sauces.
My Last Foodie Thoughts
As I stood desperately looking at the shelf of mushrooms and other vegetables at my grocery store, I finally decided to add shiitake mushrooms to the potato bake I had planned.
I was pleasantly surprised by how well the shiitake mushrooms substituted the cremini mushrooms, opening the door for some brave spicing up of my family’s favorite meal.