Exploring Porcini Mushroom Substitutes: 5 Excellent Alternatives For Your Recipes

When it comes to providing your dish with that intense and earthy flavor, very few ingredients come close to the taste provided by Porcini mushrooms.

Used in a variety of different dishes, including soups, sauces, and risottos, the strong and intense flavor of these mushrooms often sees them partnered alongside slightly more delicate or flavors to create the perfect partnership.

Things such as truffles, chicken, or even some fresh herbs (parsley and thyme especially) work well when partnered with Porcini mushrooms, so it’s not hard to see why they’re so popular.

One of the other reasons why so many people love these mushrooms though is because of their particularly unique texture, as they tend to be much chewier than other mushrooms out there.

However, if a recipe you’re following calls for Porcini mushrooms, then you likely will have discovered that not only are they a little hard to come by, they’re also quite expensive in some places, so how can you replace them?

This guide will take you through some of the best replacements available for Porcini mushrooms so that you can continue making your dish without any issues!

Exploring Porcini Mushroom Substitutes: 5 Excellent Alternatives for Your Recipes

What Are Porcini Mushrooms?

These highly prized gourmet mushrooms were first discovered all the way back in the 16th century, and are often known as ceps or boletus.

That’s because these mushrooms are a part of the Boletaceae family, despite your initial concerns, these mushrooms are definitely edible, and considered to be a delicacy in many places around the world.

For the most part you should be able to find Porcini mushrooms for sale near you, as commercial cultivation has made these mushrooms much more readily available than they ever used to be.

These mushrooms were initially found in France and Italy, so it should be no real surprise that they’ve become such prized ingredients.

However, it was upon their introduction to Asian countries such as China that the popularity of these mushrooms really began to explode.

The versatility of the Porcini mushroom is not to be underestimated either, and from sauces to soups, or pasta dishes to pies, these mushrooms can be used in almost anything.

Many chefs will tell you that the best way to cook a Porcini mushroom is in a frying pan with salt or garlic (or both), although you can also drizzle them in olive oil and roast them in the oven too.

Cooking Porcini mushrooms before adding them to a dish is important though, as they can be particularly difficult to chew through when raw.

One tip with cooking Porcini mushrooms, the water you use to wash them is worth keeping, as you’ll be able to use it to make a delicious stock in the future!

You can always distinguish between a Porcini mushroom and other mushrooms thanks to not only its unique aroma, but also the brown tones and white pores of the mushroom.

However, what happens when you can’t get your hands on Porcini mushrooms?

The Best Substitutes For Porcini Mushrooms

When faced with the issue of having to replace Porcini mushrooms it can be slightly confusing, how do you go about replacing that immense flavor and aroma?

Thankfully, there are a number of great substitutes that will be able to stand in for the missing Porcini mushrooms, so it’s a case of choosing whichever substitute you think will work best for you.

So, let’s take a look at these Porcini mushroom substitutes!

1. Shiitake Mushrooms

Exploring Porcini Mushroom Substitutes: 5 Excellent Alternatives for Your Recipes

Among the best substitutes for Porcini mushrooms are the incredible Shiitake mushrooms, which are known for their amazing flavor and texture.

One of the reasons why shiitake mushrooms are one of the preferred substitutes for Porcini mushrooms is down to the fact that they can be added fresh or dried, as well as their especially meaty texture, which should help to fill the Porcini mushroom void in your dish.

Another great thing about shiitake mushrooms is that they can come in a variety of different colors, all of which will help to color your dish too.

While Porcini mushrooms originate from Europe, these winter mushrooms originally come from East Asia, and although their flavor might come across as slightly unusual at first, especially because of the underlying sweetness, we’re sure you’ll come to love them once you’ve finished cooking them.

Shiitake mushrooms are generally much easier to find in grocery stores and Asian supermarkets no matter where you are in the world, so finding them shouldn’t be much of a problem.

2. Crimini Mushrooms

Exploring Porcini Mushroom Substitutes: 5 Excellent Alternatives for Your Recipes

Another excellent alternative for Porcini mushrooms are Crimini mushrooms, which many people equate to white button mushrooms due to their overall shape and size, although these mushrooms are much browner in color instead.

When compared to Porcini mushrooms, these mushrooms are incredibly similar, with a comparable texture (Porcini mushrooms tend to be a little bit firmer).

However, as many people point out, these mushrooms don’t quite have the same flavor profile as Porcini mushrooms do, which isn’t surprising considering how strong the flavor of Porcini mushrooms is!

One of the good things about replacing your Porcini mushrooms with Crimin mushrooms is that they tend to be a lot cheaper than Porcini mushrooms are, which makes them a great alternative if your issue with Porcini mushrooms is purely financial.

Cooked with some thyme and rosemary in a frying pan, and these mushrooms are sure to be delicious no matter what dish you add them to.

However, it is worth noting that these mushrooms aren’t really suitable for dishes that need to be cooked for a long time, so if you’re making something like a stew, you might need to find a different substitute.

But you’re completely safe to add them to dishes such as pasta, which aren’t cooked for as long. Their versatility and flavor has seen them become much more popular among chefs in recent years too.

3. Button Mushrooms

Exploring Porcini Mushroom Substitutes: 5 Excellent Alternatives for Your Recipes

Button mushrooms are probably the most recognizable type of mushroom, mainly because they’re commonly found in grocery stores and supermarkets all over the world, which means that they’re an extremely accessible replacement for Porcini mushrooms.

Although button mushrooms are commonly white in color, you can find a brown variety, which resembles Porcini mushrooms a little bit more.

And despite the differences in name, these two mushroom varieties have much more in common than you might initially think.

The flavor isn’t as strong of course, but they still provide a mild yet earthy flavor that is known to elevate a wide range of dishes.

There’s also a little less umami in these mushrooms than there is in Porcini mushrooms, which is something to keep in mind when using them as a substitute for Porcini mushrooms.

Unlike other mushroom varieties, you can cook button mushrooms for long periods of time without them losing their flavor at all, and in recent years they’ve also been cultivated to make them much larger and more flavorful than they ever used to be.

Since these mushrooms are easy to find in supermarkets and grocery stores, both in their white and their brown varieties, then it makes using them a sensible Porcini mushroom substitute if you can’t manage to use them for whatever reason.

4. Portobello Mushrooms

Exploring Porcini Mushroom Substitutes: 5 Excellent Alternatives for Your Recipes

Looking for a substitute that is able to come close to the flavor and texture of Porcini mushrooms? Then you’ll want to try Portobello mushrooms the next time you need an adequate substitute.

These mushrooms are particularly succulent when cooked, which is all thanks to the moisture these mushrooms have, which is one of the main differences between Portobello mushrooms and Porcini mushrooms.

These mushrooms are also much larger than Porcini mushrooms too, with their 4-inch cap being one of their key characteristics.

Some people consider Portobello mushrooms to be a much better substitute for Porcini mushrooms than white mushrooms do due to the additional flavor that Portobello mushrooms provide, which is all thanks to the extra carbohydrates they contain.

These mushrooms are also particularly common in supermarkets and grocery stores, so you shouldn’t really have much difficulty finding them near you!

5. Oyster Mushrooms

Exploring Porcini Mushroom Substitutes: 5 Excellent Alternatives for Your Recipes

Our final inclusion on this list of great Porcini mushroom substitutes is Oyster mushrooms, which are actually related to Shiitake mushrooms, although there are still a few key differences between them that make them a good choice in their own right.

These mushrooms have a similar texture to Porcini mushrooms but also cost a lot less, which makes them perfect for those trying to find an alternative that is kinder on your purse.

Their strong umami flavor sees them predominantly used in Asian dishes, but you can use them wherever you would use a Porcini mushroom!

These mushrooms are also easy to come across, so you can easily pick them up as a Porcini mushroom substitute.

Final Thoughts

While Porcini mushrooms are worth finding and using due to their unique flavor and texture, they’re still slightly hard to come by, and expensive too.

So, if you need to find a suitable substitute for them for your dishes, then this list should help you to find that right substitute for you, good luck!

Exploring Porcini Mushroom Substitutes: 5 Excellent Alternatives For Your Recipes

Recipe by AubreyCourse: Substitutes


Prep time


Cooking time






  • Shiitake Mushrooms

  • Crimini Mushrooms

  • Button Mushrooms

  • Portobello Mushrooms

  • Oyster Mushrooms


  • Decide on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy
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