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How to make sauteed mushrooms with garlic and thyme – a flavor-packed, rich, savory, quick, delicious, naturally gluten-free & vegan breakfast or side dish!

completed Sauteed Mushrooms with Garlic and Thyme on a white surface
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Quick, Flavor-Packed Sauteed Mushrooms Recipe

Learn how to make perfectly sautéed mushrooms with garlic and thyme by following simple step-by-step instructions and a few top tips. They’ll be golden brown, caramelized, and slightly crisp in under 15 minutes.

Plus, while there are plenty of ways to flavor pan-fried mushrooms (we’ve included several variations below), garlic and thyme really help to make their flavors sing. Once ready, garlic sauteed mushrooms are a super-duper umami-rich, savory, versatile side dish or topping for heaps of meals.

Looking for more simple pan-fried sides? Try our sauteed lemon garlic asparagus, sauteed eggplant, and mixed veggies with potatoes.

The Ingredients and Substitutes

ingredients for Sauteed Mushrooms with Garlic and Thyme on a white surface
  • Mushrooms: We used baby Bella mushrooms (aka cremini), but any regular white/brown mushrooms (like portobello, chestnut, etc.) will work. Shiitake and oyster mushrooms should also work fine with this method.

While purchasing pre-sliced mushrooms is possible, we prefer not to, as they’re often fairly thickly sliced and don’t caramelize/crisp as easily.

  • Oil: Use a neutral cooking oil, like olive oil or avocado oil. You may also be able to use 50% (or all) vegan butter, but only if it’s a block. Spreads contain too much water.
  • Garlic: We prefer fresh garlic cloves, but garlic powder works in a pinch.
  • Thyme: Use 1 tbsp fresh thyme or ½ tbsp dried thyme. Rosemary works, too.
  • Sea salt & black pepper: To season the sauteed mushrooms, to taste. Add a few drops of soy sauce/tamari for a more pronounced umami-rich saltiness.
  • Green onion: Optional, to garnish the pan-seared mushrooms. Chives or parsley would also work.

Alternative Sauteed Mushroom Seasonings

There are plenty of ways to adapt this easy recipe for sauteed mushrooms, including:

  • Onion powder: Just a little for extra savory, aromatic flavor.
  • Onion/shallot: Thinly sliced and sauteed with the mushrooms or sweetness and flavor depth. Caramelized onion is super complementary, too.
  • Smoked paprika: To add a subtle, smoky flavor.
  • Nutritional yeast: For ‘cheesy’ flavor (like vegan garlic ‘parmesan’ mushrooms).
  • Spice: Add heat with chili powder, cayenne pepper, or red pepper flakes.
  • Garlic butter: Stir in before serving for extra rich, herby garlic fried mushrooms.
  • Lemon juice: Add a squeeze before serving for brightness.

How to Make Sauteed Mushrooms with Garlic and Thyme

  • To prepare the mushroom, use a damp paper towel to wipe away dirt, trim the stems, then chop them into thin slices. Also, peel and mince the garlic and finely chop the fresh thyme.
process shot of slicing mushrooms on a white surface

If they’re very small mushrooms, you can halve or quarter them instead.

  • Then, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the mushrooms and leave them to cook for 5 minutes, rarely stirring.

For the best browning, leave them untouched for 2-3 minutes, to develop sear.

  • When the mushrooms release their water, continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin browning.
  • Stir in the garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper, then cook for a further 1-2 minutes, allowing the garlic to soften and become golden (but be careful not to let it burn).

Don’t add the salt too early, as it can draw out liquid from the mushrooms and stop them from browning as easily. Cook them even longer for crispier results.

  • Finally, serve the sauteed garlic mushrooms, optionally garnished with green onions (or chives). Enjoy!

Pro Tips for The Best Sautéed Mushrooms

  • Wipe, don’t wash: Mushrooms will soak up water if rinsed/washed, so it’s best to wipe away dirt with a lightly damp kitchen towel.
  • Evenly slice them: That way, they’ll cook evenly, too. Plus, be wary of not slicing them too thickly; otherwise, they won’t easily caramelize.
  • Preheat the pan: The mushrooms should sizzle when they hit the pan, so they properly sear rather than turn soggy.
  • Don’t overcrowd them: They need the space to cook rather than steam. Cook in batches if necessary.
  • For the crispiest mushrooms: Don’t move them around the pan too much. Allow them to sit and sear on one side, then stir/flip and repeat on the other side. If you’re constantly stirring them around, they won’t be able to properly brown.
  • Use a cast iron pan if you have one: This will help produce a slightly charred flavor that tastes wonderful.  

FAQs

Should I sauté mushrooms in oil or vegan butter?

We prefer to sauté them in oil, which has a higher smoke point. However, feel free to toss them in vegan butter before serving for the rich, ‘buttery’ flavor.  

What herbs go with mushrooms?

Mushrooms are versatile, all-purpose ingredients that pair well with practically any herb. Thyme mushrooms are one of the best options. However, more great herbs for mushrooms include:

Rosemary, oregano, sage, parsley, tarragon, basil, etc.

How long to fry mushrooms?

This depends on the mushrooms’ thickness, pan size, and heat used. However, thin slices in a large pan over medium heat should take 6-8 minutes. Add them to the pan and allow them to cook almost undisturbed for 3-4 minutes, then flip and repeat. Don’t touch them too much for the best browning.

completed Sauteed Mushrooms with Garlic and Thyme on a white surface

Serving Suggestions

Sautéed mushrooms are best enjoyed straight from the pan as a side dish/topping for:

Storage Instructions

While these thyme and garlic sauteed mushrooms are best fresh, if you have any leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. These are the containers I used in the photo above, and these are the labels I always use for my leftovers.

You can technically freeze them for up to 6 months in a Ziplock/Stasher – though the texture becomes much softer, so it’s best to use them in vegan casseroles/pies, etc.

Reheat them over low to medium-low heat in a skillet with a little oil or vegan butter until warm and slightly crisp, then enjoy.

More Vegan Mushroom Recipes

completed Sauteed Mushrooms with Garlic and Thyme on a white surface

Sauteed Mushrooms with Garlic and Thyme

5 from 21 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
How to make sauteed mushrooms with garlic and thyme – a flavor-packed, rich, savory, quick, delicious, naturally gluten-free & vegan breakfast or side dish!

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon of neutral oil
  • 1 pound of sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme or ½ tablespoon of dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon of salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of sliced green onions (optional)

Instructions 

  • Gently heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • When mushrooms have begun to release their water, continue stirring until they begin to brown. Add the garlic, thyme, and salt and pepper.
  • Cook an additional minute or two to mellow the garlic and to turn golden. Take care not to let the garlic burn.
  • Optionally, sprinkle with chives or green onions just before serving.

Notes

  • Wipe, don’t wash: Mushrooms will soak up water if rinsed/washed, so it’s best to wipe away dirt with a lightly damp kitchen towel.
  • Evenly slice them: That way, they’ll cook evenly, too. Plus, be wary of not slicing them too thickly; otherwise, they won’t easily caramelize.
  • Preheat the pan: The mushrooms should sizzle when they hit the pan, so they properly sear rather than turn soggy.
  • Don’t overcrowd them: They need the space to cook rather than steam. Cook in batches if necessary.

Nutrition

Calories: 125kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 6gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.03gSodium: 597mgPotassium: 1075mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 228IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 69mgIron: 2mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Renee Press
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Method: Stovetop
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Renee Press

Renee Press is the founder of Fire and Earth Kitchen in Seattle WA. which offers cooking classes, food coaching, and chef services. She’s on a mission to make vegan, gluten-free cooking easy, accessible, and delicious for everyone. fireandearthkitchen.com

More about Renee Press

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  1. 5 stars
    Mmmm … these Sauteed Mushrooms with Garlic and Thyme are so good! Love the earthy and umami flavors. This recipe is a keeper!