The Top 5 Porcini Mushroom Substitute That You Must Know

The concern about healthy food is growing gradually. No longer having any interest in the low-nutrition recipes, more and more people are looking for ingredients that can not only complement the dish but also do wonders for the body, such as chili and peanut oil

Among them, porcini mushroom is one of the most favored ingredients for its neutral flavor and unique aroma. Its delish taste and the impressive amount of nutrients it carries makes this mushroom an excellent ingredient for any recipe. 

However, this type of mushroom can only grow in winter and fall, so, after 2 or 3 months later, all the stock might be sold out. If you want to find another substitute that has a similar taste, which food could you use instead?

To answer your need, in this post, we will detail the porcini mushroom substitute and find out the best alternative for your cooking.


What Does Porcini Taste Like?

Porcini mushrooms were first grown in Europe and North America a long time ago. Gradually, it made its way to other regions and can be found around the world nowadays.

When available fresh, it is bland and earthy. When cooked, the mushroom will taste tender, creamy, and nutty. 

Compared to shiitake mushroom, it leans toward the meaty and tender side. In contrast to lingzhi ones, the porcini tastes sweeter, and the herb aroma is weaker. How about the king oyster mushroom? Well then, the texture and the taste of these two are quite the same.

In addition, this plant contains a high amount of iron, fiber, vitamins A and C, and antioxidants, making it the safe, healthy, useful ingredients in cooking. Therefore, it is an excellent ingredient for your meal.

5 Best Porcini Mushroom Substitute

Porcini Mushroom Substitute

Shiitake Mushroom

Shiitake mushrooms must be most similar to porcini mushrooms overall. With the long thin stalks and brown cap, this ingredient can be mistaken for porcini at first, but what differentiates them is that shiitake has a more robust flavor.

You may wonder if it is hard to purchase shiitake mushrooms for daily cooking. Well, it is the other way around instead. The shiitake can be spotted in any store at a low price because it can be grown everywhere at any time in a simple and costless process.

In terms of taste, the shiitake provides a moderate sweetness without any particular aroma, making it a proper complement to any meal. In contrast, the porcini mushroom has a robust “mushroomy" taste with an earthy fragrance, so it's harder to mix with other meals. Besides, the preparation process of shiitake takes little time, so the shiitake mushroom is such an excellent porcini mushroom substitute. 

Breaking down the nutrition facts, shiitake provides many useful elements. On the 100g serving, there are 56 kCal, 1.6g protein, 3.6g sugars. What makes it a great choice for your diet is its abundance in potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins. As you can see, the shiitake mushroom contains minerals that are usually lacking in other food groups, so the shiitake is preferable to add in your diet.

In brief, with the mild flavor, meaty texture, and neutral smell, the shiitake can be used interchangeably as the right porcini mushroom substitute.

Truffle Oil

The second ingredient to be introduced on the list is truffle oil. The truffle oil is simply made by mixing any type of oil with fresh or dried truffles (mushroom, for instance). 

To find truffles, creators have to use pigs or dogs to hunt for mushrooms in deep jungles, so it takes time, money, and effort to make this oil. As a result, it's more likely to find truffle oil in high-end restaurants than in a typical household for its high price. 

Originated from oil-soaked mushroom, the truffle oil provides a mushroomy, fat-abundant, bland flavor and unfavorable fragrance. Coming together, these can form something close to the original taste of porcini mushroom.

Evaluating the nutrition facts, truffle oil contains many healthy elements for your body, such as fat, sodium, potassium, iron, etc., which boost the digestive system. However, there is a high amount of calories per truffle oil serving, so people with a low-calorie diet should consider this factor beforehand.

All things considered, with the resemblance in features and functions, the truffle oil is viewed as the proper porcini mushrooms substitute.


The zucchini, or courgette, is a Mesoamerican originated thin vegetable which can reach up to 40 inches long. Along with other squashes, zucchini has the dark, light green stalk, yellowish-orange.

The zucchini, when harvested, should be in the immature phase when the seeds are still soft. In the meantime, this seasoning has a sweetener taste than with herb-like fragrance.  

With the mild, juicy flavor, this ingredient can be cooked with olive oil or fresh cannabis to complement the main dish's taste. Another way to make zucchini is to eat it raw or mixed in hot salads. 

In terms of nutrition, zucchini belongs to the low-energy food group. On the 100g of serving, there are only 17 kCal, 100g of folate, 261 mg of potassium, but more than 200 IU provitamin A. Hence, this food is appropriate for people requiring the low-calorie diet.

What makes zucchini a good substitute for dried porcini mushrooms is their correspondence in taste. Both share the same flavor: slightly sweet, fruity, fat-abundant with a unique earthy aroma.

Tomato Paste

Another substitute for porcini mushroom is tomato paste. As a super-concentrated tomato sauce, it contains similar nutritional elements as a tomato. 

Making tomato paste is quick and easy. First, wash the tomato carefully under the water and cut it into small pieces. Next, cook it at moderate heat while straining the skin and seeds from the mixture. Continue to cook the mixture until it turns into a concentrated, thick sauce. Your homemade tomato paste is ready to use. 

Given the fact above, the tomato paste is thick, condensed, and sour as its original source. Therefore, the food is an excellent complement for making acerbity-required dishes such as spaghetti, meatball, and fish.

In terms of nutrition, it shares the same elements as the fresh tomato. On the 100g serving, there are 82 kCal, 4g fat, 10.5g protein, 22g vitamin C, and some other dietetics. We can see that the ingredient is such an abundant energy source, so people should consider carefully before using it, especially for weight-loss ones.

Long story short, this tomato paste and porcini mushroom can both add the umami and richness to the food. Therefore, you can consider this tomato paste as a porcini substitute.


Thyme is a popular evergreen shrub and also an essential ingredient in the culinary and medicinal world due to its integral nutritious values.

As it is considered a medicine, it's evident that the thyme has exclusive nutritional data. To be specific, there are 65.11 g water, 101 kCal, 5.6 g protein, 160mg vitamin C, and many other dietetics as fat, vitamin A and sodium. So, it goes without saying that the ingredient can be used for everyone's diet.

Acknowledging its excellent effect on health, we should also learn about its taste either. Similar to other natural shrubs, the thyme is slightly bitter with an earthy aroma. So, it is usually added to soups, sauces as a garnish.

Thyme and porcini mushroom both contain the natural, herb-alike fragrance and the mild taste. Given the fact above, thyme is listed on the top substitute for porcini mushrooms.

Porcini vs. Shiitake - Which Is Better? 

After going through all substitutes above, the most outstanding alternatives for porcini mushroom must be the shiitake. Both belong to the same plant groups and share a similar composition. However, what makes them different from another?

To evaluate, the dried shiitake mushrooms are considered to add a meatier and sweeter flavor to the dish. The food itself retains a strong wild garlicky and earthy taste, so adding it to broths makes the best combination.

On the other hand, the dried porcini mushrooms provide a more robust "mushroomy" flavor than shiitake. It can only be harvested in fall, so the price is high, and sometimes there isn't any porcini to purchase at the store.

Still, this ingredient can attract worms, so you have to consume it immediately after buying. This is one of its disadvantages compared to its counterpart. 

In short, the shiitake can offer a meaty, umami-boosting flavor, while the expensive porcini mushroom provides a unique, distinctive taste. So, depending on the case, you can make your decision.


Is Porcini Mushroom Good For Your Health?

Yes, it is. With high nutritional facts, the porcini mushroom is recommended to add to your daily diet. The food is healthy, safe, and delicious, which can complement any ingredient.

However, the porcini can only be harvested in fall and winter, so it will be so difficult to buy it in stores in spring and summer times when the food from the last crop was sold out. However, it is quite expensive compared to other mushrooms.

What Are Some Great Porcini Mushrooms' Recipes?

Porcini Mushrooms Recipes

Porcini mushrooms are used variously in cooking for its mild sweetness. Here are some basic porcini mushrooms' recipes for you:

  • Chicken soup with porcini mushroom:

Step 1: Soak porcini in boiled water for 30 minutes. Then, drain the water and chop the mushrooms. 

Step 2: Saute the bacon in medium heat until crisp. Add oil and onion and cook in 5 minutes. In the next 1 minute, add garlic and thyme. 

Step 3: Add all the mushrooms to the mixture and continue cooking for 8 minutes. 

Step 4: Slowly pour in chicken stock, mushroom water, tomato paste, and wine (preferred). 

Step 5: Wait about 20 minutes until the meat is cooked through. 

Your dish is ready to be served. It will be better with some salt and pepper seasoning.

  • Deep-fried porcini parmesan frittata

Step 1: Cover mushrooms in a large skillet with cold water for 2 minutes. Then, drain water and bring it to a boil. 

Step 2: After the short cooking, drain the water again and dry the mushrooms with a paper towel. 

Step 3: Cook the mixture of eggs, mushrooms, and parmesan cheese at medium heat for 3 minutes. 

Step 4: Wait until the mixture is set, then broil the eggs for 3 minutes for it to turn brown. 

Step 5: Take out the frittata, cut it into 4 pieces. Add some garnish and your dish is ready to use.

Final thoughts

Porcini Mushroom Replacement

The article above has provided much useful information about porcini mushroom substitutes. Every ingredient offers different flavors and nutrition, and, based on your needs, we believe you have already had the decision. 

Personally, I prefer shiitake mushrooms because I prefer the sweet, meaty taste it provides. Plus, the price is acceptable, and I can find it in any store. However, the choice is up to you. So, be the wise shopper!

Hope this post gives you some helpful suggestions on your cooking.

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

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