Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms Recipe

a small cast iron skillet with sauteed oyster mushrooms garnished with thyme

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The trick to sautéing oyster mushrooms is starting with medium-high heat to brown the mushrooms, then turning the heat down so the mushrooms will get tender without burning.  

A pound of oyster mushrooms will shrink down to 2 servings after cooking, or just enough to toss with a pound of pasta.


  • 1 pound oyster mushrooms, cleaned and pulled apart (see notes section below, or blog post above)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or salted butter (or a combination of the two)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (optional)
  • Salt, to taste


If mushrooms are crowded into a skillet, the moisture that releases will steam the mushrooms and they won't brown nicely. To prevent this, you'll need to saute a pound of mushrooms in two batches.  When fewer mushrooms are in the skillet, the moisture will release and then evaporate.

  1. In a wide skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of either oil or butter over medium-high heat. 
  2. When the skillet is hot, add half of the mushrooms in an even layer, spread out across the skillet. Mix well to coat the mushrooms in oil then cook, without stirring, for 3 minutes. This gives the mushrooms a chance to brown. 
  3. Season the mushrooms lightly with salt, then toss and gently mix. Turn the heat down to medium or medium low.
  4. Continue to saute the mushrooms until they are tender, have shrunk in size, and are lightly browned around the edges, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.  
  5. Take the cooked mushrooms out of the skillet. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter or oil to the skillet along with the remaining mushrooms. Saute the second batch of mushrooms the same as the first. 
  6. Turn the heat down to medium low. Add all of the mushrooms to the skillet along with the garlic. If the skillet seems dry, add a little bit more oil or butter. 
  7. Saute for an additional minute or two, until the garlic is cooked. 
  8. Taste the mushrooms and add more salt to taste. 



Oyster mushrooms are usually cleaner than other types of mushrooms and have less dirt clinging to them. However, it's still a good idea to clean them before consuming. You have two options. You can brush the mushrooms off with a dry or damp paper towel. Or, for a more thorough cleaning, hold the stems and swish the caps in a bowl of water. Shake excess water from the mushrooms then use a towel to blot the mushrooms mostly dry. 

Trimming and Prepping

Oyster mushrooms are sold in clusters of attached mushrooms that can be gently pulled apart into individual mushrooms. You can also use kitchen shears to snip the mushrooms free. Once separated, you can leave the individual mushrooms whole, or tear them into pieces or slice them with a knife.

Roasted Oyster Mushrooms

To roast the mushrooms, follow my recipe for roasted oyster mushrooms with garlic and thyme.