The etiquette rules on how to serve and eat portobello mushrooms. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest.

large portobello mushroom cap

What portobello mushroom etiquette is

Portobello mushroom etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat portobello mushrooms. Such rules help avoid behaviors that may disrespect your hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow the etiquette to appropriately serve portobello mushrooms to your guests.

As a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat portobello mushrooms at the dining table and avoid offending your hosts.

What you should know about portobello mushrooms

The portobello mushroom is an Agaricus Bisporus mushroom in its mature state. Agaricus Bisporus is the most common edible mushroom in the world.

Portobello mushrooms are brown with a cap between 10 and 15 centimeters (4 and 6 inches) in diameter. They are delicate in flavor and smooth and slightly spongy in texture.

rules for how to serve and eat portobello

Etiquette rules to serve and eat portobello mushrooms

1) How to store portobello mushrooms

It is best to eat fresh portobello mushrooms within a few days of the purchase.

Store portobello mushrooms in the fridge. Mushrooms can absorb the smell of other foods, and thus spoil their taste. It is best to keep them in a sealed container. In the fridge, portobello mushrooms will last between 3 and 7 days.

It is possible to freeze portobello mushrooms. You can freeze them raw or cooked. In the freezer, they usually last up to 10 months. However, the texture, color, and taste of frozen portobello mushrooms can deteriorate sensibly after a couple of months.

After cooking portobello mushrooms, store them in the fridge. They can last between 2 and 5 days.

2) How to clean portobello mushrooms

To clean portobello mushrooms, gently separate the stem from the cap. Wash them in cold running water. Gently remove any dirt. Then, soak them in water for about 10 to 20 minutes. Finally, rinse them and place them on a towel or on kitchen paper to dry.

Do not peel portobello mushrooms before or after washing.

3) How to cook portobello mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms can be eaten raw or cooked. Due to food safety concerns, eat portobello raw only if you buy them from a reputable vendor, such as a trusted grocery chain. Otherwise, it may be best to cook them.

Before cooking raw portobello, slice them or cut them into chunks. Before cooking dry portobello, reconstitute them by soaking them in hot water for about 20 minutes. You can subsequently use the water for cooking.

You can cook portobello mushrooms in various methods. Boil, grill, sautée, fry or deep-fry, or roast in the oven. They are ideal for soups and risotto. You can cook them in stews, bake them in flans or quiches, or add them to salads.

Mushrooms are among the most disliked foods. Thus, before cooking and serving portobello to your guests, it is considerate to ask whether some guests avoid eating them.

4) How to serve & present portobello mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms are appropriate for formal and informal meals. However, since they are a rather common ingredient, they are a better fit for an informal meal. Portobellos are typical in spring and fall recipes. It is not common to serve them in warm weather.

You can serve portobello as a side dish or complement. Serve them in chunks or slices, warm or at room temperature. Present them in a serving shallow bowl or dish, and with a serving spoon.

5) Food and wine to pair portobello mushrooms with

Portobello mushrooms go well with olive oil, butter, garlic, rosemary, and thyme. They are perfect for risotto and soup. Avoid adding portobello to red pizza, as they do not pair well with tomato sauce.

You can match portobello with eggs or red meats, such as beef, lamb, or venison. It is not common to pair portobello with fish or seafood. The best vegetables to combine portobello with are potatoes, asparagus, beans, and spinach. Avoid combining portobello with more prized mushrooms, such as porcini, chanterelle, or shiitake. Due to their delicate taste, portobellos do not combine well with cheese and dairy.

Portobello mushrooms pair best with full-bodied red wine. Suggestions include Nebbiolo, Shiraz, Zinfandel, or Cabernet Sauvignon. The best white wine is an oaked Chardonnay.

6) How to eat portobello mushrooms

Eat portobello with a fork and knife. When they are served in chunks or slices, avoid using the knife if possible.

Every part of the mushroom is edible. In general, it is not polite to discard portobello. If you dislike them, try to make an effort and eat some of them. Discarding all the mushrooms risks embarrassing your host.

portobello etiquette mistakes

Portobello mushroom etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the worst portobello mushroom etiquette mistakes. 

  • 9/10. Serving spoiled portobello mushrooms.
  • 7/10. Combining portobello mushrooms with prized mushrooms.
  • 6/10. Pairing portobello mushrooms with the wrong flavors.
  • 3/10. Serving portobello mushrooms in warm weather.

Additional information for properly serving portobello mushrooms

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.

Portobello mushrooms are mostly made of water. They contain about 22 calories per 100 grams (3.5 oz).

How to buy the best portobello mushrooms

A crucial factor in portobello etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.

Season and availability 

Portobello mushrooms are commonly found in the Northern hemisphere during the rainy seasons. Thus, the best seasons are usually mid or late spring and autumn.

Choose the best

Good portobello must be firm and look fresh. Discard mushrooms that look wet and feel slimy or sticky.

Alternatives to portobello

As a substitute for portobello mushrooms, try other mushrooms such as champignon or cremini.


What is the difference between portobello and champignon? Portobello and champignon are two varieties of the same mushroom. Portobello or portabella is a mature and brown mushroom. Champignons are white and immature.

What is the difference between portobello and cremini? Portobello and cremini are two varieties of the same mushroom. Portobello or portabella is a mature and brown mushroom. Cremini is brown and immature.