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BEST Dried Porcini Substitutes + 2 To Avoid

I’ve personally taste-tested a variety of dried porcini mushroom substitutes to find the best one for every cooking occasion.

Whether you’re on the hunt for the closest flavor match, in need of a last-minute pantry swap, or want a substitute that fits your diet, I’ve got the answers.

Dried shiitake mushrooms are the best substitutes for dried porcinis. They’re cheaper and have a meatier flavor. Other options include dried morels, dried oyster mushrooms, or dried chanterelles. These options are milder than porcinis, but still delicious.

Ready? Let’s jump right in.

The experiment

I made a a batch of mushroom risotto to test out several different dried porcini mushroom substitutes (it was super tasty!).

Porcini mushrooms are edible wild mushrooms that have a short harvesting time, meaning they’re very expensive. The short harvesting season is why porcini mushrooms are mostly sold dried.

Dried porcini mushrooms have a more robust earthy flavor than their fresh counterparts, with prominent nutty notes. They also have a concentrated umami flavor that will elevate your dishes and are especially delicious in creamy dishes like pasta or risotto. 

I was looking for substitutes that could deliver the same meaty flavor profile. Here are the substitutes I tested and my verdicts:

SubstitutesHow to SubstituteVerdict
Dried shiitake mushroomsReplace in a 1:1 ratio10/10
Dried oyster mushroomsReplace with 1.5* the amount7/10
Dried morel mushroomsReplace in a 1:1 ratio8/10
Dried chanterellesReplace with 1.5* the amount8/10
Portobello mushroomsReplace with 1.5* the amount6/10
Cremini mushroomsReplace with 1.5* the amount5/10
Fresh porcinisReplace with 1.5* the amount7/10

Common uses of dried porcini mushrooms 

For stocks, broths, gravies and sauces: Dried shiitake mushrooms are the best substitute here. They’re packed with a concentrated meaty flavor and lots of umami.

For soups and stews: Fresh portobellos or cremini mushrooms will add flavor and texture. While dried morel mushrooms will add a nice smokey twist.

For stuffings and casseroles: Try using dried shiitake mushrooms, or fresh mushrooms like portobello and cremini. 

Dried shiitake mushrooms

The best substitute for dried porcini mushrooms are dried shiitake mushrooms. You can use them in exactly the same way, and the flavors are similar (with some differences).

Shiitake mushrooms are often described as more meaty than porcini with less of the earthy mushroom taste.

Shiitake mushrooms are naturally grown in decaying logs in East Asian forests, so they’re typically associated with Asian cuisine. But they also pair incredibly well with Western favorites like pasta and risotto.

And the best part? They’re cheaper than dried porcinis!

How to substitute: replace dried porcini mushrooms in a 1:1 ratio with dried shiitake mushrooms.

Dried oyster mushrooms

For those who enjoy more subtle flavors, dried oyster mushrooms make a great alternative to the robust dried porcini. 

They offer a gentle earthy flavor, with hints of brininess. I actually found them too mild in my risotto, and would swap vegetable stock for chicken or mushroom stock if I had to use them again.

But I loved the velvety, chewy texture the rehydrated oyster mushrooms had.

Psst… because of the delicate flavor, these mushrooms are best paired with other mild ingredients like chicken or fish. The flavor will be lost against heavy things like red meat.

How to substitute: replace dried porcini mushrooms with 1.5 times the amount of oyster mushrooms.

Dried chanterelles

Chanterelles are a great mushroom variety to try if you want to bring an unexpected twist to your dish.

Instead of the beefy flavors of porcini, chanterelles have a distinct fruitiness and a mild peppery bite. They’re less woodsy and more fresh tasting (and they smell delicious!).

I really loved the complexity they added to my creamy risotto.

Psst… you’ll need to soak the chanterelles for slightly longer than porcini mushrooms, so bear this in mind if you’re on a tight time schedule.

How to substitute: replace dried porcini mushrooms with 1.5 times the amount of dried chanterelles.

Dired morel mushrooms 

Morel mushrooms are another fabulous alternative for dried porcinis if you want to switch things up. 

They have earthy, nutty notes similar to dried porcinis. But what sets them apart is the rich, smoky flavor profile that’s guaranteed to taste amazing with cream-based dishes.

You guests will no doubt be impressed with the funky look of the mushrooms, and it’s functional too. The holey design mean the mushrooms are great at catching sauce.

Just a heads up, though – these mushrooms are slightly more fragile than dried porcinis, and can crumble if you don’t handle them with care. 

How to substitute: replace dried porcini mushrooms in a 1:1 ratio with dried morel mushrooms.

Portobello mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms have a similar earthy flavor to dried porcini mushrooms, but milder. You can get the dried, but they’re readily available fresh too.

They’re actually the ‘adult’ version of cremini mushrooms (which I talk about below) and the fresh ones have a really sturdy texture, which makes them popular as a vegan meat replacement.

In terms of flavor, they can’t compare to the richness of porcini mushrooms, but they do have a slight smokiness which lends them complexity.

Note: if you use fresh mushrooms, they’re flavor isn’t as concentrated as dried ones so you’ll need to use more.

How to substitute: replace dried porcini mushrooms with 1.5 times the amount of portobello mushrooms.

Cremini mushrooms  

If you’re in a real bind, you can substitute porcini mushrooms for an everyday mushroom like cremini mushrooms.

Cremini mushrooms are also known as baby bellas or brown mushrooms, and they have a mild meaty flavor (you probably already know what they taste like though!).

My risotto recipe actually already called for cremini mushrooms, so I had some in my fridge and didn’t need to worry about making an extra shopping trip.

My risotto wasn’t as decadent or flavorsome, but it was still tasty. And as with oyster mushrooms, I could have swapped the light stock for a deeper one to make up for some of the missing flavor.

Psst… these are different to button mushrooms.

How to substitute: replace dried porcini mushrooms with 1.5 times the amount of cremini mushrooms.

Can you use fresh porcinis?

Yes you can use fresh porcini mushrooms instead of dried, but you need to be aware the flavors are a lot less concentrated in the fresh version. Swapping dried mushrooms for fresh mushrooms works best in dishes like soups or risottos.

You can make up for the lack of flavor by using more fresh mushrooms than dried, but you don’t want to go overboard and make your dish 99% mushrooms!

The general conversion is: 3 ounces of dried mushrooms (that will be rehydrated) = 1 pound fresh mushrooms (that will be cut up and sautéed).

Psst… it’s not a good idea to reverse the swap and use dried porcinis instead of fresh ones. The flavor differences are too pronounced.

Other substitutes 

The list above features my top dried porcini mushroom substitutes, but the list doesn’t end there. Here are more alternatives you can try: 

  • Button mushrooms – these are one of the most common mushrooms available on the market. They have a very mild mushroom-y flavor, making them a good option for those who aren’t a fan of robust flavors. 
  • Matsutake mushrooms – consider yourself lucky if you can access these mushrooms! They’re also foraged like porcinis, which drive their prices up. But they have a unique spicy, woodsy flavor and aroma that makes them an interesting swap for earthy dried porcinis. 
  • Leaving it out – this is a last resort if you can’t find any of the mushroom options provided. Dried porcini mushrooms (and basically any other mushrooms) are loaded with glutamates that bring umami to your dishes. You can mimic this by adding other umami-rich ingredients such as: mushroom powder, fish sauce, liquid aminos, tomato paste, or bouillon cubes.
  • And if you want to recreate the earthiness of mushrooms, you can incorporate chopped turnips to your dish or even bitter greens like broccoli rabe

Substitutes to Avoid

There were load of suggestions for dried porcini substitutes on other blogs, but not all of them were good suggestions.

Thyme has earthy notes similar to dried porcini mushrooms, but this herb also has hints of mint and a lemony flavor that I thought strayed too far from dried porcini’s taste. You can use this herb if you think its flavors will fit your dish, but don’t expect it to stand-in for dried porcinis flavor-wise. 

Zucchini was another suggestion that puzzled me, because it doesn’t match dried porcinis in terms of flavor or texture. This summer squash is tender when cooked and offers a mildly sweet flavor – a far cry from dried porcini mushrooms’ umami-loaded earthy goodness. Save zucchinis for your salads instead.

Best Dried Porcini Substitutes + 2 To Avoid

I tested several different dried porcini mushroom substitutes to find the best one. I was looking for substitutes that were just as tasty and versatile.
5 from 1 vote
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Cuisine: American
Keyword: dried porcini substitutes, substitites for dried porcini mushrooms
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 269kcal


  • 100 grams dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 100 grams dried portobello or 25 grams fresh portobello mushrooms
  • 400 grams fresh morel mushrooms
  • 100 grams dried chanterelles
  • 100 grams dried oyster mushrooms
  • 400 grams fresh porcini mushrooms


  • Cook your meal according to the recipe.
  • Add your chosen dried porcini mushroom substitutes at the appropriate cooking time.
  • Mix until thoroughly combined and continue with the recipe.


Serving: 100grams | Calories: 269kcal

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