Meatless Monday: 14 Savory & Vegetarian Shiitake Mushroom Recipes

shiitake mushrooms - vegetarian shiitake mushroom recipes

With their chewy texture and meat-like savoriness, shiitake mushrooms—aka Black Forest or Japanese mushrooms—pair well with light, crispy spring vegetables like asparagus and tktk and creamy whole grains like quinoa or risotto’d rice. My new favorite shiitake recipe is the simple and awesome shiitake bacon (the ‘shrooms shrivel up so nicely that you can use them like bacon bits on tops of salads, soups and dips). Here are more than a dozen vegetarian recipes featuring shiitake mushrooms, to help you find your favorite. And in case you need more reason than utter deliciousness to start eating more shiitake, here are few of this fungi’s health benefits:

    • Shiitakes are one of the highest non-animal food sources of iron.
    • Animal studies have found shiitakes to have antitumor, cholesterol-lowering and virus-inhibiting effects. 
    • Recent studies have shown shiitake mushrooms may help protect against heart disease by preventing too much immune cell binding to the lining of blood vessels.
    • They’re an excellent source of vitamins B2, B5 and B6 and a very good source of vitamin D.
    • Shiitakes are also high in dietary fiber; protein; a wide variety of phytonutrients and the minerals manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, copper and zinc.

Shiitake Bacon

I've had shiitake bacon before, made (in the toaster over) by a wonderful vegan cook at whose home I was subletting. It's really, really good. Here's a take from Olives for Dinner

Corn & Shiitake Fritters

This recipe isn't vegan, but you could easily make it so (and replace the vegetable oil with canola or grapeseed oil). GET THE RECIPE, via Food and Wine

Shiitake Nori Rolls

Martha Stewart calls it "a vegetarian take on sushi," which ... all right, sure. Soba noodles replace the rice, though (+ shiitake, cabbage, ginger and cilantro). GET THE RECIPE, via Martha Stewart

Chipotle Grilled Cheese With Shiitake Mushrooms & Chipotle

Shiitake, cilantro, cheddar and spice. GET THE RECIPE, via Domestic Fits

Gingery Sautéed Watercress and Shiitakes

6 ingredients + 10 minutes. GET THE RECIPE, via Real Simple

Crispy Shiitake Mushroom Chips

All it takes is shiitake mushrooms, salt and an oven. GET THE RECIPE, via Healthy Bent.

Yaki Shiitake

Yakitori consists of chicken on skewers, cooked over a charcoal fire; this vegetarian take replaces the chicken with shiitake and scallions. GET THE RECIPE via The Mushroom Channel

Avocado Shiitake Spring Rolls

Crispy, crunchy, vegan, gluten-free and raw. GET THE RECIPE, via SpaBettie

Poached Duck Eggs Over Shiitake & Garlic Toasts

GET THE RECIPE, via Brooklyn Supper

Spring Vegetable Risotto with Shiitake Mushrooms

A light, vegan rissotto that uses vegetable stock, olive oil and white wine. GET THE RECIPE, via Vegan Miam

Raw Shiitake Kale Salad

The Daily Meal describes this recipes as "Low-Sodium, Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free and Sugar-Conscious. And yet somehow it still sounds and looks really good, no? GET THE RECIPE, via The Daily Meal

Balsamic Shiitake Rice Salad

A light, fresh spring side with black rice, shiitake, scallions, carrot, celery and shallot. GET THE RECIPE, via

Sage Stuffing and Shiitake-Shallot Gravy

This vegan sage stuffing and shiitake shallot gravy might be more fall/winter than spring, but it sounds too good not to include. GET THE RECIPE, via Olives for Dinner.

Lemongrass Consommé with Matzoh Balls Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms

Sub vegetable broth for the chicken stock to keep it vegetarian, obviously. GET THE RECIPE, via Epicurious
Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Liz Nolan Brown, Elizabeth Brown, Elizabeth N Brown, health writer, nutritionist, food, vegan, vegetarian, meatless recipes, meatless mondays, mushrooms
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    • Sarah O Taylor

      I can’t believe no one else has mentioned this – this is a *vegetarian* recipe, am i correct? I was reading about the benefits of shiitake and was so sad to see this:

      “Animal studies have found shiitakes to have antitumor [sic], cholesterol-lowering and virus-inhibiting effects”.

      I’m sure someone will come yell at me, it seems that this is just how it’s done in comment sections, but to whomever runs this page, if you would please take a second…. many people choose to eat vegetarian or vegan diets because of a strongly held belief in kindness to animals.

      Human bodies are not even the same as the animals who are used for testing! I have a kitty sitting on my arm so i’ll use a quick example. Catnip makes cats “spazzy”, gets them active and playful, yet relaxes humans. CHOCOLATE is yummy and has, when it is good quality dark chocolate, anti-oxidants, etc that are good for people – but if a dog ingests chocolate, it can be poisonous. So who knows what shiitake does in the test performed on an animal, it could be the exact opposite. I’d love to know about the great things shiitake mushrooms do for humans! :0)

      • Zip

        Well, I share your concers but I think they’re misdirected here. If I may say such a thing of course, no offense intended…

        I don’t think feeding mice shiitake mushrooms can be such an awful thing. Of course, the ideology behind it is, in my opinion, flawed. I have no idea how they treated the animals they used but i’m sure this was a good break from sticking needles in animals’ eyes and suffocating monkeys for the sake of demonising cannabis. (or suffocating dogs to sell cigarettes… etc. the list is long)
        In any case, it’s been done, if it enlightened us even a little, i’ll take it. I wouldn’t want those animals’ lives going to waste (as is the case in most studies – testing shampoo on animals is quite the waste of anybody’s time, just not everyone realises it).

        The science of animal testing is beyond me, however I think the whole idea is using animals with similar DNA structures to those of humans. Thus increasing the probability of them responding the same way. Generally speaking in any case, studies on animals are the step before clinical studies with people.
        Yes they probably should think things through better and skip that step but I imagine that causes much uncertainty to many researchers.

        As for vegetarians I have been meeting more and more people who do it for themselves. For their health, not that of the planet. For once, selfishness can do just a little good.

        You’re right to mention this, regardless, as the author could have cited better studies. Maybe he/she does not feel concerned. Make them!