15-Minute Easy Air Fryer Mushrooms with Garlic

Mushrooms are available all year round, but from late autumn through early spring, they’re in season and at their best. Holiday tables around the world suddenly feature sauteed mushrooms with roasted meat dishes. But as much as you may love them cooked that way, this recipe for air fryer mushrooms may convince you to change. 

An overhead view of air fryer baby bellas in a white bowl with parmesan and herbs sprinkled over the top for garnish.
Photo Credit: Pink When.

Just toss fresh mushrooms in a savory soy sauce with Parmesan cheese and garlic powder, and air fry for a few minutes. This dish’s simplicity and fabulous flavors are ideal for those busy weeknights when you need something quick and easy but still special enough for your holiday table. 

Why You Will Love These Air Fryer Mushrooms

Fast: These air fryer mushrooms are ready in 15 minutes.

Easy: Very little prepping is required before popping them into the air fryer.

Simple Ingredients: All you need to make this recipe is a handful of ingredients you may already have in your pantry. 

Deep Savory Flavor: Combining soy sauce and Parmesan cheese with mushrooms gives this dish a satisfying umami, savory flavor. 

Flexible: Use whatever seasonings you and your family like in place of, or in addition to, the garlic powder.

Make Ahead: These air fryer mushrooms can be made ahead, stored in the refrigerator, and reheated when needed.

Tons of Uses: Serve as a delicious side dish or add to pasta, casseroles, or your next grilled cheese sandwich.

Ingredients

Individual ingredients in small bowls on a wood surface.
Photo Credit: Pink When.

This section lists the ingredients and notes needed to make this recipe. See the Recipe Card for specific measurements.

Baby Bella Mushrooms: Several varieties of mushrooms air fry beautifully, but for best results, they should be fresh mushrooms. See “Best Types of Mushrooms to Use” below for more ideas.

Avocado Oil: Always use a high heat cooking oil when air frying at high temperatures. Grapeseed and safflower oils are also good choices, but save your olive oil for other uses.

Soy Sauce: This ingredient adds a punch of umami, providing all the salt you’ll need to make this dish. If you prefer a less salty flavor, use a low-sodium soy sauce. 

Parmesan Cheese: Grate the cheese yourself for better flavor. Pre-grated cheeses add a cellulose coating to keep the cheese from clumping together. This coating mutes the flavor and inhibits melting characteristics.

Garlic Powder: Don’t be tempted to substitute garlic salt in this recipe. It will make the mushroom too salty.

Thyme: Both dried thyme and fresh thyme are called for in this recipe. The fresh thyme is a garnish before serving.

Ground Black Pepper: Freshly ground pepper is best.

Best Types of Mushrooms to Air Fry

This easy air fryer mushroom recipe works well with different types of mushrooms, so have some fun with it! Here are my favorites.

Fresh baby bella mushrooms in a white bowl.
Photo Credit: Pink When.

Baby Bella Mushrooms: Also called cremini mushrooms, baby bellas are the same plant as common white mushrooms, also called white button mushrooms. Baby bellas are just a little older than white mushrooms, with a richer mushroom flavor. 

Maitake Mushrooms: Also called hen-of-the-wood, maitake mushrooms have a strong earthy flavor and grow in large clumps easily separated for air frying. Their caps are more feathery than baby bella mushrooms. These air-fried mushrooms are tender and juicy, as with the baby bellas, but with some crispy edges of intense flavor that’s fantastic. But they tear easily and are best for salads or a topping for steaks. 

Shiitake mushrooms: Many believe these are the best-tasting mushrooms with their earthy flavor and touches of smoke. Shiitake mushrooms air fry beautifully and take less cooking time than baby bellas.

Equipment 

Air Fryer: There are a lot of air fryers available today, ranging from stand-alone models to toaster ovens that offer an air fryer function. Air fryers roast food using less oil than traditional roasting or frying and in less time, thanks to a high convection fan speed and a perforated air fryer basket. 

Chef’s Knife: Be sure your knife is sharp so you don’t tear or squish the mushrooms.

Whisk: Any small or medium-sized whisk works well as long as it thoroughly mixes the sauce.

Cheese Grater: Parmesan is a hard cheese, so a strong grater perforated with small holes for finely grated cheese is best instead of a rotary grater or one with larger holes.

Note: For more information on air fryers, check out this article on air fryer advantages, disadvantages, and top models.

Instructions

This section summarizes the directions for making this easy air fryer mushrooms recipe. See the Recipe Card for specific instructions.

Prep the mushrooms. Clean the mushrooms following the instructions in the How to Clean Mushrooms section. Trim any stem bottoms that are dried out or split. Then, slice them into 1/4″ slices.

Raw sliced mushrooms on a cutting board.
Photo Credit: Pink When.

Whisk together the sauce ingredients. Whisk together the avocado oil, soy sauce, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and dried thyme in a medium bowl. Toss with the prepped mushrooms to thoroughly coat them.

Seasoning sauce mixed in a bowl.
Photo Credit: Pink When.

Air fry the mushrooms. Arrange the mushrooms in a single layer in the basket of the air fryer and cook them in the preheated air fryer. Halfway through air frying, toss the mushrooms around by shaking the basket. If some mushrooms stick to the air fryer basket, use a metal spatula to remove them. Then, re-arrange them on the basket using tongs before sliding the basket back into the air fryer.

Raw mushrooms with seasoning sauce on them in a basket.
Photo Credit: Pink When.

Sprinkle with fresh thyme. Sprinkle with fresh thyme and, if desired, with additional grated Parmesan cheese.

Air fryer baby bella mushrooms in a white bowl without garnish.
Photo Credit: Pink When.

How to Clean Mushrooms

There are a lot of opinions on the best way to clean mushrooms. The issue is that they absorb a lot of moisture, affecting their texture. But cut mushrooms should never be treated like whole mushrooms.

  • It’s safe to rinse whole mushrooms. Gently wash the mushrooms and completely dry them. Or use a damp paper towel to remove dirt on the caps and stems. 
  • Rinse whole mushrooms only right before using them. If you rinse them too far in advance, they may turn slimy. 
  • Use a salad spinner to dry mushrooms. Line the inner salad spinner basket with a paper towel and place the mushrooms on top. Spin until dry. The paper towel helps to protect any tender mushrooms.
  • Never rinse sliced mushrooms. Any exposed surfaces absorb liquids like a sponge. Instead, gently brush any dirt from all surfaces using a dry paper towel.

Tips for Air Frying Mushrooms

The air fryer is my favorite way to cook veggies like these air fryer Brussels sprouts and these air fryer green beans. And it’s also a fantastic way to cook mushrooms. The dry environment of the air fryer intensifies their earthy flavor while keeping them tender and juicy. Here are a few tips for the best mushrooms you’ll ever make!

  • Even thickness. For a more even cooking, use sliced mushrooms that are all roughly the same thickness and size. 
  • Dry mushrooms. Dry mushroom surfaces allow the soy sauce to coat the mushrooms more evenly.
  • No added salt. The soy sauce and Parmesan cheese, add all the salt you will need. You can always add a flurry of salt at the end if that’s your preference.
  • Single layer. Always air fry mushrooms in a single layer.
  • Shake the basket. Shake the basket of your air fryer halfway through cooking for more even cooking.
  • Cooking time. The exact cooking time varies by the variety, freshness, and thickness of mushrooms you use. Your air fryer model can affect cooking time as well.  
A white bowl filled with air fryer baby bellas. Two small bowls sit next to it, one with grated parmesan and one with herbs.
Photo Credit: Pink When.

Substitutions

  • If you follow a gluten-free diet, use Tamari soy sauce instead of soy sauce. 
  • For less salty air fryer mushrooms, use a low-sodium soy sauce.

Variations

  • Feel free to experiment with other spices and herbs, such as onion powder, dried oregano, or tarragon. 
  • Finish the dish with melted butter, and gently toss for buttery mushrooms. 
  • Add some pomegranate arils and crushed walnuts for a festive holiday dinner. 
  • Other hard cheeses work well in place of Parmesan, such as Romano, Asiago, and hard pecorino (sheep) cheeses.
  • Top with toasted breadcrumbs.

Storage

Whether you make this recipe ahead or have leftovers, follow these guidelines for storing air fryer mushrooms.

To Store: Cool the mushrooms to room temperature and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 7 – 10 days.

To Reheat: Rewarm in the microwave oven for 15 seconds or on the stovetop over medium heat. Add olive oil or butter to the pan if the mushrooms are dry.

To Freeze: Cool the mushrooms to room temperature, store them in a freezer-safe storage container, and freeze them for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Air Fryer Baby Bellas in a white bowl.
Photo Credit: Pink When.

Serving Suggestions

  • Mushrooms pair well with both beef and chicken dishes. 
  • These mushrooms are delicious served with air fryer scalloped potatoes. Potatoes and mushrooms belong on the plate together.
  • Add leftovers to salads, soups, or sandwiches.
  • Or make a pasta dish with these mushrooms, using either traditional wheat pasta or this air fryer spaghetti squash.

Air Fryer Mushrooms FAQs

Is it better to buy whole or sliced mushrooms?

Whole mushrooms will always be the freshest. Sliced mushrooms will go bad more quickly due to their exposed surfaces and can absorb other flavors in your produce drawer.

What should I look for when buying mushrooms?

Look for firm, dry, and unblemished mushrooms, whether loose in a bin or packaged.

Should mushrooms be refrigerated?

The best way to store raw mushrooms is to take them out of their package, wrap them in paper towels, and store them in a small paper bag in the refrigerator. If you use a plastic bag, keep it open for air circulation.

Now, pull out your air fryer and whip up a quick batch of these addictive air fryer mushrooms. The mushroom lovers in your family will thank you. And if you have a mushroom hater in your family, this recipe may make them a convert for life.

An overhead view of air fryer baby bellas in a white bowl with parmesan and herbs sprinkled over the top for garnish.

15-Minute Easy Air Fryer Mushrooms with Garlic

These mushrooms are the perfect side dish and are addictive whether or not you're a mushroom lover. Ready in 15 minutes, simply toss fresh sliced mushrooms in a savory soy sauce with Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and dried thyme, and air fry for 10 minutes.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 443kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Air Fryer

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. whole baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp. avocado oil
  • tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. finely grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

Instructions

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400˚F.
    Clean the mushrooms by rinsing them or using a damp paper towel to remove loose dirt. If you rinse them, the best way to dry them is in a salad spinner lined with a paper towel.
    Raw mushrooms in a white bowl.
  • Slice the mushrooms into 1/4" slices. Keep the slices as consistent as possible so they'll air fry evenly. Transfer them to a large bowl or spread them out on a baking sheet.
    Raw sliced mushrooms on a cutting board.
  • Whisk the avocado oil, soy sauce, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, dried thyme, and ground black pepper in a small bowl. Pour the sauce over the sliced mushrooms and gently toss to coat them completely.
    Seasoning sauce mixed in a bowl.
  • Arrange the mushrooms in the basket of the air fryer in a single layer. They can overlap a little, as they shrink quite a bit during the air frying. You may need to do this in two batches, depending on the size of your basket.
    Raw, sliced mushrooms on a sheetpan.
  • Air fry for 8 – 10 minutes, tossing the mushrooms after the first 5 minutes. If the mushrooms stick to the air fryer basket, gently loosen them with a silicone spatula and spread them back out in the basket. The mushrooms are done when they turn golden brown with some crispy edges.
    Air fryer baby bella mushrooms in a white bowl without garnish.
  • Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves and additional Parmesan cheese before serving. Serve warm.
    A white bowl filled with air fryer baby bellas. Two small bowls sit next to it, one with grated parmesan and one with herbs.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 443kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 1800mg | Potassium: 2188mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 342IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 250mg | Iron: 4mg

This article originally appeared on Pink When.

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