How To Buy & Store Morel Mushrooms + 10 Ways to Cook Them

Of all the fresh springtime foods, morel mushrooms might be my favorite. They have a nutty, earthy flavor with a chewy, meaty texture. You won’t find them at just any store though; morels are wild mushrooms foraged from the forest floor.

I should mention here if you plan to forage for mushrooms only consume those you can accurately identify as safe. If you don’t know, don’t eat it. Many mushrooms are poisonous.

Before you get cooking, there are a few things you should know about buying, storing and cleaning morels. Let’s take a look.

Two Black Morels in natural habitat

How to Buy & Store Morel Mushrooms

You’ll spot fresh morel mushrooms at farmer markets when the weather gets warm and sometimes at well-stocked grocery stores. Look for firm, slightly springy mushrooms. They should be somewhat moist, not wet or slimy, or too dry. While morels do need to be cleaned before use, it’s best not to do so until just before you’re ready to use them.

Store fresh, unwashed morels loose in an unsealed brown bag with plenty of room to breathe. Make sure to gobble them up quickly; morels taste best when eaten within four days of picking them.

Raw Organic Morel Mushrooms

How to Clean Morel Mushrooms

Morels are wild mushrooms. They’ll be pretty dirty when you bring them home, so you’ll need to give them a good cleaning before you use them. Some people recommend using a brush to gently remove the dirt, while others say to soak the morels in a bowl of water. I prefer a mix of the two and here’s why: It’s because of the worms.

The little nooks and crannies of morel mushrooms are the perfect home for tiny worms. Ew. Absolutely make sure to clean those mushrooms! Here are the three steps for getting them clean:

Step One: Brushing or Shaking

You have two options here: Shaking or brushing. For shaking, place the morels into a brown paper bag and shake them around to loosen the dirt. Don’t shake them too hard, just enough to knock out as much as the dirt as possible. Alternately, you can remove any lodged dirt with a food-safe brush.

Tip: Be sure to lift the morels out of the bag, don’t just dump the entire contents of the bag into a colander or you’ll lose all your hard work.

Step Two: Washing

You might have read that you should never soak morels because they’ll become saturated with water. Don’t worry; we’re not soaking the morels so the amount of water they absorb will be negligible.

First, place the morels into a bowl of cold water. Move the morels around for a few seconds until you see the worms fall to the bottom. Next, lift the clean morels from the bath and place on a kitchen towel for the next step.

Step Three: Drying

Jostle the mushrooms around to get the water out of all those nooks and crannies. Pat dry if needed. If the towel becomes too wet, replace it with a dry one.

They’re now ready to cook or preserve. There are many different methods of preserving morels like freezing, drying, dehydrating.

How to Cook Morels

Sometimes simple is best, and that’s certainly true with preparing morels. A simple slice in two and a quick roast or fry is all you need for a delicious, earthy addition to pasta, salads, rice dishes, and more.

Organic Sauteed Morel Mushrooms

Here are ten recipes featuring morel mushrooms to try:

  1. Asparagus with Morel Mushrooms
  2. Wild Mushrooms on Toast
  3. Farro with Morels, Asparagus, and Tarragon Gremolata
  4. Wild Mushroom Risotto
  5. Morel Cream Sauce
  6. Crispy Polenta with Morel Mushrooms & Broccoli
  7. Roasted Morels with Shallots
  8. Morel Mushrooms with Butternut Squash Pasta
  9. Simple Fried Morel Mushrooms
  10. Pearl Barley and Morel Mushroom Risotto

It’s time to talk mushrooms. Have you ever tried fresh or dried morels before? Or have you foraged for them? Tell me your mushroom stories or favorite recipes in the comments.

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Photos via Thinkstock


Marija M
Marija M9 months ago

tks for posting

Ann B
Ann B10 months ago

this is one of the biggest delights of Spring---weather permitting

Trish K
Trish K10 months ago

Thanks for reminding me I have a Shiitake brew in the fridge. Soup later.

Sophie L
Past Member 10 months ago

thank you

Angela AWAY K
Angela K10 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Jetana A
Jetana A10 months ago

I hope I will taste these some day! So far, my favorite mushrooms are chantrelles from northern California. Not much shrooming where I live now.

Michele B
Michele B10 months ago

love these golden morsels of forbidden delight

Janis K
Janis K10 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Ruth S
Ruth S10 months ago


Winn A
Winn Adams10 months ago