A smoky Oyster Mushroom Salad that will liven up your barbecue and win the hearts of mushroom lovers everywhere with smoky paprika and an excellent smoked cheddar added.
The "smoky" in this Oyster Mushroom Salad comes from cooking them with smoked paprika and the excellent smoked cheddar we have crumbled into the salad.
We have added some tender baby spinach and sun-dried tomatoes for a pop of colour and tomatoey sweetness.
But, if you are looking for some Asian flavour instead, try our Wild Rice Salad with Asian Sautéed Mushrooms. If you are a fan of balsamic, then you can't go wrong with our Balsamic Mushroom Salad.
Table of contents
What do I love about this Mushroom Salad?
Two things, first of all, the mushrooms (one of my favourite veggies) which have been sautéed until crisp and delicious.
Second, the intense smoky flavour from the smoked paprika and smoky cheddar - ah heaven!
What are Oyster Mushrooms?
Oyster mushrooms are of course edible fungi and are also known as Pleurotus in Europe and are one of the world's most popular grilling mushrooms.
They have a fluted, oyster-shell shape with numerous varieties ranging from pearly-white to yellow, pink, grey-brown and purplish-brown. They have a delicate, subtle flavour and velvety texture, which rapidly absorbs other flavours during cooking.
If you want to find out about even more mushroom varieties, then check out our post on different types of mushrooms it covers pretty much all of them!
Let's Talk Ingredients & Substitutions
- Oyster Mushrooms - we used the Pleurotus style variety which looks like a fan and is flat. This salad is also great with king oyster mushrooms, portobellos or flat mushrooms as they are meatier than the white ones.
- Smoked Paprika - is one of the smoky elements in this salad, you should be able to find this in the spice section of most supermarkets nowadays. But, for superior flavour, I strongly suggest going to your favourite spice shop for this. If you can't find it, then try some cayenne pepper, or plain paprika will do in a pinch.
- Baby Spinach - added to bulk up the salad, you could try some arugula/rocket, or mixed salad leaves or even some massaged kale would work well in this salad.
- Sun-dried tomatoes - added for a pop of colour and some tomatoey sweetness. Some fresh cherry or mini tomatoes would also suit this salad.
- Smoked cheddar - another one of our smoky elements, is readily available in the cheese section of most supermarkets. But, you can swap for some shaved parmesan if you prefer or a good quality cheddar.
- Pine nuts - for a delightful crunch and piney, nutty flavour. Try some slivered almonds or some seeds such as sunflower or pepitas as an alternative.
- Dressing - we have kept it super simple with simple sherry vinegar and extra virgin olive oil dressing. Try a balsamic or red wine vinegar if you don't have any sherry vinegar to hand.
Some Variations to Try
- Different mushrooms – can't find oyster mushrooms use king oyster, Portobello, chanterelles, or field mushrooms instead. Or a mixed mushroom medley for something a bit more exotic.
- Carnivore – add some grilled chorizo or chicken. Also great with some Spanish Jamon or Italian prosciutto.
- Pescatarian – add some firm white-fleshed fish fillets, such as striped bass, cod, perch or barramundi.
- Carb lovers – add some grains such as pearl barley, farro or brown rice.
- Vegan – omit the smoked cheddar and replace with some smoked almonds instead or try making your own smoked vegan cheese.
- Wrap it – makes a great filling for wraps with some added cheese, spicy salami, or grilled chicken or rare beef slices.
You Will Need
How to Prepare Oyster Mushrooms
When choosing these mushrooms make sure to look for clusters without signs of wilting or dark spots, this can mean that they have too much moisture and are starting to spoil.
The great thing about oyster mushrooms is that they grow on wood, which means that they don't touch the dirt as much - so easy to clean guys!
All you really need to do is to cut off the hard part of the stem and then wipe off any dirt you may find with a damp paper towel.
Personally, I don't rinse these mushrooms at all because they tend to become waterlogged which makes them difficult to brown. If you absolutely feel that you have to, then a quick rinse under cold water should do the trick BUT make sure you pat them thoroughly dry.
- Make sure your frying pan is hot before adding your mushrooms this ensures that you get a gorgeous flavourful sear.
- Add your mushrooms in batches to the hot pan so that they cook and brown quickly otherwise they will stew and become mushy.
- With mushrooms, it is always best to err on the side of overdone and not underdone otherwise they become a bit chewy.
- Use a salad spinner to dry your baby spinach as it will eliminate the excess water and won't dilute your vinaigrette.
How to Make this Salad
Step 1 - Prepare Mushrooms
Step 2 - Prepare Remaining Ingredients
Step 3 - Assemble your Salad
Some Serving Suggestions
This wonderful Oyster Mushroom salad is another good all-around salad that is wonderful served with any meat, poultry or even seafood dishes. We paired ours with some lemony barbecued lamb cutlets. Try it with…
Common Questions (FAQs) & Tips
The mushrooms can be cooked the day before and kept in an airtight container in the fridge, you will need to bring them to room temperature before assembling the salad.
The sun-dried tomatoes can also be cut into strips the day before and stored covered in the fridge.
Crumble the smoked cheddar the day before and keep it covered in the fridge.
You can make up the salad without the dressing several hours in advance, provided that your mushrooms are cool before adding to the spinach.
Simply add the vinaigrette and toss the salad just before serving.
Make sure the mushroom mix is cool before adding it to the spinach.
Toss the salad together (without the dressing) and portion it into four containers.
Shake up the dressing in a glass jar and then divide it into small sauce containers to shake up and add to your salad just before eating.
For some additional protein, try some grilled chicken breasts and meatballs or as a vegetarian option add some cooked grain or white beans.
Put any leftover salad in an airtight container without the excess dressing, and store it in the fridge for a couple of days. Any longer, and the spinach will become too soggy.
I love using the leftovers in a frittata or as a filling for an easy omelette.
It is also wonderful to stir through some cooked pasta, I like to keep some of the pasta water to add to the sauce and then grate some fresh parmesan for some wonderful creaminess.
If you warm it through it also makes a great filling for a tart.
This recipe for Oyster Mushroom Salad is suitable for vegetarian, low carb and keto diets.
To make it vegan, choose a vegan cheddar, for a nut-free version, replace the pine nuts with either sunflower seeds or pepitas, and for paleo, whole30 and dairy-free diets leave out the cheese altogether and try some smoked almonds instead.
Each of our serves contains approximately 326 kcals and 7 grams of net carbs (calculated using a nutritional database so only estimates).
More Mushroom Salad Recipes to Try
- 1 Salad Spinner
- 200 grams oyster mushrooms (look for the small oyster mushrooms as they are tastier, should be approximately 10 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (for sautéeing)
- 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or balsamic or red wine vinegar)
- 80 grams baby spinach (3 cups or approximately 2.8 ounces)
- ½ cup smoked cheddar
- ⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or balsamic or red wine vinegar)
- Heat a large non-stick frypan on medium-to-high heat add some oil. Wipe your mushrooms and trim the stems, add your mushrooms in batches to your pan and sauté until golden brown (approximately 5-minutes per batch).
- When all the batches of mushrooms have been browned, add them all back to the pan, add the minced garlic and smoked paprika.
- Stir everything to combine and the garlic has been warmed through, then add 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar, careful here as the vinegar will sizzle and steam. Mix well and remove from the stove.
- In the meantime, wash and dry your baby spinach, crumble the smoked cheddar and cut the sun-dried tomatoes into strips.
- Place everything (except the pine nuts) in a large mixing bowl, season and toss until combined.
- Arrange in a salad bowl, scatter the pine nuts on top to garnish – serve and enjoy!