There's nothing quite like foraging your own food from nature's bounty, and morel mushrooms definitely have the spotlight when it comes to wild mushroom hunting. And why not—the edible mushrooms have a delicate texture and subtle flavors often described as "earthy" or "nutty." Plus, they aren't exactly easy to find in the grocery store, so when you collect them in the woods, it's quite the treat.
Most everyone agrees morels are delicious, but we're always looking for new ways to cook the tasty treats up. While you might have some cast irons recipes in the back pocket, like every food, morel mushrooms are great in the air fryer. This is especially true because the wild edibles are so delicate, so tossing them in an air fryer basket works wonderfully.
All About Morel Mushrooms
Morel mushrooms are a distinct type of fungi that grow in the wild. These earthy, nutty and delectable mushrooms are not able to be cultivated or "farmed" by humans yet, at least not on a large scale. If you want to eat morels, you've got to get out and find them.
Morels are generally found in wooded areas throughout North America; warm and wet conditions are the best for their growth. Morels can also vary greatly in size and appearance. Even their shape can range from oblong to bulbous, and their color from blonde to gray, but one thing that never seems to change is the fact that they are delicious when cooked correctly.
They have a deep flavor and texture that is meaty but in a tender sort of way. Morels don't overpower dishes, and yet they stand above and apart, even during a meal with wild game meat, some find that the morels are the best bite.
These Are Not Your Average Fried Mushrooms
Mushroom recipes come and go, but crispy, golden brown, air fried fresh morels are low in carbohydrates, cholesterol, and fat than all the others. (putting aside the fact that this recipe uses cream cheese)
Air frying is one one the newer and better ways to prepare foods without all the olive oil that comes with many fried foods. There are many air fryer recipes that avoid all of the sauteed, butter and oil ridden foods that decrease the health of our wild game, including morels.
As a comfort food or even as a side dish, air fried morels are great for the whole family. As it is, cook time of an air fryer recipe is generally the actual time, unlike waiting for the pressure to rise on your instant pot or for your oven to preheat.
As morels tend to grow in rich soil regions, they can come packed with decent amounts of iron, copper, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin D, folate, niacin, riboflavin and a decent dose of potassium, magnesium, calcium, selenium, thiamine, vitamins E and B6.
Now it's off to the woods and fields of your region to discover these hard to find mushrooms and see what all the fuss is about.
Air Fryer Morel Mushroom Recipe
Cindy Gordon (aka Vegetarian Mamma) has found a way to use her air fryer to put a spin on our favorite fungi and make it even more delicious than ever before.
Her recipe is great and well worth trying out for yourself.
- 20 medium to large morel mushrooms
- 4-6 oz of softened cream cheese
- ¾ cup of crushed crackers (or bread crumbs) of your choice
- Cut the stems off your morels and then gently wash them. Afterwards, you will need to create an opening inside of the morels.
- Mix the softened cream cheese with two tbsp. of the crushed crackers. Use your fingers to gently stuff the holes and cavities of the mushrooms with the cream cheese and cracker mixture.
- Roll the stuffed mushrooms in the remaining crushed crackers and then place the mushrooms into the air fryer basket.
- Air fry the mushrooms at 370 degrees for 5-6 minutes.
Cindy also shares a few tips for those new to air fryers and morel mushrooms: "I prefer to boil my morels 1-3 minutes to help loosen any dirt or tiny critters (remember these are wild mushrooms) that might be hiding in the mushroom. You do not have to spray the mushrooms with oil, however by giving them a little spritz of oil, it helps the crushed cracker mixture to brown nicely and crisp up. Be sure to remove the air fryer basket mid way through and shake. This helps to prevent the air fryer morel mushrooms from sticking together and to the air fryer basket."