This recipe for champinones al ajillo is a traditional Spanish mushroom tapas recipe that I learned when living in Spain. With only a handful of ingredients, it’s an easy-to-make vegetarian tapas recipe that is a perfect snack or addition to a night of Spanish tapas.
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Spanish Tapas | 30 Minutes | Vegan | One-pan Recipe
What Are Champinones Al Ajillo
Everyone who loves tapas knows gambas al ajillo, or garlic shrimp. They have to be one of the most popular Spanish tapas in the world. This Spanish garlic mushrooms recipe is a similar recipe that is in some ways even easier to make. Plus, it’s a great alternative Spanish tapas for vegetarians.
Champinones is Spanish for mushrooms and ajillo is Spanish for garlic. That makes this a Spanish garlic mushroom tapas recipe that is found in several regions of Spain. It’s also become a popular addition at Spanish bars in the US and the UK.
After learning this recipe, eating mushrooms in garlic is a mainstay in our household. It’s also an easy tapas dish to prepare when hosting friends because it can be made just before guests arrive and reheated.
Check out some of our other Spanish tapas recipes to make your own tapas night:
Ingredients For Champiñones Al Ajillo Vino Blanco
Looking for vegan tapas? Check out our list of the Best Spanish Vegan Tapas Recipes.
When living in Spain, there were a couple of ingredients that we had in the house all the time. It included garlic and olive oil. We always needed both in the house. With those two magical ingredients, we knew we could make anything in a pinch. Like this pollo ajillo recipe, or Spanish garlic chicken.
We also always had a bottle of white wine put aside for cooking. So many great Spanish recipes call for wine. One of our favorites is chorizo in wine sauce, which can be made with both red or white wine.
Cooking With Mushrooms
For this garlic mushroom recipe, use whole button mushrooms. You can also quarter them to cut them into fours. I prefer not using sliced mushrooms, in part because it makes the dish seem more like sauteed mushrooms to go on a steak. It is also not as common to see this tapas dish in Spain sliced.
The mushrooms are cooked in garlic and olive oil, of course, along with dry white wine and a bit of fresh-squeezed lemon.
Using A Chili Pepper
The other main ingredient is spicy chili pepper. I prefer using cayenne pepper or even one of the tiny Asian peppers. You don’t want to cut them too small because the peppers will be removed part of the way through the cooking process. Keeping the peppers sliced large makes it easier to remove them.
I would not suggest using a jalapeno pepper because it’s just not the right flavor for the mushrooms. Jalapenos are also used in Mexican cooking and not at all in Spanish cooking.
Looking for more Spanish recipes? Check out our roundup of some of the Best Spanish Dessert Recipes.
How To Make Spanish Mushroom Tapas
Cooking The Mushrooms
Rinse the mushrooms to clean them. Then, allow them to dry or pat them dry with a towel.
Because mushrooms are like sponges, so it’s important to cook them dry. If they are cooked when wet they become a little spongy and even rubbery. This is the same with our other Spanish mushroom recipes, including our chorizo stuffed mushrooms.
Place a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and chili pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes. The garlic will start to soften, but not brown.
Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Coat the Spanish garlic mushrooms in olive oil. Allow them to sit undisturbed for 3-5 minutes. This allows them to sweat and soften.
Sautéing The Garlic Mushrooms
Remove the chili pepper and place it to the side. Do not discard the pepper.
You can also leave them in if you don’t mind the heat. But, this garlic mushroom tapa has a delicate flavor and the pepper might be too strong for many palates.
Add the white wine and fresh lemon juice. Cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft, start to brown, and the liquid is absorbed into the mushrooms.
Stir occasionally and watch the heat to ensure they don’t burn.
Taste the mushrooms and adjust any seasoning. You can add the peppers back in towards the end to add a little more heat. Sprinkle with fresh parsley or coriander before serving.
Pro Tips: Make sure to include serve with fresh, crusty bread to soak up all the tasty ajillo sauce (garlic sauce) that’s accumulated at the bottom of the pan.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, diced
- 1 spicy pepper, cut in thirds or strips (cayenne pepper or spicy Asian pepper)
- 1 pound of large button mushrooms, whole
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup white wine
- Juice of ½ of lemon
- Chopped parsley for garnish
- Rinse the mushrooms to clean them and allow them to dry or pat them dry with a towel.
- Place a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Heat the olive oil.
- Add the garlic and chili pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes. The garlic will start to soften, but not brown.
- Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper, and coat the mushrooms in the olive oil. Allow them to sit undisturbed for 3-5 minutes.
- Remove the chili pepper and place it to the side.
- Add the white wine and fresh lemon juice.
- Cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft, start to brown, and the liquid is absorbed into the mushrooms.
- Taste the mushrooms and adjust any seasoning. You can add the peppers back in towards the end to add a little more heat.
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 160Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 179mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 3g
This nutritional data is provided by a third-party source and should not be relied on if you are on a strict diet.
Modifications And Variations Of Spanish Garlic Mushrooms
You can also make this mushroom tapas recipe with sherry, which is a fortified wine that is popular in Southern Spain, in cities like Sevilla.
You can do it in the same way as the white wine. Just try to use real sherry, the kind that you would drink, rather than cooking sherry.
I am a fan of using real wine or alcohol when cooking with wine rather than a cooking wine. It just adds a better flavor to the dish.
If you don’t have a fresh chili pepper, you can also sprinkle the mushrooms with a little crushed red pepper to add the heat. Or, if you are sensitive to heat, skip the chili altogether.
FAQs – Spanish Mushroom Tapas Recipe
Garlic and mushrooms are both very good for you. Put them together and they are even better. Garlic mushrooms are loaded with important vitamins and minerals. Garlic has been proven to be good at fighting high cholesterol.
Including about 5 minutes of prep time, the total cooking time is around 30 minutes. If hosting a tapas night, you can cook the mushrooms ahead of time and reheat for a few minutes before serving.
Champiñones al ajillo are a classic Spanish tapa or side dish that translates to garlic mushrooms. Champiñones means mushrooms and ajillo mean garlic.