Find out how to make lion’s mane mushroom chowder! This rich and savory chowder is based on the classic New England clam chowder, but features lion’s mane mushrooms (forest food) instead of seafood.
Fall mushroom foraging
The Tyrant and I enjoy taking Baby Sebastian out for long hikes at least a couple times each week. We typically come home with bags of free food from the forest, if we’re not hiking in spots where foraging is illegal.
This year, we found our earliest ever lion’s mane mushroom (which has a taste somewhat similar to crab meat) during the first week of October. It was sheltered from the hot 80+ degree dry, sunny days inside the center of a fallen tree. Yay!
We always like trying to come up with new recipes with our favorite mushrooms. Two favorite lion’s manes recipes which we’ve previously shared:
We’ve turned our most recent lion’s mane mushroom into lion’s mane mushroom chowder. We liked it so much, we’re sharing this recipe too.
If you like the classic New England clam chowder, you’ll also love this lion’s mane chowder.
Fresh or dried lion’s mane mushrooms?
This lion’s mane mushroom chowder recipe can be made from either dehydrated or fresh lion’s mane mushrooms. We used fresh lion’s manes, which are about 94% water.
You almost can’t add too much mushroom to this chowder recipe. We used three cups of fresh, chopped lion’s manes, but if you want the flavor of your chowder to be really fungi-forward, you could probably get away with 4-5 cups of mushrooms.
As with all of our recipes, we encourage you to tweak this recipe to suite your specific tastes. We’re just providing you with a starting point!
Recipe: Lion’s mane mushroom chowder
Lion's mane mushroom chowder
A savory chowder inspired by New England clam chowder but featuring lion's mane mushrooms (forest food) instead of clams (seafood).
- 4 strips thick bacon
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 large white or yellow onion, diced (1 1/4 cup)
- 1 large leek, diced (1 1/4 cup)
- 3 cups chopped fresh lions mane mushrooms
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 5 russet potatoes, chopped (4 cups)
- 1/3 cup white wine (to deglaze pan)
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2 cups whole organic grass milk
- 1/3 cup organic, whole wheat stone ground flour
- 1 cup grated organic cheddar
- 1/8 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
- 3 tbsp brewers yeast (just add a bit more cheese if you don't have brewers yeast)
- green onions, chopped for garnish
- 1/4 tsp thyme, ideally fresh but dried is fine too
In soup pan, cook bacon on medium heat until crisp, then remove and set aside. Saute lion's mane mushroom chunks, celery, onion, and leak in the bacon drippings until onions become translucent and lightly browned. Add diced garlic and butter, then cook for another 1-2 minutes until garlic is lightly bronzed. Deglaze pan with white wine.
Next, add the chopped potatoes, chicken stock, pepper, salt, and thyme. Bring to a quick boil, then reduce heat to medium-low (3 on our stove). Continue to simmer uncovered until potatoes are soft enough to easily push a fork through (or about 15-20 minutes). Immersion blend at this point if you'd like a smooth chowder — or leave as-is if you prefer a chunky chowder
In a separate bowl, whisk flour into milk until smooth. Then slowly pour milk-flower mixture into soup stirring as you go to make sure flour doesn't form chunks. Bring chowder back to a boil, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes as the flour incorporates and thickens the chowder. Turn to low heat. Add cheese and brewers yeast, stir until incorporated. Carefully (don't burn your tongue!) do a taste test to determine if more salt needed.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with cheddar cheese, diced green onions, and crumbled bacon (used to season pan).
Enjoy! Now you have another delicious lion’s mane recipe to add to your arsenal for next time you find (or grow) a lion’s mane.
Other fun fungi recipes you’ll want in your kitchen:
- Fried chicken of the woods “chicken fingers”
- Black trumpet mushroom pasta
- Cauliflower mushroom duck egg quiche
- Reishi mushroom mimosa flower sparkling cordial
- Fried indigo milk cap (Lactarius indigo) with barbecue sauce