With spring here and summer just around the corner, eating right seems to be on everyone’s mind! While it can be challenging to convince picky eaters to try something new, why not disguise it as a family favorite? Enter to the arena the humble mushroom. Loaded with antioxidants1 and savory goodness- try Meaty Mushroom Tacos!

I thought of the idea in my Experimental Foods class for my semester project. My assignment was to take any recipe I want and make a change to it- so many possibilities! After considering my options, I was inspired by a flatbread with mushrooms on it: when bitten, it kind of crumbles and has an umami aroma. Using food science techniques learned in class, I came up with this recipe and hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating it!

You will need:

  • 1 lb Cremini mushrooms, rinsed and drainedCremini_Mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup grated onion
  • ½ cup mild enchilada sauce
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp unsweet cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Taco shells and toppings


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. After rinsing and draining your mushrooms, chop them into roughly ¼ inch sized pieces- they don’t have to be perfect!
  2. Coat a baking sheet with 1 Tbsp olive oil. This will prevent the mushrooms from sticking and will provide more complex flavor development. Roast for 30 minutes, rotate your pan, and check on them every 5-10 minutes. Your roasting time will vary based on oven performance and the batch of mushrooms you have- that’s okay! Continue to roast until they are mostly dry and darkened in color. Enjoy the aroma!
  3. While the mushrooms are roasting, begin caramelizing your grated onions with the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan until they are a light golden brown. Cover and set temperature to low until mushrooms have finished cooking, stir periodically.
  4. When the mushrooms are ready, add them to your caramelized onions. Pour in the enchilada sauce and your seasonings. Stir everything together, cook on medium until the flavors have melded, approximately 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning to your preference.
  5. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy! Serves 4.


  1. Cheung P. The nutritional and health benefits of mushrooms. Nutrition Bulletin. December 2010;35(4):292-299 8p. Available from: CINAHL Plus with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 19, 2016.

Malyna 1


Malyna Weedon began her nutrition journey at John Tyler Community College, where she was uncertain of her career direction and future plans. She says “I happened to take a nutrition course and ever since have looked at food in a completely different way. After researching nutrition degrees, I decided on James Madison University and transferred in the fall of 2014. I am a soon to be graduate and am looking forward to my future in the field of nutrition and dietetics. As a food enthusiast, I enjoy learning and trying new recipes as well as watching cooking shows. One of my favorites is Alton Brown’s “Good Eats”!”