puffball mushrooms

Foraging and Cooking Puffball Mushrooms

Puffball mushrooms are popping up everywhere. As the weather cools, these giant balls of mushroomy goodness erupt from the forest floor. They favor hardwood forests and are most likely to appear after rain showers. Puffballs are great because they are so recognizable that its safe to forage them even if you aren’t a fungi pro.

Identifying Puffball Mushrooms

Puffballs are giant white orb mushrooms with no gills which grow to be 30cm in diameter or more. There are no poisonous mushrooms that look like puffballs, so you don’t have to worry about trying them out. If they are discolored or yellow/green inside – discard them as they have gone off or are being eaten by insects.

Cleaning Puffball Mushrooms

You can just pull the puffball out of the ground. Turn it over to ensure that there are no insects and gently brush off the dirt.

Puffball mushrooms have a thick skin to protect the flesh and this helps to keep out dirt. When you get home, gently wash the puffball under cold water.

Do no soak puffballs as they are able to retain vast amounts of water.

Leave the skin on until you are ready to cook your puffball so that it stays fresh for longer.

How to Cook Puffball Mushrooms

Puffballs are every bit as versatile as store-bought mushrooms. You can put them on pizza, add them to stews and soups or fry them up with onions. One of my favorite features of puffballs is that they are so light and delicate. Their flavor is unique and to best showcase this incredible delicacy, I suggest you let them stand alone as a dish.

We show you how to forage for puffballs and how to cook them here:


Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives in a tiny town with a fat cat and a very bad dog.

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