History of Zaxby’s Mushrooms
Zaxby’s started serving mushrooms in 1990 and they have become one of the brand’s staple menu items ever since. Fresh, whole white button mushrooms are hand-breaded in Zaxby’s signature seasoned flour and fried to perfection.
The secret blend of herbs and spices in the seasoned flour gives Zaxby’s mushrooms a distinctive flavor that is unmatched by any other fast food mushroom. They have developed an enthusiastic fan following over the years thanks to their crispy exterior and burst of flavor in each bite.
When Zaxby’s first introduced mushrooms, they helped set the brand apart by offering unique side options beyond french fries and onion rings. Over time, Zaxby’s mushrooms have become synonymous with the brand and are a key reason why customers keep coming back. Zaxby’s frequently sees long lines and even sell-outs of mushrooms, demonstrating their popularity and cult status.
What Makes Zaxby’s Mushrooms So Unique?
Zaxby’s mushrooms get their distinctive flavor from a secret blend of herbs and spices used in the seasoned flour coating. The exact spices used are a closely guarded secret, but likely include onion and garlic powder, thyme, oregano, basil and rosemary. When fried, these spices are activated, releasing their oils and flavor compounds to infuse the mushrooms with flavor. The end result is a burst of flavor in each crispy bite.
Zaxby’s mushrooms are always made to order and double-breaded by hand for maximum crunch. The double breading process involves dredging the mushrooms in the seasoned flour, then dipping them in an egg and milk wash, and coating them again in the flour. When submerged in hot oil for frying, this double layer of coating gets ultra-crispy while locking in moisture, resulting in a light, flaky texture.
The white button mushrooms used by Zaxby’s have a mild earthy flavor and meaty texture that stands up well to bold spices and the double breading process. The caps are left whole for maximum surface area to get crispy, while the stems remain intact for easy handling. Fried whole mushrooms have more texture than sliced mushrooms, which can get limp in the frying process.
Zaxby’s mushrooms are always made fresh to order, so there is no need to worry about them sitting under a heat lamp for a long time before being served. Freshly fried mushrooms will be hot, crispy, and bursting with flavor. For the best experience, Zaxby’s signature Zax sauce is the ideal dipping sauce to complement the spices used to season the mushrooms.The mushrooms also pair well with Zaxby’s buffalo sauce, ranch dressing, or honey mustard.
In summary, what makes Zaxby’s mushrooms unique is:
- A secret blend of spices used to season the flour coating
- Double breaded and made to order for maximum crispyness
- Use of whole white button mushrooms which have an ideal texture for frying
- Always served hot and fresh for the best flavor and texture
- Perfectly complemented by Zaxby’s signature Zax sauce
Nutritional Value of Zaxby’s Mushrooms
While Zaxby’s mushrooms are high in certain nutrients, they are also high in calories, fat and sodium, so should only be eaten in moderation. The nutritional values for five of Zaxby’s crispy fried mushrooms are as follows:
|Nutrient||Amount||% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat||14 g||22%|
|Saturated Fat||3 g||15%|
|Trans Fat||0 g|
|Total Carbohydrates||18 g||6%|
|Dietary Fiber||1 g||4%|
Zaxby’s mushrooms are a good source of selenium and B vitamins like niacin, vitamin B6 and folate. Selenium is an important antioxidant mineral, while B vitamins help convert food into energy and support various bodily functions. The mushrooms also provide copper, phosphorus and magnesium.
However, the high amount of fat (22% of daily value) and sodium (13% of daily value) mean these mushrooms should only be an occasional indulgence. The fat is mostly from the frying oil, while the sodium comes from the salting of the breading and spice blend. For a healthier option, you could request Zaxby’s mushrooms grilled instead of fried.
In summary, Zaxby’s mushrooms are tasty and provide certain nutrients, but are high in calories, fat and sodium, so moderation is key. Nutrition-conscious consumers may want to balance them with lower-calorie sides like a salad. Overall though, these mushrooms can absolutely be part of a balanced diet when consumed responsibly.
The Best Ways to Enjoy Zaxby’s Mushrooms
Zaxby’s mushrooms are best enjoyed hot and fresh, right after frying. Here are some of the best ways to savor their crispy, spicy flavor:
With Zaxby’s Signature Zax Sauce
Zaxby’s signature Zax sauce is a creamy, tangy concoction of mayonnaise, spices and herbs that was created to perfectly complement their chicken fingers. However, it pairs equally well with Zaxby’s mushrooms, cutting through some of the richness and allowing the flavor of the spices in the breading to shine through. For the quintessential Zaxby’s experience, mushrooms with Zax sauce is a must.
On a Chicken Salad or Sandwich
The earthy flavor and hearty texture of Zaxby’s mushrooms make them a perfect topping for chicken sandwiches and salads. They provide a nice contrast to the tender chicken, with the crispy breading adding crunch. The spices on the mushrooms also bring more flavor to every bite. Next time you order a chicken sandwich or salad at Zaxby’s, don’t forget to ask for a side of mushrooms to sprinkle on top.
Shared as an Appetizer
A basket of Zaxby’s mushrooms served with multiple dipping sauces makes for a perfect starter to share with friends before a meal. Not only are the mushrooms ideal for passing around and sampling different sauces, but they are also surprisingly filling. An appetizer portion, typically around 10-15 mushrooms, may even satisfy lighter appetites for lunch or dinner. For the ultimate indulgence, order an extra large portion of 20 or more mushrooms to share.
Added to the Wing Dinner
Chicken wings and fried mushrooms are a match made in heaven. The combination of crispy coated chicken pieces and mushrooms creates a dynamic contrast of textures for your taste buds to explore. And when you want to give your taste buds an extra thrill, dip your wings in one sauce and your mushrooms in another to experience the range of flavors Zaxby’s has to offer.
In summary, Zaxby’s mushrooms are most delicious when served hot, with a dipping sauce, added to a sandwich or salad, or as a shareable appetizer. Mixing and matching with other menu items like wings opens up a world of flavor possibilities. However you choose to enjoy them, Zaxby’s mushrooms never disappoint.