Truffle oil infuses irresistible flavor into fries, pizza, pasta, and more! Here’s what it is, how to use it, and the best truffle oil recipes.
Looking for a good truffle oil? This magical oil brings the flavor and aroma of truffles to a dish. We’re not talking small balls of chocolate here: we’re talking mushrooms. Black and white truffles are prized in many cuisines, and they’re very expensive and hard to find. Are they worth it? Absolutely. Truffle flavor is earthy and intoxicating in a way that’s difficult to describe. The oil condenses that beautiful flavor of truffles right into a bottle you can keep on the shelf.
Why chefs snub most truffle oil? It’s synthetic.
You may have heard rumors that some chefs turn up their noses at truffle oil. Why? Most truffle oils on the market are synthetic. That means they’re made using lab-made compounds that mimic flavors found in real truffles. (See this Readers Digest article for more.) Of course, most chefs can afford to use real truffles, instead. On the other hand, most home-cooks cannot.
The best truffle oil to buy? All natural.
Are there truffle oils that are made using real truffles? Good news: yes! In our research, Alex and I have found some great options. Our favorite brand to use is Urbani’s white truffle oil (we’re not affiliated). It’s made in Italy, all natural and with real truffle pieces inside and nothing synthetic. It has a fantastic, subtle truffle aroma, and it’s the only one we buy.
Best truffle oil recipes
And now, here’s a list of the very best ways to use truffle oil! From truffle fries to pizza to risotto, there’s something for everyone here.
Note: Keep in mind that all natural truffle oil is much less potent than synthetic, which can be rather strong. If you aren’t able to get ahold of the all natural stuff for these recipes, don’t be too heavy handed.
Why are truffles so expensive?
Black and white truffles can be considered a type of mushroom. But technically, they’re fungi! Unlike other mushrooms, they grow underground and don’t have a visible stem. They’re considered the “diamond of the kitchen” and are highly prized in many cuisines.
Why are truffles so expensive? Two reasons: first, they are expensive because they are very hard to farm. Truffles grow in the roots of trees, and prefer only specific soils and trees. Second, truffles are difficult to harvest. Truffle hunters have to rely on animals that are trained to recognize the scent of truffles growing underground! Dogs and pigs are used by truffle hunters to hunt out these tasty fungi. (It’s actually seriously fascinating!)
So you can see why the oil version was invented! Real truffles are expensive and fairly difficult for home cooks to find. Truffle oil imparts the flavor and essence without having to shell out the cash. And it’s shelf stable!
Want another way to bring in truffle flavor?
One last thing! Another great way to bring in truffle flavor is Urbani canned truffles and mushrooms! Alex and I randomly found this product in our grocery store. It’s a small can of mushrooms that are flavored with real truffles. The flavor is really intense and beautiful! We use this when we want to add big flavor and have pieces of actual mushrooms (see the photo below).
Buy it! Canned Truffles & MushroomsPrint
Crispy potatoes, truffle oil, and Parmesan cheese: WOW! These Parmesan truffle fries are insanely tasty, baked in a hot oven until they’re crisp.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Farenheit.
- Cut the potatoes into fries (watch the video to see!): Wash the potatoes, leaving the skins on. Slice off the ends of each potato, then slice off part of the side to make a base. Place the potato half cut side down and cut off a ¼-inch slice, then lay the slice on its side and cut it into several long strips. Repeat until all potatoes have been cut into fries. The pieces can be uneven, but aim for as uniform of thickness as possible. See the video for full instructions.
- Place the fries in a large bowl with the olive oil and kosher salt. Mix thoroughly to combine.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the fries on the paper, placing them as far apart as possible.
- Bake the fries for 15 minutes. Take them out of the oven and flip them. Reduce the heat to 400 degrees.
- Reverse the trays in the oven and bake another 10 minutes until the fries are crisp and golden brown, watching carefully as the cooking time can depend on the fry thickness and oven. (If the majority of the fries seem soft, continue to bake a few more minutes.)
- Remove the baking sheets from the oven. Drizzle with the truffle oil (note that if your bottle does not say “all natural”, drizzle to taste — it’s much stronger than all natural, so don’t use the quantity listed.) Add chunky sea salt, crushing it with your fingers as you sprinkle. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and chives. Serve immediately (fries become softer as they sit). If making in advance, omit Step 7, then reheat the fries in a 400 degree oven and perform Step 7.
*If you use an all natural truffle oil like Urbani natural truffle oil, the flavor is more subtle, so you’ll need more than if you use a synthetic oil. If you buy a truffle oil that is not marked with “natural flavor” anywhere on the package, it will be stronger. Drizzle it on to taste.
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Fries
Keywords: Truffle Oil Recipes, Truffle Oil Recipe, Truffle Fries
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.