Mirepoix

BY : PUBLISHED : February 8th, 2022 UPDATED: October 17th, 2022

Every delectable stew, soup, and sauce starts with a flavor base of aromatics, herbs, or spices sautéed in a bit of oil or fat. And every culture has its own version, but the one we use most often is the French variant called Mirepoix! It may be prepared in a variety of ways, but this recipe uses 4 ingredients and only takes about 20 minutes to prepare.

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completed mirepoix in a black skilled with a wooden spoon

What is Mirepoix?

Mirepoix, pronounced as "meer-pwah," is a time-honored French cooking technique made of a mixture of celery, carrot, and onion sautéed in oil with herbs. The mixture is cooked at extremely low heat, not sautéed, in order to bring out the natural sweetness of the diced veggies without caramelizing them. It lends a rich aroma to dishes as well as a subtle but distinct depth of flavor that creates a taste that is just undeniably amazing.

Simple and delicious, Mirepoix is the perfect addition to Fall and Winter soups. It is made with a minimum of 4 ingredients, but you can add any other herbs and spices to it to suit whatever dish you plan to add the Mirepoix to. You can even enjoy this as a side dish. Different cultural variations are the Italian Soffrito, German Suppengrün, or the Cajun's Holy Trinity of onions, celery, and bell peppers.

Mirepoix Ingredients

  • Onion - We prefer using white or yellow onion as their strong flavor goes well with other herbs, spices, and seasoning.
  • Carrot - Any variety will do.
  • Celery - Only the stalk is used for this recipe.  Don't throw away the leaves, though.  Keep it to cook other dishes like this Vegan Minestrone Soup or raw salads.
  • Oil - We prefer sunflower or olive oil, but other vegetable-based oils can be used.
ingredients for mirepoix on a white surface

How to make the Mirepoix

1) Prep your veggies.  Rinse and give the celery and carrots a good scrub.  Scrub and rinse the celery and carrots well.  You want perfectly clean veggies for the Mirepoix.

ingredients for mirepoix on a white surface

2) Chop the veggies according to use.  The size depends on how long your dish takes to cook. Usually, veggies are diced smaller if it requires a sauté or frying method,  approximately ¼ inch. For our favorite soups or stews, a medium dice, about ½ inch, works best.

ingredients for mirepoix diced on a white cutting board
ingredients for mirepoix diced with oil in black skillet

3) Cook the veggies. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Then, add the veggies and onions. Stir continuously until veggies are soft and onions are translucent.

ingredients for mirepoix in a black skillet
process of sauteing the mirepoix in a black skillet with wooden spoon

4) Add to your soup, mains, stews, etc. Follow your recipe guide to continue making your preferred dish!

completed mirepoix in a black skilled with a wooden spoon

Tips and Suggestions

  • Do not overcook the veggies! Again the goal is to sweat them, not brown them. Do not use more than medium heat and stir constantly.
  • Be mindful of the ratio. We used equal parts of the three ingredients, but the standard French technique is 2:1:1 - 2 onions, 1 celery, and 1 carrot. It would always depend on your preference or the recipe you are making.
  • As the carrots simmer, they get sweeter. If you're using an extra-large carrot, you might want to use only one or half to avoid overpowering your dish with its flavor.
  • When making a bigger batch, the pot should be wide with relatively high edges, so the vegetables are easy to stir, eliminating the risk of burning the Mirepoix.
  • Add the vegetables in the correct order. Diced carrots should come first as they are the toughest of the veggies, followed by onion, and lastly, the celery.
  • An alternative is adding tomato paste or puree to amp your Mirepoix, especially for brown sauces or gravies.  This is called pinçage.

Storage Notes

You can pre-cut your veggies and store them in a sealed plastic/stasher bag or container, ready to be cooked anytime. They should last for a week in the fridge. You can keep cooked Mirepoix chilled for a few days or keep it in the freezer for longer shelf life. You may simply break off a piece anytime you need a little amount of Mirepoix to begin a recipe. Mirepoix should last in the freezer for 6 months to a year.

completed mirepoix in a black skilled with a wooden spoon

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use the food processor in cutting the veggies? It is preferable to chop your vegetables by hand rather than using a food processor since the textures and tastes may be altered. To keep a uniform consistency during cooking, we want them to be sliced as close to the same size as possible.
  2. Is it possible to use a different combination of ingredients? Yes, you certainly can! Because you already know the basics, you may adjust the recipe by adding or removing ingredients to suit the meal you're preparing. If you prefer a white mirepoix, you may use parsnips instead of carrots or button mushrooms. The choice is yours.
  3. Is it okay if I leave the skin on when preparing Mirepoix? When creating a mirepoix, I usually peel my carrots and onions, but this isn't always necessary (e.g., making stock or roasting). If you don't want to peel them, at the very least, give them a good scrub.

Use Mirepoix in these recipes:

  1. Matzo Ball Soup - This hearty Jewish meal is typically served during Passover. A healthy and delicious dish has fluffy matzo balls and a light, clear broth. Matzo balls may be made with our delicious and nutritious mirepoix recipe.
  2. Green Bean Casserole - Most of us have great memories of a casserole dish, and this is one of them. This casserole looks so festive, which I'm sure is an instant favorite. With a creamy mushroom sauce surrounded by soft green beans and crunchy onions on top, it's perfect for a vegan holiday gathering or as a weekly family meal side dish.
  3. Root Vegetable Lentil Stew - This dish will definitely cheer you up on a cold, gloomy winter day. It has a delightful flavor that comes from a variety of root vegetables, lentils, and peas. This rustic and hearty dish is rich and thick, giving the impression that you spent all day in the kitchen. Who knows, maybe the mirepoix mixture helped.

You can also check out these 23 Cozy Vegan Soup Recipes as well!

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

completed mirepoix in a black skilled with a wooden spoon

Mirepoix

Justin Lewis
Mirepoix lends a rich aroma to dishes as well as a subtle but distinct depth of flavor that creates a taste that is just undeniably amazing.
5 from 43 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine French
Servings 2 servings
Calories 166 kcal
METHOD Stovetop
DIET Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 2 Tablespoons of oil (I use sunflower or olive oil)

Instructions
 

  • Dice the vegetables.
  • Add to skillet and sauté in oil on medium heat until the onion is translucent.
  • Add to your soup, entree, etc.

Notes

  • Do not overcook the veggies! Again the goal is to sweat them, not brown them. Do not use more than medium heat and stir constantly.
  • Be mindful of the ratio. We used equal parts of the three ingredients, but the standard French technique is 2:1:1 – 2 onions, 1 celery, and 1 carrot. It would always depend on your preference or the recipe you are making.
  • As the carrots simmer, they get sweeter. If you’re using an extra-large carrot, you might want to use only one or half to avoid overpowering your dish with its flavor.
  • When making a bigger batch, the pot should be wide with relatively high edges, so the vegetables are easy to stir, eliminating the risk of burning the Mirepoix.
  • Add the vegetables in the correct order. Diced carrots should come first as they are the toughest of the veggies, followed by onion, and lastly, the celery.
  • An alternative is adding tomato paste or puree to amp your Mirepoix, especially for brown sauces or gravies.  This is called pinçage.

Nutrition

Calories: 166kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 1gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gSodium: 24mgPotassium: 208mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 5099IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 28mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

About Justin Lewis

Hi, I'm Justin. I've been a vegetarian for 28 years. When I'm not cooking up great meals in my kitchen, I spend my time building websites or writing on my blog.

View all posts by Justin Lewis

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Comments

  1. Jay says

    Super simple! Looks delicious

    • Andrea White says

      Love a good simple starter!

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