What Mirepoix Is and How to Prepare It

What Mirepoix Is and How to Prepare It

Publish Date May 22, 2024 2 Minute Read

A simple combination of vegetables – mirepoix (pronounced meer-PWAH) – forms the tasty base of a wide variety of dishes. Though the term is French, it has been adopted universally as the flavorful foundation for many stocks, soups, stews and sauces.

What is Mirepoix

Mirepoix is a mix of diced aromatic vegetables that deepen the flavors of a dish. They’re cooked slowly in butter or oil to sweeten the ingredients rather than caramelize them. This preparation provides a subtle background flavor in many recipes.

What’s in Mirepoix

Traditional mirepoix is made up of onions, carrots and celery, but there are many possible combinations. Mushrooms, parsnips, leeks, peppers, tomatoes and garlic can also be used in mirepoix. Soffritto (Italian) and the Holy Trinity (Cajun) are well-known variations of mirepoix.

It was named after an 18th century duke in Mirepoix (a town in Southwestern France), whose cook was credited with popularizing the mixture – though the cooking technique may be even older.

How to Prepare Mirepoix

The classic ratio is 2 parts onion, 1 part carrot and 1 part celery – plus olive oil or butter.

First, rinse your vegetables and trim the root ends and tips. You’ll chop your vegetables according to the recipe you’re preparing:

  • For sautéed recipes, chop small: ¼"–½"
  • For soups and stews, chop medium size: ½"–1"
  • For stock, broth or blended soups, chop larger sizes: 1"–2"

Mirepoix Ingredients

To a large skillet, add olive oil or melt a tablespoon of butter. Over medium-high heat, add onions, carrots and celery and cook about 10 minutes, stirring often, until they’re softened and the onions are translucent. Adjust heat if needed to prevent the vegetables from browning.

If you prefer to prep your mirepoix veggies ahead of time, they can be frozen up to 6 months if uncooked. After dicing, spread them out on a baking sheet and freeze them overnight. The next day, transfer them to a plastic freezer bag. Freezing them first on the baking sheet will enable you to scoop out just the portions you need later, since pieces will be frozen individually rather than in a large chunk.

Time to Cook

Ready to make mirepoix? Here are a couple of our favorite recipes to start with. Each can be made using the steps above or with a convenient precut blend of veggies.

Explore More

Discover additional instant pot recipes and slow-cooker recipes, and get even more inspiration in our blog.