What is Mirepoix and how to use it

Mirepoix is a foundational element in French cuisine and many other culinary traditions. It consists of a mixture of diced vegetables, typically onions, carrots, and celery, which are used to add flavor and aroma to various dishes.

The standard ratio for mirepoix is 2 parts onions to 1 part carrots and 1 part celery.

Here’s a closer look:

Mirepoix recipe


  • 2 parts onions: Provides a sweet, aromatic base.
  • 1 part carrots: Adds a subtle sweetness and color.
  • 1 part celery: Contributes an earthy flavor and aroma.


  1. Chop the Vegetables:
    • Dice the onions, carrots, and celery into uniform pieces. The size of the dice can vary depending on the recipe, but a small to medium dice is common.
  2. Cook the Mirepoix:
    • Heat a small amount of oil or butter in a pan over medium heat.
    • Add the diced onions, carrots, and celery.
    • Cook gently until the vegetables are softened but not browned, usually about 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking or burning.

Mirepoix Uses

  • Soups and Stews: Mirepoix is often the base for soups, stews, and braises, providing a rich depth of flavor.
  • Stocks and Broths: It’s a key component in making flavorful stocks and broths.
  • Sauces: Mirepoix can be used as a base for various sauces, enhancing their flavor profile.
  • Roasts: It can be added to the roasting pan to add flavor to roasted meats and poultry.

Variations of Mirepoix in Other Cuisines

    1. Cajun/Creole Cuisine:
      • Holy Trinity: This variation replaces carrots with bell peppers. The Holy Trinity consists of onions, celery, and green bell peppers and is the base for many dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, and étouffée.
    2. Italian Cuisine:
      • Soffritto: Typically includes onions, carrots, and celery like mirepoix but often adds garlic, and sometimes tomatoes or pancetta. It’s used as a base for many sauces, soups, and stews, such as Bolognese sauce and minestrone.
    3. Spanish Cuisine:
      • Sofrito: A mix of garlic, onions, tomatoes, and sometimes peppers. It is often cooked in olive oil and used as a base for paella, stews, and various Spanish rice dishes.
    4. German Cuisine:
      • Suppengrün: This mix typically includes leeks, carrots, and celery root (celeriac), and sometimes parsley. It’s used to flavor soups, broths, and stews.
    5. Portuguese Cuisine:
      • Refogado: Often includes onions, garlic, and tomatoes, sometimes with bell peppers and occasionally other vegetables. It’s used as a base for many Portuguese dishes, including stews and casseroles.
    6. Latin American Cuisine:
      • Recaito/Refrito: In Puerto Rican and Cuban cuisine, this mix often includes green bell peppers, onions, garlic, and cilantro. It’s used as a base for many dishes, including stews and rice dishes.
    7. Indian Cuisine:
      • Tarka/Tadka: While not a direct equivalent, many Indian dishes start with a base of onions, garlic, and ginger, often fried with spices. This is used in curries, dals, and other Indian dishes.