Every cook needs a good easy creamy mushroom sauce recipe. It’s perfect stirred through pasta and fantastic on grilled steak.
When I was 14 years old I asked my mom if I could start cooking dinner for our family every now and then. She didn’t hesitate for a second to let me take the reigns while she went to settle on the couch with her book. I didn’t have a clue what to make but luckily my mom kept a pretty well-stocked fridge/freezer and I quickly settled on chicken schnitzel (which I still buy ready-made, FYI) drenched in creamy mushroom sauce, mashed potatoes and carrots.
There was only one problem, I had no idea how to make mushroom sauce. My mom gave me direction from the couch but for the most part I was on my own. I chopped the garlic, sliced the mushrooms and added them to a hot pan with some oil. Fried them (for not nearly long enough) and poured in WAY too much cream. In went a slurry of milk and corn flour to thicken it all up and I seasoned it (again, not nearly enough). It was the first recipe I had ever made by myself.
Over the years, I perfected (in my opinion) this very humble and simple recipe and can honestly say I make it at least once a week now. Whether I stir it into al dente pasta for a fast weeknight dinner, pour it over crispy oven-baked fries for a lazy weekend snack or serve it with medium-rare steak, we LOVE creamy mushroom sauce in our household.
Feel free to play around with the flavourings but I honestly think thyme, garlic and lemon were all made for mushrooms. If you wanted to keep the sauce more on the low-cal side, substitute the cream for milk. Of course, the sauce won’t be as rich and luscious but it will still be delicious. And that’s really it. This recipe is SO easy and so simple but will quickly become a favourite in your home too. Guaranteed.
How do you make the best creamy mushroom sauce?
Melt butter and olive oil together in a large frying pan then fry the mushrooms until they are golden brown. For intense flavor, it’s important to let the mushrooms brown well. Add garlic and allow to cook for another 30 seconds then pour in the cream. Mix well then pour in the milk and cornflour mix. This will thicken the sauce. If you prefer, you can leave out the cornflour mix but you’ll need to cook the sauce down more to thicken which will mean a loss in volume. Season with lemon, salt and pepper and serve.
Why did my sauce split?
With the use of cornflour in this recipe, your mushroom sauce shouldn’t split as there is starch keeping the water and fat molecules together. A sauce splits when too much water has evaporated and there is nothing for the fat to emulsify with. To save a split sauce, simply whisk in a few tablespoons of water to restore the balance between water and fat.
Why is my sauce lumpy?
It could be that you didn’t whisk the corn flour and milk well enough before adding it to the sauce. Whisk with a wire whisk until smooth and add a little more stock/water.
Why is my sauce pale in color?
If you didn’t allow the mushrooms to brown well, the end result will be a paler sauce. There’s nothing wrong with this but if you prefer a more golden sauce, make sure to allow the mushrooms to brown properly before adding the liquid. Also take care not to over-crowd the pan, rather frying the mushrooms in batches.
Creamy mushroom sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 5 cups approximately 500g portabellini/chestnut mushrooms, halved/sliced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 cup 250ml cream
- 1 cup milk mixed with 3 teaspoons corn flour/corn starch
- 1-2 tablespoon lemon juice to taste
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Heat the butter and olive oil together.
- Add the mushrooms to the pan with the thyme and season with salt and pepper.
- Allow the mushrooms to fry until golden brown then add the garlic and fry until fragrant.
- Pour in the cream and milk and allow to simmer gently for 5-10 minutes until the sauce has thickened and cooked through.
- Season with lemon, salt and pepper and add the parsley.
3 ways to use Creamy mushroom sauce