Rich, creamy and bursting with flavour! This creamy mushroom sauce is easy, morish and versatile. You can do so many things with this; add it to pasta, pork chops, pan-seared chicken breasts (similar to this Chicken with Creamy Mushrooms and Spinach) or over some mashed potatoes.
My ultimate love is pouring this deliciousness all over a perfectly cooked medium-rare steak with fries (or hot chips as we call it here in Australia)! It's heavenly and the perfect weeknight meal. Extra pepper, please!
For those of you who love a creamy meal but occasionally are calorie-conscious or just prefer things on the lighter side, I've got you.
This healthy Creamy Garlic Prawn Pasta is easier on the cream but HUGE on flavour. It's impressive looking and a good contender for a romantic dinner at home! To go even lighter, try my Creamy Mushroom Pasta made without any cream! Yes, it is possible and handy when you're out of cream.
- Mushrooms any will do however my go-to are brown button mushrooms (or Swiss brown) as they have a lovely nutty taste.
- Stock or broth vegetable, chicken or beef will all work great. If you're making this for a juicy steak, go with beef stock. Alternatively, you can use white wine.
- Onion a little goes a long way in terms of flavour, aroma and that touch of sweetness.
- Dijon mustard the secret sauce to lift this creamy mushroom sauce to the ultimate next level. I've tried with and without and let me tell you. The difference is huge. It's a must! That bit of tang just transforms a nice sauce into an AMAZING wow sauce.
- Cornstarch helps thicken the sauce a little so it catches onto whatever you're serving with.
- Heavy cream or aka thickend cream is preferred over light cream. Light cream are too runny and lacks that desired richness in this creamy mushroom sauce!
Step by step instructions
Making a mushroom sauce from scratch is actually really simple and definitely worth the (little) effort!
First, you want to thinly slice the onion. As thin as you can, so by the time the sauce is ready, it'll almost have 'melted' into the sauce. This will also keep the sauce silky and smooth.
To start, melt butter and soften the onions first then add sliced mushrooms in. Cook on medium-high heat until nutty brown.
The trick to adding as much flavour as you can to the mushrooms (and therefore, the sauce) is by getting it really caramelised and brown. Like the images above and below.
Mushrooms contain a lot of water which releases with heat. To avoid boiling mushrooms, only stirring occasionally, about every minute. It'll be tempting to stir constantly but don't! Let the water release and sizzle away in the pan. That's when caramelisation begins.
Once the mushrooms (and onions) are nutty and golden brown, add the garlic then deglaze the pan with stock. Allow the stock to reduce by half then add cream and dijon mustard and simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Lightly thicken the sauce with a little cornstarch and water mixture.
There you have it! Super easy mushroom sauce!
See how nutty brown the mushrooms are here? You want the pan to look like this before adding garlic and then stock to deglaze.
Tips for making this great every time
- Reduce heat to low just before adding cream into the pan. This will stop the cream from splitting - it can happen if you boil cream on high heat! This is particularly important if using light cream due to its low-fat content. Fat helps emulsify the sauce and keep it creamy.
- Only add minced garlic in once mushrooms and onions are caramelised. This will stop the garlic from burning whilst cooking mushrooms on high heat and thus turning bitter.
- Allow the stock/broth to reduce by half before adding cream in. Reducing the stock helps intensify the flavour and also keep the sauce thick.
- Go heavy on the freshly cracked black pepper! It'll help cut through the richness of the creamy sauce and give a touch of heat.
- Use cold water to mix cornstarch with before pouring it into the pan. Hot water will turn the cornstarch lumpy and no one wants a lumpy sauce!
Good to know (FAQs)
Yes! Most of the time the sauce will become a bit thicker than when you had just made it. If this happens, simply add a splash of water to help loosen the sauce up into silky smooth again. Remember to reheat on low heat and stirring constantly to prevent it from going lumpy (since there is cornstarch in it).
Technically, you can however it is not recommended. This is because freezing anything dairy will result in it splitting once thawed. ie, the fat will separate from the water content. It'll still taste fine but just look a little less appetising!
By adding in a simple cornstarch and cold water mixture! Use a 1:2 cornstarch to cold water ratio.
Most likely because you used light cream instead of thickened cream! Don't worry, simply add a bit more cornstarch and cold water mixture over low heat and the sauce will thicken nicely.
To add a bit of colour, sprinkle some finely chopped parsley or fresh thyme. Honestly, the best creamy mushroom sauce for steak and fries! YUMM.
Made this recipe? Let me know your thoughts or questions by dropping a note in the comments section below! I'd love to hear from you 🙂
Happy cooking! - Gen
Creamy mushroom sauce
- 400 g /14oz brown mushrooms sliced
- ⅔ cup heavy cream aka thickened cream
- ½ cup stock beef, chicken or veg all okay
- ¼ brown onion thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- salt and pepper
- In a large pan, add butter and onion and cook on medium heat for about 1.5 minutes or until onions softens.
- Add mushroom slices, stir through and turn the heat up to medium-high. Stir mushrooms every minute until mushrooms and onion caramelised. Season with salt and pepper halfway. This will take about 8 minutes.
- Reduce heat down to medium-low and stir in garlic for about 1 minute, until garlic is fragrant.
- Deglaze the pan with stock, allow it to reduce by half. About 1.5 minutes.
- Reduce heat down to low and pour cream and dijon mustard in. Stir through, season with salt and pepper to taste. (note 1)
- Mix cornstarch with 2 tablespoon of cold water well, pour into pan. Allow sauce to simmer for about 3 minutes, stirring regularly.
- To serve, sprinkle finely diced fresh parsley or a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves.