This Recipe for Mushroom Ragu will elevate any pasta dish! It’s comforting, creamy, incredibly delicious and makes the house smell absolutely amazing as it cooks. No long hours of simmering required in this Vegetarian version of the classic Italian style Ragu sauce making it perfect for weeknight dinners. What are you using it on first?!
Honestly, this Recipe for Mushroom Ragu is SO good that if your answer to that question is simply a good ol’ chunky slice of crusty bread then you do you, boo, because that’s all you really need. It’s hearty, full of flavour and is just as good by the spoonful as it is a-top your favourite pasta dish. Sliced mushrooms, diced tomatoes, white onions, fresh garlic, red wine, chopped parsley, heavy cream and a few simple pantry spices are all you need to bring this magical tasting sauce together. And the aroma? Don’t even get me started on just how magical that is, too. 😉
Where my mushroom lovers at? I know I personally have a family full of them. All of us, excluding my dad for whatever reason (yeah, don’t ask) have an undying love for any and all kinds of mushrooms. This Creamy Stuffed Mushroom Recipe, for example, actually came from one of my sisters and is a must-have at all our family get togethers. This Prosciutto and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken on the other hand, is the first ever recipe my other sister chose to make when challenged (by me of course) to make a recipe, step by step, off the blog. And this Mushroom Risotto? Yeah, it’s always up there as all of our favourites.
Mushrooms are such a good way to make any dish hearty and filling. Their meaty texture makes for an amazing substitute in many Vegetarian dishes and this flavourful Mushroom Ragu is no different. If you’re looking for a different sauce to take your pasta to the next level other than the usual suspects: Alfredo or Bolognese (which is actually a type of ragu, if we’re being technical), look no further than this Mushroom Ragu. And although I have absolutely nothing against those two classic and undeniably delicious sauces, this one surely gives ’em a run for their money! Your pasta dishes are gonna love it!
The very best part of this recipe for Mushroom Ragu, if you ask me, is that no long hours of simmering are needed and it’s ready in about an hour from start to finish. That’s a far cry from a sauce needing all day to simmer up on the stove, traditional Ragu. While both versions are definitely delicious in their own ways, this one might be better suited for those busy weeknights where ya just don’t seem to have enough hours in a day as it is.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THIS EASY RECIPE FOR MUSHROOM RAGU (INGREDIENTS)
Upon first glance of these delicious ingredients, you might have been able to guess that some sort of tomato sauce is in order. And you, my friend, could not be more right. Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients you’ll need to whip up this Mushroom Ragu Recipe.
- Mushrooms: Why, of course! How could we have a delicious Mushroom Ragu without mushrooms?! I used simple sliced white button mushrooms because that’s what I had lying around the fridge. But this dish would be sooo tasty with a combination of any different kind of mushrooms you can think of! Oyster, shitake, chanterelles, baby bella (cremini), portobello or porcini (and any combination of these) would all be great options.
- Diced Tomatoes: The ones in the can. We use both the tomatoes and their juices. Besides the mushrooms, this is the base of our ragu sauce. It adds flavour, acidity and when paired with the mushrooms, makes the most perfect vegetarian Ragu.
- Tomato Paste: Amplifies the overall tomato flavour and gives the mushroom ragu a nice deep colour.
- Onions: Adds texture and flavour to the sauce. A must for any sort of Italian style tomato sauce, IMHO. White onion works best in this recipe.
- Garlic: I think it would be a crime to make any sort of pasta sauce without a little bit of onions and garlic. Am I right? At least my Nonna thinks so.
- Parsley: Adds freshness to the dish. Therefore, fresh is definitely my preference over dried herbs in this recipe. Feel free to change it up a bit and use other fresh herbs, if preferred. Basil or oregano make great options.
- Heavy Cream: Makes the Mushroom Ragu deliciously creamy, silky and smooth. Also turns it a nice, almost rosé, colour.
- Red Wine: A typical ingredient used to make Ragu. Adds a rich, deep flavour to the sauce and really helps bring out the flavours of the other ingredients. I think the red wine is solely responsible for making this dish smell AH-MAZING as the mushrooms simmer down in it on the stove. No, this Mushroom Ragu won’t taste boozy. The key is to allow it to evaporate/be absorbed by the mushrooms before moving on to the next step. And saving a glass for yourself while you’re at it 😉
- Parmesan Cheese Rind: The secret ingredient to making soups, stews and sauces a little extra flavourful. Feel free to omit it but I always keep ’em in the freezer for this exact reason.
- Olive Oil: I like using a good quality extra virgin olive oil here (surprise, surprise) because the onions and garlic sautée in it for a good amount of time. It adds flavour to the sauce. However, you can use a different kind of oil like avocado or even coconut instead, if you prefer.
- Spices: Of course! For extra flavour and to bring all the components of this Mushroom Ragu together. I use a combination of Italian seasoning, oregano, chili flakes and salt and pepper. Feel free to mix it up by using whatever combination of spices you prefer.
HOW TO MAKE MUSHROOM RAGU FROM SCRATCH IN UNDER AN HOUR (KEY TIPS)
- Use the proper pot or pan. I love using a Wok such as this one as it provides enough surface to properly cook the ingredients with high enough sides so that it doesn’t go everywhere when you add ingredients or stir it. A large bottomed pot would also work well. Avoid using a regular skillet or fry pan as they’re too shallow. And lastly, you’re going to want to use something with a tight fitting lid.
- Use different kinds of mushrooms, if you can! The different kinds will add different textures and flavours making this Ragu even more incredible and flavourful. Anything from porcini to chanterelles would work wonders! If you’re cutting them up yourself, make sure you’re doing so with care and in even bite sized slices.
- Be patient as you’re cooking this Mushroom Ragu as the process is “delicate” and not meant to be rushed. You have to make sure that you’ve completed each step before moving onto the next. For example, after you add the wine to the mushrooms, give it all the time in the world that it needs (probably about 10-15 minutes) for the liquid to fully evaporate. I know at first it might seem like it never will and like there’s too much of it but trust me, it eventually does. EXTRA TIP: Increase the heat a bit and stir frequently if you want to speed up this process slightly.
- As with a lot of sauces, soups and stews, this recipe for Mushroom Ragu is best the longer it simmers on the stove and the flavours have time to develop. I recommend a minimum of 30 minutes but you can always go longer than that if you have the time. Keep it on low and stir occasionally to prevent it from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot. EXTRA TIP: This Mushroom Ragu is not as thin as your traditional tomato sauce and doesn’t have too much excess liquid to spare. Cooking it for too long might dry up all the liquid and result in a dry/super thick Ragu. The same goes for storing it in the fridge or freezer – if you notice it has thickened beyond your liking, simply add more liquid (heavy cream, more diced tomatoes with their juices or broth or water) to the Ragu as you reheat it on the stove.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Are the Italian Gods going to shun me for this one?!
Ragu is a classic Italian meat-based tomato sauce normally simmered down for hours on a hot stove. Typically, it consists of ground or chopped meats (such as beef, veal or pork), vegetables and some type of red wine. It has a thick consistency and is normally served up on top a nice plate of pasta.
This version, however, is for my Vegetarian friends. Mushrooms are used in place of any meat but most of the other elements are still the same. Don’t worry, Nonna still approves. And the best part? It cooks up in under an hour compared to the usual day long simmering normally required in the meat version!
Any leftover Mushroom Ragu should be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge. It’ll be good for at least one week (probably slightly longer, if you manage to keep it around that long!) As with many soups, stews and sauces, this Mushroom Ragu gets better over time as the flavours develop. If you find that the Ragu has thickened too much in the fridge, simply add some liquid (heavy cream, broth, water) as it’s reheating on the stove to thin it back out to your desired consistency.
I find that this recipe is just enough for about 1 pound of pasta.
Definitely! I love making a double batch, portioning it out into these perfectly handy freezer containers and that way, I’ll be able to indulge in a delicious plate of pasta that feels like it came straight out of an Italian restaurant any day of the week!
The Mushroom Ragu will be good in the freezer for up to 4 months. When ready to eat, simply thaw it in the fridge overnight then reheat it in a pot on the stove. RECIPE NOTE: The sauce might still be a bit thick after you thaw it out. Add some liquid – more heavy cream, diced or crushed tomatoes or even some veggie or chicken broth or water to thin it out to your desired consistency.
Ah, well, the most obvious answer is pasta or pretty much anything you’d use tomato sauce for. It’ll take any plate of Spaghetti or Penne over the top and would be great in Lasagna instead of a classic meat or traditional tomato sauce. It’s great over some polenta or as a topping for chicken or steak. Use it in this pasta cream cheese bake, on top of this air fryer spaghetti squash, with these eggplant stuffed lasagna boats or as the sauce for this cheesy chicken and bocconcini skillet. Or, like I said at the start of the post, do yourself a favour and grab a nice loaf of crusty Italian bread or easily make some restaurant style garlic bread or easy no-knead bread yourself at home and start a-dipping.
Yeah, THAT good.
- 1 pound Mushrooms, sliced*
- 1 (796 ml) can Diced Tomatoes
- 1 White Onion, diced
- 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup Red Wine
- 1/4 cup Heavy Cream
- 3 tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 tbsp Dried Oregano
- 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 tbsp each salt and pepper, more to taste
- 1/4 tsp Red Chili Flakes, optional
- 1 3-inch piece Parmesan Rind, optional
- In a large bottom pot or Wok add the olive oil over medium low heat. When VERY hot (almost smoking) add the onions and garlic. Cook until soft and translucent, stirring frequently to prevent burning, about 6-8 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and season with some salt and pepper. The mushrooms will release some moisture - cook until the mushrooms are soft and all of the liquid has evaporated.
- Add the red wine and cook until all of the liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. This could take anywhere between 5-15 minutes*
- Add in the tomato paste and Italian seasoning, oregano and chili flakes, if using. Stir frequently for about 2 minutes to slightly "toast" the spices and bring out their aroma.
- Add in the diced tomatoes (with their juices), salt and pepper and parmesan cheese rind. Bring to a simmer and cover for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the heavy cream and chopped parsley, simmer for a minute or two then remove the sauce from the heat. Serve immediately over all your favourite pasta dishes or store in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to a week.
I just used plain white button mushrooms but any combination of mushrooms will work wonders in this sauce. Oyster, shitake, chanterelles, baby bella (cremini), portobello or porcini (and any combination of these) would all be great options.
My favourite type of pan to use to make this recipe for Mushroom Ragu is a Wok like this one with high enough sides and a tight fitting lid. A large bottomed pot would also work great.
Be patient after you add in the red wine as it may seem like there's too much liquid to ever evaporate. There's not. It will eventually do so - turn up the heat slightly and stir frequently to speed the process along.
I find that this recipe is just enough for about 1 pound of pasta.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 211Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 979mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 5g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
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