If you’re a fan of mushrooms, you just might fall in love with this red wine mushroom sauce. It’s chock-full of hearty mushrooms, thyme, and a healthy pour of red wine.
In our house, no steak dinner is complete with mushrooms, and this sauce is perfect for spooning over a perfectly cooked steak. But you can use it over other veggies, starches, and proteins.
If you’re looking for a sauce that is bound to take your meal up a notch, give this rich mushroom sauce a try.
What is Red Wine Mushroom Sauce?
This sauce combines the goodness of firm, flavorful mushrooms with earthy thyme and rich red wine to make a simple sauce that takes any meal to the next level. It’s incredibly customizable, too — you can incorporate any type of mushrooms you prefer and use any wine you like, from Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel to Chianti or Pinot Noir.
Why You’ll Love Red Wine Mushroom Sauce
A hearty sauce that’s full of flavor and perfect for topping steak- what’s not to love!
- Flavorful – This sauce has rich, herbaceous flavor and packs a punch of umami.
- Versatile – While it’s a great way to dress up a steak, it can also jazz up a burger, chicken breast, or potato. It also makes the perfect side dish.
- Easy – One pan is all you need to quickly make this delicious sauce.
Mushrooms To Use
You can use any mushrooms that you like! Get a little fancy with chanterelles or morels (if foraging is your thing), or keep it easy and inexpensive with plain white mushrooms.
Here are the most common mushrooms in the states:
- White button mushroom (most common)
- Champignon mushroom
- Crimini mushroom
- Maitake mushroom
- Portobello mushroom (also spelled portabella)
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Oyster mushroom
- Beech mushroom
- Enoki mushroom
- King trumpet mushroom
- Chanterelle mushroom
- Porcini mushroom
- Baby bellas
Each type of mushroom is distinctive in terms of taste, texture, and shape. For depth of flavor in this savory mushroom sauce, experiment with a blend of two or three types.
How Do You Clean a Mushroom?
Clean them by gently washing them with a damp paper towel or rinsing in a colander. Dirt gets stuck in all sorts of places, so I find that the paper towel method works best. Do not soak them- they will get all mushy.
It is normal for mushrooms to get a little brown after being cut. This is just oxidation and doesn’t mean they are bad.
Red Wine Alternatives
Using different types of red wine will also change the flavor profile slightly.
If you’re looking for a rich and luxurious sauce, try a dry wine. For a fun and flirty sauce, use one that’s fruity and sweet.
Meanwhile, woody wines, or those aged in oak, will impart earthiness. Or, omit the wine altogether and use beef broth instead.
Serve the meal with the sauce wine you use in the sauce to make a seamless pairing. A delicious recipe for a date night or dinner party.
All you need are a few simple ingredients.
- Sliced mushrooms– It may seem like you have a lot of mushrooms, but they cook down a lot. Use plain buttons or white mushrooms, or try a blend.
- Unsalted butter– I often use unsalted so that I can control the saltiness, but if you only have salted, just omit additional salt.
- Low-sodium beef broth– Using low-sodium beef allows you to control the saltiness. Beef will have a full-bodied flavor, but you can swap it for chicken stock or vegetable broth.
- Red wine– While I like to use a dry red wine, the best type of wine really depends on what you are looking for. A bold chianti might add a little more unami, or you might want something sweeter to offset the herbaceous beefy flavors. White wine tends to be a little light for this recipe.
- Fresh thyme sprigs– I use fresh herbs whenever possible, but if you need to use dried, you can. The swap would be about 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme leaves.
- Garlic powder– While I’ve tried using minced cloves of garlic for this recipe, I really do prefer garlic powder instead.
- Cornstarch– Thickening the mushroom sauce is key. A corn starch slurry will not only thicken, it will give it a glossy finish, too. A plain flour mix or arrowroot can also be used.
- Coarse kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper– To balance out the flavors.
What To Serve Red Wine Mushroom Sauce With
Mushroom sauces can be a perfect pairing with all types of protein, and it goes well with so many other meals. However, this particular red wine sauce is a great complement to red meat — especially a good steak like a ribeye, New York strip, beef tenderloin (filet mignon), or even a porterhouse. It’s a great way to elevate any steak or burger.
How to Make Red Wine Mushroom Sauce
This easy sauce comes together easily and quickly — you can make it while you’re waiting for your other dishes to finish.
- Sauté mushrooms. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then add the mushrooms to the melted butter.
- Stir to coat with butter. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mushrooms so that they are coated with butter. Continue to cook until mushrooms have reduced in size.
- Add remaining ingredients. Turn down the heat and add the remaining ingredients except for the slurry, salt, and pepper, and allow the mushroom mixture to simmer.
- Make slurry. Whisk together cornstarch slurry in a small bowl, then add it to the mushrooms.
- Heat, season and serve. Heat briefly, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
There are a few ways to change up this easy sauce.
- Sauce– Add Worcestershire sauce or fish sauce for more a mushroom sauce with even more umami.
- Onion– Sliced onions or onion powder are also a fun addition. Try using sliced green onions for a pop of color.
- Tapioca flour– Substitute tapioca flour for the cornstarch. The ratio is for every 1 tablespoon of cornstarch you’ll need 2 tablespoons of tapioca flour.
- Dijon mustard– This mustard can balance the sauce with its earthiness and acidity.
Storage and Freezing
Mushroom sauce is easy to store and pull back out later — you might want to make a double batch of this sauce!
Make Ahead: You can make this simple sauce ahead of time and store it for up to 48 hours in the refrigerator.
Refrigerator: Store leftover mushroom sauce in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Freezer: We do not recommend freezing this sauce because the thawing process degrades the texture of the mushrooms.
Common Questions About Red Wine Mushroom Sauce
Absolutely — and it’s the best kind to use to make this sauce. Since there is a reasonable amount of cooking time, the alcohol will cook off, and you’ll be left with rich flavor.
For this sauce, we actually recommend using red wine. It pairs better with the mushrooms, herbs, and broth.
It has been stipulated that Pinot Noir may be the healthiest wine to drink because of the amount of resveratrol in the wine.
Other Savory Sauces
Red Wine Mushroom Sauce
- 20 ounces sliced mushrooms about 4 cups
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup low sodium beef broth
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Coarse kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter with mushrooms, tossing to coat. Cook mushrooms down until they are half their original size.
- Reduce the temperature to medium and then add the red wine, broth, fresh thyme and garlic powder, stirring well and then simmering for 15 minutes.
- Remove the thyme sprigs.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water, whisk into mushroom sauce.
- Heat for an additional 2 minutes, then remove. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.