Learn everything you need to know about mirepoix: what it is, how to make it, and how to freeze it for ease of cooking later.
If you like cooking soups, stuffing, or casseroles, you’ve probably used mirepoix before, even if you didn’t know it at the time.
Mirepoix, the aromatic base used in a lot of French cooking, describes the combination of onion, carrots, and celery.
Mirepoix is a delicious way to start off so many recipes and I end up using it a lot, particularly in the winter.
If you also use mirepoix a lot, why not make a large batch and have some ready to use on your next meal?
This basic mirepoix comes together in just a few easy steps and having it on hand will give your meals the most flavor they can possibly have.
Have you ever wondered “can you freeze mirepoix?” The answer is an emphatic yes; freezing mirepoix is a great way to preserve fresh vegetables and simplify your cooking.
Keep reading and I’ll fill you in on some details and teach you how to freezer mirepoix in a couple of simple steps.
What is Mirepoix?
Mirepoix is a combination of vegetables that are used as the aromatic base of many French dishes. It is considered a staple of French cooking.
Traditional mirepoix consists of carrots, celery, and onion.
These three flavorful ingredients are used in many flavorful soups, stir-fries, casseroles, pot roasts, and other dishes. They add an amazing flavor to recipes without overpowering the other ingredients.
How to Pronounce Mirepoix
Mirepoix, a French word in origin, is pronounced: “meer-pwah.” Don’t worry if you’ve always said it wrong, it took me a long time to learn the correct pronunciation, too.
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How to Make Mirepoix
1. Prepare your vegetables
Once you wash your vegetables well, prepare them for chopping. Remove the onion skin, peel the carrots and chop off their ends, and remove the leaves from the celery stalks.
Save the tops of the celery, carrot peels, and onion skins to make a flavorful homemade vegetable stock.
2. Chop your vegetables
After you prepare the vegetables, you need to decide how you will chop them. I personally opt for an old-fashioned knife and cutting board, but there are a few options:
- Chop them manually with a knife
- Use a vegetable chopper
- Use a dicing attachment on a food processor
- Use a regular food processor blade. If you use this method, be very careful not to over-process the vegetables and turn them into puree. I recommend using the pulse function and watching them closely to avoid this.
3. Choose your size
Mirepoix vegetables may be cut into uniform pieces or each vegetable can be chopped to a different size according to your preference. The size can also vary from larger pieces (½ inch) to a smaller dice (minced).
4. Figure out how much mirepoix to make
You can decide how much mirepoix you want and figure out the amounts from there, or you can follow the recipe below.
To make your own recipe, divide the amount of mirepoix by four and allot two parts onion and one part each of carrots and celery.
Can You Freeze Mirepoix?
Mirepoix freezes very well and is easy to use frozen. Making a big batch of mirepoix for the freezer is a great way to preserve your vegetables and make cooking more effortless in the future.
Mirepoix that has been frozen will have a slightly different texture and it will be more watery. Because mirepoix is often a small part of a dish, the difference in texture will likely go completely unnoticed. The flavor will remain the same.
Freezing mirepoix is one of the best ways to preserve celery, carrots, and onions. I like to make a big batch in the autumn when these vegetables are plentiful and use it for soups and more throughout the winter.
Why Freeze Mirepoix?
Freezing mirepoix has a lot of benefits in the kitchen.
- Prevents food waste: If you have an excess of celery, carrots, and/or onion, making a batch of mirepoix is the prefect way to prevent them from going bad before you are able to use them.
- Preserves garden harvests: Gardeners know that sometimes you are bombarded with large quantities of a certain vegetable. Freezing mirepoix allows you to preserve these beautiful garden harvests so you have homegrown vegetables available in the dead of winter.
- Saves time cooking: Putting in a small investment of time to save a lot of time down the road is a great way to make cooking more enjoyable. You can batch-make mirepoix and then avoid washing, peeling, and chopping your mirepoix vegetables several times over in the future.
How to Freeze Mirepoix
Freezing mirepoix is very easy and doesn’t require any special equipment. Mirepoix doesn’t need much for freezing; no precooking or blanching is necessary. The main concern is that once mirepoix is frozen, it turns into a solid block. There are a few ways to avoid having one huge, unbreakable block of mirepoix in your freezer.
- Freeze the mirepoix in small servings (enough for a single recipe) directly in freezer bags, jars, or small freezer-safe containers. Using this method, I typically portion out one-cup servings. Once you prepare your mirepoix, pack it into single serving containers, label them, and store them in the freezer. They will freeze solid, but you can remove the chunk of mirepoix from its container and have the amount you need for a recipe ready to go.
- Freeze the mirepoix in single servings by freezing it in a muffin tin or ice cube tray. Once the mirepoix has frozen solid, remove the blocks from the trays and store them in a larger container or ziploc bag. To remove the mirepoix cubes from their trays, simply run the bottom side of the tray under warm water for a few seconds. The warm water will help the mirepoix become unstuck from its tray.
- Flash freeze the mirepoix so it does not stick. This way, you are able to take as much as you need for a recipe without having to pre-portion the mirepoix. Do this by spreading your mirepoix on a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze it until the vegetables are no longer soft (usually 2 – 4 hours), then transfer it to your bag, jar, or container. Return it to the freezer immediately. Flash freezing allows the vegetables to freeze on the tray when they aren’t touching and as long as they don’t thaw and refreeze, they won’t stick together.
How to Use Frozen Mirepoix
Using frozen mirepoix is very easy and doesn’t require any thawing beforehand.
Warm up some olive oil in a skillet or pot over medium-low heat, then pour the contents of your frozen mirepoix bags into the oil.
The mirepoix will thaw as it cooks. While the cooking time may be a couple of minutes longer than it is for fresh mirepoix, the method is exactly the same.
Mirepoix Ingredients and Ratio
This recipe couldn’t be simpler! Mirepoix is made up of carrots, celery, and yellow onion. The ratio is 1:1:2, or one part carrots, one part celery, and two parts onion. This means for every portion of carrots you have, there should be an equal portion of celery and two portions of onion.
If you want to make 2 cups of mirepoix, chop 1 cup of onions, ½ cup of celery, and ½ cup of carrots. The ratio can be measured by volume with measuring cups or by weight, using a kitchen scale.
Best Recipes to Use Freezer Mirepoix
- Butternut Squash Bisque
- Minestrone Soup
- Garden Pasta Sauce
- Chicken Noodle Soup