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Italian Soffritto Recipe (How to Make)

Many Italian recipes start with a simple soffritto recipe a staple for most sauces, soups, and stews in any Italian kitchen (cucina). It is the flavorful base that provides essential flavors to any recipe. Learn the best methods for how to make Italian soffritto here!

  • Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 celery rib, diced (about 1/2 cup)

(see notes for variations and add-ins)



  1. Wash, peel, and prepare the vegetables.
  2. Using a sharp knife cut the onion, carrot, and celery close to the same size. You can mince, chop, dice, finely dice, or use the method you prefer to cut the vegetables into small pieces. Perfection is not required! SHORT CUT- if you want to speed up the process you can use the pulse mode of a food processor to finely chop the Italian soffritto mix.
  3. Add extra virgin olive oil to the pan, or pot on medium heat. When the oil starts shimmering add the diced vegetables, and cook, stirring often. If adding meat add now. 
  4. Adjust to medium-low heat, and continue to sauté until golden, it will take from a minimum of 5-7 minutes to 20 minutes. 
  5. See variations in notes for optional add-ins. When the soffritto is 2-3 minutes from being done you can add garlic, herbs, spices, or wine- if desired. Give a good stir, keep cooking for 1 or 2 minutes.
  6. Then, add the rest of the ingredients according to the recipe you are cooking.


Double this recipe with the same ratios as needed. 

Freeze: you can freeze your diced (uncooked) vegetables in a freezer bag and use them any time you need a quick soffritto for your dishes.


  • Bell peppers - the same amount as the carrot and celery)
  • Chili flakes - add to the beginning of cooking to realize the oils.
  • Dried herbs - you can add a variety of herbs such as thyme, oregano, and rosemary. Not traditional herbs include sage, fresh basil, and mint.
  • Diced meat - you can use pancettaguanciale, or bacon adds flavor and richness such as in this recipe: Authentic Italian Pasta e Fagioli Recipe (soup). Add them to the pot at the beginning of cooking and reduce the overall amount of oil or butter.
  • Red onion - use interchangeably with white to the yellow onion.
  • Leeks - substitute the onion for fresh leeks.
  • Shallot - I adore the taste of shallot and cook with it often. Add 1 shallot for this recipe, or double accordingly.
  • Garlic - Garlic adds a strong flavor, so add a small amount to taste and add it at the end of cooking since garlic tends to burn easily.
  • Wine - a 1/2 cup of red wine or white wine adds a flavor undertone to any dish. Add this at the end of cooking time to deglaze the pan.
  • Tomato paste - This is common in some recipes such as BEST Italian Beef Short Rib Ragu. Add towards the end of cooking and mix well with vegetables.
  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: mirepoix, soffritto, onions, carrots, celery