Share NoshOnIt


Kitchen Basics: Mirepoix vs. Holy Trinity

Creating a delicious stock, soup, or stew is all about the layering of flavors over time. Traditionally, this means starting with a combination of vegetables that are sautéed in olive oil or butter to release their flavors and form the base of your dish. Interestingly, depending on where you are in the world, the combination of vegetables differ, but two of the most common are mirepoix and the holy trinity. Here’s the difference:

  • Mirepoix (prounounced meer-pwahis the classic and most common French combination of onions, carrots, and celery, typically in a ratio of 2 parts onion to 1 parts each carrot and celery.

  • The Holy Trinity is the Cajun/Creole version of mirepoix which still uses onions and celery but substitutes green bell pepper for carrots. It is typically used in equal proportions or in the same ratio as mirepoix with 2 parts onion to 1 part each celery and green bell pepper.

Mirepoix is probably the combination that you’re the most familiar with because it’s the start of so many dishes. If you’re making anything Cajun like gumbo, jambalaya, or red beans and rice, swap out carrots for green bell pepper. Any way you go, starting with one of these trios will help give your dish the foundation it needs to be delicious.

  • pons_asinorum

    you don’t explain how to cook it.

    • Stating the Obvious

      This is a base of many different recipes, not a dish in and of itself. Wikipedia and Google are your friends. Use them.

      • twatster

        Way to be of help twat

        • dfetti

          Ask any serious restaurant cook how to make it, duh!

      • Wendy Waldron Janin

        uncalled for

    • Cheesesteak

      It’s not a recipe, it’s ingredient knowledge…use it any way you wish.

      • Cheesesteak

        lol, oops, just noticed this was from 4 years ago…duh

  • Afungus

    There are many interpretations, or methods of cooking this combination. You start with a hot pan, medium high heat. Use extra virgin olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan and add the chopped vegetables. Butter may be added for additional flavor. Pepper and light salt. When the onions begin to be translucent, the dish is prepared for your next step in your main dish. The salt may be held until the onions are well on their way toward done, as the salt will pull moisture from the vegetables and make them soupy. Some start with the onions in a medium hot oil and butter cook to allow the onions to caramelize. Which makes for a sweetness to the dish.

  • ladyj

    I hadnt heard it called the holy Trinity of cooking until I was looking up recipes for stuffing. It say use Holy Trinity of cooking. I was like what is holy Trinity of cooking. It is bell peppers onions and celery. When I was making cornbread stuffing I used one onion, one stalk of celery and one bell pepper.

  • ladyj

    I cook my holy Trinity I start with onions, then celery than olive oil. I dice up the onions. Then I out in my nonstick pan. I add onions j let it cook for 5 minutes. Most recipe say 2 – 3 . I let mine do 5 minutes so I can get both sizes done. Make sure it is nicely sautee. I add celery next. I met it cook for 5 minutes. Then I add the bell peppers last. This is a great start to many dishes that will be great.

  • Jim Hatfield

    Hate green bell peppers. Might as well eat lawn grass. Depending on those sharing with me I’ll choose somewhere between a mild Anaheim and a not so mild serrano.

    • Cheesesteak

      give the Poblano a try, it’s like a big mild jalapeno, great roasted, or grill it til the skin chars, put in plastic bag/covered dish for 10 minutes or so to steam and peel off the skin…yummy

  • New Orleans Cook

    Lies! There is no carrot in the holy trinity in New Orleans. Don’t tell people that.