Creamy Mushroom & Sherry Sauce

Chicken with Creamy Mushroom & Sherry Sauce

Learn how to make a creamy mushroom sauce at home.

I am a complete sucker for sauce. Forget the healthy vegetables on the side or even the protein on the plate. Give me a bowlful of just about any sauce with a generous portion of chips and I’m in seventh heaven.

If you happened to be vegetarian and/or are avoiding gluten, this is a splendid recipe.

What type of mushrooms do you use in mushroom sauce?

In the photos I used the chestnut variety but white mushrooms, Chanterelles, Portobellos and Cremini will also do.

Substitutes for Sherry

Port, Madeira and Marsala can be used instead of sherry in this recipe. Some people don’t like alcohol in their food and have been known to use apple cider, vanilla extract, orange or pineapple juice. My two cents? If you’re not going to be using sherry or the equivalent, don’t try to add those aforementioned dodgy items to your sauce. Take the safe route and use stock/broth instead. See below.

Mushroom Sauce Recipe Variations

The mushroom sauce you’ll find below is simply one variation of this easy and highly adaptable recipe. I took the simple route but you can make the flavours more complex by frying finely chopped shallots to the garlic, use more than one mushroom variety mentioned above and use stock/broth.

Bigger quantities

You can make bigger quantities of the sauce; all you have to remember is the ratio – 50% sherry and 50% cream.

Just mushroom sauce

Substitute the sherry with stock/broth if you don’t want alcohol in your food, e.g. 50% stock/broth and 50% double cream.

Healthier sauce

10% sherry, 80% stock and 10% single cream or crème fraiche.

Low-Fat Mushroom Gravy

Use low-fat spray along with 10% sherry, 90% vegetable/chicken or beef stock.

Mushroom Flavour Matching Ideas

If you’re feeling adventurous you could add one of the following items to your sauce to jazz things up a bit.

  • Anise
  • Almonds
  • Anchovies
  • Bacon
  • Cheese (any blue cheese, e.g. gorgonzola, Gruyere and Parmesan)
  • Chestnut
  • Ham
  • Pancetta
  • Truffle
  • Walnut

Herbs and Spices to Add to your Mushroom Sauce

Keep things simple by just adding one of the following below.

  • Black Pepper
  • Cayenne
  • Chervil
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • Marjoram
  • Mustard
  • Nutmeg
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Tarragon
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme

If you’re a fan of mushroom sauces you would love other Greedy Gourmet recipes:

Now let’s get on with the recipe!

Garlic about to be chopped

All you need is one clove of garlic to give this sauce a punchy flavour.

Finely Chopped Garlic

Peel and finely chop the garlic then set aside.

Dirty Mushrooms that need cleaning

Let me tell you a secret. Never ever wash mushrooms in water or any other liquid for that matter.

How to clean mushrooms

Mushrooms are quite porous and if you wash them with water they tend to soak up a lot of liquid and that in turns affect their texture. We don’t want soggy mushrooms, do we?

Chopped off mushroom stalks

The solution to this problem is simply using a paper towel and gently rubbing off any noticeable dirt. Afterwards, chop off the stalk or remove them completely.

Halved mushrooms ready for sauce

Halve the mushrooms. Quarter them. Slice them. Chop them. Do whatever your heart desires.

Fry garlic in butter

Heat up a pan on the stove and get the butter melting. Gently fry the garlic.

Fry the mushrooms with garlic

Add the mushrooms and brown them a bit.

Add sherry to the garlic and mushrooms

Increase the heat until everything starts sizzling and then add the sherry and watch it bubble for about 3 minutes.

Add the cream to the mushrooms and sherry

Corn flour slurry

Next add the cream and stir it into the sauce. Let it bubble for a few minutes.

While you’re waiting, quickly add a teaspoon of corn flour to a cup and stir in the same amount of water in it to make a slurry.

Use more, use less. It all depends on how thick you would like your sauce to be.

When you add the slurry to the sauce make sure the temperature is set at the lowest possible setting because once the corn flour hits the pan, it starts thickening. Secondly, you have to be prepared to start stirring vigorously. If you don’t, be prepared to eat a clotty sauce.

If you take heed, there is nothing to worry about. Just add the corn flour slurry slowly, stir vigorously and watch the sauce thicken. If you ran out and would like your sauce even thicker, make a new slurry and simply add it to the pan.

Oh, and one last tip. You can use the pan liquids instead of tap water to make the slurry. Less flavour would be diluted.

Stir in the cream with the mushrooms and sherry

And there you have it! Pour the sauce on top of your steak, pork chop or fish. This time round I had it with a chicken breast I cooked with a sous-vide on a bed of rice. Bliss!

Chicken with Creamy Mushroom & Sherry Sauce

Creamy Mushroom & Sherry Sauce
A versatile sauce that can be served with chicken, beef, pork, fish and even pasta.
Recipe by: Michelle Minnaar
Published: 8 November 2012
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Total Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serving size: 271.9g, Calories per serving: 406, Fat per serving: 33.5g
Yields 2

15ml (1 tbsp) butter

1 garlic clove

300g (10 oz) mushrooms

120ml (4fl oz) sherry

120ml (4fl oz) double cream

5ml (1 tsp) corn flour

  1. Melt the butter in hot pan and gently fry the garlic for one minute.
  2. Add the mushrooms to the garlic and fry them for a few minutes until lightly browned.
  3. Pour the sherry in and cook until reduced to a glaze which will take about 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cream and let the sauce cook for 1 minute.
  5. Meanwhile, mix the corn flour with 5ml (1 tsp) of cold water in a cup.
  6. Reduce the heat and slowly add the slurry to the sauce and stir vigorously to avoid any clotting.
  7. After the sauce has thickened, serve immediately.
Serving Suggestion
  • Serve with steak, pork, fish, chicken or pasta.
  • Instead of sherry you can use Marsala or Madeira.

Nutritional Data for Creamy Mushroom & Sherry Sauce

Become A Greedy Gourmet

Join thousands of hungry readers who keep coming back for more. Whether you're a passionate cook or rather prefer to travel and try out restaurants, there is a newsletter for you - just take your pick. Or subscribe to both!

We respect your email privacy

Powered by AWeber Autoresponder


  1. says

    I’m with you – mushroom cream sauces are wonderfully delicious and this one looks awesome! The texture looks perfect and, such fresh ingredients! I have a hard time finding mushrooms as fresh as those. I really need to find another source. Love the hefty amount of black pepper!

    • says

      Ooooh, that’s a tricky one. To be honest I don’t cook with soya milk and I think the problem would be that the sauce won’t thicken properly… unless you thicken it with some cornflour slurry just before serving.

  2. Kim says

    Hi. I can’t find an icon to Pin this recipe to Pinterest. Am I just missing it or isn’t there one? Thanks. Kim

    • Michelle says

      Thanks for your feedback, Kim. Greedy Gourmet recently had a facelift and we’re still doing some finishing touches. We’ve listened and now all images are Pinnable. Happy pinning!

  3. Dian Kim says

    Question: I’ve never cooked w/Sherry before but I’ve read elsewhere there are 2 kinds used: Sweet and Dry. Which goes with this? And when I’m in the grocery looking at bottles, will I be able to tell on the label which kind it is?
    Thanks in advance for your help. Love this recipe w/variations, additions, subs.

    • Michelle says

      Dian, you are right; there are two kinds of sherry. It can be a bit confusing when buying it because it can have a variety of names. You best bet is to check out Wikipedia:

      If you look under Types and the table, you’ll see Fino is the driest and Pedro Ximénez the sweetest. Usually, dry sherry is used in cooking but it all depends on your taste and the type of dish you’re preparing. I’ve got quite a sweet tooth and have no qualms adding a sweet sherry to anything!

      Hope it helps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *