Skip to Content

Italian Soffritto Recipe: The Base For Many Sauces

Italian soffritto is the basis for a great many dishes in Italian cuisine. 

It is a very important element for many Italian dishes because the initial flavorful base serves to give depth to dishes and define their aromatic body. 

Italian Soffritto Recipe


What is Italian Soffritto Made Of? – Ingredients

To make a perfect soffritto you only need onion, celery and carrots.

Nothing more and nothing less.


Element that gives flavor to the soffritto, most recommended is the yellow onion, but red onions can also work well. Onion should be peel, cut in half, then sliced and finally cubed.

onion chopped for italian soffritto


Carrot gives sweetness to the soffritto, it is necessary to peel it.

Remove both the top and the end, cut it into strips lengthwise, and finally dice it into cubes.

carrots chopped for italian soffritto


Celery, on the other hand, gives freshness. In stalk of celery an inch of the initial part and filaments should be remove and cut into strips first lengthwise, then widthwise.

celery chopped for soffritto

Extra-virgin olive oil

Soffritto is prepare with strictly extra virgin olive oil, both for its unmistakable flavor and because it is genuine. 

Use just little bit of oil, vegetables should not float in oil.

Proportion of Ingredients

Celery and carrot in equal parts, plus onion with weight equal to the sum of the other two.

So 2 parts onion, 1 part celery and 1 part carrot. For the oil, the ideal dose would be one tablespoon of oil for each person at the table.

How To Cook Soffritto

First Step

The ingredients should be finely chopped so that the soffritto is imperceptible to the palate, but unmistakable in taste. The best tool for chopping onion, celery and carrot is a sharp knife. 

The rule is: chop them by hand, into very small cubes of the same size.

The choice of pot in which you are going to cook soffritto is crucial. In general I recommend that you use a nonstick one, this way you will prevent the vegetables from sticking to the bottom.

Second Step

Add the oil in the saucepan over a low flame, the oil should never be preheated, then add the vegetables and let them cook, moving them with a wooden spoon.

The cooking process is slowly over a low flame: the vegetables, should be cooked and soft.

The perfect time would be 10-15 minutes.

Italian Soffritto recipe

What Do You Use Italian Soffritto For?

The Italian soffritto cannot be missed in the classic bolognese sauce. It is also used in cooking as a base for fish sauces for many types of pasta recipes or risotto dishes, for side dishes, main dishes and soup recipes.

Variations of Italian soffritto recipe

The main ingredients of Italian traditional soffritto is only onion, celery and carrot. Also considered as such are soffrittos that replace the onion with leeks, spring onions, or shallots.

Sometimes a garlic clove (chop or slice or crush) is also added as an enrichment to the basic soffritto a.

Aromatic herbs such as : Italian parsley or fresh basil leaves are often added. 

A specific variation to the Italian-style soffritto is that with pancetta, guanciale or other pork fat.

In this case, dice the pancetta and put it to wilt in a pan along with a little oil. 


What does the Italian word soffritto mean?

Soffritto literally means “to slowly stir fry”, referring to the process of cooking vegetables over low heat and for a long time to let the flavors release.

What is the Holy Trinity in Italian cooking?

Carrot, onion and celery base of most Italian recipes.

What is the difference between mirepoix and soffritto?

The French mirepoix is an ideal cutting technique for preparing a vegetable chopped with a knife.
The difference between mirepoix and soffritto is that the mirepoix can be either sautéed or served raw, very often butter is used instead of olive oil, while soffritto must necessarily be must cooked. The thing that they have in common is the vegetables used – celery, carrot and onion.

Italian Soffritto Recipe (How to Make)


Be sure to follow me on social media, so you never miss a post!

Facebook  Group | Pinterest 

Italian Soffritto Recipe

Italian Soffritto Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

These are the instructions for making the classic Italian soffritto

A few steps that must be followed carefully for the perfect soffritto end result!


  • 1 Cup onions
  • 1 Carrot (½ cup)
  • 1 Large celery stick (½ cup)
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  1. Peel and chop the onions and carrots, clean the celery by removing the strings and cut it into small pieces.
  2. Place the chopped vegetables in a saucepan with the oil and cook for a minimum of 15 minutes over very low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, To not let it stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3.  When the onion is transparent, golden brown and soft, then the soffritto is ready.


Pro Tips For a Good Soffritto

  • Do not use food processor to save time chopping vegetables. The heat of the blender may alter the taste of the vegetables.
  • Don't raise the flame too high - you'll end up burning the stir-fry.
  • While cooking, stir with a wooden spoon.
  • The oil should not be too hot, as you risk burning the vegetables
  • Add lukewarm water occasionally or if the soffritto dries out.
  • Soffritto doesn't need salt. It is the dish that will use the soffritto that gets salty.
  • Cover the pan or saucepan with a lid so that there is always useful moisture to keep the soffritto from sticking.
  • Use always fresh vegetables.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 182Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 43mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 2g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram and tag thebellavita_blog

How To Store Italian Soffritto

Freeze: Prepare a big batch of soffritto let it cool and freeze it in small portions in cube and then in a airtight container and, whenever you need it, use one or two cubes in a cold skillet with the addition of a drizzle of oil.

It never misses in the Italian kitchen

Fun Fact

In southern Italy there is a dish call “soffritto napoletano”.

It is not the usual soffritto, it is a typical dish compose of pork offal consisting of liver, heart, lung, spleen and trachea, cooked in tomato paste and peppers flavored with hot peppers, bay leaf and rosemary.

the bella vita blog

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe