Delicious Cretan Mushrooms Cooked in a Red Wine Sauce: Manitaria Krasata

Cretan Mushrooms Cooked in a Red Wine Sauce
Cretan Mushrooms

Cretan cuisine is known for its simplicity, rich flavors, and use of fresh, local ingredients. One standout dish that exemplifies these qualities is mushrooms cooked in a red wine sauce. This hearty, flavorful dish is perfect as a side or a main course and showcases the unique culinary traditions of Crete. In this blog post, we will dive into the details of this delicious Cretan recipe, explore its key ingredients, and provide a step-by-step guide to making it at home. Additionally, we will address some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Cretan recipes and cooking with mushrooms.

What Makes Cretan Mushrooms Recipes Unique?

Cretan recipes are deeply rooted in the island’s history and culture. The cuisine emphasizes the use of fresh, locally sourced ingredients such as olive oil, vegetables, herbs, and seafood. The simplicity of the recipes allows the natural flavors of the ingredients to shine through. Cretan dishes often feature bold flavors and are known for their health benefits, thanks to the Mediterranean diet principles they follow.

The Ingredients of Mushrooms Cooked in Red Wine Sauce

Fresh Mushrooms

The star of this dish is fresh mushrooms. While you can use any type of mushroom, Crete is known for its wild mushrooms, which add a rich, earthy flavor to the dish.

Red Wine

Red wine is essential for creating the sauce. It adds depth and richness to the dish, enhancing the natural flavors of the mushrooms.

Olive Oil

Cretan olive oil is renowned for its high quality and distinctive flavor. It forms the base of the sauce and contributes to the overall taste of the dish.

Garlic and Onions

These aromatics provide a robust foundation for the sauce, adding complexity and flavor.


Traditional Cretan herbs like oregano, thyme, and bay leaves are used to season the dish, adding an aromatic touch.

Tomato Paste

Tomato paste adds a slight sweetness and depth to the sauce, balancing the acidity of the wine.

Salt and Pepper

These basic seasonings enhance the flavors of the ingredients and bring the dish together.

Step-by-Step Recipe: Mushrooms Cooked in Red Wine Sauce


  • 500 grams of fresh mushrooms (preferably wild)
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 4 tablespoons of Cretan olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions Mushrooms Cooked in a Red Wine Sauce:

  1. Prepare the Mushrooms: Clean the mushrooms thoroughly and slice them if they are large. Smaller mushrooms can be left whole.
  2. Sauté the Onions and Garlic: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they become translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  3. Add the Mushrooms: Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook until they release their moisture and begin to brown, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Incorporate the Tomato Paste: Stir in the tomato paste, ensuring that the mushrooms are well coated.
  5. Pour in the Red Wine: Add the red wine to the skillet and bring it to a simmer. Allow the alcohol to cook off for a couple of minutes.
  6. Season the Sauce: Add the dried oregano, thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
  7. Simmer the Sauce: Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until it thickens to your desired consistency.
  8. Serve and Enjoy: Remove the bay leaves before serving. Enjoy the mushrooms cooked in red wine sauce as a side dish or over a bed of rice or pasta for a complete meal.

FAQs about Cretan Recipes and Cooking with Mushrooms

What Are Cretan Recipes Known For?

Cretan recipes are known for their simplicity, use of fresh and local ingredients, and adherence to Mediterranean diet principles. They often feature olive oil, vegetables, herbs, and seafood.

Can I Use Different Types of Mushrooms for This Recipe?

Yes, you can use any type of mushroom you prefer. However, wild mushrooms are traditionally used in Crete and offer a unique, earthy flavor.

What Type of Red Wine Should I Use?

A dry red wine is recommended for this recipe. Varieties like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or a good Greek red wine such as Agiorgitiko work well.

Is This Dish Suitable for Vegetarians?

Yes, this dish is vegetarian and can easily be made vegan by ensuring that the tomato paste and other ingredients are free from animal products.

Can I Make This Dish in Advance?

Yes, this dish can be made in advance and reheated. In fact, the flavors often meld and improve after a day or two in the refrigerator.

Exploring More Cretan Recipes

If you’re interested in diving deeper into the world of Cretan cuisine, here are some additional recipes and resources to explore:

Cretan Staka

External Resources

For further reading and recipes, check out these external links:


Cretan recipes like mushrooms cooked in a red wine sauce offer a delightful taste of the island’s rich culinary heritage. This dish, with its earthy mushrooms and robust red wine sauce, is a perfect example of how simple ingredients can come together to create something truly special. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner

  1. Xinohondros Traditional Cretan Soup – Discover the unique flavors of this fermented wheat and goat’s milk soup.
  2. Cretan Cuisine: Vibrant Flavors – An overview of the vibrant and diverse Cretan cuisine.
  3. Gamopilafo: Cretan Wedding Rice – Learn more about the traditional wedding dish.
  4. Sfakianes Pites: Pies from Sfakia – A deep dive into another traditional dish from Sfakia.
  5. Greek Kalitsounia: The Crete Specialty – Explore the flavors of these savory Cretan pastries.
  6. Dakos Salad Recipe from Crete – A refreshing Cretan salad perfect for any meal.
  7. Cretan Honey: The Greek Island of Crete – Learn about the unique honey varieties from Crete.
  8. Traditional Greek Cooking Techniques – Explore the methods that make Greek cooking special.
  9. Exploring the Richness of Greek Desserts – A journey through the sweet side of Greek cuisine.
  10. Greek Food Festivals and Traditions – Celebrate Greek culture through its food festivals.
Author: Bob

With over 20 years in Bioinformatics and AI in Molecular Diagnostics, Bob Stavrou advises BiCos, focusing on authenticating OLIVE OIL DNA. He's also a passionate contributor to YouTube Cooking with Greek People and appeared on Greek TV show Savvatokiriako Me Ton Manesi, bridging science and culinary arts. Watch it on Alpha TV.

Table of Contents

About the Author