chanterelle sauce

5 from 9 votes
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Most of us gather chanterelle mushrooms in summer, so this chanterelle sauce celebrates that with fresh herbs and corn. It’s great over fish, poultry, pasta or just good, crusty bread.

A plate of fried walleye with chanterelle sauce.

Chanterelles are a summer classic, arriving as early as May in the South, popping all summer in most of the country, then kicking into high gear in August in places like Minnesota and Canada. They’re a winter mushroom along the Pacific Coast.

Many species of chanterelle mushroom exist, but most people collect Cantharellus cibarius, the common golden chanterelle. They’re bright apricot, aromatic, resistant to bugs and easy to identify. I have a whole guide to collecting and cooking chanterelles here.

When I designed this chanterelle sauce, I was torn between a smooth sauce and a chunky one. I decided on the chunky one because, frankly, I wasn’t going to make a smooth one any better than my smooth chanterelle soup. If you want to make a smooth chanterelle sauce, make that soup but thin it only to the consistency of gravy. It’s amazing and elegant.

This sauce is chunky, with lots to hold your interest: chanterelles, shallots, roasted garlic, corn and fresh herbs. I am partial to a chiffonade of basil.

My recipe for chanterelle pasta is vaguely similar, and this sauce would indeed go great with pasta or polenta.

You get creamy richness, lots of savory notes from the chanterelles and roasted garlic, a sweet crunch from the fresh corn, balanced with the herbal aroma of the basil. It’s a winner.

A pretty little chanterelle mushroom from Minnesota.

cooking chanterelles

Generally speaking, chanterelle mushrooms are watery. Not always, but often. This can be a problem in other recipes, but you can use this to your advantage with a chanterelle sauce: Once the chanties release their water as you sauté them, that liquid helps make the sauce better.

You can dice your chanterelles if you want, like a classic duxelle, but I prefer to pull them apart. Chanterelles will cleave along natural fiber lines and I like that. But you do you.

A note on this: I, along with many other chanterelle gatherers, like to sauté a batch, let it cool, then vac seal it in the freezer for the rest of the year. This chanterelle sauce works very well with thawed out, pre-sauteed chanterelles.

Chanterelle sauce over fish, served at sunset.

Chanterelle sauce variations

To me, what makes my chanterelle sauce different is that I use roasted garlic in it — a whole head. I love roasted garlic, so I think it works, but if you’re worried about the amount, roast a whole head and only use half; save the rest for toast.

This is the only time-consuming bit of my recipe, and it can be done ahead of time. If you hate garlic, I am very sorry for you, but yeah, you can skip it.

I prefer shallots as the onion element in this sauce, but you could use yellow onions if shallots are really expensive or you can’t find them. Butter is a must, unless you have a very good reason for not using it.

I slice kernels off a fresh ear of corn because chanterelles and corn are in season at the same time. But there’s no reason you can’t use thawed frozen corn instead. You’ll want to do this if you’re in California or the Pacific Northwest, where the two ingredients are not in season simultaneously.

Basil is my herb of choice here. It’s sweet aroma really brings the chanterelle sauce up, and it’s summery. But rosemary, thyme, summer savory, parsley, maybe cilantro, also would work.

serving chanterelle sauce

As you can see, I went full Minnesota and serve my Minnesota-gathered chanterelles with walleye cooked “shore lunch” style. Chanterelle mushrooms work very well with fish of all kinds, as well as light meats like chicken, turkey, pheasant, quail or rabbit.

This sauce also makes a great vegetarian supper when paired with pasta, polenta or good crusty bread.

Once made, it will keep in the fridge a few days.

If you liked this recipe, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below; I’d love to hear how everything went. If you’re on Instagram, share a picture and tag me at huntgathercook.

A plate of fried walleye with chanterelle sauce.
5 from 9 votes

Chanterelle Sauce

An easy, delicious chanterelle sauce with roasted garlic, shallots, corn and fresh herbs.
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Sauce
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes


  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1/2 to 1 pound fresh chanterelles, chopped or pulled into small bits
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup Madeira, sherry or brandy (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or fresh)
  • 1 cup corn kernels, or cut from 1 ear
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, minced or sliced thin


  • Preheat the oven to 400?. Slice off the top quarter of the head of garlic. Set it in a nest of foil, cut side up. Drizzle a little olive oil on the cut side. Close the foil over the garlic and set in the oven to roast for 1 hour. Remove, let it cool a little, then squeeze out the garlic from the paper. Set aside.
  • Heat the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the butter is hot, add the minced shallot and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the chanterelles, salt everything in the pan well, and sauté until the mushrooms release their liquid. Add the reserved roasted garlic and mix it into the liquid until combined. Add the brandy, if using, and bring to a boil.
  • Stir in the thyme, corn kernels and heavy cream. Drop the heat to medium-low. Let this cook a minute or three. Sprinkle the herbs over and serve.


If you roast the garlic ahead of time, you will save an hour off prep. 


Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 104mg | Potassium: 437mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1041IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Tag me today!Mention @huntgathercook or tag #hankshaw!

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About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

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Recipe Rating


  1. five stars as I have come take for granted. I am not a man of means but heart. I have just arrived in the Clearwater of Idaho. hoping to move here eventually. living on lake Chelan at the moment.

    I owe you dinner. My chukars in bosc pears, shallots, chanterelles, and cognac became an instant classic within my circle by the way. So after I get settled in Idaho or before on lake Chelan for landlock kings with one of a kind flesh ( diet and water) either dinner includes a guided trip by a professional guide. I get to come watch. Thank you (You don’t look like an English Setter). You are a constant inspiration.

  2. This is a killer recipe. I made it with a nice sturdy Italian pasta…made everyone happy. I rarely find recipes that I don’t tinker with, but this is one to cook as is. The balance of flavors is spot on, and definitely go for the whole head of roasted garlic. The dish comes together quick and we got our guests involved by having them rip the chanterelles apart…big hit! Thanks for this Hank!

  3. HOLY MOLY!!
    Friend brought over some Lake Erie Walleye and I had chanterelles and some sweet corn and we ate like kings! I was skeptical about the combination but it worked so well! I didn’t have fresh garlic so I had to do powder and add a little more shallot. Also, I got a nice bottle of sherry- not just the grocery cooking kind and that also helped add a little more depth. Yes, chanterelles and sweet corn were meant to be married. Gonna try to do a chanterelle corn chowder based on this sauce- just need to invite a friend that makes good bread! We love your site and recipes- live with a bird hunter so always love the ideas.

    1. Tim: I never dry chanterelles because they lose all flavor, in my opinion. So no, I’ve never tried this with reconstituted ones, sorry.

  4. Hello Hank, this recipe sounds delicious! I will be heading to MN the second week of October for grouse. Will there still be Chanterelles in the woods at that time? Thanks very much.

    1. Mike: Yes, there should be. From what I understand, and remember I *just* moved back to MN, is that some chanterelles will still be there into October, weather permitting.

  5. You’re not local to me in CA anymore, but thanks for making this recipe work for all of us. I just have to remember it once winter comes.

  6. Mushrooms are popping up late here at 10k feet, just now getting boletes and chanterelles. Looking forward to gathering those little nuggets of gold and I will be making your sauce. Thanks for posting, it’s a beautifully put together recipe, as is your chanterelle soup.
    Hoping you’re enjoying your new home.