Mom's Mushroom Stew

Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Many years ago mom would make this Mushroom Stew many times during cold wintery snow days

We would pour this fabulous sauce over homemade crusty Italian bread, a vintage old recipe from childhood in Central New York.

It was actually a specialty in many local Italian Restaurants there in Utica, New York, and still is.

Always a Tuesday special somewhere in good ole Utica also referred to as "Little Italy".

Lucky for us our mom Margaret Ann Fanelli Colenzo was such a great cook we never had to visit those local establishments and at one time she even owned her own Italian deli.

Well to date I still make this even though the recipe now if around 90 years old because she learned from her mom.

Amazing the years that go by we still can remember through home-cooked meals the wonderful memories, aroma's and keep them going generation to generation.

Simple, easy, and just plain delicious.

The second recipe is from my late Aunt Mary Di Orio who always used Italian sausage in her recipe also very delicious.

I have both recipes in the printable recipe card below, just scroll to the end to print it off.

this is a pot of mushroom stew

Growing Up in Little Italy

Growing up in Utica, New York (also referred to as little Italy), we always had the best of best Italian foods.

Many households were Italian, and in our neighborhood, the mushroom stew was a once-a-week staple growing up.

It was an economical way to feed a large family.

My dad and brother would pick fresh mushrooms during the season they grew.

There was nothing better than a home-cooked meal like a mushroom stew with crusty Italian bread to comfort us.

The sauce is spectacular and if you are a mushroom stew lover, you need to make their recipes!

this is a pot of sauce

Tips and Suggestions

  1. mushrooms to use: white, portobello, porcini, shiitake, oyster
  2. meats to use: pork, veal, Italian sausage, (beef or chicken in a pinch) 
  3. peppers can be hot or sweet 
  4. serve over hard crusty bread, pasta, whipped garlic potatoes, or rice

sauteed mushrooms in a pan with a wooden spoon to stir them with

Other Stew Recipes

Meatball Stew
String Bean Stew
Italian Stew
One Pot Chicken Stew
Julia Child Stew

Ingredients You Will Need To Make Mom's Mushroom Stew

(for exact measurements scroll to the recipe card below)

  • crushed tomatoes
  • or fresh plum tomatoes crushed in a blender
  • sliced fresh mushrooms
  • fresh basil leaves
  • oregano
  • Burgundy wine or more if you like as it gets thicker use water if you do not like wine flavor
  • sugar
  • finely minced garlic, garlic powder
  • hot or sweet peppers
  • boneless pork, veal or beef cubed (we always used pork) and in a pinch grandma used chicken
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • minced celery
  • minced onions (optional)
  • sliced carrots for sweetness in the sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Italian bread

fresh plum tomatoes in a basket

Mom's Mushroom Stew Pin for Later

pin for later mom's mushroom stew

Mushroom Stew

These two versions are similar but with sausage and the other with meat.

Two different flavors, choose what you like and add what you want.

Cooking any recipe is just a basic guide and you can adapt this to however you prefer.

Both these recipes are vintage Classic Mushroom Stew Recipes from Central New York State and a staple in our home back in the 1960s.

If you love garlic bread try some of our Garlic Knots with this dish, they are delicious dipped in the sauce!

Mom's Mushroom Stew

Mom's Mushroom Stew Upstate New York Style Recipe

Yield: 6
There are two recipes for a Mushroom stew that mom and my Aunt made back in the 1960s. They are both different and delicious so you can choose from memory which one you prefer. One is made with sausage the other boneless meat.


  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes 
  • 28-ounce size or 4 pounds plum tomatoes crushed in a blender 
  • 2 pounds of sliced fresh mushrooms 
  • 1/4 chopped fresh basil leaves 
  • 1 teaspoon oregano 
  • 1/2 cup Burgundy wine or more if you like as it gets thicker use water if you do not like wine flavor 
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  •  4 cloves finely minced garlic + 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 2 or 3 chopped hot or sweet peppers
  • 2 pounds boneless pork, veal or beef cubed (we always used pork) and in a pinch grandma used chicken 
  • 1/2 teaspoon or more red pepper flakes to taste 
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1/2 cup finely minced celery 
  • 1/2 cup finely minced onions (optional) 
  • Options: sliced carrots for sweetness in the sauce 
  •  Olive oil
  •  Italian bread


How to cook Mom's Mushroom Stew Upstate New York Style Recipe

  1. In a large sauce, pot adds 1/4 cup oil.
  2. Brown the meat.
  3. Lower heat, add the garlic, onion, celery, cook until soft around 3 minutes.
  4. Do not brown garlic.
  5. Add everything else.
  6. Simmer on low for at least 2 1/2 hours or until meat falls apart.
  7. Add more wine or water is getting too thick.
  8. Serve over Hard crusted Italian bread.
  9. Aunt Mary's Recipe:
  10. 3 lbs hot sausage
  11. 2 medium onions cubed
  12. 3 bell peppers chopped
  13. 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  14. 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  15. 2 pounds fresh mushrooms
  16. 3- 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  17. 3 teaspoons salt
  18. 3 teaspoons black pepper
  19. 1/2 cup olive oil
  20. In a large saucepan fry onion, peppers, garlic in olive oil until soft and clear. 
  21. Add the sausage, cook till completely browned. 
  22. Add mushrooms, tomatoes, seasonings to taste and parsley. Simmer on low for 3 hours.
  23. It can also be done in a crockpot. 
  24. Serve over rigatoni, ziti with lots of Romano cheese or over bread.
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Upstate New York Mushroom Stew, Mushroom Stew Recipe, Stew, Mushroom Recipes, Utica, New York Mushroom Stew
mushrooms, stew, soup, vegetables
Created using The Recipes Generator

Mom's Mushroom Stew Pin for Later

Other Stew Recipes

Meatball Stew
String Bean Stew
Italian Stew
One Pot Chicken Stew
Julia Child Stew

Disclosure: This recipe was originally shared in 2013. It was edited and re-published in 2018.