Quick and easy mint sauce


I’m blogging this recipe for my friend Rhiannon Irving – who has been a fantastic support to me through the ups and downs over the past few years. She needs a mint sauce recipe for tomorrow night’s dinner – and being the type of person who has one lying around, I promised her I’d blog it.

If you grow your own mint, or have any left over from a bunch, here’s a very good use for it. And once you know how to make your own mint sauce, you’ll never buy it from the supermarket again.


2 large handfuls of fresh mint
6 tbsp white wine vinegar
6 tbsp boiling water
2 tbsp sugar

First, finely chop the mint. I pop mine into a large mug, stalks included, and chop chop chop with kitchen scissors until finely…chopped. (Massive overuse of the word ‘chop’ here, so feel free to snip, cut, hack, as you feel appropriate.)

Scrape into the jar that you will be storing in, and add a pinch of salt, the sugar, and the boiling water. Screw the lid on tight, and shake to combine. Unscrew the lid and leave to cool.

When cooled, add the vinegar, stir, and lid again. Pop in the fridge and use as required.

Best made a day ahead to allow the flavours to develop.

Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe. Find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack

A Girl Called Jack is available to order here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Girl-Called-Jack-Monroe/dp/0718178947


  1. My mum used to make her mint sauce like this,except she used old fashioned malt vinegar,it works perfectly well so long as you don’t overdo the amount.

    • I’ve never had mint sauce made with white vinegar when I lived in Wales. It was always a little sweet-sour, the perfect balance made with malt vinegar.

  2. Great recipe! We used to make our own mint sauce all the time in the US, because we could never find it in the shops! We’ll have to try this one!

  3. I have shed loads of mint in my garden right now, very tempted to make some of this! The only question as a veggie – so no roast lamb for us – is what to do with mint sauce? I guess it would go nice on new potatoes?

    • Hmm, getting visions of new a potato, green bean and pea salad with homemade mint sauce dressing – a little crumbling of that ‘greek style cheese’ to top it off!

    • mix some with yogourt and mayo or salad cream (half and half), and pour over just about anything veggie it’s delish

    • Our local coffee shop does a mint pea and I think feta frittata, spinach or rocket would be nice in it as well.

    • Grilled eggplant? (or aubergine as your lot say) … marinated in some garlic and olive oil then grilled until slightly black? With mint sauce and perhaps a dollop of yoghurt?

    • This is an old post but if you are still hanging out here! As a vegetarian I use it in carrot or quince salad, make it early so it can draw through! Let your imaginations run wild with mint sauce. Enjoy

  4. My Grandma used to make mint sauce when we had lamb – just finely chopped mint and sugar dissolved in a little malt vinegar. Savoury! Lovely! Nostalgic!

  5. the other stuff in the picture, nasturniums, are actually quite nice in your salad, a bit peppery, I put them on ham sandwiches if I have no salad left, some people like the flowers.

    • When the flowers die, don’t dead-head, leave until the seed pod develops then pick while still green and plump. Prick with a pin several times and pickle in vinegar – great alternative to capers: Or just add them raw to a salad etc.

  6. I make mint sauce with finely chopped fresh mint leaves, a big handful + half water half malt vinegar enough to cover and a pinch of sugar, keeps for days in the fridge and tastes great with lamb, cottage pie, mashed potato etc.

    Malt vinegar, water and sugar with sliced cucumber & finely sliced onion is an old-fashioned salad dressing I’ve used a lot too- cucumber sliced a bit thicker on it’s own in the vinegar mix is so good I can enjoy it as a cheap sandwich on thin sliced brown bread! Probably goes well with salmon paste…

  7. Awesome, my nana made it that way and its lovely. I didn’t know about the sugar. It makes sense now. Will be making soon
    Per ordered your book for myself and for a friend
    I am so very pleased you blog.
    You rock, Jack

  8. Chop the mint leaves WITH sugar or honey on a chopping board with a sharp knife…then add balsamic vinegar ( white or black) or even a honeyed vinegar! It helps to smash the flavours!

  9. Excellent and nostalgic – always made for the for the Sunday roast lamb or, not long after the War pretty tough old mutton, pretending to be lamb!

  10. a low cost recipe I tried on the family yesterday, I used the half mince half vege mix and it was fine.
    STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS(makes 4 servings)
    1 pound (535g) of lean mince, or half mince and half vege,
    1 egg,
    ¼ cup almond milk/ cream,
    2 tbsp minced onion dried or ¼ cup fresh onion,
    ½ tsp seasoning salt,
    ¼ tsp lemon pepper,
    ½ tsp Italian seasonings,
    4 large cabbage leaves,
    Passata about 2/3 carton,
    2 to 3 tbsp herbs.
    1 – boil kettle, put boiling water in a pot and bring to the boil, turn heat off and blanche cabbage leaves for 5 mins until the leaves are pliable, drain leaves and allow to cool. Cut the thick v shaped stem from the leaf base after blanched.
    2 – combine egg, milk and seasoning, add to mince and form into 4 equal balls and shape into loaves and set aside.
    3 – place a ball of meat on a cabbage leaf and wrap it end over end, tucking in the ends, as if it were a small burrito.
    4 – place the rolls into an 8inch square baking dish and pour the passata over the top and a good few tbsp herbs. Bake at gas 5 for 1 hour with a lid or foil on top.
    Note – for the meat content I mixed half mince and half cooked vege from the night before as that is what I had and it worked out fine.

    • I make something similar to this but mix cooked lentils and cooked rice in Turkey mince, with garlic ginger and soy sauce. With the tomato juice/passata substitute 1/4 for Orange or pineapple juice, couple of table spoons of honey and vinegar. And serve with value noodles with peas and pineapple( I use pineapple in juice and add the juice to the sauce rather than buy carton especially!) Tada oriental inspired Turkey cabbage rolls in sweet and sour sauce!

  11. Took me back more years than I care to remember Jack. It used to be my job on a Sunday morning to pick the mint for the Sunday lamb roast from an old galvanised bucket that was housed at the bottom of the garden, then chop it up. Nobody bought mint sauce back then (I was born in black and white !). Mum used almost the same recipe and it tasted great. Have to admit though I haven’t made it myself for some years …..now where’s that old bucket?

    • yes, im from wales the land of lamb, always had mint in our garden and i picked it every sunday morning ready for the lamb too. i now use mint sauce with everything though, even chipsl lol.

    • yes, im from wales the land of lamb, always had mint in our garden and i picked it every sunday morning ready for the lamb too. i now use mint sauce with everything though, even chipsl lol. oh and a lovely refreshing drink in hot weather, mint leaves in iced water, i tear them to release more flavour and i drink it with hot water and sometimes a slice of lemon in winter. lovely

  12. Hi Jack, I don’t know if you have already posted on this and I just can’t find it- but can I please ask you how you go about budgeting for a whole week’s shopping and working out how much each meal costs and then making the big weekly picture? I know it sounds like such a basic question, but I think it’s the joined up thinking of a weekly budget as opposed to per meal budget that flummoxes people (or perhaps just me). I think how to shop on a budget is as challenging as cooking on a budget- the two go hand in hand, if you see what I mean. Thank you PS love all the recipes. Courgette fritters are a favourite- especially with a poached egg for breakfast!

  13. The shaking of the the Jar with Boiling water in it , has me concerned, surely the jar would explode.(very dangerous) stired not Shaken .

Leave a Reply