Sautéing sounds a lot more complicated and fancy than it is. In the French language, sauter means “to jump”. When sautéing something, all you’re doing is quickly “frying” diced or sliced ingredients while keeping them moving so they won’t burn.
Usually you’d use a fat, an oil, or a mixture of butter and oil. If you use regular butter, you have to really watch because butter has a low burning point.
Although you would typically use a frying pan to sauté, you can also do so in a saucepan before you add any liquid ingredients. Using a spatula, or wooden spoon, make sure to keep the ingredients moving, or “jumping” until they’re cooked. The picture shows an example of sautéing mushrooms that we did when we made the Mushroom Alfredo.