This mushroom pasta is garlicky, buttery, and it only takes 30 minutes to make! Loads of mushrooms are tossed in a light cream sauce and dressed up with Parmesan and basil in this sure-to impress weeknight favorite.
This garlic mushroom pasta is packed with savory, umami vegetarian flavors! This is a surprisingly simple recipe, making it great for weeknight meals.
I am absolutely in love with this recipe because it is filled with savory, rich flavors. The mushrooms add a meaty texture to the otherwise luscious and creamy sauce.
- Sauce: Made with a silky smooth, lightly creamy and garlicky sauce.
- Quick & simple: Ready in 30 minutes using only 10 main ingredients.
- Flavors: Rich, decadent flavors from umami ingredients like miso, mushrooms, and garlic.
- Great for weeknight dinners or date nights. Garlic mushroom pasta also makes great leftovers!
What you'll need
- Mushrooms: Baby bella (crimini) and shiitake are my go-to. Any kind will work, like white mushrooms or wild mushrooms.
- Shallot: Substitute with yellow onion as needed.
- Garlic: Adjust garlic to taste. This recipe goes well with a LOT of garlic, hence the "mushroom garlic" name.
- Half and half and pasta water make up the silky sauce. Heavy cream also works if you want an even more decadent sauce.
- Yellow miso: White miso also works if that's what you have available. This is a salty, super umami soy-based ingredient. You can usually find it in the "natural foods" section or at an Asian grocery store.
- Pasta: Fettucine is my go-to, but mushroom pasta is good with any kind of pasta shape.
- Lemon (not pictured): Use one lemon for the lemon wedges and lemon zest.
Step by step instructions
Before you begin: Before draining the pasta, make sure to reserve at least 1 cup of pasta water. Pasta water is salty and starchy which adds creaminess and helps hold the sauce to the pasta.
- Heat a tall-walled skillet (like this), AKA sauté pan, over medium-high heat. If you don't have that, a Dutch oven will work (that's what I used in the cooking video). Once hot, add butter.
- Once melted, add the sliced mushrooms and diced shallot. Sauté until softened and golden, about 8 minutes. There will be a small amount of liquid when the mushrooms are cooked.
- Whisk miso with 1 tablespoon of water to thin (this helps make sure it can thoroughly mix with the sauce). Add in the minced garlic, miso and soy sauce. Cook another 1- 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle in all-purpose flour. This helps thicken the sauce. Cook another minute. The sauce will look glossier and thicker.
5. Over medium-low heat, slowly whisk in the half and half and ½ cup of pasta water.
6. Add lemon zest, then simmer over medium-low heat until the mushroom sauce is thickened. Note that it will thicken quickly once taken off the stove. Add extra pasta water as needed to thin the sauce. For serving, add the pasta directly to the sauce or top individual portions of pasta with sauce.
Serving: Top each portion with a squeeze of lemon, sprinkle of basil, and hearty helping of shredded Parmesan. The acidity from the lemon is important to round out the dish, so don't skip it!
Expert tips and recipe FAQ
- For the best mushroom flavor, cook the mushrooms in a wide bottom pan with tall sides. This allows the mushrooms to spread out and brown instead of simmering in their juices. A Dutch oven or small sauce pot works if that's what you have on hand, but will yield less golden mushrooms.
- Herbs: If you have fresh herbs on hand, feel free to add them in with the garlic. Thyme, parsley and rosemary are all great options.
- Portion size: This recipe is made with 8 ounces of pasta, which yields ~4 servings for medium appetite eaters. It usually makes about 2 meals each for me and my partner. You may want to increase pasta to 12 ounces for big appetites.
Mushroom pasta is definitely best the day it is made, but it will keep 3-4 days in the fridge. Add a splash of vegetable broth or half and half before reheating individual servings in the microwave or on the stove-top over medium-low.
I have not tested this recipe with dairy-free alternatives to half-and-half. Your best bet is to try an equal amount of full-fat coconut milk or cashew cream. You can use vegan butter and your favorite vegan Parmesan. You might like my vegan alfredo sauce instead.
Side note: My initial 2 tests of this recipe used only butter and olive oil for the sauce. You can certainly omit the half and a half and pasta water and opt for a drizzle of olive oil for a different style of mushroom pasta with a naturally dairy-free sauce.
You can use gluten-free pasta but do note that gluten-free pasta water isn't as consistently starchy as regular pasta water. You can still use that gluten-free pasta water to thin the sauce, it just may not cling to the noodles as well.
Use tamari in place of soy sauce and all-purpose gluten-free flour blend in place of flour to make the recipe entirely gluten-free.
Mushroom pasta is perfect with a garlic knot or buttery piece of garlic bread and a green salad. For a serving of plant-based protein, add a can of chickpeas or baked tofu. This recipe goes over well with non-vegetarians and can easily be served with your favorite non-vegetarian protein.
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Creamy Mushroom Pasta
- 8 ounces fettucine or pasta of choice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 16 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms see note #1
- 2 small shallots finely chopped; yellow onion also works
- 1 tablespoon yellow miso mix with 1 tablespoon water
- 4-6 cloves garlic minced; adjust to taste
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional, adds light heat
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 cup half and half
- ½ cup pasta water from the cooked pasta
- 1 lemon sliced into wedges
- basil for garnish
- Parmesan for topping
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cook pasta in well salted water according to package instructions. Reserve at least ½ cup pasta water. I usually reserve 1 cup just in case more is needed.
- Once melted, add the sliced mushrooms and diced shallot. Sauté until mushrooms are softened and golden, about 8 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk miso with 1 tablespoon of water to thin. Add in the miso, minced garlic, soy sauce and optional red pepper flakes. Cook another 1-2 minutes, until aromatic.
- Sprinkle in all-purpose flour. Sauté another minute to "cook" the flour.
- Turn heat down to medium-low. Stir in 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Slowly whisk in the half and half and ½ cup of pasta water. Simmer over medium-low heat until the pasta sauce is thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon without sliding right off. Add extra pasta water as needed to thin the sauce.
- Add the cooked pasta directly to the pasta sauce or serve individual portions topped with the mushroom sauce. Garnish each portion with lemon wedges, ample grated Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.
- Mushrooms: Half baby bella/shiitake is also a good combo. White mushrooms work but won't be as flavorful. Wild mushrooms are delicious if you can get your hands on them.
- Leftovers: This recipe is best enjoyed immediately, but it will keep 3-4 days in the fridge. Add a splash of vegetable broth or half and half before reheating individual servings in the microwave or on the stove-top over medium-low.