Creamy Mushroom Pasta
It’s official, fall has arrived, and that means cold weather and holiday festivities are around the corner!
Simple summer meals are set aside and replaced with cozy and comforting dishes, such as this Creamy Mushroom Pasta.
This recipe takes just 20 minutes to prepare, so you can enjoy this delicious dinner in no time at all.
If you’re looking for an elegant, yet hearty pasta recipe that can be whipped up on a busy weeknight or special occasion, this dish is for you.
Why You’ll Love This Creamy Mushroom Pasta:
- Ease: This mushroom pasta comes together in just 20 minutes, but is elegant and flavorful – the best of both worlds. Serve it on busy weeknights or special occasions!
- Flavor: Sautéed shallot, garlic, and caramelized mushrooms are combined with mascarpone cheese and grated Parmesan cheese to create a creamy and flavorful pasta sauce. Fresh lemon zest and chives add brightness and a pop of color.
- Versatile: While I’m partial to oyster mushrooms, feel free to substitute other mushroom varieties (see recipe box for substitution ideas). In a pinch, the mascarpone cheese can be swapped for crème fraîche or whipped ricotta cheese, for a lighter alternative.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Orecchiette Pasta – my pasta of choice for this dish is orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta), as it lends itself to being well and evenly coated in the creamy mushroom sauce. Fusilli will work well too. Or prepare this dish with homemade gnocchi for another twist.
- Shallots and Garlic – finely chopped, shallots and garlic lend great flavor and heft to this simple sauce.
- Oyster Mushrooms – fluted, fan-shaped mushrooms that have a silky texture once cooked. They are relatively delicate in flavor and require little to no prep or cleaning! See substitution notes below.
- Mascarpone Cheese – Mascarpone is a thick and delicate Italian cow’s milk cheese. It melts into pasta dishes beautifully and lends more body to sauces than heavy cream.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese – the king of cheeses, you’ll need finely grated parmesan cheese for both the sauce and serving.
- Lemon Zest – a touch of lemon zest provides a hint of acid to balance this creamy, rich sauce. Don’t skip it.
- Fresh Chives – for color, brightness, and flavor!
If You Can’t Find Oyster Mushrooms:
The oyster mushrooms can be substituted with a combination of wild and cremini (baby bella) mushrooms.
For an additional burst of umami flavor, rehydrate a small handful of dried porcini mushrooms in boiling hot water; drain and finely chop. After sautéing the fresh mushrooms, add to the skillet and toss to combine.
How to Make Creamy Mushroom Pasta:
Here are some tips on how to make creamy mushroom pasta at home, step-by-step!
- See recipe box below for full instructions. In a large (12-inch diameter) heavy-bottomed skillet, cook the shallots until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add the mushrooms and toss in the shallot and garlic mixture. Spread evenly across the surface of the skillet. Cook the mushrooms – stirring infrequently – until lightly caramelized. Keep warm.
- Cook the orecchiette pasta until al dente. Reserve at least 1 cup (240 mL) starchy pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and transfer to the skillet along with a splash of pasta water. Add the mascarpone cheese and toss to combine, adding the parmesan in handfuls until the pasta is evenly coated and creamy. Add the lemon zest and season to taste with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
- Serve the pasta and garnish with sliced chives and freshly grated Parmesan.
How to Serve This Dish:
This creamy mushroom pasta pairs well with simple vegetable side dishes, such as sautéed greens, green beans, or roasted broccoli.
A large green salad tossed with a bright acidic vinaigrette, such as this Shaved Fennel Arugula Salad or Shaved Vegetable Salad, is another great choice.
More Recipes to Try:
If you like this recipe, you’ll love this Creamy Leek and Pancetta Pappardelle. Or try these other hearty mushroom main course recipes:
Creamy Mushroom Pasta
- kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (15g) unsalted butter
- 2 large shallots (125g) finely chopped (roughly ¾ cup)
- 3 large garlic cloves (20g) finely chopped
- 1 lb (16 oz) oyster mushrooms caps trimmed from stem and roughly chopped
- ¾ lb (12 oz) orecchiette pasta fusilli or gnocchi work well here too
- 4 ounces (115g) mascarpone cheese
- ½ cup (2¼ ounces) finely grated parmesan (parmigiano-reggiano) cheese plus more for serving
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest from ½ lemon
- freshly ground black pepper
- finely sliced chives for garnishing
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a large (12-inch diameter) cast-iron skillet over medium heat until melted and lightly bubbling. Add the shallots and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the mushrooms and toss in the shallot and garlic mixture. Spread evenly across the surface of the skillet. Cook the mushrooms – stirring infrequently – until lightly caramelized, about 4 to 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Keep warm.
- Boil the orecchiette pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve at least 1 cup (240 mL) of starchy cooking water.
- Drain the pasta and transfer directly to the skillet along with a generous splash of pasta water. Add the mascarpone cheese and toss to combine, adding the parmesan cheese in handfuls until the pasta is evenly coated and creamy. The sauce should cling to the pasta. If the pasta is too thick, add a small splash of cooking water as needed. Add the lemon zest and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
- Serve the pasta and garnish with a generous sprinkling of sliced chives. Finish with more grated parmesan cheese.
- If you enjoyed this recipe, please leave a review and ⭐️ rating! Thanks so much!
If You Can’t Find Oyster Mushrooms:
- The oyster mushrooms can be substituted with a combination of wild and cremini (baby bella) mushrooms. For an additional burst of umami flavor, rehydrate a small handful of dried porcini mushrooms in boiling hot water; drain and finely chop. After sautéing the fresh mushrooms, add to the skillet and toss to combine.
3 Comments on “Creamy Mushroom Pasta”
Excellent! Did not find the mushrooms I wanted, but the cremini gave it a great taste. Will make this often. Thank you, Laura.
So glad to hear that! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!
This dish came together so quickly and was so yummy! My husband went back for seconds. It’s a perfect weeknight dinner or for dinner when you don’t want to eat meat. We will definitely be making this dish all Fall and Winter!