Easy Garlic Mushroom Pasta
Mushroom pasta with the most delicious garlic butter mushrooms. Thanks to our no-fail method for cooking mushrooms, this easy pasta comes together in under 30 minutes and tastes amazing! Jump to the Easy Garlic Mushroom Pasta Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.
This mushroom pasta recipe was a long time coming! Over the years I’ve shared many mushroom recipes with you, but have never shared our absolute favorite way to enjoy them.
Here it is. Our mushroom pasta is made with mushrooms cooked in olive oil, butter, garlic, herbs, and a bit of lemon for bright, fresh flavor.
We make this for ourselves on weeknights, but also love to serve it to friends when they come over for dinner. Honestly, I think this might be one of my favorite ways to eat mushrooms.
How to Make the Best Mushroom Pasta
I’ve shared my favorite way to cook mushrooms before and I use the exact same method for this easy pasta. You can use any type of mushroom for this. In our photos, we used cremini and shiitake mushrooms, but feel free to use what you have access to.
For a really spectacular pasta, use wild foraged mushrooms like morel mushrooms or chanterelle mushrooms. (If you do, can you invite us over for dinner, too?)
My Favorite Way to Cook Mushrooms
Our method calls on four simple tricks for browned, flavorful mushrooms:
Keep the mushrooms dry. If you notice any dirt on the mushrooms, use a slightly damp paper towel to brush it off. I don’t submerge them in water or rinse them. Mushrooms act like a sponge so water will be absorbed, which causes the final cooked mushrooms to be squeaky instead of flavorful and browned. (If your mushrooms are extremely dirty, you can quickly dunk them into some water, but make sure you pat them extra dry before cooking them.)
Cut or tear the mushrooms to a similar size. This applies to most things when cooking. If you are using a variety of mushrooms, cut — or if they are more fragile — tear the mushrooms so that they are all a similar size.
Don’t crowd mushrooms in the pan. Have you heard of this one before? Julia Child and other famous chefs have shared this time and time again. There’s a reason for that! If you pile raw mushrooms up on top of each other in a pan, they will steam. If instead, you spread them out so that they are only just touching one another, they will brown and crisp around the edges.
Salt mushrooms at the end of cooking. I know this seems odd, but mushrooms are one of the only things I salt towards the end of cooking. Salt brings out moisture, which in the case of mushrooms, prevents them from browning in the pan.
To see these tips in action, we have already shared a quick video showing how we cook mushrooms. You can watch it by clicking over to our blog post, How to Cook Mushrooms.
Adding The Pasta
To speed up the cooking process, I like to get my pasta water boiling at the same time as cooking the mushrooms. By the time the water is boiling, the mushrooms will be close to being done.
When the pasta has finished cooking, I toss it into the pan with the mushrooms along with a splash of starchy cooking water. The water helps the garlic and butter in the pan turn into a velvety sauce. We use the same strategy when making fettuccine alfredo and even these buttered noodles.
Mushroom Pasta Variations
Make creamy mushroom pasta by adding a splash of cream or half-and-half at the end.
For a chicken and mushroom pasta, add sliced grilled or baked chicken breasts to the top of the pasta. I especially love using this tomato basil baked chicken recipe with pasta.
To make the mushroom pasta vegan, swap the butter for a little extra olive oil. Nutritional yeast is also an excellent substitute for the parmesan cheese.
More Easy Mushroom Recipes
- Here’s our no-fail method for cooking mushrooms on the stove. It uses the same process as this mushroom pasta recipe.
- If you’d like to roast mushrooms, here’s our easy tutorial for roasting mushrooms.
- I love making these roasted portobello mushrooms in the morning. So satisfying!
- For a fun and easy appetizer, try our easy cheese stuffed mushrooms.
- I also love these sauteed mushrooms and truffle salt crostinis. Make them as an easy appetizer, lunch or enjoy for dinner!
Easy Garlic Mushroom Pasta
Our easy mushroom pasta is made with mushrooms — a variety of mushrooms work — cooked in olive oil, butter, garlic, herbs, and a bit of lemon for bright, fresh flavor. For a really spectacular pasta, try wild foraged mushrooms like morel mushrooms or chanterelle mushrooms. There’s no cream in this recipe. If you would like to add some, add a splash at the end of cooking (when you add the pasta).
You Will Need
8 ounces pasta like spaghetti, pappardelle or linguini
10 ounces mushrooms such as cremini, shiitake or Portobello (about 3 cups chopped or sliced)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon fresh grated lemon zest
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Prepare Mushrooms
- Cook Pasta
- To Finish
Using a damp paper towel, brush all dirt from mushrooms. Cut away and discard any hard stems. Chop into 1/4-inch slices or, if there are larger mushrooms like portobello, cut into 1/4-inch cubes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1/2 tablespoon of salt and the pasta.
Cook, stirring once or twice, for 1 minute less than the suggested cooking time on the package. The pasta will finish cooking when making the sauce. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water then drain pasta.
Heat olive oil in a large, wide skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and spread into one layer. Cook, without moving, until browned on one side, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir then cook another 3 to 5 minutes or until mostly golden brown on all sides.
To the mushrooms, add the butter, garlic, thyme, lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the garlic is fragrant and the butter absorbs into mushrooms, about 2 minutes.
Turn the heat to low and add the drained pasta, 1/4 cup parmesan, and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water. Use tongs to toss the pasta, cheese, and mushrooms around the pan for one minute.
If the pasta looks dry, add a splash more pasta water. If it seems wet, don’t worry, the pasta absorbs some the extra moisture as it cools.
Taste then adjust seasoning with salt and/or pepper. Stir in the lemon juice. Serve with parmesan and fresh ground black pepper on top.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Instead of regular salt in this recipe, try truffle or porcini salt: If you can find it (we buy it online or in specialty kitchen shops), swap regular sea salt for truffle or porcini salt. This deepens the mushroom flavor and tastes incredible!
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.