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Creamy Mushroom Pasta Sauce

4.92 from 57 community reviews

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This quick (under 30-minutes) recipe is all about mushroom sauce for pasta! You get chunky, meaty mushrooms with a delicious light and creamy pasta sauce. It’s one of those perfect date-night or weeknight pasta dinner recipes.

A bowl of linguine on top of a linen napkin, with sliced mushrooms, fresh herbs and grated cheese, and a fork on the side.

Because I crave mushrooms at least once a week and pasta almost daily, I’m always creating a new mushroom pasta recipes, and this one is SO GOOD!

Mushrooms are an excellent source of nutrients, from B vitamins to zinc to folate. That means indulging in the daily mushroom fix is probably super good for you, right?

This simple creamy mushroom pasta dish is one to add to your rotation — I think it’s absolutely delicious.

Ingredient to make mushroom pasta sauce arranged on a surface, including button mushrooms, thyme, shallot and cream.

Ingredients for mushroom pasta

The beauty of this dish is how a handful of ingredients come together to make an incredibly tasty restaurant-worthy dish.

In addition to extra virgin olive oil and kosher salt, here’s what you need to make the pasta:

  • White button mushrooms and/or brown cremini mushrooms: I like to use half and half mixture of both
  • Garlic: Depending on the size of your garlic cloves, you’ll need 2 or 3, to make 1 tablespoon finely chopped (or minced) garlic.
  • Shallot: You can substitute with yellow or white onion if you don’t have shallots on hand.
  • Fresh thyme: Use 1 teaspoon dried thyme instead.
  • Dried long pasta: Linguine, spaghetti or fettuccine pasta, cooked until al dente — Learn how to cook pasta correctly
  • Lemon: Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds brightness to the rich-tasting sauce.
  • Creme fraiche (or sub with heavy cream)
  • Crushed red chili
  • Parsley
  • Parmesan
White and brown cremini mushrooms in a white bowl on a marble surface.

How to make mushroom sauce

  • Heat olive oil a large saute pan, preferably non-stick, then add the mushrooms in one layer. The simple “chef trick” here is allowing the mushrooms to cook in the hot pan without stirring for about 5 minutes.

This process browns the mushrooms before they start to release water, which deepens the mushroom flavor and keeps them from getting mushy.

  • After they brown, add salt along with shallot and garlic.

Another pro tip: Adding salt to food as it sautés encourages liquid to release, which is what you want at this point to soften the shallots quickly.

Linguine in a bowl, tossed with sauteed mushrooms, fresh herbs and grated cheese, with a fork on the side.
  • Finish the sauce with some of the pasta water (generously salted so it adds more flavor), lemon juice and cream.
  • If you’re not vegetarian, you can use use chicken stock instead of the starchy pasta cooking water for the sauce.
  • Toss the cooked pasta directly in the pan to meld with the mushroom sauce.

Best cream to use for mushroom pasta sauce

I love creme fraiche for baking and cooking, especially in this recipe.

It almost tastes like a tangy combo of butter and heavy cream. It will keep for weeks in the coldest part of the fridge, so it’s good to have around 🙂

Linguine in a bowl, tossed with sauteed mushrooms, fresh herbs and grated cheese, with a fork on the side.

This is not an overly creamy or gummy sauce, which is kind of a pet peeve of mine in creamy sauces.

Light pan sauces like this one will naturally coat the pasta when you toss them together in the skillet. I tend to avoid using flour as a thickener because it can become pasty and unpleasantly starchy.

More easy mushroom pasta recipes

Linguine with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Creamy Mushroom Pasta Sauce

Karen Tedesco
This hearty mushroom sauce for pasta is perfect for a quick, elegant pasta dinner. Toss your favorite pasta with sliced mushrooms, herbs, garlic, cream and plenty of Parmesan cheese.
Print Pin
4.92 from 57 community reviews
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • pounds white button or cremini mushrooms, or a mixture of both
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ pound linguine, spaghetti or fettuccine pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • cup creme fraiche or heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions 

  • Prepare the mushrooms: Trim the stems off the mushrooms. Tear the caps into generous bite-sized pieces – you want a nice chunky texture.
  • Bring a large (5-6 quarts) water to a boil along with 4 tablespoons kosher salt (or use 1 ½ tablespoons regular table salt). Cook the pasta according to package directions, until al dente. Before draining the pasta, scoop out 1 cup of the cooking water and reserve.
  • While the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a large (12-inch) skillet (preferably nonstick) over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms to the pan and spread them out in one layer. Cook 5 minutes without stirring. Give the pan a shake and stir the mushrooms around. Cook another 5 minutes.
  • At this point, the mushrooms should be taking on some color and releasing some liquid. Add 1 teaspoon salt, shallots, garlic, thyme and chili and stir well. Cook until the shallots are softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the lemon juice, creme fraiche and parsley to the mushrooms. Simmer until the sauce thickens. Add ⅓ cup of the reserved water and stir, scraping the pan to release any browned bits.
  • Put the cooked pasta in the pan and use tongs to toss in the sauce. Add a bit more pasta water if the sauce seems dry. Remove from the heat, sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

Variations:
  • Crumble cooked, crisp smoky bacon over the finished dish if you want to add meaty heft.
  • Add a few handfuls of tender spinach greens to the pan in the last step until they wilt into the sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 135mg | Potassium: 661mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 339IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe? Search @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Pinterest

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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21 Comments

  1. Jan Young says:

    5 stars
    Even though I forgot the garlic I chopped, it was still a really flavorful Mushroom pasta. I used the creme fraiche which I needed to use up and added the bacon bits and spinach so it was a perfect pasta meal. I love when I can use my herbs and lemons from my garden. I have always chopped my mushrooms and this was a new experience to just tear the Cremini mushrooms in large chunks. My husband had seconds…..Thanks!

  2. 3 stars
    This recipe was good, but SUPER salty! I don’t think the pasta water requires that much kosher salt. I’ll make it again, but reduce the salt by half.

    1. Hi Jody! When properly salted, pasta water should be seasoned with about 1 tablespoon kosher salt per quart of water. Is it possible your pot is smaller than 6 quarts?

  3. Christine J says:

    5 stars
    I loved the simplicity of this recipe. It was thoroughly delicious and devoured!! Just a note to say lately I’ve been browning mushrooms without oil or anything and they turn out beautifully. Thank you for the awesome recipe!!

    1. I’m happy you enjoyed it Christine! Yes, the cool thing about mushrooms is that they release water at a certain point during cooking, which helps keep them from sticking to the pan after browning 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    The BEST, thank you, thank you!!!!

  5. 5 stars
    Perfect for me! Delicious said my guests! Thank you, happy with your recipe.
    I just added some beyond meat for annexeren bite 🙂

  6. Karen Wieprecht says:

    5 stars
    LOVED this, added just a bit of truffle oil to my plated portion, and that took the bright, earthy flavor to a whole other level. Fabulous!

  7. Linda Johsnon says:

    4 stars
    To make this vegan, what do you suggest using for the cream? Would coconut cream suffice? Would the flavor change to more coconut taste?

    1. Hi Linda, I suggest using full-fat oat milk. Coconut milk will result in a similar consistency to the the cream, but it does have a distinct taste. Hope that helps!

  8. 5 stars
    I just made this tonight and it’s freaking amazing!!! The chopped bacon on top was a definite plus

  9. 5 stars
    I made this last night to go with some seared scallops. I intended to make it exactly as written, but somehow I missed the parmesan. It was wonderful anyway, but the next time I make it (and there will definitely be several next times!), I will add the cheese. Everyone loved it.

  10. 5 stars
    I LOVE this recipe! It’s fast, easy and delicious. Thank you for sharing it😘

  11. Susan King says:

    5 stars
    This was easy and very tasty will definitely use it again!
    Could use with mussels too 🙂

  12. jan gartside says:

    just read this recipe on line … sounds excellent…. going to cook it for supper !! am excited will report back!!!!

  13. Jeremy R. says:

    5 stars
    My wife and I are mushroom LOVERS and this recipie nails the mark for sure. Super fast and easy with lots of flavor. We demolished all of this pasta with ease and I’d recommend (if you’re like us) to double everything ingredient-wise so you have lunch prepared for the next day 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  14. Funghi are a staple in our house and this recipe was so easy and incredibly delicious. Love using creme fraiche instead of heavy cream. Next time will add spinach and bacon! Delizioso!

    Can’t wait for the cookbook!

  15. This recipe was so so good! Easy to make and the two of us just keep eating all of it until it was gone! So quick and easy too!! Will definitely make it again!

  16. super delicious, and easy to make! we made 2 large servings. yum!