This Vegan Mushroom Pasta is the absolute best!! It's quick and easy to make, loaded with meaty mushrooms and spinach simmering in a luxurious vegan mushroom sauce made with cashew cream. Ready in under 30 minutes, it's a delicious, nourishing weeknight pasta recipe to feed your family.
As soon as the weather starts to cool off, I'm craving vegan comfort food. There's just something magical about a warm, creamy bowl of pasta that warms the body and soul.
Just like my Vegan Creamy Tomato Pasta and Veggie Pesto Pasta, this mushroom pasta sauce is exploding with flavor and comes together in under 30 minutes. It reminds me of a super creamy mushroom alfredo sauce. Needless to say, my family can't get enough of this pasta dish and neither can I!
Once you've decided which pasta to use (regular or gluten-free), these are the ingredients you'll need for the mushroom sauce:
- mushrooms, onions, fresh garlic, spinach, thyme, oregano, soy sauce, S&P
- cashew cream sauce: cashews, water, salt
- vegetable broth, fresh parsley, oregano or basil
- optional but incredible: porcini mushroom powder
Ingredient Substitutions & Variations
This vegan mushroom sauce recipe is very delicious and very forgiving. Here's a few substitutions to taking into account allergies and ingredients you have on hand:
Mushrooms: any type of mushrooms will work or mix a variety of mushrooms!
Veggies: I added spinach, but use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge/freezer. Broccoli, cauliflower or leeks pair well with this creamy mushroom sauce.
Mushroom Powder: I love the flavor of porcini mushrooms, but they are not available where I live so I often add a teaspoonful or two of porcini mushroom powder to savory dishes like this mushroom pasta sauce or my Curry Cauliflower Mushroom soup.
Pro Tip: for the most affordable mushroom powder, buy dry porcini mushrooms (bulk, Costco or Italian markets), pop some into a small food processor and blitz until finely ground. Store in a jar in the pantry.
Parmesan Cheese: add a sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese for extra umami flavor.
How to Make Mushroom Sauce for Pasta
- To begin, start the pasta water. Cook per package instructions. Be sure to reserve 1 cup of salty, starchy pasta water to thin the mushroom sauce.
- Then heat oil in a saute skillet. Add the mushrooms, garlic and spices and saute over medium-high heat until soft and fragrant. The mushroom will release their water, the heat will evaporate it and leave flavorful brown bits in the bottom of the pan.
- Deglaze the pan with water/broth/wine to incorporate that umami flavor into the sauce.
- While the mushrooms are cooking, make the cashew sauce.
- Add the tamari/soy sauce to the mushrooms and stir over medium-high heat until reduced. Add the cashew sauce and ½ a cup of pasta water. Bring the sauce up to a boil and then reduce the heat and let simmer.
- Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings as required. Add more water if needed to thin out the sauce. Fold the pasta into the sauce, top with chopped fresh herbs, black pepper and red chili flakes - enjoy.
- Cleaning Mushrooms: If you're like me, take the easy way to clean the mushrooms: place them in a colander and give them a light shower to wash away any dirt. Alternatively, you can wipe away any visible dirt with a damp kitchen towel or veggie brush. It's not recommended to put them in a bowl of water for an extended period (they soak up extra water).
- Million Dollar Flavor Tips: One of the ways to build flavor when cooking with vegetables is to brown the veggies which transforms their flavor, texture and smell bringing out complex notes that are nutty, sweet or savory (this is called the Maillard reaction).
Hand in hand with browning the veggies to extract flavor is to then deglaze the pan to dissolve the cooked food particles (brown bits) stuck to the bottom of the pan which incorporates that flavor back into the sauce. It's well worth the extra few minutes of cooking for the return on flavor!
- Toasting Nuts: Toasting raw cashew nuts transforms their flavor/texture as well!
Dry toast them in a skillet on the stove or roast them in the oven until lightly golden. Pro Tip: remove the nuts just before the color you want as they will continue to roast on the pan as they cool down. If you miss the point and the nuts/seeds are already golden, transfer them to a plate or cutting board immediately to cool. Toast a big batch to have on hand.
How long does it last?
Store leftover mushroom pasta in a covered container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or a saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat. You may need to add a splash of non-dairy milk to loosen up the sauce when reheating.
What goes with Spinach and Mushroom Pasta?
This creamy vegan mushroom pasta is a satisfying, nourishing meal on its own especially with the addition of spinach. However, if you're feeding a crowd, a few tasty side dishes help expand and stretch a meal - here's a few ideas:
- easy salads: rainbow salad, balsamic tomato cucumber salad, dairy free coleslaw
- homemade bread: vegan dinner rolls of French Bread dinner buns (same post)
- steamed or grilled vegetables: cauliflower, broccoli, carrots etc.
Easy Vegan Pasta Recipes
If you like this vegan mushroom pasta recipe, try some of these pasta recipes next:
- Baked Italian Crusted Tofu on Tomato Pasta
- Creamy Tomato Spinach Pasta
- Vegan Lasagna Roll Ups
- Homemade Vegan Pasta
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Quick and Creamy Vegan Mushroom Pasta
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- 4 servings pasta (whole grain, gf)
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and/or vegan butter
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 pound mushrooms, slice or rough chop
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (more to taste)
- ⅔ cup vegetable broth/water (to deglaze)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce (gf or tamari)
- 2 cups spinach, cut into ribbons
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
- 1-2 teaspoons dry thyme and/or oregano leaves
- ⅔ cup cashew nuts
- 1 cup hot water, boiled
- ½ teaspoon salt (more to taste)
- fresh parsley, basil or thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
Start the Pasta Water
- Cook the pasta as per package directions. Reserve one cup of salty pasta water before draining.
Prepare the Vegetables
- Dice the onion (white or yellow) and mince the garlic. Slice or rough chop the mushrooms. Slice the spinach into ribbons. (If baby spinach, can leave whole.)
Dairy Free Mushroom Sauce
- In large non-stick saute pan/wok style pan over high heat, add the oil, onions and mushrooms. Stir for a few minutes until they start to brown.
- Add the fresh garlic. Continue to cook until the mushrooms have released their water and the onions are golden and fragrant around 7-10 minutes). Add a splash or two of vegetable broth/water/wine just to deglaze the pan.
- Add the soy sauce, dry thyme & oregano, S&P and sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Add the spinach and reduce the heat to medium.
Cashew Cream Sauce
- While the mushrooms are cooking, make the cashew cream sauce.
- In the cup of a high-speed blender (such as Vitamix), add the raw cashews, boiling water, any remaining broth and blend until smooth and creamy. The mixture will be the consistency of thick(ish) milk.
Putting It All Together
- Pour the cashew sauce and half the pasta water into the mushroom-spinach mixture let it come to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Fold in the cooked, drained pasta. Add another splash of the pasta water if necessary to get the correct sauce consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary
- Garnish with chopped parsley/basil or fresh thyme leaves, a generous sprinkle of black pepper, and hot pepper flakes to taste. Enjoy!
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