This creamy vegan mushroom pasta will quickly become a dinnertime favorite. Penne pasta is tossed with a mix of garlicky sautéed mushrooms and a deliciously silky dairy-free sauce for this easy weeknight recipe.
While I’ll happily make pasta any time of year, there’s something about the cooler weather that makes me crave it even more. A creamy, comforting bowl of pasta is the perfect antidote to chilly weather which is why this vegan mushroom pasta is one of my favorite dinners this time of year.
Loaded with garlicky mushrooms and a rich, creamy sauce, it’s one of those meals that’s deceptively easy to make but is rich with flavor.
(Here are a few notes about the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe. As always find the full list of ingredients and directions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.)
There are three main parts to this creamy mushroom pasta: the pasta, the cream sauce and the mushrooms.
- For the pasta – I like to use chickpea pasta since its more filling than regular pasta as well as gluten-free, but feel free to substitute your favorite kind of pasta. Stick to pasta shapes with ridges (like penne) which are best for grabbing on to the creamy sauce.
- For the cream sauce – This is where the magic happens, instead of a heavy cream, butter and cheese based sauce we are making a creamy vegan alfredo sauce that gets its smooth and silky texture from cauliflower and cashews. It tastes rich and indulgent without needing a drop of dairy and can even be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until you are ready to make dinner.
- For the mushrooms – I like to use a combination of cremini (also called baby bella) and shitake mushrooms for the best flavor, but you can use all creminis if shitakes are hard to find. Try to avoid white button mushrooms if you can as they aren’t the most flavorful. The mushrooms are sautéed with both garlic and thyme until golden and caramelized then finished with chopped parsley.
How to Make Vegan Mushroom Pasta:
(Here are the basic steps and some helpful tips on how to make the recipe. Find the full directions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.)
- You’ll start by making by the cream sauce. Cauliflower and cashews are simmered in water until tender then blended with either vegan butter or olive oil to create the sauce.
- Next you’ll cook your pasta according to the package directions.
- While your pasta is cooking you’ll sauté the mushrooms.
- Once your mushrooms are done and your pasta is ready simply drain the pasta, pour it back into the pot along with the cream sauce and mushrooms and stir until warmed through. That’s it!
Tips for Sautéing Mushrooms:
- Don’t over-crowd the pan or the mushrooms will steam instead of brown. If you don’t have a large enough pan then cook the mushrooms in 2 batches.
- Allow the mushrooms to brown in the pan for a few minutes before you start stirring to help them brown evenly.
- Don’t add the salt, herbs or garlic until the end. Salting too early will prevent the mushrooms from browning and adding the herbs or garlic at the end will prevent them from burning.
Penne pasta is tossed with a mix of garlicky sautéed mushrooms and a deliciously silky dairy-free sauce for this easy weeknight recipe.
For the cream sauce:
- 8oz/227g fresh or frozen cauliflower florets
- ¼ cup/28g raw cashews
- 2 Tablespoons/30g vegan butter or extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅛th teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
For the pasta:
- 8oz/227g chickpea penne pasta (or pasta of choice)
For the sautéed mushrooms:
- 2 Tablespoons/30ml extra virgin olive oil
- 8oz/227g cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 8oz/227g shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely grated on a microplane
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
For the cream sauce:
- Place cauliflower and cashews in a medium saucepan and cover with about 4 cups of water until fully submerged. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender (about 8-10 minutes).
- Reserve half a cup of the cooking water before draining. Drain and transfer the cauliflower and cashews to a blender along with the reserved cooking water. Add the butter or olive oil, salt and black pepper. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Set aside until needed or refrigerate if not using immediately.
For the pasta:
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot along with the cream sauce.
For the sautéed mushrooms:
- Heat the olive oil a large sauté pan over medium heat, add mushrooms and quickly toss to coat then spread into a single layer.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes heat without stirring until browned on one side. Stir and continue to cook stirring occasionally for an additional 3-4 more minutes.
- When mushrooms are tender add garlic, salt, and thyme. Cook for 1-2 more minutes, stirring frequently so as not to burn the garlic. Remove from heat, stir in parsley
- Add sautéed mushrooms to pasta and cream sauce and stir to combine. Serve warm.
Substitute your favorite ridged pasta if desired. Use a blend of your favorite mushrooms for sautéing. Add chopped baby spinach to pan with mushrooms when adding the garlic and cook until just wilted for a spinach and mushroom variation.
Pasta is best served fresh but can be stored in an airtight container in fridge for 3 days and re-heated in a pan, adding splash of water to loosen the sauce.
Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 487Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 420mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 9gSugar: 7gProtein: 12g
Nutritional information for recipes contained on this website, such as calories, fat, carbs, etc. are only estimates and are not guaranteed to be accurate.
Sylvie Shirazi is the recipe developer and food photographer behind Gourmande in the Kitchen. For the last 10 years she's been making eating more healthfully easy and accessible with gluten-free, grain-free, paleo and vegan recipes that are free from processed ingredients.