Hands-down the BEST mushroom pasta recipe without cream! Rich and velvety with loads of mushrooms, garlic, shallots, a little parmesan, and a lighter silky-smooth sauce. Grab the tips and watch my video below.

A skillet with pasta and mushrooms, finished with parsley

Mushroom pasta for mushroom lovers

If you're a serious mushroom lover, this recipe is calling your name.

There is not a drop of heavy cream in this mushroom pasta goodness, but no one will even miss it! This pasta dinner is every bit as comforting and it plays up the earthy, umami taste of mushrooms in the best way possible!

The secret to the best mushroom pasta

The key to this savory, rich mushroom pasta lies in the perfect 3:1 mushroom to pasta ratio.

Yes, you read this correctly, you will be using three times the amount of mushrooms to the amount of pasta in this recipe.

And for lots of earthiness and depth of flavor, I use three kinds of mushrooms: white buttons, baby bella, and meaty portobello mushrooms. Like I said in the video below, it will feel like we are using a mount of mushrooms but they will cook down in your pan to the perfect amount you need for an appropriately mushroomy pasta.

The flavors from a bit of garlic, shallots, and piney rosemary are the perfect complement to the earthiness of mushrooms. And a simple sauce that relies on extra virgin olive oil, a splash of red wine, and a bit of the pasta starchy water is all you need (I will tell you a bit more about the sauce later).

In most recipes, the finishing touches are optional, but I highly recommend you do not skip the Parmesan and chopped walnuts.

pasta with mushrooms served on plate

How to cook mushrooms

Cooking mushrooms for pasta is simple. My preferred method is to sauté the mushroom. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when sautéing mushrooms:

  • Make sure the mushrooms are dry before you start. To clean off the dirt, use a lightly damp paper towel to wipe the mushrooms clean. If you wash them or submerge them in water, they will absorb water like a sponge and the final result will be squeaky mushrooms, not the texture you want.
  • Do not slice them too thinly. You want the mushrooms to hold their shape, and if you slice them too thinly, as they cook they will shrivel down to nothing. In this recipe, I do use three kinds of mushrooms: white buttons, baby bella, and large portobello mushrooms. The white buttons and baby bellas should not be sliced no thinner than ¼ inch (closer to ½ inch in thickness is good). And for the portobello mushrooms, chop them roughly to bite size pieces but do not mince them or chop them too finely.
  • Use a combination of extra virgin olive oil and just a little bit of butter to sauté the mushrooms. In this recipe I started with ⅓ cup of extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to cook a good pound and half of mushrooms with a bit of onions and garlic. If you use butter only, you will end up using too much butter because the bottom layer of the mushrooms will drink it up quickly, leaving the rest of the mushrooms dry. Allow them to cook for a little while then you can add another drizzle of olive oil.
  • Season the mushrooms. Once in the pan, give the mushrooms a good toss in the hot pan and cook briefly, then season. A good pinch of kosher salt helps coax out the moisture for savory and tender mushrooms. You can add other spices at this point too, I added some black peppers and rosemary.

The starchy pasta water makes the sauce!

A typical pasta with mushrooms would involve a heavy cream-based sauce that you would likely cook separately and then spoon all over the pasta. I find that often times, the creamy sauce drowns the pasta and mutes the natural taste and richness of the mushrooms. That is why I personally prefer my sauce without cream.

Making a hearty garlic mushroom pasta without cream or too much butter is fairly simple. The secret ingredient is: A little of the starchy pasta water!

Don't underestimate that little bit of the pasta cooking water. A small amount of the starchy pasta water acts as a thickener, and with just a bit of cooking fat (mostly olive oil), shallots and garlic, and a little red wine and tomato paste for umami, it creates a silky sauce for this pasta, eliminating the need for heavy cream. And it helps to finish with a bit of freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano.

For best results, I like to use a pasta that is short and has some textured ridges to hold on to the sauce and grated cheese.

Ingredients including pasta, mushrooms, grated cheese, parsley, shallots, walnuts, and tomato paste

How to make mushroom pasta

This mushroom and pasta recipe is an easy one with two main components: the pasta and the mushroom sauce. Once you cook the pasta and sauté the mushrooms, everything will come together with a light sauce in one pan. For my visually inclined friends, here is how this recipe goes (friendly recipe with ingredient measurements below):

  • Cook the pasta
    Get you water boiling in a large pot and make sure you salt it very well. Follow the pasta package instructions to cook the pasta to al dante. Mine took 9 to 10 minutes. Before you drain the pasta, make sure to reserve at least 1 cup of the starchy pasta cooking water for later use. Drain the pasta well.

    Mushrooms sautéed in cast iron skillet
  • Make the mushroom sauce
    Use a large pan or a well-seasoned cast iron skillet here. Start by sautéing chopped shallots and minced garlic in a good bit of extra virgin olive oil (I used ⅓ cup) and just a little bit of butter (1 tablespoon is all you need). Add your mushrooms (it will look like a big mountain of mushrooms in your skillet, but do not worry, they will cook down nicely. Toss the mushrooms around to coat and season them with kosher salt, a little black pepper and some rosemary.
    Once the mushrooms release their juices and gain some good color, add tomato paste, red wine, and about ½ to ¾ cup of the pasta cooking water. Cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes, and your gorgeous sauce is ready!

    Mushrooms cooked in cast iron skillet
  • Put the pasta together
    Now, combine the pasta and the mushrooms in your large pan. Toss well to make sure the pasta is coated. Grate some Parmesan on top and finish with a handful of fresh parsley, crushed walnuts (the walnuts add some great texture and a nutty flavor). For a little heat, add some crushed red pepper flakes, but that is totally optional.
Mushroom pasta in a cast iron skillet

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4.93 from 423 votes

Garlic Mushroom Pasta Recipe

Suzy Karadsheh of The Mediterranean Dish. In the kitchenSuzy Karadsheh
A skillet with mushroom pasta
This is hands-down the best rich and velvety mushroom pasta recipe without cream. Loads of mushrooms, garlic, shallots, and a little parmesan, tossed with perfectly cooked pasta, and a lighter silky-smooth sauce!
Prep – 10 minutes
Cook – 20 minutes
Serves – 4 people


  • 8 ounces dry pasta I used Toscani-shaped pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • cup extra virgin olive
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 shallots minced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 8 ounces Baby Bella Mushrooms sliced
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms sliced
  • 8 ounces portabella mushrooms roughly chopped
  • black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • ¼ cup merlot wine
  • ½ cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan)
  • ½ cup packed parsley
  • cup chopped walnuts
  • Red pepper flakes to taste optional


  • Cook the pasta to al dante in boiling salted water according to box instructions. Keep 1 cup of the pasta cooking water then drain the pasta.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive and butter over medium-high heat, add the shallots and garlic and cook, tossing regularly for 2 to 3 minutes (manage the heat so that the garlic does not burn).
  • Add all the mushrooms and toss them around in the pan for a couple of minutes, adding another drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Season with a good pinch of kosher salt, black pepper and the rosemary. Cook the mushrooms for about 7 to 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until they turn color and release their juices.
  • Add the tomato paste, wine and about ½ to ¾ cup of the pasta cooking water. Cook over medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes (this becomes your mushroom pasta sauce).
  • Add the cooked pasta to the mushroom sauce. Toss to combine. If needed add a little bit more of the pasta cooking water.
  • Stir in Parmesan cheese and finish with a sprinkle of parsley, walnuts and red pepper flakes. Serve immediately!



  • If you're following the Mediterranean diet strictly, use whole wheat pasta. For a vegan option, omit the butter and use a vegan parmesan alternative or omit the cheese altogether. 
  • Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils and spices


Calories: 448.7kcalCarbohydrates: 49.1gProtein: 13.2gSaturated Fat: 2.8gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 0.4mgSodium: 120.8mgPotassium: 1011.4mgFiber: 4.7gSugar: 7.9gVitamin A: 822.6IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 57.6mgIron: 2.6mg
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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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  1. Maria Patrick says:

    Is it possible to skip the red wine in the recipe?

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Hi, Maria! Absolutely! You can also use some broth as a substitute, if you'd like!

  2. Michelle says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely delicious! My only change was a touch of beef broth and blistered cherry tomatoes. I will definitely make it again! Thank you!

  3. L. Bruns says:

    Looks great

  4. Penny says:

    5 stars
    The sauce was WONDERFUL! However, I made a major misstep using a mix of fresh and dehyrated/reconstituted mushrooms. The revived ones were just rubbery, which ruined the dish overall, but when I came across a fresh mushroom in the mix, it was divine, and just spooning the sauce was great! We used Malbec wine since we had an open bottle of it, and it worked great! I also used cheese tortellinis as my pasta, and some of the reconstituted mushroom water in the boiling water to give the tortellinis a little more umami flavor. I'll definitely make it again with ONLY fresh mushrooms. Thank you again!

  5. Tammy says:

    So yummy! We didn’t even miss the meat. Thank you!

  6. Anna Solowiej says:

    5 stars
    Fabulous recipe! Made it with linguine as that was all we had, still great!

  7. Jane says:

    5 stars
    This was delicious and so easy to make.

  8. Tamsen says:

    This looks great, as all your recipes do! It is mushroom season now, can I assume that a mix of cultivated and wild mushrooms would be great also?

    1. Suzy says:

      Absolutely! Enjoy!

  9. Benni says:

    5 stars
    That was fantastic. There are a lot of steps, washing, cutting, etc., but I expected that. It took about an hour to prepare. But it was so worth it. The only changes I made were that I used penne pasta as that's what I had on hand. Suzy said it needed ridges to grab the sauce & it did the trick. I swapped out merlot for Pinot Noir & strangely cilantro for parsley. My family loved it. I don't do rotations, always trying to find new recipes, but I will definitely make this one again. The tip to set aside some pasta water (also recommended by Giada) makes a huge difference. It needed to be thinned out a bit. 5 stars!

  10. Karen says:

    I love almost all your recipes. I wonder if I can use dried Mushrooms after I reconstitute them in this recipe. I have a big jar filled with many different types of dried mushrooms.

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Karen. That would probably work, it's just not something we've tried before. Would love to hear your thoughts if you give it a go!

      1. Karen says:

        5 stars
        I used a combination of gourmet dried mushrooms and followed their steps to reconstitute them. Then I followed your recipe except that I added more wine and a bit more EVO. It was delicious. Wish I could add a photo of it to show you.

      2. Suzy says:

        Yay! So glad that worked out! Thanks for sharing, Karen!

  11. Angell says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is the first time I ever cooked with wine. I felt all fancy lol. This was soooo good. I made it as a side dish but will definitely make it again as a main meatless dish. Loved it!

    1. Suzy says:

      So glad to hear it! Thanks, Angell!

  12. Benni says:

    Do you know of a parsley substitute that doesn't throw off the flavor? Parsley is high in oxalate & I am a kidney stone former. Would cilantro be too strong of a taste?


    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Benni. Another reader had good luck using cilantro here, so you could definitely give that substitution a try. Or, you could simply omit the parsley. Enjoy!

  13. Meghan says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely delicious!!!! I keep coming back to this site for great recipes, it never disappoints. Thank you!

  14. Zahra says:

    Wondering if there is a non-alcoholic substitute for the wine? This looks delicous btw!

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Zahra. You can replace the wine with some broth. It will change the flavor profile just a bit, but still be pretty darn delicious! Enjoy!

    2. Hilary says:

      4 stars
      You can buy dealcoholized wine at the grocery store. I always cook with dealcoholized wine when a recipe calls for wine so that it keeps the same flavour profile.

  15. Jenn says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is so creamy and delicious!! Will definitely be making this again.

    1. Suzy says:

      Yay! Love to hear that! Thanks, Jenn!

  16. Debbie says:

    5 stars
    Savory, rich, hearty and delicious! This recipe is a keeper! Thank you!

    1. Suzy says:

      Yay! Thanks, Debbie!