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. Eileen says:

    I love this as written, and the only change I made tom make it my own was adding julienned sundried tomatoes when I added the pasta. Its a family favorite.

  2. Brittany says:

    I am under 21, is there anything I can use instead of red wine?

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Brittany. You can substitute with some broth of your choice, if you prefer.

  3. Connie ( Economides) VantHof says:

    5 stars
    This is wonderful and also healthy! I used protein or chickpea pasta! Great leftover too flavors are so good - don’t skip the rosemary in the mushrooms! Suzy - you are my fav chef! My family LOVES all your recipes 🥰

    1. TMD Team says:

      Awww! Thank you, Connie!

  4. Eddie Murphy says:

    Tried this for the first time tonight. Absolutely delicious and very easy to cook. Will definitely be doing it again. Other recipies look very good as well. Time to explore!

  5. Marian says:

    2 stars
    Too much rosemary. Very overpowering.

    1. Sarah says:

      Out of curiosity, did you use dried or fresh rosemary?
      I have both, and I'm trying to figure out which one to use here. 😅

  6. Martha says:

    5 stars
    Used fresh wild mushroom linguine. One lb pasta to 8 Oz of mushrooms (all I had). More would have been better but 1:3 might be almost too much! That said - I will try it!!

  7. Rachel says:

    5 stars
    This was so good! I used sherry instead of merlot and threw in some spinach instead of parsley and it was excellent.

  8. Cristina says:

    I’m deathly allergic to tree nuts. Is there another type of nut you’d recommend? Do you think almonds would work? (I can eat those). otherwise I’d likely just omit completely I’d imagine.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Sure, Cristina! I think almonds would work in a pinch.

    2. Kathy says:

      5 stars
      If you can tolerate toasted pine nuts, they were delicious in this! My husband is allergic to walnuts, so that was our substitute.

  9. W says:

    4 stars
    Very good - made with less mushrooms and was perfect

  10. Alex says:

    5 stars
    I just finished making this mushroom pasta for dinner tonight and had to leave a review because it is THAT good. Thank you for this delicious recipe! I am so glad it does not require heavy cream either! This recipe checks off all the boxes for me: simple ingredients, comes together quickly and easily, and best of all it is fantastic! So so good!!!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Yay! Thanks, Alex!

  11. Scarlett says:

    4 stars
    Wow delicious! Making this for dinner tonight! I searched online for a mushroom and pasta recipe and yours was the first one to pop up. Definitely trying this!!

  12. Adrian says:

    I felt like doing some mushroom pasta for dinner and clicked on a random Google result. I'm happy that I found your recipe because I loved its simplicity and rich flavor. Great cooking isn't about sophisticated tools and techniques but matching the right ingredients and then enjoying them with your friends and family. I've found it all in your blog.
    I'm happy to know that you have a youtube channel because you have a new subscriber 🙂

    1. TMD Team says:

      Oh, wonderful, Adrian! Thank you so much!

  13. Carolyn Keane Franzoni says:

    5 stars
    I’d actually begun another mushroom recipe then realized I was missing the cream. Synchronicity brought your recipe up in a Google search!
    Delicious results and the walnuts added a great texture. A definite keeper!

  14. Danine Lapinski says:

    5 stars
    I made this recipe for my friend and I last night and it was absolutely delicious! My friend said that it tasted like a fancy pasta dish you would get at an upscale restaurant! Thank you for the recipe - I really enjoy following you on FB and watching your amazing videos.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Thanks so much, Danine!

  15. Lucy S. says:

    5 stars
    Delish! I used four varieties of mushrooms. Wonderful recipe. The left overs are wonderful and not greasy! Thank you!

  16. Nancy says:

    5 stars
    I made this dish for dinner tonight. It was absolutely delish! I would make it again for company! A keeper, for sure! I wouldn’t change a thing!