This vegan creamy mushroom pasta recipe is naturally plant-based, intensely comforting and takes just 20 minutes to make. It might just become your new favorite weeknight dinner!
Tell me how good these words sound to you: Creamy. Mushroom. Pasta!?
I know, my mouth is already watering too. Not only is this decadent, umami-rich mushroom pasta dish incredibly flavorful, it’s also 100% plant-based, super easy to make, and can easily be made gluten-free.
Are you ready to whip up your new favorite go-to weeknight pasta dish in just 20 minutes? Then let’s get to the best tips and tricks to ensure your creamy mushroom pasta comes out perfectly from the start.
How To Make This Vegan Creamy Mushroom Pasta Recipe – Best Tips & Tricks
1. What is the best plant-based sauce for creamy mushroom pasta?
The best sauce for the creamiest mushroom pasta is, you guessed it: cream-based. This recipe uses coconut cream or another plant-based creamer. The result is decadent and smooth, with a rich texture that you won’t be able to get enough of.
To make the mushroom sauce for this easy vegan mushroom pasta, start by cooking the mushrooms and onions in a bit of olive oil. When the vegetables are soft, add some minced garlic and a dash of paprika for flavor. Cook, stirring, until you smell that delicious savory garlic scent. Then add a bit of beer or white wine (use a bottle you love!) to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom.
Finally, add major creaminess to the sauce by stirring in coconut cream or your favorite plant-based creamer. A bit of pasta water at this point also helps loosen up the sauce so it will coat your spaghetti perfectly.
If you’re feeling adventurous, there are other pretty amazing ways to build a creamy, plant-based pasta sauce.
You can stir in silken tofu–that’s right, tofu! – for added texture and protein. Or, you can blend up steamed cauliflower for a low-carb and low-fat version of this pasta sauce. It won’t have quite the same body or creaminess, however, so you might want to use half cauliflower purée, half coconut cream.
Another excellent way to achieve perfectly creamy vegan pasta sauce is by blending soaked cashews or macadamia nuts into a smooth and creamy sauce.
Simply soak the nuts in room-temperature water for several hours (up to overnight), drain, and rinse. Then blend the softened nuts with water, as described in this recipe. The result is a rich and hearty vegan pasta sauce you’ll love. Use the cashew cream just like you use the coconut cream in this mushroom sauce recipe.
2. What are the best mushrooms for pasta?
I absolutely looove shiitake mushrooms for this vegan creamy pasta dish. Their delicate texture and earthy flavor are a magical pairing with al-dente pasta.
However, the best part about this pasta recipe is that you can use literally any mushroom you like. You can even mix and match them if you have several varieties of mushrooms on hand.
From common button or crimini mushrooms, to fancy wild mushrooms like porcini, hen-of-the-woods or oyster, any mushroom will add that wonderful meaty texture and flavor to this vegan pasta dinner. My personal favorite mushroom varieties are king oyster and shiitake.
What kind of mushroom do you love? Leave me a comment, I love trying new combinations in this Shiitake mushroom pasta recipe.
3. Can I use dried mushrooms for this vegan mushroom pasta recipe?
Yes! This vegan mushroom pasta recipe is quite forgiving.
You can easily substitute fresh mushrooms with dried shiitakes. If you’re using dried mushrooms, be sure to soak them before cooking.
To re-hydrate dried mushrooms of any kind, place them in a large bowl and cover with warm water. Let the mushrooms soak for at least 30 minutes, or until the caps are tender and flexible.
When the mushrooms are finished soaking, pluck off the woody stems out and discard.
Finally, drain and squeeze the water from the rehydrated mushrooms.
Now they’re ready to be used in the recipe as written. You can even use the mushroom soaking liquid instead of the pasta water or broth called for. It makes a delicious, umami-rich base for any sauce.
4. What is the best way to cook mushrooms for pasta?
Mushrooms are so easy to cook! That’s why everybody loves them.
Well, that and the fact that they’re nutritious and contain so much protein. They’re a real star ingredient to include in vegan and other plant-based diets.
My favorite way to cook mushrooms is to sauté them in a large skillet* with a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir the mushrooms regularly, and after a few minutes, they will release a lot of water. They do cook down quite a bit, so don’t be afraid of using more mushrooms than you think you’ll need. I promise you won’t regret it!
Finally, one of my favorite things about mushrooms is that you really can’t overcook them. So even beginner cooks can make dishes like this Shiitake mushroom pasta without worrying about overdoing it!
5. Which ingredients can I replace in this vegan creamy mushroom pasta recipe?
You can substitute plant-based cream with coconut cream in this recipe. Just make sure to use coconut cream and not coconut milk. Coconut cream is much thicker and richer, which is important for this Shiitake mushroom pasta.
If you’re vegetarian or have no issues eating dairy, then you can use double cream instead.
Also, you can use any type of mushroom or even another vegetable, such as bell peppers or zucchini. The pasta will still be just as creamy and silky, but with a bit more color.
To substitute beer in the pasta sauce, you can use wine or vegetable broth.
If you can’t imagine enjoying a meal without meat, fear not, you can still enjoy this Shiitake mushroom pasta recipe. Top your dish with crispy crumbled bacon for a pop of extra flavor.
I would chop up a few strips of your favorite bacon. Then instead of heating oil in the pan, cook up the crumbled bacon (no need for oil) until it’s crisp and the fat is rendered. After that, simply add in the mushrooms and continue with the recipe as written.
6. What to serve with creamy Shiitake mushroom pasta
This comforting, creamy pasta dish is delicious with a fresh salad to balance it out. Here’s what I love to serve with my vegan mushroom pasta:
- Strawberry Avocado Salad with Feta
- Healthy Shrimp Salad with Roasted Veggies
- Baked Zucchini Chips with Toasted Coconut
I bet your family and friends will love this vegan creamy mushroom pasta recipe as much as I do, so be sure to share!
And don’t forget to stay up to date on my latest recipe videos on YouTube – see you there!
Vegan Creamy Mushroom Pasta Recipe
- 14 oz (400 g) spaghetti - gluten-free if needed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion - chopped
- 10 oz (283 g) shiitake mushrooms - stems removed, caps sliced thinly
- 2-3 garlic cloves - minced
- 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2/3 cup (160 ml) blonde beer -
white wine, or vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes - optional, to garnish
- 1 cup (240 ml)
plant-based cream or coconut cream
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper -
- a small handful of parsley - chopped to garnish
- Cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions. Once the pasta is cooked to al-dente, reserve about 2/3 cup of the water, then drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and sauté for about 4-5 minutes, until soft and lightly browned.
- Add the garlic and smoked paprika. Stir and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Pour in the beer and stir to remove any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Simmer until most of the beer is evaporated, about 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the vegan cream and pasta water, taste, and season with sea salt and pepper.
- Simmer for a few minutes, then stir in the cooked pasta. Use tongs to coat the spaghetti fully in the sauce.
- Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and chili flakes, and serve immediately.
- To learn how to make the creamiest plant-based sauce for this vegan mushroom pasta, see Tip 1.
- Tip 2 explains the best kind of mushrooms to perfect this dish.
- Wondering if you can use dried mushrooms instead of fresh? Head to Tip 3.
- Tip 4 has my how-to for cooking mushrooms perfectly every time, for this pasta or any dish.
- For all of the easy ingredient substitutions, read Tip 5.
- And finally, see Tip 6 for my recommended best dishes to complement this creamy mushroom spaghetti.
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