Easy Mushroom Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes

This Mushroom Pesto Pasta is about to become your new healthy comfort food obsession. Learn how to transform a humble bowl of pasta into a family-friendlynutrient-packed delight that’s easy to whip up. 

Mushroom pesto pasta on a white plate.

Recipe video

Why you’ll love this pasta with pesto sauce and mushrooms

Craving comfort without compromise? Have picky eaters at home?

This easy pesto pasta with tender garlic mushrooms is a crowd-pleaser that satisfies all of the above. It’s an irresistible comfort food everyone will love because it has:

  • creamy pesto sauce
  • umami-flavored mushrooms
  • fun mix-ins like sweet tangy sundried tomatoes.
Mushroom pesto pasta in a large pan.

This pasta dish, like harissa pasta is one of those quick and easy meatless meals, making it a great recipe for busy weeknights or a fun family dinner. Plus, leftovers heat up beautifully for lunch the next day!

This simple mushroom pesto pasta is packed with nutritious goodness. Cremini mushrooms are a powerhouse of protein, vitamins and minerals, while the pesto delivers a healthy dose of good fats and protein. Plus, the whole dish clocks in under 500 calories per serving – win-win!

Ingredients

(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this page.)

Labelled ingredients for pasta with pesto sauce and mushrooms.

Pesto mushroom pasta recipe requires simple ingredients you might already have in your kitchen.

  • Pasta: I’ve used fusilli, but any short pasta is fine. 
  • Pesto: You can either make your own pesto or use store-bought one. 
  • Mushrooms: Cremini mushrooms are my preference since they have deep flavors. I use them often in recipes like mushroom zucchini pasta and pan fried salmon with mushroom sauce. You can also use portobello or shiitake mushrooms.
  • Olive oil
  • Parmiggiano reggiano: Has more flavor (since it is more aged and regulated) than parmesan cheese. Also, I prefer grating a block of cheese to pre-grated ones.
  • Other flavor makers: Garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
  • Fresh herbs: Fresh basil or parsley.
  • Dried herbs: Thyme and oregano.

How to make mushroom pesto pasta: Step by step

Boil pasta

Add salt to a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. Add pasta to the boiling water. Cook al dente (for about 10 to 12 minutes depending on the type of pasta).

Pasta with boiling water in a pot.

Reserve ½ cup of pasta water.

Drain using a colander. Bring the pasta back to the pot and keep it covered for 5 minutes.

Pasta water being scooped out with a mug.

Make pesto

You can make fresh pesto when the pasta cooks. Homemade pesto recipe is quite easy and you’ll have control over the ingredients. You just need a few simple ingredients and a food processor to whip up fresh pesto. 

There are a few options if you decide to make your own pesto:

  1. Basil almond spinach pesto
  2. Roasted garlic pesto with mint and cashews
  3. Red chili pesto
  4. Thai basil pesto
Blended spinach pesto in a food processor jar.

Cook garlic mushrooms

Slice mushrooms and mince garlic. Heat olive oil in a large skillet.

Add sliced mushrooms and sauté. Stir on medium heat until they start to brown.

Mushrooms being sauteed in a pan.

Add minced garlic, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper.

Mushrooms with garlic, red pepper flakes and dried Italian herbs in a pan.

Add vegetable/chicken stock or pasta water. Simmer until most of the moisture evaporates.

Stock being added to garlic mushrooms cooking in a pan.

Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and remove from heat.

Garlic mushrooms cooking in a pan.

Mix pasta with pesto sauce and mushrooms

Add pesto to boiled pasta and toss.

Spinach pesto pasta in a pot.

Stir in the garlic mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, grated Parmigiano Reggiano and chopped parsley.

Pasta with pesto sauce and mushrooms in a pot.
Mushroom pesto pasta in a pot.

Recipe tips

  • For more flavor: Dissolve a bouillon cube in the reserved hot pasta water before adding it to the mushrooms. Or use vegetable or chicken broth instead of pasta water. (Do not add salt in either case.)
  • Salt: When you add salt to mushrooms, remember that you’ll be adding pasta water and cheese, both of which contain salt. Add a pinch of salt first, than add more to taste later on, if required.
  • Pesto: I used my spinach pesto recipe (shown above) for this mushroom and pesto pasta. If you’re using store-bought pesto, taste and adjust the quantity accordingly. (They usually contain more salt and oil.)
  • Parmesan: As I mentioned earlier, I recommend Parmiggiano Reggiano. You can use parmesan if that’s all you have.

Making it for a crowd

This pasta recipe can be easily scaled up or down. Use the slider that will appear if you hover your mouse over the number of servings in the recipe card below.

Mushroom pesto pasta on a white plate.

Storage and make ahead tips

Storing: Leftover pesto pasta can be stored in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. This pasta is not suitable for freezing. However, you can freeze it in parts before mixing together.

Making ahead: Parboil pasta (boil 2 minutes less than al dente). Store it in a freezer-safe airtight container. Similarly freeze cooked garlic mushrooms and pesto in separate containers. Cover pesto with a thin layer of olive oil. This way it can last in the freezer for a couple of months.

Mushroom pesto pasta with different flavors: Cook up a big batch of pasta and garlic mushrooms and freeze them in small batches in separate containers. Make a different pesto once a week, to use with each batch of pasta and mushrooms. This way, you get to taste diverse flavors of mushroom pesto pasta in a breeze!

Reheating: Bring the pesto to room temperature before reheating. Reheat until just warmed through. Overheating will destroy the flavor of the herbs.

Variations and substitutions

  • Olives: Add a few sliced kalamata olives for more flavor and nutrition.
  • Creamy mushroom pesto pasta: Use this recipe for salmon with creamy mushroom sauce instead of garlic mushrooms.
  • Chicken pesto pasta: Swap mushrooms with chicken and follow the same cooking instructions.
  • No sun-dried tomatoes? You can substitute roasted cherry tomatoes. They don’t taste the same, but it works. They can be roasted either in the oven (refer: red chili pesto recipe) or in a pan on stovetop.

What to pair with pesto mushroom pasta

More pasta recipes

1 2 3
Mushroom pesto pasta on a white plate.

Easy Mushroom Pesto Pasta Recipe

This Mushroom Pesto Pasta is about to become your new healthy comfort food obsession. Learn how to transform a humble bowl of pasta into a family-friendly, nutrient-packed delight that's easy to whip up. 
Author: Sheeba
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course dinner, LUNCH, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 342.3 kcal

Ingredients
  

For pasta

  • 10 ounces (280 grams) pasta
  • 1 tablespoon salt

For garlic mushrooms

  • 6 ounces (170 grams) cremini mushrooms
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Mix-ins

  • ½ cup pesto
  • ¼ cup sundried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

STEP BY STEP IMAGES

Scroll back to find detailed recipe photos!

Instructions
 

Boil pasta

  • Add a tablespoon of salt to a large pot of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Add 10 ounces (280 grams) pasta to the boiling water.
  • Cook al dente (for about 10 to 12 minutes depending on the type of pasta).
  • Reserve ½ cup of pasta water. Drain the pasta.
  • Bring the pasta back to the pot and keep it covered for 5 minutes.

Make pesto

Cook garlic mushrooms

  • Slice 6 ounces (170 grams) cremini mushrooms and mince 5 cloves garlic.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté.
    Stir on medium heat until they start to brown.
  • Add minced garlic, ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, ¼ teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon black pepper and ½ teaspoon sea salt.
  • Add the reserved pasta water. Simmer until most of the moisture evaporates.
  • Finish with 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice and remove from heat.

Mix pasta with pesto sauce and mushrooms

  • Add ½ cup pesto to boiled pasta and toss.
  • Add garlic mushrooms, ¼ cup sundried tomatoes, 2 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano (grated) and 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley to the pesto pasta.
  • Combine everything together and serve.

Video

Notes

    • Salt: When you add salt to mushrooms, remember that you’ll be adding pasta water and cheese, both of which contain salt. Add a pinch of salt first, than add more to taste later on, if required.
    • For more flavor: Dissolve a bouillon cube in the reserved hot pasta water before adding it to the mushrooms. Or use vegetable broth instead of pasta water. (Do not add salt in either case.)
    • Pesto: I used my spinach pesto recipe for this pasta. If you’re using store-bought pesto, taste and adjust the quantity accordingly. (They usually contain more salt and oil.)
    • Parmesan: As I mentioned earlier, I recommend Parmiggiano Reggiano. You can use parmesan if that’s all you have.
    • More tips in the post above.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Mushroom Pesto Pasta Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
342.3
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
15.4
g
24
%
Saturated Fat
 
2.9
g
18
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.7
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
1.8
g
Cholesterol
 
4.2
mg
1
%
Sodium
 
637.7
mg
28
%
Potassium
 
527.1
mg
15
%
Carbohydrates
 
61.5
g
21
%
Fiber
 
3.9
g
16
%
Sugar
 
5.3
g
6
%
Protein
 
13.6
g
27
%
Vitamin A
 
928.4
IU
19
%
Vitamin C
 
6.4
mg
8
%
Calcium
 
121.5
mg
12
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Author profile photo

Hi! I’m Sheeba, welcome to Go Healthy ever after!

I have a passion for cooking delicious nourishing food that’s easy to cook with fresh natural ingredients free from additives or preservatives. The easy healthy recipes you find here will inspire you to cook with creativity.

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