Creamy Mushroom Zucchini Pasta (without cream!)

This zucchini mushroom pasta is all you need when you crave a plate of luscious creamy pasta without all those extra calories. Find out how to make this guilt-free pasta without cream, with a secret ingredient!

Zucchini mushroom pasta on a white plate.

Why You’ll Love This Pasta Without Cream

To start with, my disclaimer:

This mushroom zucchini pasta may not look creamy like a typical pasta soaked in a lot of cream and butter. But it definitely tastes creamy, without adding much saturated fat.

You can eat this healthy pasta quite often without much guilt. It’s a delicious compromise that’s good for you!

Like all my pasta recipes, this no-cream pasta is made with simple ingredients you might find in your kitchen.

This recipe is not vegan. If you’re looking for vegan creamy pasta, try this no-cream vegetable pasta. Or try this Italian pasta salad if you want a delicious cold pasta salad.

There’s no need for you to hunt for any special ingredients to replace cream. There’s a secret ingredient that’s so common, but you wouldn’t usually expect it in pasta!

If you search for a similar recipe online, you may not find one. That’s because I came up with this unique method of making pasta without cream.

Be patient, my friend! Read on to find out…

Ingredients

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

Labelled ingredients for zucchini mushroom pasta.

Okay, I just can’t wait to give it to you. Here it is:

  • Eggs: Yes, I know you’ll be a bit disappointed. But the unassuming egg is the secret ingredient I was talking about all along! The way you cook them and add to the pasta is the most important step to make this no-cream creamy pasta.
  • Pasta: I’ve used penne here. Others like rotini, linguini or spaghetti also work for this recipe.
  • Mushrooms: Brown button mushrooms have a deeper flavor than white ones. Cremini mushrooms (which are slightly mature brown mushrooms) can also be used.
  • Zucchini: Choose fresh, young ones.
  • Herbs: I’ve used ¼ teaspoon each of dried thyme, oregano and basil. You can use ¾ teaspoon of mixed Italian herbs if that’s what you have.
  • Spices: The only spices required for this recipe are red chilli flakes and pepper. This is unlike my other spicy pasta recipes like red pesto pasta and tomato chili prawn pasta.

How To Make Mushroom And Zucchini Pasta: step by step

Cook Pasta

Boil pasta in salted water as per instructions. Drain using a colander.

Transfer the pasta back to the empty pot. Close with a lid and leave it aside for 5 minutes.

This will “steam” the pasta, keeping it fluffy. It also helps the pasta better absorb the amazing flavors of the sauce.

Open the lid, add a tablespoon of olive oil and toss the pasta.

Saute Mushrooms

Take about 4 or 5 of the thinly sliced mushrooms. Saute them using olive oil for about 5 to 10 minutes until browned. Keep aside.

We will add these sauteed mushrooms at the end of cooking. This step helps you make the most of the mushroom flavor.

Prepare The Eggs

Ideally, adding raw eggs to the finished pasta dish gives you the creamy silky texture we all love.

The eggs do get cooked in the residual heat of the pasta. But I don’t want to do it for a couple of reasons:

  1. With raw eggs, we might have the problem of food safety issues. Unless you know you’re buying from a reliable source or they are organic, they’re not considered safe.
  2. Even though the eggs get cooked, they sometimes give an unpleasant flavor, spoiling the taste of the dish.

So, what’s the solution?

Cook the eggs just enough to remove the foul smell and bacteria, yet runny enough to make the pasta creamy:

  1. Boil water (enough to completely cover the eggs).
  2. Gently place the eggs in the pot using tongs and cover the pot with a lid. Turn off the flame.
  3. After 3 (for medium eggs) to 4 (large eggs) minutes, take out the eggs and place them in a bowl of ice water.
  4. After 3 to 4 minutes, break the eggs and pour out the half-boiled eggs into a bowl.
  5. Beat the eggs with a dash of salt and pepper.

Make Zucchini Mushroom Pasta Sauce

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan. Saute finely chopped onion.
  2. Add finely chopped garlic and stir.
  3. Add rest of the sliced mushrooms and saute until browned.
  4. Add Italian herbs, red chilli flakes, salt and pepper.
  5. Add milk and bring it to a boil.
  6. Stir in diced zucchini.
  7. Simmer until the sauce thickens and the zucchini gets cooked. This would take about 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Add the cooked and drained pasta and toss. Turn off the heat.

Finishing touch!

  • Add sauteed mushrooms from the first step.
  • Add the beaten eggs and toss well until you get creamy saucy pasta. Garnish with parsley.

Tips To Make The Best Pasta With Zucchini and Mushrooms

  • Pasta: Use wholegrain pasta for an even guilt-free experience.
  • Herbs: If you have fresh Italian herbs like thyme or basil, you can use them instead of the dried ones. Use double the quantity mentioned above for dried herbs.
  • Zucchini: Do not peel the zucchini. I prefer dicing them (into cubes) rather than slicing them thin. That way, the zucchini is crisp and does not get soggy. They also look pretty and keep you drooling πŸ™‚ Also, the highest levels of antioxidants are found in the skin.
Zucchini mushroom pasta on a white plate.

How To Store And Reheat Zucchini Mushroom Pasta

This pasta stays fresh in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. To reheat, bring it to room temperature and lightly warm it up. If you expose it to high temperatures, it would still taste great. But you might lose the creamy texture since the eggs in the pasta tend to get overcooked.

What To Pair With Mushroom And Courgette Pasta

This creamy pasta tastes great as a vegetarian main dish with a side like Italian potato croquettes.

Make it a high-protein dinner by pairing this no-cream pasta with healthy baked chicken breasts.

Love seafood? Pair this pasta with:

Health Benefits of Mushroom Zucchini pasta

Benefits of Mushrooms

(Source)

  • Mushrooms are a low-calorie food that are loaded with many health-boosting vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Mushrooms are rich sources of potassium which lessens the tension in blood vessels, potentially helping to lower blood pressure.
  • The anti-inflammatory effect of mushrooms has been shown to boost the efficiency of the immune system.
  • Studies have found that mushrooms, in combination with exercise and other lifestyle changes, can have an important impact on weight loss.
  • Since mushrooms are rich in fiber and antioxidants, they may also mitigate the risk of developing serious health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Benefits of Zucchini

(Source)

  • Zucchini contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds.
  • It is rich in antioxidants that may provide various health benefits.
  • Zucchini is rich in water and fiber, which promote healthy digestion by reducing your risk of constipation and symptoms of various gut disorders.
  • Zucchini’s fiber may stabilize blood sugar levels, potentially reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • The fiber, potassium, and carotenoids in zucchini may lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and other risk factors for heart disease.
  • Zucchini is rich in nutrients like manganese, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins A and C that contribute to healthy vision.
  • Zucchini is rich in water and fiber yet low in calories, all of which help reduce hunger and help you feel full — potentially leading to weight loss over time.

More Pasta Recipes

Looking for more guilt-free recipes? Try this delicious quinoa pasta salad that satisfies your “pasta salad” cravings and is also low-carb and high-protein.

Zucchini mushroom pasta on a white plate.

Creamy Mushroom Zucchini Pasta Recipe

This zucchini mushroom pasta is all you need when you crave a plate of luscious creamy pasta without all those extra calories. Find out how to make this guilt-free pasta without cream, with a secret ingredient!
Author: Sheeba
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course dinner, LUNCH, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 345 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 250 grams pasta (8.8 oz)
  • 200 grams brown button mushrooms or cremini mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon each dried thyme, oregano, and basil or ¾ teaspoon mixed Italian herbs
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • cup milk
  • 1 medium zucchini diced
  • a handful of parsley to garnish

Instructions
 

Cook Pasta

  • Boil water with 2 tablespoons of salt. Cook pasta as per instructions. Drain using a colander.
    250 grams pasta (8.8 oz)
  • Transfer the pasta back to the empty pot. Close with a lid and leave it aside for 5 minutes.
  • Open the lid, add a tablespoon of olive oil and toss the pasta.

Saute mushrooms

  • Take about half of the thinly sliced mushrooms.
    200 grams brown button mushrooms or cremini mushrooms
  • Heat ½ teaspoon of olive oil in a pan. Saute the mushrooms with a pinch of salt and pepper for about 5 to 10 minutes until browned. Keep aside.

Half-boil the eggs

  • Boil water (enough to completely cover the eggs).
  • Gently place the eggs in the pot using tongs and cover the pot with a lid. Turn off the flame immediately.
    4 eggs
  • After 3 (for medium eggs) to 4 (large eggs) minutes, take out the eggs and place them in a bowl of ice water.
  • After 3 to 4 minutes, break the eggs and pour out the half-boiled eggs into a bowl. Beat the eggs with a dash of salt and pepper. Keep aside.

Make mushroom zucchini pasta sauce

  • Heat the remaining olive oil in a pan. Saute the finely chopped onion until it turns translucent. Add finely chopped garlic and stir.
    1 onion, 6 cloves garlic
  • .Add the rest of the sliced mushrooms and saute until browned.
  • Add Italian herbs, red chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Stir for a couple of minutes.
    ¼ teaspoon each dried thyme, oregano, and basil, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon chilli flakes, ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Add milk and bring it to a boil. Stir in the diced zucchini.
    1¼ cup milk, 1 medium zucchini
  • Simmer until the sauce thickens and the zucchini gets cooked. This would take about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the cooked and drained pasta and toss. Turn off the heat.

Finish with eggs and mushrooms

  • Add mushrooms (that you sauteed earlier) and stir.
  • Add the prepared eggs and toss well. Garnish with parsley.
    a handful of parsley

Notes

  • Cooking time: I’ve calculated the cooking time based on the assumption that while the pasta is boiling, you’ll cook the rest of the ingredients.
  • Pasta: Use wholegrain pasta for an even guilt-free experience.
  • Eggs: The above method ensures that you cook the eggs just enough to remove the foul smell and bacteria, yet runny enough to make the pasta creamy.
  • Herbs: If you have fresh Italian herbs like thyme or basil, you can use them instead of the dried ones. Use double the quantity mentioned above for dried herbs.
  • Zucchini: Do not peel the zucchini. I prefer dicing them (into cubes) rather than slicing them thin. That way, the zucchini is crisp and does not get soggy.
  • Mushrooms: Brown button mushrooms have deeper flavor than the white ones.
  • Sauteed mushrooms: Adding sauteed mushrooms at the end of cooking helps you make the most of the mushroom flavor.
  • Storing leftovers: This pasta stays fresh in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. To reheat, bring it to room temperature and lightly warm it up.
Nutrition facts for mushroom zucchini pasta.

β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…Did you try this recipe? Please give a star rating in the comments below β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

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