Quick, easy, creamy vegan mushroom pasta that’s nut-free (no cashews!), dairy-free, and can be made oil-free, and gluten-free. The creamy mushroom pasta sauce comes together quickly so it’s a great vegan dinner to serve on busy evenings (you can have it ready in just 30 minutes!).
There are certain occasions, like holidays and special celebrations, when we want to take the time to make an extravagant meal and the fact that it may take several hours to complete doesn't phase us.
But any other time outside of those special occasions, I, and I'm sure you, too, want something easy and fast but maybe doesn't look or taste easy and fast. Sound familiar?
If so, then this easy vegan mushroom pasta is the recipe for you!
It's a delicious meal you can pull together quickly and serve fast, just like many of my other vegan main course recipes. You can also customize this creamy pasta to suit your taste, all of the details are below.
Before you head down to read everything, if pasta is a favourite in your home, be sure to check out these other simple vegan pasta recipes:
Ingredients You'll Need
I've listed all of the simple ingredients below along with information about substitutions.
Ingredient and Substitution Notes
Pasta - I like using long, flat pasta for this recipe like linguine, fettuccine, or tagliatelle, but any pasta will work. If you don't have this type of pasta, you can use spaghetti, short, or shaped pasta (like penne, farfalle, rotini, etc.). Regular (white and whole wheat pasta) or gluten-free pasta will both work.
NOTE: Most dry pasta is vegan but fresh pasta is usually not, so make sure the type you buy is vegan.
Silken Tofu - This is what gives the mushroom sauce a creamy texture without dairy, without butter, and without cheese. I have not used any other type of tofu to make this recipe and I don't recommend it because silken tofu is smooth so it will always give the best consistency to your sauce. If you don't want to use tofu, use unflavoured and unsweetened vegan heavy cream instead (the sauce will not be as thick, though).
I have not tried making this pasta dish with unsweetened canned coconut milk. It would make a good substitute consistency-wise, but I am not sure how much the coconut flavour would come through in the finished dish.
Mushrooms - This is the star of this dish so make sure they are fresh and in good condition. You can buy them whole and slice them yourself or you can buy them pre-sliced. I use cremini mushrooms, but you can also use the same quantity of white mushrooms, bella mushrooms or chopped portobello mushrooms.
Olive Oil - Just a little is needed to sauté the garlic and onions. If you don't want to use oil, use water or broth but keep a close eye on it and keep adding more as it evaporates.
Garlic - If you love garlic, feel free to add a little more than what the recipe calls for to make it more of a garlic mushroom pasta.
Nutritional Yeast - This enhances the flavour of the sauce and it's such a unique ingredient that there is no substitute for it.
Lemon Juice - This is used to add some brightness and flavour to the sauce, if you don't have it, you can omit it.
Thyme, Onion Powder, and Garlic Powder - All three are needed to flavour the sauce.
Salt and Black Pepper - Both are also needed to enhance the flavour, feel free to adjust the amounts in the recipe to suit your taste.
For more quick and easy weeknight meal ideas, browse through these vegan dinner recipes.
Optional Add-Ins, Side Dishes, and Garnishes
Feel free to throw some add-ins into the dish if you'd like, however, be careful not to add too much or the sauce may not be enough to coat all of the pasta.
- baby spinach (stir in a handful or two while the sauce is simmering so it wilts)
- roasted vegetables (roasted or steamed broccoli or this roasted cauliflower would be good!)
- frozen or fresh peas (stir them in while the sauce is simmering)
- crispy tofu
- precooked vegan chicken
On the side, you can serve any of the following:
- roasted Brussels sprouts
- roasted broccoli, broccolini, garlic cauliflower, or roasted asparagus
- garlic bread
I also like to garnish with chopped fresh parsley but instead, you can top your pasta with red pepper flakes, toasted pine nuts, freshly ground black pepper, different fresh herbs (like fresh thyme or rosemary) or either store-bought or homemade vegan Parmesan.
How to Make It
(Note: I’ve outlined the step-by-step on how to make this recipe here, but find the full recipe, ingredients, and directions in the recipe card at the end of this post.)
Start by preparing the pasta to al dente using the directions on the package. Drain the pasta water and set aside.
Next, prepare the sauce by sautéeing the garlic and onions. Next, add the garlic, onions, and all of the other sauce ingredients to a blender, blend until smooth, and set aside.
1. Cook the mushrooms until they've browned slightly.
2. Add the sauce to the cooked mushrooms.
3. Pour the sauce mixture into the skillet with the cooked mushrooms. Heat until your vegan mushroom sauce is warm and slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
4. Add cooked pasta to the skillet.
Gently toss the pasta to combine it with the sauce using tongs until all of the pasta is coated.
Garnish with chopped parsley or another garnish of your choice (see above for suggestions). Serve immediately.
**MEAL PREP TIP** The sauce, without the mushrooms, can be pre-made on its own and stored in an airtight container or jar for 3-4 days. When you're ready to use it, start back at step 4 in the recipe.
How to Store Leftovers
This recipe is best when served immediately after preparing but if you have leftovers, cool completely, place in an airtight container, and refrigerate for 3-4 days.
Reheat in a skillet over medium heat and add a splash of water, broth or dairy-free milk to loosen everything up.
The sauce cannot be premade to freeze and the finished dish cannot be frozen either. Silken tofu does not freeze well, so the texture of your sauce will no longer be smooth and creamy when thawed.
Tips for Success
- Measure and have all your ingredients ready to go before starting. This will make the process run smoothly, quickly, and easily. If you bought whole mushrooms to slice, do this before you start, it will save you lots of time!
- Measure your ingredients correctly. I highly recommend using a scale (this is the one I have (Amazon Link) and my weight measurements when making this recipe.
- Use the correct amount of pasta for the recipe. Too much pasta will result in a dry dish with barely any sauce to coat all the noodles. If you want to use more pasta than what’s called for, you can always double the sauce recipe. Using a little less pasta than what is called for will result in extra saucy noodles, which is great if that's what you prefer.
- When blending the sauce, use a regular blender, a high-speed blender, or even a stick blender.
- Read through the recipe before getting started and read through this post from top to bottom for lots of tips to make it perfect, every single time.
- Follow the recipe as it’s written for the intended and very best results.
Vegan heavy cream would work great, just make sure that it's unflavored and unsweetened, but note that your sauce will not be as thick. I don't recommend using regular plant-based milk like almond milk or oat milk etc. because they are too thin and will not make a thick and creamy sauce without having to add other ingredients to help thicken it.
Tofu on its own doesn't have much flavour, but it does have a very subtle flavour that I would describe as "earthy." If you make this recipe exactly as it's written, your sauce will have no tofu flavour, at all. No one will know it's the secret ingredient in this dish!
If you're looking for a quick dessert to serve after dinner, how about one of these delicious vegan dessert recipes?
If You Make This Recipe...
Tell me about it! Please leave a comment and star rating below or post a picture of your delicious dairy-free mushroom pasta and tag me on Instagram (I'd love to see it! I'm @delightfuladventures on Instagram).
Creamy Vegan Mushroom Pasta
- 340 g (12oz) linguine pasta (see note below)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil (use water or broth for oil-free)
- ½ (50g) small yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves (15g) pressed or finely minced garlic (see note below)
- 300 g silken tofu (roughly 1 ¼ cup when blended)
- ½ cup (120ml) vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons (16g) nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons water
- 454 g cremini mushrooms, sliced
- fresh chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
- Prepare pasta using the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another 2 minutes, until the onion begins to brown.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and add onion and garlic mixture, tofu, broth, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper to a blender. Blend until mixture is smooth, set aside.
- Place the same skillet over medium heat and add the water and mushrooms to the skillet. The mushrooms will start to release water, keep cooking and stirring until almost all the water has evaporated. When there is a little water left, continue cooking until the mushrooms start to brown a little, stirring occasionally. Remove the skillet from the heat once all of the water has evaporated.
- Pour the tofu mixture into the skillet with the mushrooms, turn the heat down to low and return the pan to the heat. Heat and stir until the sauce is warm and slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
- Add cooked pasta to the skillet and gently toss using tongs until all noodles are coated with the sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley (optional), and serve immediately.
- Please read through all info and tips above before making this recipe.
- This recipe makes 2 large servings or 4 smaller servings.
- I recommend using long, flat pasta when making this recipe, either linguine, fettuccine, or tagliatelle. If you don't have any of these, use the type you have. If you need to make vegan gluten-free mushroom pasta, gluten-free pasta works great. Most dry pasta is vegan and fresh pasta is usually not, so make sure the type you are using is vegan.
- To make this recipe without added oil, use water or broth to sauté the onions and garlic.
- If you love garlic, you can bump up the amount called for in the recipe.
- This recipe is best when served immediately after preparing but if you have leftovers, cool completely, place in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days. The sauce will thicken and stick to the pasta when it's refrigerated so to reheat, add the pasta to a skillet on low heat and add a small amount of broth, water, or dairy-free milk and stir until the pasta has fully reheated and everything has loosened up. You can also reheat it in the microwave.
- To save time, the sauce can be pre-made and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to use, prepare pasta and start back at step 4 in the recipe. When the sauce is made ahead, it thickens when it's refrigerated, but when reheated, it will return to its original consistency. If you want to thin it out further when reheating, you can add a tablespoon or two of broth.
- The sauce cannot be frozen because silken tofu does not freeze well. If you freeze it the texture of your sauce will no longer be smooth and creamy when thawed.
- Nutrition info is based on 1 of 4 servings of the recipe prepared as written, using gluten-free linguine, low sodium vegetable broth, and no garnishes. Nutrition info is only to be used as a rough guide. Click to learn how nutrition info is calculated on this website.