Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Christ is in our midst!

Today is the second day of Great Lent. I thought this dish would be too tempting for Clean Monday. This is not the recipe I had intended to share during Great Lent because it is quite indulgent and mouth watering but I have many people in mind who came to me for advice for full meal ideas for Great Lent (and fasting days in general).

When I first discovered this meal, it was around early February. Creamy mushroom caught my eye and I couldn’t resist making it time and time again. I made this 2 or 3x within 2 weeks of coming across it– I sometimes ate this meal, in small portions, 3x a day! When I didn’t have shallots on hand, I used garlic. And even if I had shallots on hand, I added some garlic to it as well for immunity.

This original recipe calls for heavy cream but my go to is coconut cream or a non sweet dairy free milk. My husband despises anything with a coconut taste so I have to make his half using a non dairy milk that has a neutral and non sweet taste to it. Silk, Califia, Violife and other brands have their heavy cream alternatives but I don’t always have it on hand. Hemp milk and plain soy milk are also good non dairy choices to give the dish a savory taste if you want to go for a less processed way as well.

Author: Bon Appétit

Notes from author:

“This mushroom pasta recipe is all about the creamy sauce and just letting the ’shrooms do their big savory umami thing. For the most robust flavor, use a variety of mushrooms like feathery maitakes, meaty oyster mushrooms, and woodsy shiitakes. Crimini mushrooms (a.k.a. baby bellas) or even larger portobello mushrooms can stand in too, though they can be a bit one-note. Their less-mature siblings, white button mushrooms, simply won’t deliver the intensity of flavor you’re looking for here.

Searing the mushrooms over medium-high heat intensifies their flavor, so don’t rush this step. Make sure the pieces have space to breathe in the pan, allowing the steam to cook off and those crispy brown bits to develop; waiting to salt them until you remove them from the pan also helps.

Be sure to pull the pasta from the (very well-salted) boiling water when it’s still slightly undercooked—it’ll finish cooking in the creamy mushroom sauce. And remember to set aside some of the pasta cooking water, which is the key to bringing that sauce together.

Garnish the dish with red pepper flakes and extra Parmesan cheese if you like, and serve with a big salad.”


4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or non dairy butter during fasting days

1 lb. mixed mushrooms (such as maitake, oyster, crimini, and/or shiitake), torn into bite-size pieces

Kosher salt

2 medium shallots, finely chopped

1 lb. spaghetti or bucatini; for a gluten free option use GF pasta

½ cup coconut cream

⅓ cup finely chopped parsley or dried parsley flakes

Zest and juice of ½ lemon

2 Tbsp. unsalted non dairy butter, cut into pieces

½ oz. vegan Parmesan, finely grated (about ½ cup), plus more for serving

Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a Dutch oven or other large pot over medium-high. Cook half of mushrooms in a single layer, undisturbed, until edges are brown and starting to crisp, about 3 minutes. Give mushrooms a toss and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until all sides are brown and crisp, about 5 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to a plate; season with salt. Repeat with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil and mushrooms and more salt.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and return all of the mushrooms to the pot. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until shallots are translucent and softened, about 2 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente, about 2 minutes less than package directions.
  4. Using tongs, transfer pasta to pot with mushrooms and add cream and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Increase heat to medium, bring to a simmer, and cook, tossing constantly, until pasta is al dente and liquid is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
  5. Remove pot from heat. Add lemon zest and juice, parsley, butter, ½ oz. Parmesan, and lots of pepper and toss to combine. Taste and season with more salt if needed.Step 6Divide pasta among bowls and top with more Parmesan.


Nutritional Benefits

Mushrooms are a great superfood that doesn’t break the bank. It is great for our brain, immune system, stress, fatigue, full of vitamins and antioxidants, well known for its adaptogenic properties (which helps stress), and I could go on! Nutritional benefits vary from mushroom to mushroom but you get the benefits for your health either way.

Depending on the mushroom you use, the nutritional content will vary. Listed below are nutritional values of some mushrooms.

Button (aka White) Mushrooms

50% Carbs

37% Protein

13% Fats

15 calories per 1 cup serving (raw, sliced)

Protein: 2g

Cremini Mushrooms

60% Carbs

37% Protein

3% Fats

20 Calories per 1 cup serving (raw, sliced)

Protein: 2g

Enoki Mushrooms

70% Carbs

23% Protein

7% Fats

30 Calories per 1 cup serving (raw, sliced)

Protein: 2g

Hen of the Woods Mushrooms

74% Carbs

21% Protein

5% Fats

30 Calories per 1 cup serving (raw, diced)

Protein: 1g

Oyster Mushrooms

60% Carbs

31% Protein

9% Fats

40 Calories per 1 cup serving (raw, sliced)

Protein: 3g

Porcini Mushrooms

100 Calories per 1 ounce serving (dried)

Protein: 7g

Portobello Mushrooms

69% Carbs

25% Protein

6% Fats

45 Calories per 1 cup serving (grilled, sliced)

Protein: 2g

Shiitake Mushrooms

90% Carbs

7% Protein

3% Fats

80 Calories per 1 cup serving (cooked)

Protein: 2g

Coconut Cream

Coconut is a high fat, moderate fat, and has some protein in it. Depending on the non dairy creamer of choice you use, it will affect the nutritional benefits of this meal. If using a nut milk, it will be a high protein meal rich with a boost of minerals and vitamins.


63% Carbs

24% Protein

13% Fats

20 Calories per medium lemon (raw, with peel)

Protein: 1g


Parsley helps settle stomach after a meal; it is a natural antispasmodic; a good expectorant that helps clear congestion due to coughs and colds and helps asthma; protects against cancer; it relieves gas and is a natural diuretic. (Mindell)

Parsley has slightly warming thermal nature; pungent, bitter, and salty flavor. helps detoxify meat or fish poisoning; ripens measles to hasten recovery. It promotes urination and dries watery mucoid conditions; good for the treatment of obesity, mucus in the bladder, swollen glands and breasts, and sonnets in the bladder, kidney, or gall bladder. Parsley is effective for nearly all kidney and urinary difficulties, although not for cases of severe kidney inflammations (since it is warming). Parsley strengthens the adrenal glands and benefits the optic and brain nerves; it is useful in the treatment of ear infections, earaches, and deafness. It is often taken as a cancer preventive. Parsley counteracts halitosis and poor digestion, and has a refreshing green color, thus making it an exceptional garnish. Parsley tea strengthens the teeth and makes a face lotion to increase circulation and bring color to the skin.

It contains several times the vitamin C of citrus and is one of the higher sources of provitamin A, chlorophyll, calcium, sodium, magnesium and iron. Trace amounts of vitamin B12 can be found in parsley, about 4 mcg per 100g edible portion (but it depends on how and where they are produced). 

Caution for nursing mothers: Parsley should not be used since it dries up milk.


89% Carbs

10% Protein

1% Fats

10 Calories per 1 tbsp serving (raw, chopped)


Recipe from Bon Appétit:

“The Vegetarian Flavor Bible”, Karen Page

“Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition by Paul Pitchford

“Earl Mindell’s New Herb Bible: A Complete Update of the Bestselling Guide to New and Traditional Herbal Remedies — How They Can Help Fight Depression and Anxiety, Improve Your Sex Life, Prevent Illness and Help You Heal Faster” by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D

One Comment Add yours

  1. Xenia Nisenbaum says:

    Anastasia, I made this recipe tonight and you aren’t exaggerating it was absolutely delicious and I wish I hadn’t made half a portion. I was worried the coconut cream would be too strong but all the herbs (I added garlic) and mushroom flavors blended so well together you couldn’t taste coconut at all. Thank you for sharing this!!


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