Creamy Garlic Mushroom Pasta

This pasta dish is full of flavor and creaminess and is easily customizable for your family’s preferences.

Have you ever put together a dish at the spur of the moment without a recipe?

Maybe you had a few ingredients you needed to use up, or had limited time and needed a quick meal. Or maybe you were so hungry you threw some of your favorite foods into a pot and hoped for the best.

I created this dish because I love mushrooms and garlic, and was craving something creamy. It has now become a staple that I make regularly and has inspired other dishes like my Spinach and Sausage Tortellini.

Like many recipes, I start with a base and then build flavors and textures by adding different ingredients.

In this case, I chose cream cheese and milk as the base and mushrooms and garlic as the star ingredients.

Cream cheese is a great thickener and adds protein to the dish, not to mention a nice tangy flavor.

And I loooooooove mushrooms! Can’t get enough of them. Paired with garlic…well, what can I say. Flavor explosion!

How To Make Cheesy Mushroom Pasta

Start by boiling 8 ounces of pasta. When it’s al dente, drain and set it aside. Reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water for later.

I used spiral, but macaroni, penne, fettuccini, or spaghetti will also work.

Then heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 8 ounces of washed and sliced mushrooms. Sauté them until they are golden brown, 8-10 minutes.

While the mushrooms are cooking, heat 1 cup each of milk and broth together in a large measuring cup in the microwave, or in a small pot on the stove. Set aside.

Next, add 1 tablespoon minced garlic to the skillet and sauté for 1 minute. Then add a splash of white wine or vermouth and cook until it evaporates. This is optional but does add a nice bright flavor to the dish.

Lower the heat and add in 2 ounces (or 1/4 block) of softened cream cheese, stirring it until it has melted.

Next whisk in the hot milk and broth and bring to a simmer.

When the sauce is thick and creamy, add the cooked pasta and continue stirring about 1-2 minutes.

Take off heat and add finishing touches like 1 cup grated parmesan and minced green onions or chives. The fresh herbs give it a “sour cream and onion” flavor which I really like.

Give a final stir to make sure the parmesan has melted. If the sauce appears too thick, add a few spoonfuls of the hot pasta water you reserved earlier.

You can enjoy this dish as is or add additional ingredients to boost the flavor or texture, such as baby spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, ham and peas, bacon and corn, or grilled chicken for extra protein.

Hopefully this will become a family favorite for you as well!

 

What My Kids Say:
10 year-old: “I can eat this every day!”
7 year-old: “You can make this again.”


Joby's Test Kitchen plate of creamy garlic mushroom pasta with herbs and parmesan.

Creamy Garlic Mushroom Pasta

Joby’s Test Kitchen
Mushrooms, garlic, and cheese? What’s not to love?
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 394 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 oz whole wheat pasta (spiral, penne, bow ties, spaghetti, etc)
  • 1-2 tbsps (15-30ml) olive oil
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • splash dry vermouth or white wine, optional
  • 2 oz (1/4 block) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
  • 1 cup (240ml) chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 oz (1 cup) grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • minced chives or green onions, optional

Optional add-ins:

  • chicken
  • bacon
  • ham
  • peas
  • spinach
  • sun-dried tomatoes

Instructions
 

  • Boil pasta, drain, and set aside. Reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water for later.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they are golden brown, 8-10 minutes. While it's cooking, heat the milk and broth together in a large measuring cup in the microwave, or in a small pot on the stove.
  • Next, add the garlic Into the skillet and sauté for 1 minute. Then add a splash of white wine or vermouth and cook until it evaporates.
  • Lower the heat and add in the cream cheese, stirring it until it has melted. Next whisk in the milk and broth and bring to a simmer.
  • When the sauce is thick and creamy, add the cooked pasta and continue stirring about 1-2 minutes.
  • Take off heat, add the parmesan and chives or green onions. Give a final stir until the parmesan has melted. If the sauce appears too thick, add a few spoonfuls of the hot pasta water you reserved earlier. Stir in any other add-ins.
Keyword cream cheese, garlic, mushrooms, parmesan, pasta

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