Mushroom Pesto Pasta with freshly made spinach pesto and buttery, garlic mushrooms. Fresh, tasty, and easy to make you can have this on your table in just 30 minutes!
This pasta dish is bursting with flavour, it’s fresh and summery and delicious. With a freshly made spinach and basil pesto, buttery garlic mushrooms and sundried tomatoes, this is perfect for garlic and pasta lovers!
Why This Recipe Works
- Spinach Basil Pesto – this pesto is super fresh, easy to make and bursting with flavour. Perfect for getting the kids to eat their spinach!
- Garlic butter mushrooms – perfectly cooked, buttery garlic mushrooms. I mean, that says it all right?
- Ready in 30 minutes – this whole dish can be on the table in just 30 minutes, and it’s really easy to make too.
What You’ll Need
- Spinach – Fresh baby spinach is best, the fresher the better. Give it a good wash then dry it a little with kitchen paper.
- Basil – Again fresh basil is needed here if you grow you’re own great if not I would recommend buying a pot of living basil for this.
- Vegetarian Parmesan – Parmesan is not a vegetarian cheese due to the rennet used to make it, so make sure you check the label and buy a vegetarian hard Italian cheese.
- Pine Nuts – You’ll need plain, untoasted pine nuts for this recipe, no need to toast them.
- Garlic – I use a lot of garlic in this dish, you can adjust the amount according to your own tastes.
- Oil – You will need extra virgin olive oil for making the pesto, and a little more for drizzling over the finished dish.
- Mushrooms – I use chestnut mushrooms for this dish, they have more flavour, you can use regular white button mushrooms if you prefer.
- Butter – To get that great buttery garlic mushroom taste I use real butter. You can use less if you need to.
- Thyme – I add fresh thyme to the mushrooms for a little extra flavour, this is optional but recommended.
- Pasta – Linguine is my pasta of choice for this dish, but I have made it with fusilli, rotini and penne all of which worked very well.
- Sundried Tomatoes – the kind you find in the deli section. I use sundried tomatoes in oil then press them with the back of a knife to remove any excess oil.
How To Make Mushroom Pesto Pasta
- Make the pesto – add the spinach, basil, grated cheese, pinenuts and garlic to a food processor.
- Blitzed together slowly and briefly, it should resemble a rough paste.
- Pour in the extra virgin olive oil. Add salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice and blitz one more time. Set aside until you are ready to use it.
- Cook the mushrooms – melt some of the butter in a large pan, add half the mushrooms, flip the pan every now and again to turn the mushrooms. Try not to stir the mushrooms, this will make them soggy. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and cook the remaining mushrooms in a little more butter. Once the mushrooms are cooked return the mushrooms in the bowl to the pan. Add the remaining butter, garlic and thyme and cook for a minute until you can smell the garlic.
- Cook the pasta – cook the pasta in a large pan of salted water until al dente, drain then add the pesto and carefully toss the pasta.
- Add the chopped sundried tomatoes and toss carefully again. Serve topped with the garlic mushrooms.
Tips For Making The Best Mushroom Pesto Pasta
- Use really fresh ingredients. The fresher you’re spinach and basil is the better. Both wilt very quickly, so if you have basil growing on your window sill or garden that works best. If not I would buy a pot of growing basil and use that.
- Garlic. I love garlic and this dish is very garlicky, go with what you like. if you prefer less garlic or are serving this to young children then I would reduce the garlic to one clove in the pesto and one for the mushrooms.
- Don’t over blend. This pesto is best on the rough side, so try not to over blend it.
- Use enough pesto. I add quite a lot of the pesto to the pasta, you can add as much or as little as you like, go with your own taste buds.
- Clean the mushrooms. Wipe or brush the mushrooms clean, don’t wash them as they will soak up more water which will lead to soggy mushrooms.
- Don’t overcrowd the mushrooms. If you want perfectly cooked mushrooms, don’t overcrowd the pan, cook the mushrooms in batches if you need to. And try not to stir them too much. For more tips on cooking the perfect mushrooms check out this post here.
- Cook the pasta until al dente. Your pasta will need to have some bite to it, the last thing you want is mushy pasta. And drain it well, there is enough oil in the pesto to stick to the pasta.
- Remove excess oil from the sundried tomatoes. I always do this whenever I use sundried tomatoes that are in oil. Spread the tomatoes on a chopping board, using the back of a large knife scrape each sundried tomato to get rid of all that oil. I sometimes give them a little pat with kitchen paper too.
How To Serve Mushroom Pesto Pasta
I usually serve this with the mushrooms served on top of the pasta pesto, you can stir them in if you prefer. We like this with extra pine nuts and plenty of grated cheese, I would stick to hard Italian cheese though. I like this served warm but it is good cold too, in fact, my daughter really likes it cold!
Can I freeze this dish? I don’t recommend freezing this, it really is best served fresh. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge and reheated on the hob. You may find the texture is slightly different but we have reheated this and it was suitably edible.
I have leftover pesto, what should I do with it? If you have any leftover pesto, pour it into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Pour in a little olive oil to cover the pesto, then leave it in the fridge. It will keep for a week. Apart from using it with pasta, you can also drizzle it on toasted sourdough or on fried eggs.
More Pasta Dinner Inspiration
Have you made this Mushroom Pesto Pasta Recipe? Rate it and leave me a comment below to let me know what you think!
Mushroom Pesto Pasta
For the spinach pesto
- 120 g baby spinach (4 cups)
- 60 g vegetarian parmesan cheese (1/2 a cup + 2 tbsp) finely grated
- 45 g pine nuts (1/3 of a cup)
- 30 g fresh basil leaves (1 1/2 cups)
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 60 ml extra virgin olive oil (1/4 cup)
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the mushrooms
- 500 g chestnut/brown mushrooms ( 4 cups) wiped dry then sliced
- 50 g butter (3 1/2 tbsp) I use real salted butter
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
For the pasta
- 350 g linguine (12oz) You can also use, fusilli or penne.
- A good pinch of salt
- 70 g sundried tomatoes ( approx 3/4 of a cup) cut into strips
- Grated vegetarian parmesan cheese
- Pine nuts
- Basil leaves
- Extra virgin olive oil optional
- Cracked black pepper
Make the pesto
- Add the spinach, basil, pine nuts, grated vegetarian parmesan and minced garlic to a food processor and blend until everything is roughly blended.With the food processor running slowly pour the extra virgin olive oil into the processor. Once the oil has been incorporated stop blitzing.Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper then blitz one more time very briefly. Set aside until you are ready to use it.
Cook the mushrooms
- Melt about a third of the butter in a large frying pan, add half the mushrooms. Cook over medium heat until browned, flip the mushrooms using the pan. Once the mushrooms are brown transfer them to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms.Once all the mushrooms are cooked return the mushrooms in the bowl to the pan along with 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves and a pinch of salt and black pepper.Toss the pan once or twice until the garlic is cooked, this should only take a minute or two.
Cook the pasta
- Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.Drain the pasta.
Assemble the dish
- Add the pesto to the pasta and toss well.Next, add the sundried tomatoes and toss carefully.Serve the pasta in bowls, top with the mushrooms, some grated vegetarian parmesan, some extra pine nuts and some freshly cracked black pepper. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if you wish.
- Spinach - Fresh baby spinach is best for this pesto, frozen spinach will not work here.
- Mushrooms - Chestnut or brown mushrooms will give you the most flavour but white button mushrooms will work well too.
- Pasta - We like linguine for this but fusilli or penne work really well too. I would use whatever pasta you have, except for tortellini.
- Leftover pasta - if you have leftover pasta you can transfer it to a jar with a tight-fitting lid, pour a little olive oil over it then keep it in the fridge for up to a week. You can use it for pasta or we like it drizzled on toasted sourdough or on fried eggs.
- Storing/reheating/freezing - I don't recommend freezing this dish, you can freeze leftover pesto if you need to though. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge and reheated on the hob, you may find a slight difference in texture though. You can eat this dish cold if you wish.
- Nutritional Information - is approximate and is calculated using an online tool, it is a guide only, it does not include any extra toppings.
- Measurements - I weigh all my ingredients using an electric scale, all measurements are metric. Cup measurements are approximate.