Asparagus Mushroom Pasta

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Tender asparagus and perfectly seared mushrooms are tossed in a velvety, lemony sauce in this simple creamy springtime asparagus mushroom pasta.

A pan of asparagus mushroom pasta with a wooden serving spoon in it.

Asparagus is one of my favorite spring vegetables. There’s something about its mild flavor and crisp-tender texture that complements so many meals beautifully.

I usually roast it, like in this Roasted Asparagus and Potatoes dish, or grill it, but I found that a quick pan fry is the best method for those skinnier spears that get mushy quickly with those other methods. Combined with some seared mushrooms, they make a terrific side dish all on their own.

However, I’ve been itching to try and make a main with this spring vegetable, and pasta sounded like the perfect way to introduce it to my kids!

Any sort of pasta dish is always a winner in our house; it’s quick, versatile, and there’s no one in the house who doesn’t light up at the mention of pasta for dinner. So, asparagus pasta just sounded like the perfect dish to bring some variety to my pasta recipes.

A plate of asparagus mushroom pasta.

Asparagus is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and it’s incredibly nutritious. With fresh asparagus, earthy mushrooms, and a light and lemony cream sauce, this asparagus mushroom pasta is a perfect spring meal that only takes about 30 minutes to make.

Why You’ll Love this Asparagus Mushroom Pasta Recipe

It’s quick and easy. This asparagus mushroom pasta only takes 30 minutes to make from start to finish. It’s perfect for busy weeknights when time is tight but you still want a meal that’s satisfying and delicious.

It’s so versatile! While this pasta tastes great with just the asparagus and mushrooms – you can also add a protein like chicken or shrimp to make it heartier. You can also swap in other vegetables depending on what’s in season. Peas, broccoli, and spinach would all be great!

A pan of asparagus mushroom pasta with a wooden serving spoon in it.

It’s creamy but not too heavy. Unlike heavier pasta recipes that rely on rich sauces, this asparagus mushroom pasta is light and fresh. It uses fresh lemon juice and half-and-half instead of heavy cream for a delicious sauce that doesn’t overpower the natural flavors of the main ingredients.

Ingredient Notes

ingredients used to make asparagus mushroom pasta

Olive oil

I like to use heart-healthy olive oil to cook the mushrooms and to make the sauce for this asparagus mushroom pasta. You can also use butter or any type of neutral oil you prefer.

Cremini Mushrooms

Cremini mushrooms have a meaty texture and mild flavor. I like to slice them about ¼ inch thick to make sure they’re prominent in the dish and don’t melt into the sauce.

If you don’t have cremini mushrooms, substitute with white button mushrooms, or try shitakes, oyster mushrooms, a mix, or really whatever mushrooms you like.

Asparagus

When you’re buying asparagus, make sure to pick up the bunch with firm and bright green stalks. You’ll need to cut the woody ends of the asparagus and also cut it into 1-inch pieces so it cooks evenly and is easy to eat.

Pasta

I like to use penne for this pasta recipe as its tube-shape is ideal for holding onto the sauce. You can substitute with any medium pasta like fusilli, rigatoni, or even bowtie pasta.

A long pasta shape like linguine or fettucine would also work well in this dish.

Garlic

Freshly minced garlic adds a punch of flavor that complements the creamy sauce. It’s key to add it just before the cream to prevent burning.

Half-and-Half

Half-and-half makes for the perfect creamy base for this asparagus mushroom pasta. For a lighter version, you can use evaporated milk, which has a creamy consistency but is lighter than cream. Or for a richer sauce, substitute with heavy cream, or a combination of half-and-half and heavy cream.

Parmesan Cheese

Finely grated Parmesan melts beautifully into the sauce, adding a nutty, savory depth. Always opt for freshly grated Parmesan for the best flavor, and because it melts much better.

If you want to make this dish vegetarian (Parmesan is usually not vegetarian due to the use of animal rennet), you can swirl in a couple of tablespoons of cream cheese instead.

Oregano and Thyme

I like to add some dried oregano and thyme for a more complex flavor profile. You can also use Italian seasoning, or fresh herbs if you prefer.

Red pepper flakes

The red pepper flakes are a must for a hint of spice in this asparagus mushroom pasta. You can adjust the amount depending on how spicy you want your pasta to be.

Fresh Lemon Juice and Zest

The fresh lemon juice cuts through the creaminess of the sauce and perfectly balances all the flavors. It adds a bright, fresh finish to the pasta.

Salt & Black Pepper

Adjust the salt and black pepper according to taste.

Fresh Basil

I like to top my asparagus mushroom pasta with some chopped fresh basil. If you don’t like the flavor of basil, you can also use fresh parsley.

Don’t forget to watch the video!

Most of my recipes include a short step-by-step video tutorial. Just scroll down to the recipe card, or use the “Jump to Video” button at the top of the post!

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Fill a large pot with water, add salt, and bring it to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, following the package instructions. Save one cup of pasta water, the drain the pasta and set it aside.

TIP: always like to reserve a cup of pasta water to stir into leftovers while re-heating as this helps loosen the sauce and bring it back to its original creaminess. I just store it in the fridge alongside the leftovers.

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and a ½ tsp of salt. Let them sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 3-5 mins until they are well-browned.
cooking mushrooms in a skillet
browned mushrooms in a skillet
  1. Lower the burner to medium heat, add two tbsp of water and the asparagus to the skillet, along with another ½ tsp of salt. Stir frequently and cook until the asparagus is vibrant green and crisp-tender, which should take about 5 mins. Remove the vegetables from the skillet and set them aside.
asparagus and mushrooms in a skillet
  1. Lower the heat to medium-low, return the skillet to the heat, and add another tbsp of olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute until it is fragrant. Pour in the half-and-half and let it simmer gently for 3-4 mins, until the sauce has slightly thickened.
garlic added to the pan
half and half bubbling in a pan
  1. Turn the heat to low. Gradually add in the Parmesan cheese, stirring continuously until the sauce is creamy and smooth.
parmesan cheese added to the sauce
  1. Now mix in the dried thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, fresh lemon juice, and zest. Adjust the seasoning with additional salt and black pepper as needed.
spices and seasonings added to the sauce
  1. Add the cooked pasta and the sautéed vegetables back into the skillet. Stir everything together to ensure the pasta and vegetables are well coated with the sauce.
cooked pasta and veggies added to the skillet
  1. Serve your asparagus mushroom pasta with extra Parmesan, a sprinkle of red chili flakes, and fresh basil.
asparagus mushroom pasta in a skillet

Serving Suggestions

  • I like to serve this asparagus mushroom pasta with some crusty bread or this delicious cheesy garlic bread.
  • For more protein, consider adding grilled chicken strips, sautéed shrimp, or flaked salmon on the side.
picking up a bite of asparagus mushroom pasta with a fork
  • A crisp green salad with a light vinaigrette dressing pairs beautifully with the creamy texture of the pasta.

Storage Instructions

Transfer the cooled asparagus mushroom pasta to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. If you want longer storage, store the sauce separately. Boil some pasta fresh on the day, mix, and serve.

A plate of asparagus mushroom pasta.

You can freeze this pasta, but as with all cream sauces, it may separate after thawing, so the texture may not be ideal.

More Easy Pasta Recipes

Greek Spaghetti

Tomato Alfredo Sauce Pasta

Baked Tortellini with Roasted Vegetables

Halloumi Pasta

Can I make this asparagus mushroom pasta gluten-free?

Yes, you can easily make this pasta dish gluten-free by substituting the regular penne with your favorite gluten-free pasta. Just be sure to check the pasta’s cooking instructions as gluten-free varieties may have different cooking times.

Can I make this recipe vegetarian?

The only thing about this recipe that is not vegetarian is the Parmesan, which is typically made with animal rennet. You can either find a vegetarian Parmesan, or substitute it by swirling in a couple of tablespoons of cream cheese instead.

Can I make this recipe vegan?

Absolutely! To make this asparagus mushroom pasta vegan, replace the half-and-half with a plant-based cream or full-fat coconut milk, and use a vegan Parmesan cheese alternative or nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor.

Why is my asparagus mushy after cooking?

Asparagus can become mushy if it’s overcooked. To avoid this, cook it until it’s just crisp-tender — usually about 3-5 minutes, depending on thickness

Tell me what you think!

If you try this recipe, l’d be so grateful if you’d leave a comment and a rating in the recipe card. I love to hear your feedback, and your tips can help other readers too!

A plate of asparagus mushroom pasta.

Asparagus Mushroom Pasta

Tender asparagus and perfectly seared mushrooms are tossed in a velvety, lemony sauce in this simple creamy springtime asparagus mushroom pasta.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 571kcal
Author: Ann Otis

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms sliced about a ¼ inch thick (so not too thin)
  • 1 bunch of asparagus trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • 3/4 lb penne pasta
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ cups half-and-half
  • cup Parmesan cheese finely grated, plus more for topping
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh basil optional

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook to al dente, according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water if you anticipate leftovers (see note). Drain and set aside.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the mushrooms and sprinkle with a ½ teaspoon of salt. and let them brown, tossing only occasionally, about 3-5 minutes, until the mushrooms have plenty of color and the skillet is dry.
  • Lower the heat to medium and add two tablespoons of water to the pan, along with the asparagus and another ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the asparagus is bright green and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes longer. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and return the pan to the burner. Add another tablespoon of olive oil. Add garlic and saute about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the light cream and bring it to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened.
  • Turn the heat down to low and sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese, stirring until smooth. Stir in the thyme, oregano, red chili flakes, lemon juice and zest. Taste and season with more salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
  • Add drained pasta and vegetables back to the pan and stir to combine. Garnish with more Parmesan, red chili flakes, and fresh basil if desired, and serve.

Video

Notes

Storage Instructions
Transfer the cooled asparagus mushroom pasta to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. For longer storage, store the sauce separately. Boil some pasta fresh on the day, mix, and serve. I
always like to reserve a cup of pasta water to stir into leftovers while re-heating as this helps loosen the sauce and bring it back to its original creaminess.
You can freeze this pasta, but as with all cream sauces, it may separate after thawing, so the texture may not be ideal.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 571kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 784mg | Potassium: 824mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1284IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 264mg | Iron: 4mg
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