Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Serves: About 4-6

Prep Time: 1 hour ; Cook Time: 30 mintues

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Recipe developed by: Shannon Costello, RDN, LD with CFW


Cashew Cream Sauce:

  • ¾ cup raw cashews
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • Pinch of each salt & black pepper


  • 8-12 ounces chickpea pasta (penne, fettuccini, or spaghetti noodles)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced*
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or ⅓ teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, for serving (dairy-free, as needed)

*A note on cleaning mushrooms: Use a clean, damp paper towel to gently rub the surface of each mushroom to remove dirt.

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water.
  2. Place cashews in a heat-safe bowl. Cover cashews with boiling hot water and let sit for 1 hour to soften the cashews. After 1 hour, discard the water and place cashews in a small blender. Add 1 ⅓ cups water, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth and cashews are broken down entirely. Set aside.
  3. Add water to a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add about 1 tablespoon sea salt and dry pasta to water. Cook according to package directions (usually about 7-10 minutes). Once cooked, reserve 1 cup of cooking water, then drain remaining water through a colander. Set aside cooked pasta and reserved pasta water.
  4. While pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add oil. Add sliced mushrooms and a couple pinches of salt. Saute for about 6-8 minutes, or until softened and golden brown. Add shallots, garlic, thyme, and several pinches of black pepper. Saute another 2-3 minutes until fragrant and shallots are translucent.
  5. Stir in the Cashew Cream Sauce to the skillet and bring the sauce to a low boil. Reduce heat to low-medium and let sauce simmer to thicken for about 3-5 minutes. Sauce should be thick yet still saucy enough to coat the noodles. If the sauce gets too thick, add ¼ cup of reserved pasta water at a time to thin the sauce. Adjust seasonings as desired (add more black pepper, salt, or thyme).
  6. Add cooked pasta into sauce and stir until pasta is well coated. As an option, stir in the shredded Parmesan cheese. Serve warm with Parmesan cheese, freshly cracked black pepper, or a sprig of fresh thyme.
  7. Allow leftovers to cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Pasta is best fresh but can be frozen for up to 1 month.