One-Pot Creamy Mushroom Pesto Pasta

updated Sep 4, 2022
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One-Pot Creamy Mushroom Pesto Pasta

In this 20-minute vegetarian dinner, vibrant pesto and creamy mascarpone cheese combine to create a silky sauce that clings to the noodles.

Serves4

Prep10 minutes

Cook8 minutes to 10 minutes

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one pot mushroom pesto pasta
Credit: Joe Lingeman

Classic basil pesto, with its mix of nutty, cheesy, garlicky flavors, is one of the greatest condiments there is. But creamy pesto is even better. It turns the vibrant sauce into something a little richer and more satisfying — perfect for coating long strands of al dente linguine. I like to think of it as Alfredo’s lighter, brighter cousin.

Here, that sauce comes to life in the same pot as the pasta. As the pasta cooks, the starchy, salty water combines with the pesto and creamy mascarpone cheese to create a silky sauce that clings to the noodles. When combined with tender mushrooms and plenty of garlic, you’ve got a pretty brilliant vegetarian dinner.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Making This Dish Your Own

Below, I’m sharing the easiest version of this recipe: Everything goes into the pot at the same time and cooks until the liquid evaporates. But if you have a few extra minutes, you can coax a little more flavor out of the mushrooms and garlic by sautéing them in the pot with a splash of olive oil before adding the rest of the ingredients.

As for this recipe’s “creamy” component, I prefer mascarpone for its soft, light texture and mild, milky flavor. But this recipe works just as well with whole-milk ricotta cheese, whole-milk plain Greek yogurt, or even heavy cream, so don’t hesitate to use what you’ve got on hand (although know that low-fat versions will curdle).

Lastly, if you can find it, Gotham Greens’ pesto is the best store-bought pesto I’ve ever tasted. You can thank me later.

One-Pot Creamy Mushroom Pesto Pasta

In this 20-minute vegetarian dinner, vibrant pesto and creamy mascarpone cheese combine to create a silky sauce that clings to the noodles.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 8 minutes to 10 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces

    cremini mushrooms

  • 6 cloves

    garlic

  • 4 1/2 cups

    water

  • 12 ounces

    dried linguine pasta

  • 1/4 cup

    basil pesto

  • 8 ounces

    mascarpone cheese

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • Fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Slice 10 ounces cremini mushrooms and thinly slice 6 garlic cloves. Place both in a large, straight-sided skillet. Add 4 1/2 cups water, 12 ounces linguine, 1/4 cup pesto, 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

  2. Bring to a boil over high heat (this will take about 5 minutes). Boil the mixture, stirring and turning the pasta with tongs to prevent sticking, until the pasta is al dente and almost all the liquid has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and top with fresh basil leaves. Taste and season with more salt as needed.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days.