This mushroom pasta with goat cheese, fresh herbs and lemon is a quick and easy dinner recipe tastes like it took all day to make.
There are recipes that taste good…and then there are recipes that taste amazing. And sometimes, that amazing flavor doesn’t take much effort at all. Such is the case with this mushroom pasta with goat cheese! It is so seriously good, it’s one of my favorite things that has come out of our kitchen. It pairs savory mushrooms with bright lemon, creamy goat cheese, and fresh thyme and oregano. And it’s done in less than 30 minutes. Boom! Mushroom lovers: you’re not going to know what to do with yourself.
Related: Easy Dinner Recipes for Busy Lives
Is it really the best mushroom pasta?
Well, we think so! This recipe was inspired by a mushroom pasta that I had at a restaurant. But here, Alex and I decided to add soft goat cheese, lots of fresh herbs, leafy greens, and a hit of lemon. And the result was pretty perfect. The pasta is smothered with creamy goat cheese, the mixed mushrooms are sauteed with fresh thyme and oregano until they’re super savory, and there’s a pop of fresh lemon to round it off.
Oh and we threw in some nutrient dense leafy greens. It takes only 25 minutes to put together, making it of our favorite quick and easy dinner ideas. And at the rate we hear rave reviews from readers, it’s one of our best vegetarian recipes to date.
Tips on how to make mushroom pasta
Here are a few notes on how to perfectly season this mushroom pasta with goat cheese:
- Cook the pasta in salted boiling water. To cook pasta properly, you have to salt the water: A LOT. You can dump about 1 tablespoon kosher salt into the water. Don’t worry, the pasta will only absorb a small bit of that amount of salt. And it will be perfectly salted.
- Cook the pasta to al dente. This is where a lot of people trip up and over cooking pasta! To cook the farfalle for this mushroom pasta to al dente, start checking the pasta a few minutes before the timing indicated on the pasta box and taste it. Cook until it is tender but still a little firm on the inside. Al dente is so much better than mushy pasta: it’s worth getting it just right.
- Salt to taste. This is the crucial final step. The dish should be well salted to bring out the flavor, but not overly salty. Since the recipe calls to salt the pasta water, mushrooms, and greens separately, you may not have to add much in your final taste.
How to make it a meal!
This pasta recipe is for 8 ounces of pasta, which we’ve noted as 4 servings. They’re modest servings, so we’d recommend serving with a green salad with some veggie protein (nuts, seeds, etc). Usually Alex and I throw together greens and some of our favorite homemade salad dressings, like Best Balsamic or Healthy Ranch. Our Arugula Salad or Chopped Salad would be lovely to pair.
Whatever your choose, this mushroom pasta with goat cheese is a delicious dinner: it was even a big win with our toddler Larson! It’s one of our favorite mushroom recipes, hands down.
Is pasta healthy?
Have you been avoiding pasta because it’s not typically considered healthy? Good news: a new study found pasta can actually help you lose weight. The Italian researchers found that eaten in moderation, pasta can be part of a healthy diet. This is a full 180 of conventional wisdom, right? Alex and I have been enjoying pasta in moderation for years—so we’re glad it’s back in good graces! And this mushroom pasta is the perfect way to enjoy it.
This mushroom pasta recipe is…
Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.Print
This mushroom pasta with fresh herbs, goat cheese and lemon is a quick and easy dinner recipe tastes like it took all day to make.
- 8 ounces bowtie pasta (farfalle)**
- 8 ounces mixed mushrooms (such as baby portabella, shiitake, and oyster)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh thyme and oregano
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 cups baby greens: baby kale or spinach
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 to 4 ounces soft goat cheese*
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- Cook the pasta in heavily salted boiling water until al dente. Pro tip: Set the timer for a few minutes less than the package instructions and then taste: the pasta should be just done, still with some firmness. The pasta should also taste salty from the salted water. Drain the pasta and save out 1/4 cup pasta water.
- Meanwhile, clean the mushrooms, then slice them. Chop the herbs.
- In a saute pan or skillet, heat the olive oil to medium high heat and cook the herbs, mushrooms, and several pinches of kosher salt together for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When mushrooms are cooked and tender, reduce heat to low, add lemon juice, greens and few more pinches of kosher salt. Cook for about 2 minutes until greens are wilted but bright green. Add the Parmesan cheese and pasta water and stir until cheese is melted.
- Add the drained pasta into the mushrooms. Add fresh ground black pepper and kosher salt to taste. Use your fingers to break off crumbles of the goat cheese and add it to the pasta; stir them in if desired. Serve immediately.
*Buy the soft goat cheese log here, not the packaged goat cheese crumbles (these have a firmer texture).
**A note on serving size: Alex and I are trying to eat smaller pasta servings overall, and make up for that with a simple salad or other appetizer to go alongside! If you have super hungry eaters, adjust the quantities accordingly.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Mushroom Pasta, Goat Cheese Pasta, Bowtie Pasta, Farfalle, Quick Dinner Recipes, Easy Dinner Recipes, Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes, Vegetarian Dinner Recipes
Looking for easy dinner recipes?
Outside of this mushroom pasta, here are some of our favorite easy dinner recipes:
- 5 Minute Seared Tuna Recipe
- Coleslaw & Swiss Melt Sandwich
- Tomato Basil Pasta
- Loaded Quinoa Tacos
- Pesto Pasta with Tomatoes
- Jackfruit Tacos
- Cacio e Pepe
- Best Stir Fry Vegetables with Teriyaki
- Seared Salmon Poke Bowl
- Tomato Coconut Cauliflower Curry
- Quick Coconut Lentil Curry
- Spinach Alfredo Pasta
- Lemon Arugula Rigatoni Pasta Recipe
- Chickpea Couscous Bowls with Tahini Sauce
- Quick Cuban Black Beans
- Gemelli Pasta with Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Yum Yum Sauce
- Stovetop White Cheddar Mac and Cheese
- Easy Pasta Puttanesca
- Orecchiette Pasta with Lemon Asparagus
- Vegan Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce
- Vegetarian Gumbo
- Related: Best Goat Cheese Recipes
Last updated: January 2020
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.