Mushroom Pasta with Goat Cheese

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.

Mushroom pasta

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

Goat cheese pasta

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.

Mushroom pasta

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.
Goat cheese pasta

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.

Goat cheese pasta

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.

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Mushroom pasta

Mushroom Pasta with Goat Cheese

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (186 votes, average: 4.01 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 servings 1x


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 bella aka cremini, button, 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


  1. 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.
  2. Meanwhile, clean the mushrooms, then slice them. Chop the herbs.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

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Last updated: January 2020

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

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

Cookbook Author and photographer

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.


  • Reply
    March 12, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    substitute for goat cheese? Not a fan

    • Reply
      March 12, 2019 at 3:29 pm

      You could add some dollops of cream cheese for creaminess — or you could try feta crumbles (it just wouldn’t be creamy but would taste delicious)!

    • Reply
      Ellice Jackson Liss
      May 16, 2019 at 1:55 pm


      • Reply
        May 16, 2019 at 10:40 pm

        The flavor would dull a little bit with the fresh herbs and lemons if you reheat it. I’d recommend just making the pasta ahead and then doing the rest of the recipe the day you’re planning on eating it!

    • Reply
      Mark Moncada
      May 20, 2020 at 2:09 pm

      Can I use half and half cream instead of pasta water to make the pasta creamier?

      • Reply
        Alex Overhiser
        May 20, 2020 at 7:17 pm

        Yes, that would work!

  • Reply
    March 14, 2019 at 10:38 am

    I read the ingredient list as 1/4 cup oregano/thyme TOTAL, not each. Is that correct? Thank you!

    • Reply
      March 14, 2019 at 10:39 am

      Yes! Any combination will of them will work :)

    • Reply
      April 4, 2019 at 10:23 am

      We made this last night and the 1/4 cup of the spices was a little too much for us. Would half that next time.

  • Reply
    March 18, 2019 at 11:59 pm

    This pasta was, in a word, “A W E S O M E”. It was so good, my husband had me make it again the next night! It’s so flavorful and delicious and super quick! Be sure to give this one a try, it’s a keeper!

    • Reply
      March 23, 2019 at 9:13 pm

      Oh my goodness, we are so glad to hear it! Thank you so much for trying it out! :)

  • Reply
    April 9, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    I don’t normally comment, but this was SO delicious and easy to make. Will definitely make again! Sign me up for anything with goat cheese, yum!

    • Reply
      April 22, 2019 at 9:34 am

      We are SO happy to hear this! Yes, all the goat cheese, right?! Thanks for making it!

  • Reply
    May 20, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    This was absolutely delicious! I halved the recipe for the two of us. My husband loved it and wants to have it again. It was a perfect lunch with a green salad, very satisfying. The only advice I would offer others would be to reserve “extra” pasta juice in case your pasta mixture is a little dry, then you can add extra as needed. Thank you for this recipe!

  • Reply
    Jessica Flory
    May 27, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    WOW!! This was incredible and came together so quick! I added fresh rosemary from our garden and minced garlic. Yum!!!

  • Reply
    Ethel Zetts
    June 7, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    I just found this sight and I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with The Washington Post. I was so happy to see that you were providing nutritional information (my husband has a strict sodium level) but I was so disappointed that you didn’t include the sodium levels. Please do so in the future. Your recipes sound like something I have been looking for and I’m going to start trying some of them soon.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2019 at 7:16 am

    We scaled this recipe up to serve six by using a whole box (12 oz) of farfalle and adjusting everything else accordingly. It was a hit! Definitely agree with laying the goat cheese on top at the end and serving in the pan you sautéed the mushrooms in. One less dish to wash and keeps everything hot at the table. We also added sliced chicken breast on the side (I know….) to make it a little more filling for the omnivores at the table.

  • Reply
    May 1, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    Have made this recipe several times and it’s a real treat. Wanted it for tonight’s dinner but the market was out of goat cheese. On a whim, I bought some good blue cheese and used that instead. Left out the thyme and used parsley and oregano. Not as creamy as the goat cheese version but still delivered a lot of flavor and gave us the “fine dining” vibes. Thank you for the good bones of this recipe!

  • Reply
    July 17, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    Delicious meal. Added garlic as well as sliced chicken thighs.

    This is a definite repeat!

  • Reply
    August 30, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    Only changes I made: cooked the mushrooms alone on high until browned, reduced heat to med-high, added garlic and fresh herbs. I also used heavy whipping cream instead of pasta water. The recipe is so delicious, it was quick and easy – thank you!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      August 31, 2020 at 10:31 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    February 8, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    This is a great recipe. I am pregnant and very hungry all the time, so I was afraid of being disappointed if I made this and it didn’t come out good. Well, I was not disappointed! This recipe came out very tasty and it was very easy to make.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      February 9, 2021 at 9:49 am

      So glad you enjoyed! :)

  • Reply
    April 20, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    You had me at goat cheese and lemon. This dish looks AHmazingly beautiful. I have this terrible habit of getting overly excited when draining the pasta and forgetting to set aside the pasta water. Do you have any tips for a substitution if I do that?
    Also, I love your suggestion of an arugula salad to go with this. Dang it. Now, I am starvation.

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      April 21, 2021 at 9:54 am

      Great question! We’ve had the same thing happen, too! Here’s an idea: Milk Street recommends using cornstarch in water — go here for instructions. We haven’t tried it, but sounds like it could work! Let us know if you try. Thanks for the comment!

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