Spinach Mushroom Pasta (With Bow-Ties/Farfalle)

This versatile spinach mushroom pasta is a quick, hearty vegetarian weeknight meal. Cheesy, creamy pasta mixed with healthy fresh mushrooms and spinach (or other veggies of your choice).

Jenna, the other kook, loves this baked pasta dish because she is a huge fan of mushrooms and cheese. 

mushroom spinach pasta in a bowl f

The sauce is just a basic white cheese sauce for pasta which you can flavor with your favorite seasonings, aromatics, and cheeses. You can also lighten it up by using lower-fat milk and cheese. Needless to say, adding cream and full-fat cheeses will make it richer and more luxurious. But the lower-calorie version is still yummy. 

Nutrition-wise, this baked pasta dish is pretty good. It does have saturated fat (due to the cheeses), but it also has a good amount of protein, vitamin A, calcium, and potassium. 

Ingredients – tailored to your taste

  • Pasta: I like to use mini farfalle or bow ties, but any small pasta will work e.g. baby penne, small shells (oriechette), orzo, macaroni.
  • Vegetables: I use fresh baby spinach, mushrooms (any kind) and onions.
  • Sauce: Use any combination and fat content of milk, half and half or heavy cream. I use 2% milk with a splash of half-and-half cream for extra richness.
  • Cheese: Try different combinations of cheeses you love e.g. Gruyere, Monterey Jack, White, Fontina, Provolone, Cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan.
  • Herbs: Use whatever herbs you like best. I used thyme.
  • For a gluten free version of this mushroom spinach pasta, use gluten free pasta. Here are the best tasting gluten free pastas according to an Epicurious article based on Amazon ratings. They are made with corn, quinoa or rice. 
  • Vegetable alternatives:
    • Frozen spinach is fine too. Drop it into the boiling water along with the pasta, then drain with the pasta.
    • Try kale instead of baby spinach. Or cooked broccoli or cauliflower
    • Choose the fresh mushrooms you like for this dish – white button, cremini, shitake, brown, baby bella mushrooms, etc.
    • Add red peppers instead of (or in addition to) mushrooms. Just sauté them with the onions.
    • Add tomato slices on top of the pasta casserole before baking.
  • You can also add red pepper flakes if you like some heat

Step by step instructions

bow tie noodles in colander
Boil pasta until tender. Drain and set aside.
sauteed mushrooms and onions in pan
Saute onions, mushrooms, garlic until moisture evaporates
cream added to mushrooms and onions in pan
Add flour (cook for 2 minutes), then milk/cream and seasonings. Cook until slightly thickened. 
spinach and cheese added to mushroom onion sauce
Stir in grated cheeses and baby spinach until smooth and spinach is wilted.
Pasta added to sauce in pan
Stir in pasta.
Mushroom Spinach Pasta poured into baking dish with cheese on top
Transfer to baking dish. Top with gruyere and parmesan (and parsley).
baked Mushroom Spinach Pasta in baking dish
Bake until topping is golden brown. Serve.


  • Buy pre-shredded cheeses, sliced mushrooms and pre-washed fresh baby spinach.

Make Ahead 

  • This is an easy pasta recipe to make ahead for a busy weeknight dinner. Here’s how.
  • Complete the casserole and don’t bake it. Cover and place it in the fridge for up to two days. Bake when needed for about 20-25 minutes or until top is nicely browned.

What to serve with mushroom spinach pasta

As a main dish: Serve this delicious pasta dish with a simple side salad or a healthy soup such as homemade creamy tomato soup, hearty ratatouille soup, or curried sweet potato soup.

As a side dish: It also makes a great vegetarian side dish for roasted salmon stuffed with herbs, crispy baked fish or lemon butter herb baked trout.

baked Mushroom Spinach Pasta in bowl p3

More vegetarian pasta dishes

If you like this recipe, please leave a 5 star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟with a comment in the recipe card below. Thanks so much!

mushroom spinach pasta in a bowl f
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4.83 from 29 votes

Spinach Mushroom Pasta

This versatile spinach mushroom pasta dish makes for a quick, vegetarian weeknight meal. Creamy, cheesy satisfaction mixed with hearty mushrooms and healthy spinach. 
Prep Time7 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time37 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 mains or 6 sides


  • 2 cups baby bow tie pasta (about 8 ounces) (or other small pasta, Note 1)

Mushroom Spinach Cheese Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 onion, chopped (about 1 cup or 50g)
  • 8 ounce fresh mushrooms, sliced (about 2 1/2 cups), Note 2
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 teaspoon minced or 1/8 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or Italian seasoning)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups milk 1/4 cup (59ml) of this can be half and half cream for richness)
  • 1 1/4 cups grated white cheese, divided, Note 3
  • 2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach, Note 4 (about 3 cups)


  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley


  • PREHEAT OVEN: to 4OOF/204C
  • BOIL BOW TIES: Boil bow tie pasta in a large pot of water (add 2 teaspoons salt to water) according to package instructions. Cook pasta to al dente (or softer if preferred). Drain and set aside. 
  • SAUTÉ MUSHROOMS AND AROMATICS: Heat oil and butter in large skillet or saucepan on medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and onions. Sauté for 5 minutes until translucent and water from mushrooms is evaporated. Add garlic and sauté another 30 seconds. 
  • MAKE SAUCE: Reduce heat to medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add milk (and cream if using), thyme, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes until you have a slightly thickened creamy sauce. Stir in 1 cup of cheese and all the fresh spinach. Stir until spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Add bow ties and mix to combine. Pour into a 7-8 inch (18-20 cm) square or round oven proof dish. 
  • BAKE: Top with remaining 1/4 cup white cheese, Parmesan and parsley. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese browns on top. Alternatively, bake 7 minutes and broil for 3 minutes to brown the top, watching that it doesn’t burn. 


Recipe Notes

  1. Pasta – instead of bowtie pasta, try macaroni, penne pasta, orecchiette (shells), orzo, farfalle pasta. 
  2. Mushrooms – Choose the kind you like. Great choices are white button, cremini, shitake or a combination.
  3. White cheese options Gruyere, Fontina, Emmental, Monterey Jack, Provolone, White Cheddar.
  4. Fresh spinach substitutes:
    • You can use frozen spinach instead of fresh (about 4 ounces). Drop it into the boiling water along with the pasta, then drain with the pasta. Alternatively, thaw, squeeze out water and add at the end. 
    • Try kale instead of baby spinach. Or cooked broccoli or cauliflower
  5. Make Ahead: Complete the mushroom spinach pasta casserole and don’t bake. Cover and place in fridge for up to two days. Bake when needed for about 20-25 minutes or until top is nicely browned.
Nutrition values are estimates and will depend on the pasta, cheeses and type of milk used. 


Serving: 0g | Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 679mg | Potassium: 454mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 727IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 451mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?We’d love you to rate it above under ‘rate this recipe’ or in the comment section below. Thanks!


4.83 from 29 votes (26 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. I doubled the recipe and made it in my Lodge cast iron 9 x 13 pan. Added 20 ounces of frozen spinach, whole wheat Penne, more cheese, and 1% milk, using heavy cream instead of half and half and a bit more of it. I figured I could ground turkey if I wanted meat in it but I am trying to eat more vegetables. Delicious. Boyfriend approved.

    1. I think that would be absolutely fine Liza. Stir in the cooked cubed chicken before you transfer it to a baking dish, then bake as per the recipe. You might also want to add a touch more milk to loosen it up since the chicken will absorb some liquid. I hope that helps. I’d love to know if it turns out well 🙂

    1. Hi Lewis. The total cooking time is about 30 minutes with the veggie sauté, boiling the noodles, making the sauce and baking. You can cut the baking time down a bit by baking for 7 minutes and broiling for 3 minutes. The prep just involves cutting mushrooms, grating cheese and gathering ingredients. Hope that clarifies the timing. And more importantly, I hope you like the pasta!

    1. Absolutely. Freeze it in an sealed container or freezer bag. Reheat, covered, in a 350F oven for 15-20 minutes. Or in the microwave for a minute or two. I’ll have to add this the recipe. Thanks for asking.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this with Penne and used Monterey Jack with jalapenos embedded within it. I also used Shitake, and a white onion (skipped the garlic due to local preferences of one family member). Lots of fresh thyme as well as black pepper. It was lovely; the whole thing disappeared at one sitting. I guess I should make a bit more next time! Easy to prepare, put in the ‘fridge and then put on the table for a comfy winter dinner the whole family enjoyed. BRAVO!

    1. Peter, thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment. You used some great variations. Glad the family enjoyed it.