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4.86 from 21 votes

Mushroom Spinach Pasta

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

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (8 ounces, 200 g) baby bow tie pasta (or other small pasta, Note 1)

Mushroom Spinach Cheese Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 onion, chopped (about 1 cup or 50g)
  • 8 ounce (226g) 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 (310 ml) milk 1/4 cup (59ml) of this can be half and half cream for richness)
  • 1 1/4 cups (105g) grated white cheese, divided, Note 3
  • 2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach, Note 4 (about 3 cups)

Garnish

  • 1/4 cup (21g) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Instructions

  • 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. 

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