Cajun Mushroom Pasta

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This creamy Cajun mushroom pasta is rich, savory, and loaded with incredible flavors. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and light enough to enjoy even during the summertime!

Cajun Mushroom Pasta

In Southern Creole cuisine, nobody really thinks about the flavors we can develop with mushrooms, but when I saw these beautiful mushrooms in the grocery store, I was inspired to make a spicy Cajun mushroom pasta. This dish is vegan, unbelievably creamy, and delicious. 

During the summer months, heavy dishes tend to weigh us down and make us feel even hotter. This amazing Cajun pasta with cream sauce is packed with flavor but still light enough to enjoy on a warm summer evening. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take any excuse to cook pasta regardless of the season. 

This one pan meal is easy to make and is a fantastic way to try out an assortment of different mushrooms. Once you’ve made the cashew cream sauce, you can have this meal on the dinner table in just 15 minutes. If you’re looking for a pasta recipe to try for your next family dinner, dinner party, or neighborhood potluck, do yourself a favor and make it this one. Serve with a side of my garlic chive cheddar biscuits and a fresh garden salad for the ultimate meal!

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Key Ingredients

Here’s a breakdown of the key ingredients you’ll need to bring this creamy Cajun mushroom pasta dish to life. 

  • Mushrooms: I always use an assortment of mushrooms when I cook with them because they all have a unique flavor and texture. For this recipe, I used chanterelle, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms. Feel free to use any fresh mushrooms you can find at your local grocery store.
  • Garlic: A little bit of fresh garlic adds a ton of delicious flavor to this creamy pasta dish.
  • Serrano Peppers: Instead of using cayenne pepper or Cajun seasoning, I opted for the heat of this fantastic chile. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, you can omit the peppers and use a dash of chili flakes to add a depth of flavor.
  • Cashews: To lighten up this dish, we’ll make a cashew cream sauce in place of your traditional alfredo sauce. It might sound crazy, but trust me—you’ll thank me later. 
  • Chickpea Pasta: Chickpea pasta is packed with protein and fiber, making for a healthier option than traditional pasta. It’s also naturally gluten-free, making this an excellent choice for anyone following a gluten-free diet. 
  • Vegan Parmesan: Choose your favorite plant-based parmesan from the store or swap for regular grated parmesan cheese if you don’t mind including dairy. 
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How to Make Cajun Mushroom Pasta

This dish is super quick and easy to make. The only time-consuming step is allowing the cashews to soak, which is 100% necessary and luckily requires no real work on your part. Then, this creamy pasta dish only takes around 15 minutes to whip up.

Step 1: Make Cashew Cream 

Add the cashews and water to a container, then cover and leave at room temperature for 8 hours; transfer cashews and water to a food blender and blitz on high for 1 minute or until smooth. Keep cream in an airtight container for up to 1 week. 

Step 2: Cook Chickpea Pasta

Cook the pasta in a large pot with 1-2 tablespoons of kosher salt, then drain and reserve pasta water.

Step 3: Make Cashew Cream Sauce and Serve

Turn on the heat to medium in a large skillet, add oil and mushrooms, cook for 3 minutes until mushrooms release water. Add onions, cook for 2 minutes. Add minced garlic, serranos, salt, pepper, and oregano, and stir once or twice. 

Add pasta, cashew cream, and ¾ cup pasta water; add more water if you like it creamier; then cook for 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Divide evenly among 4 plates and garnish with grated parmesan and cilantro.

Cajun Mushroom Pasta

Recipe Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the best Cajun mushroom pasta:

  • If you’re worried about the heat, you can swap the serrano peppers for jalapeno peppers or simply omit the peppers altogether. 
  • You can swap the cashew cream for heavy cream if you aren’t worried about keeping this dish vegan or don’t want to take the time to make cashew cream.
  • For a smokier flavor, add a pinch of smoked paprika to the dish.
  • If you love Cajun chicken and want to beef up this dish, you can turn it into a Cajun chicken pasta by grilling up some chicken pieces and tossing them in.
  • Feel free to add Cajun seasoning or Italian seasoning for added flavor.
  • Garnish with lemon wedges, cracked black pepper, and chopped parsley for a show-stopping presentation.

Common One to One Substitutions

If you don’t have everything you need, don’t worry. Here are a few common substitutions you can try out: 

  • Mushrooms of Choice = Chanterelles
  • Jalapeno, Haberno = Serrano 
  • Granulated Sugar = Raw Cane Sugar
  • Cashew Cream = Heavy Cream
  • Plant-Based, Egg Free Pasta = Chickpea Pasta
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Cajun Mushroom Pasta FAQs

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about this creamy cajun mushroom pasta:

How to pick mushrooms?

When you go to the grocery store to buy mushrooms, you should look for two major indicators. First, are the mushrooms dry? If not, they will look soggy and you’ll be able to tell. Second, are they full? Fresh mushrooms appear full, while old mushrooms look wilted and dried out. 

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

You can make the pasta up to 1 day in advance and the cashew cream up to 3 days in advance. To reheat the mushroom pasta, bring a small amount of stock, water, or milk to a boil and stir in the pasta. Cook until hot. 

To store leftovers, transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. This dish works great for meal prep, so don’t be afraid to make extras!    

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Which mushroom is best for pasta?

In my experience, the most flavorful mushroom pasta dishes are the ones that utilize multiple types of mushrooms. Some varieties have a more meaty texture and mild flavor, while others are lighter and possess a more savory flavor. 

White mushrooms and portobello mushrooms tend to be cheaper but lack in flavor. If you use those, I recommend pairing them with a more flavorful variety like chanterelle, oyster, porcini, or shiitake mushrooms.

What is mushroom cream sauce made of?

The cream sauce we use in this recipe is made from a base of cashew cream, which is a simple blend of cashews and water. We then combine this with pasta water, mushrooms, onions, garlic, serrano peppers, and dried oregano. The final result is a dairy-free sauce with a perfectly creamy consistency and exceptional flavor.

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Cajun Mushroom Pasta

Kenneth Temple
This creamy and savory Cajun mushroom pasta is vegan, gluten-free, and light enough to enjoy during the summertime!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 8 hrs 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 8 hrs 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Cajun
Servings 4 persons
Calories 667 kcal

Ingredients
  

Cashew Cream:

  • 1 cup unsalted cashews
  • ¾ cups water

Chanterelle Pasta:

  • 4 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 8 oz. chanterelles washed, tough stems removed, halved
  • 4 oz. shiitake mushrooms washed, tough stems removed
  • 4 oz. oyster mushrooms washed
  • 1 medium onion sliced medium
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped small
  • 2 serranos sliced small
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoons dry oregano
  • 8.8 oz. chickpea pasta cooked
  • 1 ½ cup pasta water
  • 1 cup shredded vegan parmesan
  • ½ bunch cilantro chopped small

Instructions
 

  • Add the cashews and water to a container, cover and leave at room temperature for 8 hours.
  • Transfer cashews and water to a food blender and blitz on high for 1 minute or until smooth. Keep cream in an airtight container for 1 week.
  • Cook pasta in a large pot with 1-2 tablespoons salt. Drain and reserve pasta water.
  • Turn on the heat to medium in a large skillet add oil and mushrooms, cook for 3 minutes, until mushrooms release water. Add onions, cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic, serranos, salt, pepper, and oregano, stir once or twice. Add pasta, cashew cream and ¾ cup pasta water, add more water if you like it creamier; cook for 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Divide evenly among 4 plates and garnish with parmesan and cilantro.

Notes

Recipe Tips & Tricks
  • If you’re worried about the heat, you can swap the serrano peppers for jalapeno peppers or simply omit the peppers altogether.
  • You can swap the cashew cream for heavy cream if you aren’t worried about keeping this dish vegan or don’t want to take the time to make cashew cream.
  • For a smokier flavor, add a pinch of smoked paprika to the dish.
  • If you love Cajun chicken and want to beef up this dish, you can turn it into a Cajun chicken pasta by grilling up some chicken pieces and tossing them in.
  • Feel free to add Cajun seasoning or Italian seasoning for added flavor.
  • Garnish with lemon wedges, cracked black pepper, and chopped parsley for a show-stopping presentation.
Storage
You can make the pasta up to 1 day in advance and the cashew cream up to 3 days in advance. To reheat the mushroom pasta, bring a small amount of stock, water, or milk to a boil and stir in the pasta. Cook until hot.
To store leftovers, transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. This dish works great for meal prep, so don’t be afraid to make extras!

Nutrition

Calories: 667kcalCarbohydrates: 57gProtein: 33gFat: 39gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 1364mgPotassium: 799mgFiber: 14gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 262IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 386mgIron: 11mg
Keyword Cajun Mushroom Pasta
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