Embrace one of the healthiest mushrooms in this classic comfort food dish. Lion's Mane Mushroom Pasta Recipe showcases the irresistible combination of buttery pasta and Lion's Mane mushrooms boasting their meaty texture with a heavenly blend of herbs, garlic, and vegan butter. As the plant-based butter melts, it bathes the mushrooms in a golden-brown glory, infusing each bite with richness. Elevate this pasta dish with a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese and fresh thyme leaves.
This is my favorite pasta to make in the evenings when I feel like I'm in need of a nourishing yet comforting dish. It's simple to prepare for the whole family, and with tender bite-sized lion's mane mushrooms, it also feels adequately elevated to serve at a fancier dinner.
I've spent lots of time learning the best cooking methods for specialty mushrooms. If you're interested in learning how to better use and cook mushrooms in your meatless meals, save my Lion's Mane Steak Recipe (The Best Mushroom BBQ), Pan Fry Lion's Mane Nuggets, or get super 'shroomy with our adaptogenic mushroom mocktail Reishi Mushroom Sleep Tonic.
In this post, I share the following:
- How to infuse zero to low-fat mushrooms with mega flavor.
- How to prepare the butter pasta sauce, which can be used with any pasta recipe!
- How to cook the mushrooms into the perfect tender bites.
Use this section to jump to areas of interest within the post.
As the al dente pasta cooks, whip together the garlic, herb, and butter compound. This is used to flavor both the pasta and infuse the lion's mane mushrooms as they simmer in a hot skillet.
- Lion's mane mushroom (hericium erinaceus or pom poms mushrooms) - you can find these at your local farmer’s markets, grocery stores (I shop for mine at Whole Foods), or your local Asian market. If these places are unavailable to you, try searching 'mushroom supplier near me' to find a local grower or explore growing at home with a grow kit!
- High-quality vegan butter block - an important vegan substitute. Check the ingredients to ensure it's high-quality and doesn't contain fillers. Vio Life (nut-free) and Miyokos Creamery (cashew-based) both have a high-fat spread, which is what you're looking for. Using a plant-based margarine or spread will not have the best results. You can use salted or unsalted butter.
- Garlic - minced and added to the compound. Add as many cloves as you prefer, up to six.
- Herbs - fresh oregano and thyme help flavor this pasta dish and infuse the mushrooms.
- Coconut aminos - (soy sauce or tamari)
- Rice vinegar & dijon mustard
- Optional: top with vegan parmesan cheese
See the recipe card for full quantities and instructions.
The dish benefits from fresh herbs' wonderful flavor, but don't worry if you only have dried herbs available - they will still work just fine. If you prefer, you can substitute the oregano and thyme with other herbs that you enjoy. Personally, I think parsley and basil would be absolutely delightful choices.
If you don't have rice vinegar on hand, you can easily substitute it with plain vinegar. Alternatively, you can replace it with another acidic ingredient, such as fresh lemon juice, using a 1:1 ratio.
Coconut aminos offer a sweeter aftertaste compared to soy sauce or tamari. If you don't have coconut aminos, you can use either soy sauce or tamari instead. Just remember to taste the dish before adding salt and adjust the seasoning accordingly. You can always add salt later if needed.
Best way to store & clean them
These fresh mushrooms are not grown in soil, so they shouldn't require much cleaning. If the mushroom has any dirt or debris, you want to gently brush it off. These mushrooms should not be rinsed or submerged in water. For mushrooms that have been wild foraged or grown around wood shavings, this shroom broom is a handy tool that carefully cleans them.
If you don't plan to use the mushrooms right away, they should be stored in a brown paper bag, loosely closed, and kept in the fridge's main compartment. To prevent spoilage, they should be used within a few days, and if you notice any sliminess, discoloration, or odor, it's best to discard them.
Whether you're serving this entree at a holiday dinner or enjoying a comforting meal at home, this dish satisfies all taste buds. Best of all? The preparation is incredibly easy, taking less than 30 minutes from start to finish.
Boil water in a large pot for the pasta and cook per package instructions. At the same time, the pasta cooks prep the other ingredients. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the flavored butter and mix them together using a fork.
Divide the mixture into two equal portions. One portion will be used to flavor the pasta, while the other will be used to sauté the mushrooms. Heat a stir fry or sauté pan over medium-high heat and melt half of the butter mixture.
Tear the lion's mane mushrooms apart into bite-sized small pieces using your hands. They should easily separate when pulled apart. Lower the heat to medium. Then add the mushrooms to the pan and ensure they are covered on both sides with the melted butter.
Let the mushrooms cook slowly for 3-5 minutes on each side until you notice a golden brown caramelized crust forming on all sides. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan for bits of flavor.
Once the pasta is cooked (al dente) and the mushrooms are perfectly golden brown, take the other half of the butter (the pasta sauce) in a large serving bowl. Place the cooked pasta on top and give it a good stir until the butter is melted and thoroughly incorporated. Next, add the pan-fried lion’s mane bites on top of the pasta, and mix everything together.
Make sure to serve this creamy mushroom pasta while it's hot, topped with vegan parmesan cheese and fresh thyme leaves!
You'll need a pan to sauté, like a large skillet, a pot to cook the pasta noodles, and a large mixing bowl for this lion's mane mushroom recipe.
To store any remaining portions, simply transfer them to an airtight container and keep them in the refrigerator for up to three days. When you're ready to enjoy the leftovers, heat them up on the stovetop in a large pan. Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to the pan as you reheat the dish.
These mushrooms have 0 grams of fat. Vegan butter is crucial to the end result, and since fat carries the flavor, there will be no caramelization without it. Using high-quality, high-fat vegan butter without fillers is necessary. Using plant-based margarine or olive oil will not have the same results.
What is the taste of lion's mane?
Lion's mane mushrooms are said to have a flavor profile that resembles a lobster-like taste, making them an excellent vegetarian seafood pasta alternative. Although, I don't relate it to seafood at all! They could be if they were flavored appropriately, but on their own, they have a meaty texture with a very mild flavor that doesn't carry over at all. This recipe makes the mushrooms taste rich from the butter and garlic, with a fresh herb aftertaste.
Where are wild lion's mane mushrooms found?
They are typically found growing on hardwood trees like oak, maple, beech, and birch. They prefer dead trees or in the process of decay, like fallen logs and tree stumps. You can find them in North America, Europe, and Asia. Always use safety measures and seek guidance from experts when foraging wild mushrooms.
more lion’s mane mushroom recipes
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Lion's Mane Mushroom Pasta Recipe
- 1 lb spagetti noodles
- 6 ounces (170 grams) lion's mane mushrooms (fresh)
- 4 ounces butter, vegan use a high-fat content butter (brands recommended above)
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced adjust to your garlic preference and size of cloves
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (or plain vinegar) you can also subsitute with fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves (or dried)
- 1 tablespoon oregano leaves, finely chopped (or dried)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- extra thyme leaves
- vegan parmesan cheese, grated
- Start by boiling filtered water for the pasta and cook per package instructions. Tip: Add a few tablespoons of salt to the water before it boils to season the noodles.
- As the pasta cooks, prep the other ingredients. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the butter mixture and beat them together using a fork until the butter looks whipped and all ingredients are combined.
- Divide the butter mixture into two equal portions. One portion will be used to flavor the pasta, while the other will be used to sauté the mushrooms. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and melt half of the butter mixture.
- Tear the lion's mane mushrooms apart into bite-sized pieces using your hands. They should naturally separate when pulled apart. Then add the mushrooms to the pan on medium heat and ensure they are covered on both sides with the melted butter.
- Let the mushrooms cook slowly for about 5 minutes on each side until you notice a golden brown caramelized crust forming on all sides.
- Once the pasta is cooked (al dente) and the mushrooms are perfectly golden brown, take the other half of the butter mixture in a large serving bowl. Place the cooked pasta on top and give it a good stir until the butter is melted and thoroughly incorporated. Next, add the cooked mushrooms to the pasta, and mix together.
- Serve hot with extra thyme leaves and plant-based parmesan cheese grated over the top.