Balsamic Mushroom Pasta

A close up of a bowl of balsamic mushroom pasta topped with shredded parmesan.

As the cold creeps into our home, I start to crave the comfort of a bowl of hearty noodles. Reminiscent of a mushroom stroganoff, this glorious balsamic mushroom pasta is perfect for lounging under a blanket on the couch. In this dish the umami of the mushrooms and caramelized onions blends with the tangy sweetness of balsamic to create a burst of flavor.

Caramelized onions are an excellent way to impart richness, particularly in a pasta dish. In this recipe, I used diced onions, but thinly sliced onions would also work well. Do whatever suits you best, I won't tell anyone. You'll start by cooking heating onions, salt, and red pepper flakes in plenty of butter. Be sure to add salt at this stage; it draws moisture out of the onions, allowing them to become tender more easily and creates a well-seasoned final product.

Onions and red pepper flakes cooking in butter.

Then we add some more can never have enough, right? right?? My mom would be cringing right now, since she is the only person that I know that hates the taste of butter. Also in the pan goes the thyme, garlic, and of course, the star of our dish, the sliced mushrooms. I used cremini mushrooms in my recipe. You might be surprised to learn that white button, cremini, and portobello mushrooms are all the same species, Agaricus bisporus. They are simply different growth stages of the same fungus. In case you are a knowledge junkie, check out this page for more information about the species!

Browned mushrooms being sautéed with onions in a large pan.

Ok, so now we've got a cooked down pile of pure creamy, umami goodness. All that's left is to make it saucy! This is where more butter, because of course, and balsamic vinegar are used to deglaze the pan. Then cream and parmesan are added to round out that creaminess. Toss that sauce with your pasta, plate (or bowl) it up, and top with more parmesan, and if you have it, a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Now hide under your blankets and eat all of that balsamic mushroom pasta before anyone else can steal it. You have my permission.

Keep your belly full, your mind engaged, and your heart open.


Creamy Mafalda with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions

A strongly umami vegetarian pasta dish with a lovely balsamic cream sauce.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 4 People


  • 1 box Mafalda pasta See note
  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter divided
  • 1 small onion diced, see note
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms sliced, see note
  • 3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan
  • 1-2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoon Fresh parsley optional


  • Cook Mafalda according to package directions, drain well
  • Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large heavy pan on low
  • Add onion, red pepper flakes and ½ teaspoon of salt to the pan and stir to coat onions
  • Cook onions on low, stirring frequently, until onions start to caramelize ~10 minutes
  • Stir in 1 tablespoon of butter, mushrooms, thyme and garlic
  • Continue cooking on low stirring until mushrooms are tender and browned ~7 minutes
  • Add in the final tablespoon of butter and vinegar and allow butter to melt
  • Pour in cream and heat until cream starts to lightly bubble
  • Mix in ¼ cup of parmesan and stir until fully melted
  • Add drained pasta to the pan and toss pan to coat mafalda
  • Serve with more parmesan and fresh parsley if desired


Pasta: Any smaller pasta shape will work with this.
Onion: If you want to go with a different texture, you may wish to try this with thinly sliced, rather than diced onions.
Mushrooms: Cremini mushrooms are Agaricus bisporus, which is the same species as white mushrooms and portabellas, but is between the two in age. Any of these can be interchanged in this recipe.
Keyword Balsamic, Cream, Mushrooms, Noodles, Pasta, winter
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!



    Okay, I just started my diet this week.... so maybe I'll try this one in about a month or two 😀 Looks so wonderful, and I'm kind of a junky for a vegetarian, mushroom-based dish. Thanks, Lillian!

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