Mushroom Pesto Pasta

5 from 1 review

A savory, earthy pasta dish featuring sauteed mushrooms, olives, feta and a fresh easy pesto sauce.




  • 8 oz of pasta – I used rotini
  • 8 oz of mushrooms – I used white button mushrooms
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves of peeled garlic – minced or put through a garlic press.
  • 10 to 12 kalamata olives
  • 2 oz of feta cheese – diced into cubes
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts – toasted


  • 1 cup italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 lemon – juiced – about 2 to 3 tbs
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 8 twists of pepper


  1. Slice mushrooms into thin slices.
  2. Roughly chop olives and set aside.
  3. Dice feta and set aside.
  4. Add parsley, parmesan, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic cloves and black pepper to a food processor and blend until pesto is pureed. I used a small/mini food processor.
  5. Cook pasta as per box instructions in a large pot of salted water.  Reserve a 1/2 cup of pasta water before you drain it.
  6. In a saute pan, saute mushrooms in one tbs olive oil. Let the mushrooms cook, without stirring, over medium high heat for 3 minutes. Then add minced garlic and stir. Continue cooking mushrooms until they are a golden brown.
  7. Add pesto to pasta and toss to combine.  Add a tablespoon or two of reserved pasta water if pesto feels too thick. The pasta water will help emulsify and loosen up the pesto sauce.
  8. Add sauteed mushrooms, olives, feta and pine nuts. Toss to combine and serve.  


You want to make sure that you sauté the mushrooms so that they caramelize and turn brown. The secret to this is to add your sliced mushrooms to your sauté pan and cook over medium high heat without stirring for 3 minutes. As they cook, they will release their juices, which will evaporate as it cooks. This way the mushrooms will turn a lovely brown – rather than stay a dull color.

Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water to use to loosen up the pesto sauce if it feels too thick.  Just add a tablespoon or two at a time until you get the desired consistency.

When adding the pesto, add it to the pasta first, once you’ve drained the pasta.  Adding it to the hot pasta will help it melt and cover all the pasta equally.  After you’ve added the pesto to the pasta, add all your other ingredients and toss to combine.

Don’t forget to salt the pasta water before adding the pasta to cook.  This adds flavor and does not make the pasta too salty.  Add a heaping tablespoon of kosher salt to the water as it begins to boil.

Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online nutritional calculator.


Keywords: Mushroom Pesto Pasta