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I love one pot meals. They’re quick, convenient and the best part: minimal cleanup! Everything just goes in one pot and that’s it. In this post, I’m bringing you a simple one pot Creamy Mushroom and Shrimp Pasta recipe that looks and tastes like it came from a restaurant, but is ideal for busy weeknights since it’s done in a snap. It’s also way lighter than a restaurant version, since it’s made with olive oil instead of butter, and a small amount of half and half instead of drowning in heavy cream. And for my vegan readers, worry not, this recipe is easy to transform into a plant based version, and I’ll show you just how.
And since this year Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday (when my husband and I come home from work totally beat with two very energetic kids waiting for us) this is definitely the perfect meal to celebrate with. So to all busy, working parents everywhere: this valentine’s especially for you!
How to Make Creamy Mushroom and Shrimp Pasta
Ok , to start off, I like to use pre-cooked frozen shrimp due to it’s convenience. It thaws pretty quickly overnight in the fridge, or if you’re in a pinch, defrost it in a colander under running water. Just make sure to drain it well before seasoning with some salt and pepper, to taste. I like to use small shrimp (which is about 51-60 shrimp per pound) since they tend to incorporate better throughout the dish, but you can use whichever size you like best. And now, let’s do this!
Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the shrimp (previously seasoned with salt & pepper to taste) plus the garlic to the pan. Cook for about 1 minute, then flip the shrimp over and add oregano, basil, thyme and paprika. Combine well, and cook for an additional minute. Remove the shrimp from pan.
Next, in the same pan, add the mushrooms. Add more olive oil if necessary. Cook for about 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms are starting to brown, flipping over midway. Remember not to crowd the mushrooms, or they won’t brown!
Now, add the shrimp back to the pan together with the mushrooms. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Bring heat down to a simmer, and add the pasta (if it’s noodle type pasta, break in half first). I used linguine for this recipe, but you can use any kind you like. For added fiber, use whole wheat pasta. If you don’t tolerate gluten, there are many gluten free varieties available.
Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir frequently to avoid the pasta sticking to the pan.
Next, add the half and half and the Parmesan cheese, combining well until the sauce is smooth. Let stand for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens. Garnish with fresh, chopped parsley, if desired. Easy peasy, right?
Vegan/Plant Based Creamy Mushroom Pasta
This recipe tastes just as amazing without the shrimp. For a vegan version, simply omit the shrimp and start the cooking process with the mushrooms.
To substitute the half and half, you can blend one part silken tofu with one part unsweetened or plain soy, rice, or almond milk until smooth to create the desired amount.
This recipe is not only quick and simple, but it’s quite versatile as well. You can veganize it (is that a word?), as I showed above, make it gluten free, or make it with the following alterations:
- Chopped, cooked chicken breast (leftovers are perfect for this dish)
- Scallops instead of shrimp
- Chickpeas or other legumes for some plant based protein
- Garnish with pine nuts for additional protein, fiber and crunch
- If it’s just adults only, you can remove the mushrooms after cooking, deglaze the pan with about 1/4 cup of white wine, and then add the mushrooms and the shrimp back in, along with the rest of the ingredients
One Pot Creamy Mushroom and Shrimp Pasta
One Pot Creamy Mushroom and Shrimp Pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 12 oz small, frozen, pre-cooked shrimp, thawed and drained
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- ¼ tsp dried basil
- ¼ tsp paprika
- 1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced any variety you choose
- 3½ cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 8 oz linguine (or any pasta of your choice–for a gluten free version, use gluten free pasta)
- ¼ cup half and half
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped optional
- Heat olive oil over medium high heat.
- Add the shrimp, salt & pepper and garlic to the pan. Cook for about 1 minute, then flip the shrimp over and add oregano, basil, thyme and paprika. Combine well, and cook for an additional minute. Remove shrimp from pan.
- In the same pan, add the mushrooms. Add more olive oil if necessary. Cook for about 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms are starting to brown, stirring frequently. Remember not to crowd the mushrooms!
- Add the shrimp back to the pan together with the mushrooms.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil. Bring heat down to a simmer, and add the pasta. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir frequently.
- Add the Parmesan cheese and half and half, combining into a smooth sauce. Let stand for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Garnish with fresh, chopped parsley, if desired.
And if you want more one pot, weekday, healthy dinners, check out this super easy Vegetarian Skillet Lasagna that’s always a crowd pleaser in my home. Perfect for Meatless Mondays!
And if you make this recipe, or any of the alternative versions, please let me know how it went below in the comments section!
Hi! I’m Melissa, Registered Dietitian and mother of two dragons. When I’m not talking nutrition you can find me rolling around the floor with my kids, sewing, crafting, cooking or missing the 90s (seriously, music just isn’t the same). Read More…