This creamy mushroom pasta with bacon is SO GOOD. Sautéed mushrooms, savory bacon, and tender pasta noodles tossed in a creamy garlic sauce in just 30 minutes – it doesn’t get much better than this!
I know some people will immediately turn their noses up when they hear of any recipe containing mushrooms. But give this one a go! I promise, I’ve converted even my pickiest eaters with this mushroom pasta sauce. The savory mushrooms plus the salty bacon and then the creamy, cheesy sauce…it tastes so good you won’t even notice the mushrooms. And you can pick them out if you must – still delicious!
How to Make This Recipe
- Pasta noodles – I use rigatoni, but you can use any larger pasta noodles you like. They’ll all be delicious!
- Mushrooms – Purchase white mushrooms already sliced and save time!
- Bacon – Use any kind of bacon you like, it’s all good!
- Garlic – I used minced garlic from a jar, but you can use whatever you have on hand or mince your own.
- Flour – All-purpose flour is perfect.
- Chicken broth – Any well-known brand of chicken broth is fine. I like to use low sodium and adjust the salt to my taste later in the cooking process.
- Heavy cream – Use the heavy cream if you have it or can get it, it’s so worth the extra creaminess it lends to this pasta with mushrooms sauce recipe.
- Milk – Any milk you have is just fine.
- Salt – Use a fine kosher salt, to taste.
- Pepper – I love to grind my own pepper into the easy mushroom cream sauce, but you can also use finely ground black pepper too.
- Parmesan – Add grated parmesan all over the top of this pasta with bacon dish just before serving.
- Parsley – this is optional, but I like to add freshly chopped parsley over the top of this dish. Dried will work too if that’s what you have in your spice rack.
Step By Step Directions
- Boil the rigatoni (or other) noodles according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and toss it with a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from clumping together and set aside.
- Next, in a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat or until it’s just crisp, taking care not to overcook it. Then, use tongs to transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to cool slightly before roughly chopping. NOTE: Be sure to keep those bacon drippings from the pan. (See note below for an alternate method.)
- Now, in the same skillet, over medium-high heat, add the garlic and mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant and the mushrooms are tender. Stir in bacon pieces.
- Sprinkle flour over the garlic, mushrooms, and bacon and stir for 1 minute.
- Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, the heavy cream, and the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the temperature to a high simmer.
- Simmer for 5-10 minutes longer, or until the sauce becomes thickened and creamy.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the pasta noodles.
- Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Garnish this mushroom pasta dish with parmesan and parsley if desired and serve. Enjoy!
Why It Works
Easy – A little of this, a little of that and before you know it, you have yourself a delicious, creamy, flavorful pasta dish swimming in creamy mushroom sauce with bacon.
Family favorite – Even my picky kids love this dish! I have even persuaded them to eat the mushrooms too! It turns out when mushrooms taste delicious you don’t want to pick them out. Who knew?
Great leftovers – If there’s any left, that is, this pasta with bacon makes great leftovers for the next day. Or I like to take it for lunches during the week too. Just pop the dish in the microwave to heat up for about a minute, stir, then give it another minute or so and voila – easy mushroom cream sauce pasta with bacon for lunch! You’ll feel very fancy at the office.
Easily customizable – Use any pasta you like or stir more parmesan (or another hard cheese) into the mushroom pasta sauce while you’re making it. Add some cooked broccoli to the dish to add some green and get your veggies in. Use turkey bacon or cooked Italian chicken sausage as your protein. Or even skip the mushrooms if you must!
Benefits of Eating Mushrooms
Maybe learning of the nutritional value of mushrooms will help those of you who don’t like them like them more!
Mushrooms are low-calorie, but high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Cremini mushrooms, in particular, are very high in zinc, which is great for your immune system. Mushrooms are also full of potassium which is good for your blood pressure. And the anti-inflammatory properties of mushrooms are also great for your immune system. Finally, mushrooms make a great meat substitute for those meatless Mondays.
How to Clean and Cut Full Mushrooms
You don’t always have to clean your mushrooms. In fact, running them under water can start to break them down immediately, so make sure to not wash any dirt off of them until you are ready to cut and cook and/or eat them.
If your mushrooms are clean looking, don’t wash and proceed to cutting them. If they look a little dirty or slimy you can wipe them with a paper towel. If they are really dirty, you can rinse them, then pat them dry.
To cut mushrooms, what I do is to cut the very end of the stem off first. If the stem is really dry, you can snap the whole thing off. Then put the mushroom stem-side down and run your knife through them to make slices of whatever thickness you need. The thicker your slices, the longer they’ll need to cook and vice-versa.
How to Store Mushrooms and How Long They Last
You can store fresh mushrooms in the fridge for up to 7 days. If they are cooked, they can keep in the fridge for about 3-5 days (toss them when they start to get mushy and/or slimy).
To make your mushrooms last longer in the fridge, keep them whole (or purchase them whole) and don’t cook them until you’re ready to eat them. Also, don’t wash your mushrooms before putting them in the fridge as that will lead to them decaying faster. If they need a rinse, do so right before you’re ready to cut and cook them.
- This mushroom pasta dish with bacon will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can freeze it, but the pasta can get mushy in the freezer, just a warning.
- Not into the mess bacon makes when cooking it on the stove top? Try my oven-baked bacon method. When it comes time to sauté the garlic, do it in butter. That garlic butter sauce can take place of the bacon drippings.
- Feel free to use any Italian pasta noodle in this recipe. Fettuccine, bowtie, ziti, and penne all work. Pick your favorite or just whatever you have on hand!
More Recipes You’ll Love
- Instant Pot Ground Beef Pasta
- One Pot Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta
- Creamy Pasta Sausage
- Ravioli with Mushroom Cream Sauce
- Creamy Chicken and Mushrooms with Parmesan
- Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage
Did you make this mushroom pasta recipe? EXCELLENT! Please rate the recipe below!
Best Creamy Mushroom Sauce for Pasta
- 12 ounces pasta noodles - I used rigatoni noodles
- 8 ounces mushrooms - thinly sliced
- 6 bacon strips - roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter - (optional, see note)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk - or heavy cream
- 1-2 teaspoons salt - to taste
- ½ teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper - or 1/8 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- grated parmesan cheese - optional topping
- chopped fresh parsley - optional garnish
- Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain, toss with a drizzle of olive oil, and set aside.
- In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium high heat until just crisp (don't overcook it). Use tongs to transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to cool slightly before roughly chopping. *Keep bacon drippings in the pan* (See note for alternate method)
- Over medium-high heat, add garlic and mushrooms to the pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes until garlic is fragrant and mushrooms are tender. Stir in bacon pieces.
- Sprinkle flour over the garlic, mushrooms, and bacon and stir for 1 minute.
- Gradually whisk in chicken broth, then heavy cream, and milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a high simmer.
- Simmer for 5-10 minutes until sauce becomes thickened and creamy.
- Season with salt and pepper. Stir in pasta noodles.
- Taste, add salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with parmesan and parsley if desired and serve. Enjoy!