Weeknight dinner requirements include a recipe that’s easy, with minimal clean-up, and simple ingredients. Check, check, check! Just like our 5-star rated one-pot broccoli orzo, this sauteed mushroom and leek pasta fits the bill, and so much more.
In this recipe, the leeks add a well-balanced and subtle onioniness to the dish, much like in our easy one-pot tomato spinach gnocchi recipe. While the mushrooms round it out with their hearty umami flavor, making them the perfect ingredient in meatless recipes!
It’s a pasta dinner recipe the entire family will love. But one the chef will love the most because it’s so simple, with minimal clean-up (one pot means only one big dish to wash!) and it’s all ready in just around 30 minutes!
This recipe is made using simple ingredients that pack savory flavor in a well-rounded, luxurious pasta sauce. It also features one of my favorite vegetables to cook with that feels extra fancy, but is truly easy to work with: leeks!
- Leeks: part of the onion family, leeks are a wonderful ingredient to cook with because of their delicate, mild onion flavor. Please be sure to see my guide on how to use leeks for more information.
- Mushrooms: The biggest reason love using mushrooms in vegetarian recipes, aside from being delicious, is that they’re hearty, and the earthy umami flavor is ever-so satisfying to our tastebuds. That makes them a wonderful addition to meatless pasta recipes that everyone will love, just like in our creamy mushroom and spinach pasta.
- Feel free to play around with the variety of mushrooms – from Baby Bella (what I frequently use) to shiitake, portobello, and more!
- Vegetable Stock: use a high-quality vegetable broth for the most flavor, since it will be the base of our sauce that the pasta cooks in.
- A combination of fresh garlic and Italian herb seasoning (or fresh thyme if you have it), along with red pepper flakes and freshly ground black pepper are added too.
- Farfalle Pasta: these bowties hold the sauce in this recipe well, however, you can use another similarly sized pasta shape, just taking note that the cook time may differ slightly.
- While there’s no cream in this recipe, a little freshly shredded or grated parmesan cheese does add a bit of creamy goodness. If you are strictly vegetarian, be sure to purchase a cheese that’s labeled as such or made with microbial enzymes.
How to Make Mushroom Leek Pasta
In just a few easy steps, the pasta will be cooking away in one pot, and you’ll have a clean kitchen ready to relax and enjoy dinner in just about 30 minutes! So quick, so easy!
Please be sure to see the full recipe card below for all the details.
Clean and Cut the Leeks
I mentioned checking out my guide on how to clean and cut leeks for in-depth information about leeks. We will be cutting the white and light green part of the leek into half moons for this recipe. You can clean them before slicing using the method of peeling apart the layers, or clean them after cutting into slices.
Once the leek is sliced down the center, lay the flat side onto the cutting board. Then, slice the leek into half circles about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. When it’s cooked, these slices of leek will soften and melt into the pasta sauce for a wonderful texture.
Saute Mushrooms in a Dry Pan
If you’re familiar with FITK recipes, then you already know about the method I’ve learned for cooking mushrooms. Starting in a dry pan allows the sliced mushrooms to release their excess liquid, and then absorb all of the goodness that will be added.
The key is to not turn the heat on too high, medium should do the trick. Spread the mushrooms evenly across the pan, and let the heat take care of the rest. Once enough liquid has simmered out, they should easily come off of the pan (sometimes with just a gentle nudge). Continue simmering until darker in color and most of the liquid is no longer simmering.
Cook the Leeks
Then, add butter to the large pot to melt, and in go the leeks to begin their softening process. After a few minutes, minced garlic cloves get their turn, along with spices.
While I do recommend layering in salt during this process, I’ve noted in the recipe card that overall, I add about one teaspoon of kosher salt in total to this recipe.
Add the Pasta
Since this is a one-pot recipe, the pasta will cook with the tender veggies. Bring the vegetable broth and a little additional water to a boil, then add the pasta. The liquid will not cover the pasta perfectly, as it would if you were boiling it in water. Because of this, it’s important to stir it often so it cooks evenly.
Check the directions on the box of dried pasta as a guide for the time. I recommend noting the al dente cook time listed, and you’ll likely add about 2-3 additional minutes. As always when making pasta, your best bet is to taste test as it gets close to ensure the perfect doneness.
The last step before you can dive into the pasta is to stir in the parmesan cheese. Serve with a garnish of fresh parsley or sliced chives for freshness, and enjoy!
Of course, to me, a hearty vegetarian pasta dish is a meal all in itself. However, for a more veggie-forward and balanced meal, it would pair well with a side salad, featuring a white balsamic vinaigrette for some brightness to balance out the savory pasta.
It also pairs well with green veggies like roasted broccolini, easy air fryer asparagus, or crispy Brussels sprouts. To just add some greens into the pasta, wilt in chopped spinach or kale towards the end of the cooking time.
There’s no wrong way to enjoy this easy dinner recipe!
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe One-Pot Sauteed Mushroom and Leek Pasta
- 8 ounces Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 (280 g) large leeks, thinly sliced in half moons
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, or fresh thyme
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 ½ cups water
- ¾-1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 16 ounces dried farfalle pasta
- ½ cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese, or ¼ cup grated
- Fresh parsley or chives, chopped, for garnish
- In a Dutch oven or large stock pot, saute the mushrooms over medium heat (in a dry pan!) for about 5 minutes until their water begins to release. Add the butter to melt, then stir in the sliced leeks with a pinch of salt. Cook for about 3 minutes.8 ounces Baby Bella mushrooms, 2 large leeks, 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- Add the minced garlic, continuing to saute for 2-3 minutes. The leeks should be tender at this point; add red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and freshly ground black pepper.5-6 cloves garlic, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, Freshly ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Stir in the vegetable stock and water, along with the remaining salt, and bring to a boil. I recommend adding a total of 3/4 teaspoon to start, and adding an additional 1/4 teaspoon if needed at the end.4 cups vegetable stock, 1 ½ cups water, ¾-1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Boil the pasta for around 14 minutes, stirring often so it cooks evenly. Check the cook time for al dente pasta according to the packaging directions to adjust the timing if needed. You will likely add about 2-3 minutes to that time. A few minutes before, check the doneness of the pasta. Once al dente, stir in the parmesan cheese.16 ounces dried farfalle pasta, ½ cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
- Serve with a garnish of chopped parsley or sliced chives and additional parmesan cheese as desired. Enjoy!Fresh parsley or chives
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or stovetop with additional water or stock to reconstitute the sauce.