Spaghetti with Mushrooms, Oregano, and Garlicky Breadcrumbs
This fast and easy recipe for spaghetti with mushrooms in a simple garlic butter sauce is pure comfort food! Add herbs and garlicky toasted breadcrumbs to make the meal feel fancy — it’s still done in about 25 minutes.
This easy spaghetti recipe is a great way to make pasta night a little bit lighter and vegetarian-friendly. The key elements? Tender pasta, deeply browned mushrooms, and fresh herbs, all coated in a garlic butter sauce that’s incredibly flavorful but not too heavy or at all complicated to make.
All that is great, but what really sets this recipe apart is the dusting of toasted garlicky breadcrumbs. You will absolutely thank yourself for taking the extra few minutes to make them. Their flavor and texture elevate the whole meal.
Spaghetti with mushrooms: what you’ll need
- Spaghetti or any other dried pasta you like.
- Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced. I have to admit that cleaning mushrooms is one of my least favorite kitchen tasks. The key is to remove any truly visible dirt, without getting the mushrooms wet, if at all possible. Bon Appetit describes it well — mushrooms are basically sponges for water; soaking, or even rinsing, can lead to slimy, unappealing mushrooms in your finished dish. My suggestion? Buy whole mushrooms, twist off the stems, and gently wipe the outside cap of each one with a slightly damp paper towel. This removes most all of the dirt without adding moisture, and is not too onerous.
- Breadcrumbs. I prefer Panko style if available, but any will do.
- Oregano and parsley. Fresh if possible; dried is OK!
- Grated Parmesan.
- Red pepper flakes, kosher salt, black pepper.
How to make it: tips and tricks
- Cook pasta in well-salted water. Don’t skimp — to really impart flavor to the pasta itself, the water ought to be salty like the sea! Scoop out a bit of the starchy pasta water in case you want to loosen the sauce, then drain the pasta and set aside.
- Meanwhile, quickly toast the breadcrumbs. This is as simple as melting a smidge of butter in a large skillet, adding some garlic, then swirling the breadcrumbs around in this delicious mixture. Scrape the toasted breadcrumbs out into a bowl, quickly wipe out the skillet, and move on to the mushrooms.
- Sauté the mushrooms and oregano. Wait until the mushrooms are browned to season with salt and pepper — adding salt at the beginning can draw water out of the mushrooms as they cook, which you don’t really want — and a bit more garlic. Adding the garlic at the end ensures it doesn’t burn to a crisp!
- Add drained pasta and remaining ingredients to the skillet, toss, and toss again! That’s all the hard work!
Now it’s just to divide the pasta up among plates or bowls, and top each with a healthy sprinkling of the toasted breadcrumbs you set aside. Add a few more chopped herbs to make it look pretty and fresh.
Leftovers keep well tightly-covered in the fridge for 3-4 days, but for best results store the breadcrumbs separately, so they don’t absorb any moisture from the pasta, mushrooms, or sauce until you’re ready to reheat and eat!
What to serve with spaghetti and mushrooms
Serve this alongside a simple salad — we love it with arugula or kale, and a classic Italian salad always hits the spot. Add garlic bread or breadsticks to stretch things further!
More vegetarian pastas
- Lemon Broccoli Pasta
- Roasted Tomato and Garlic Spaghetti
- Gnocchi with Pesto and Charred Cherry Tomatoes
- Gnocchi Alla Vodka
- Creamy Tuscan Tortellini
- Creamy Tortellini Alfredo with Peas
- Tortellini with Mushrooms, Butter, and Parmesan
- Fresh Pesto Pasta with Peas
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Spaghetti with Mushrooms, Oregano, and Garlicky Breadcrumbs
- 8 ounces spaghetti or other pasta shape
- 5 tablespoons butter divided
- 4 cloves garlic minced, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 10 ounces mushrooms cleaned and sliced
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- kosher salt and black pepper
- Boil a large pot of water, salt generously, and cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions. When the pasta is tender, scoop out about 1/2 cup of the water; drain the rest and set pasta aside.
- Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add red pepper flakes and 1 clove of the minced garlic. Cook for 30-60 seconds, just until fragrant. Stir in the breadcrumbs and cook until golden, 1-2 minutes. Transfer breadcrumbs to a bowl or plate, wipe out the skillet, and return it to medium heat.
- Melt another 2 tablespoons of the butter, then add mushrooms and oregano to the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and browned. Season with salt and pepper, add remaining 3 cloves of minced garlic, and cook for 1 minute.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, drained spaghetti, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Toss well and add reserved pasta water, a little at a time, until the sauce is loosened to your desired consistency.
- Taste pasta and season with extra salt and pepper, as desired. Divide into portions and sprinkle with breadcrumbs, fresh parsley or oregano, and more Parmesan, as desired. Serve immediately.
- Leftovers: keep well, tightly-covered, for 3-4 days in the fridge. For best results store, the breadcrumbs separately, so they don’t absorb any moisture from the pasta, mushrooms, or sauce until you’re ready to reheat and eat.
- Nutritional info: is an estimate based on dividing the recipe as written into 4 servings. Depending on how hungry your crowd is, and how many sides you serve, you may find this yield varies.
One Comment on “Spaghetti with Mushrooms, Oregano, and Garlicky Breadcrumbs”
For ease and speed of preparation, as well as taste, this recipe is a winner. We like it leftover and at room temperature almost as well as hot … a great day-after lunch. But as you say, no breadcrumbs until just before serving!