A creamy mushroom pasta bake is the best answer to “what’s for dinner” when you’re craving warm, comforting, and creamy pasta.  Loaded with flavor from fontina cheese, roasted mushrooms, spinach, thyme, ricotta, and just a hint of nutmeg, this baked pasta is both decadent and simple.  

Baked rigatoni with spinach and mushrooms in baking dish.

 

During the winter months, there are few things I like more than baked pasta dishes, whether it’s spaghetti pie, butternut squash pasta, or this creamy mushroom pasta bake. 

There is something so comforting about diving into a bowl of warm, baked pasta after a long day. 

This baked mushroom pasta with spinach is absolutely perfect and is adored by the entire family. 

And because it can be made ahead and popped in the oven when ready to eat, it’s perfect for busy weeknights. 

Ingredients shown: rigatoni, ricotta, fontina, garlic, parmesan, spinach, thyme, mushrooms, and cream.

How to make the best creamy mushroom pasta bake

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Preheat the oven to 450f and set one rack to the second-lowest level and the other to the middle level.  Quarter 1 1/2 pounds of mushrooms (Use an assortment of mushrooms or whatever you like) and toss in a bowl with a 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 3 tablespoons of fresh thyme (or 1 tablespoon dried thyme).  Spread the mushrooms out on 1-2 baking sheets and roast on the lower rack until well browned.  The mushrooms should take about 20 minutes to get brown.  Note: Don’t overcrowd the mushrooms.  Use 2 baking sheets if necessary. 

Creamy mushroom pasta bake recipe process shot collage group number one.

  1. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water (2 tablespoons kosher salt per gallon of water) and boil rigatoni to 2 minutes less than al dente.  Also, shred a 1/2 pound block of Fontina cheese, and grate a 1/2 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
  2. Boil 8 ounces of baby spinach until soft (about 15-30 seconds) then drain.  Once you can handle it, squeeze the water out with a clean kitchen towel or press it through a fine-mesh strainer.  You want to remove as much water as possible.

Recipe process shot collage group number two.

  1. Chop the spinach.
  2. After 20 minutes of roasting, the mushrooms will be nice and golden.  

Recipe process shot collage group number three.

  1. In a large bowl mix together the mushrooms, spinach, Fontina cheese, 1/4 cup Parmigiano, 3/4 pound ricotta, 3/4 cup heavy cream, 2 cloves of garlic turned into paste, and a  pinch of nutmeg.
  2. Add the pasta to the bowl and mix it all together once more.  Now is the time to taste test and season with salt and pepper.

Recipe process shot collage group number four.

  1. Pour the contents of the bowl into a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano on top. 
  2. To prevent sticking, first place a sheet of parchment paper, then add a piece of foil on top of that.  Bake for 15 minutes covered, then 5 more uncovered to brown the top.  

Recipe process shot collage group number five.

  1. For added color, you can broil the last 1-2 minutes but watch very carefully!  After the pasta is finished it is very important to let it sit for at least 15 minutes before digging in.  Any baked pasta should be left to sit for at least 15 minutes so that any liquid in the pan can reabsorb into the pasta and settle the dish.  

Large wooden spoon holding creamy mushroom pasta.

Top tips 

Baked pasta with mushrooms and spinach is pretty simple to make, but here are a few tips and tricks to help you achieve the best results possible.  

  • The mushrooms.  For the pictures, I used a combination of shitake and white button mushrooms.  In the recipe card, I indicate baby Bella mushrooms as those are widely available.  Feel free to experiment with mushroom varieties here especially if you’d like to add additional layers of flavor and texture.  
  • Undercook the pasta.  As with any baked pasta, be sure to undercook the pasta when boiling it as it will continue to cook when it’s placed in the oven.  This will help ensure that the pasta is not mushy. 
  • The greens.  I used spinach in this recipe, however, feel free to experiment with other greens such as kale or swiss chard.  Either would be great here.
  • The cheese.  Fontina cheese is used for its incredible flavor and its ability to melt well.  If you’re not able to find fontina, mozzarella, or a melting provolone or swiss cheese would be great in this creamy pasta bake.  

White bowl with baked pasta with mushrooms and spinach.

More creamy baked pastas you’ll love

When it comes to creamy pasta bakes, what’s not to love?!  Here are some of our favorites.

If you’ve enjoyed this creamy mushroom pasta bake or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and leave a review.

Some people learn by watching.  If you’re that type of person, you can find most of our recipes on YouTube and our Facebook Page.

Creamy Mushroom Pasta Bake

5 from 18 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Ultra creamy baked combination of rigatoni, roasted mushrooms, baby spinach, thyme, Fontina, and ricotta.

Ingredients 

For the roasted mushrooms

  • 1 1/2 pounds Baby Bella mushrooms quartered
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Remaining ingredients

  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 3/4 pound ricotta
  • 1/2 pound fontina cheese shredded
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces baby spinach steamed, drained
  • 2 cloves garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano divided
  • 1 pinch nutmeg optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 450f and set one rack to the second-lowest position and the other to the middle of the oven. Toss mushrooms with olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Spread out mushrooms on a baking sheet and roast on the lower rack for 15-20 minutes or until well browned. Don't overcrowd the mushrooms. Use two sheets if necessary.
  • Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water (2 tablespoons kosher salt) to boil and cook the rigatoni until very al dente. About 2 minutes less than package instructions.
  • Cook spinach for 30 seconds in boiling water and drain. Once able to handle, squeeze the water out then chop. In a large bowl mix together the spinach, nutmeg, heavy cream, ricotta, Fontina cheese, 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, garlic, and the roasted mushrooms.
  • Add the pasta to the bowl and mix once more. Taste test and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Place contents of the bowl in a 9 by 13 baking dish. Top with the remaining Parmigiano and bake for 15 minutes covered. Covering with parchment paper then foil will prevent sticking.
  • After 15 minutes remove covering and bake for 5 minutes more until golden. For even more color broil for the last 1-2 minutes but watch very carefully.
  • Wait 15 minutes before serving so that the cheese settles. Enjoy!

Notes

  • The recipe makes 4 very large or 6 normal size servings.
  • Undercook the pasta by about 2-3 minutes, since it will cook longer in the oven.
  • Mozzarella, soft provolone, or swiss can all be substituted for Fontina cheese.
  • Make sure to drain the spinach by squeezing the water out.  This will prevent the baked pasta from becoming too liquidy.
  • Placing parchment paper then foil over the pasta will ensure no sticking.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and can be reheated in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 1066kcal | Carbohydrates: 97.8g | Protein: 51.3g | Fat: 55.6g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Cholesterol: 151mg | Sodium: 774mg | Potassium: 878mg | Fiber: 6.4g | Sugar: 7.4g | Calcium: 808mg | Iron: 9mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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51 Comments

  1. Jackie Garner says:

    5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was so good! It was not hard to put together, I did substitute fontina and used mozzarella. Worked very well. I love all your recipes and the way you give directions easy to follow. You are a down to earth chef and enjoy your videos. Thank you so much.

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Jackie, we’re so happy you enjoyed and appreciate the comment!

    2. Lindsay C says:

      5 stars
      Good morning!

      If one wanted to add meat to this dish would you be more likely to recommend chicken or Italian sausage? I trust your judgement more than mine?

      Lindsay

      1. Tara says:

        Hi Lindsay, crumbled sausage would be great in this one!

  2. Pam Lione says:

    5 stars
    This was delicious, everyone loved it. Great website. Consistent delicious recipes, authentic New Yawk italian food.

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Pam, we’re so happy you enjoyed and appreciate your comment!

  3. Chris LaGuardia says:

    5 stars
    Love this recipe. It is soooo delicious. As I am moving toward “non” meat dishes, this just hits the spot. I will never give up meat but I am eating more non meat dishes.

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Chris, we’re so happy you enjoyed the recipe and appreciate your comment!

  4. Susan says:

    Everything I had made of your recipes are absolutely delicious!! I do miss seeing you prepare the dishes and your son’s taste tests!!

    1. James says:

      Hi Susan, so happy you’re enjoying the recipes! I still put up new videos every Thursday on YouTube and most of the time my son is doing the taste test.

  5. Larry says:

    Hi Jim,

    I just found your recipe today. It looks absolutely delicious. I want to make it, but I find the directions difficult to follow. I’m going to write down on paper to make sure I can follow your instructions. I happen to be an 85 year old and don’t get to follow directions easily.
    When all said and done, I will send you a follow up as to how it came out.
    Perhaps you can come to CT and join me for my grand dinner
    Thanks again for the great recipes and pictures as well.It looks so fabulous.
    Larry

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Larry, thanks for the comment. I’d recommend printing out the recipe card (where it says “Print Recipe”), and work off that. We try to make the instructions as clear to follow as possible and include process photos to walk you through each step. Hope this helps and that you enjoy the meal!

  6. Cindy Crawford says:

    Jim,

    I am planning on making the Creamy Mushroom Pasta Bake for my Book Club. I am not fond of big pasta bites. Could you please recommend a smaller bite size pasta that would work with this sauce? It looks delicious!
    Thank you,

    Cindy Crawford

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Cindy, thanks for the comment. Mezzi rigatoni would be great as would penne. Hope you and your book club enjoy!

  7. MJ says:

    5 stars
    Found the recipe from your youtube channel. Made it for the fam tonight and it was a huge hit with the boys! definitely adding this to the rotation.

    1. Jim says:

      Hi MJ, I’m so happy you enjoyed this one and really appreciate the comment!

  8. Linda Bonner says:

    I am new to your recipes but I love them already. I’m going to make this one today. Can you show the ingredients in cups rather than pounds? For example, the mushrooms.. I’m not sure how many to use.
    Thanks so much

  9. Lynda Franzen says:

    Hi Jim, I look forward to finding you on FB every morning, save all your recipes, have made quite a few of them. I swear I saved a recipe that called out for thinly sliced chicken breasts, spinach, mushrooms ( baby bells), pancetta, fontina, ricotta, parm, thyme , along with cream. I’ve either “lost it”(my mind), or simply dreamt of becoming Italian and eating cheese. Do you do a recipe like this, or is this one what you did, and I merely decided to add pancetta and chicken. And if I did dream this, would it work out ok? Thank you so much for answering me, and for your culinary skills you’re sharing with a Jewish/German woman who wishes she was 100% Italian. P.S. your family is amazing. That son of yours👏👏👏

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Lynda, I’m so happy you’re enjoying the recipes and appreciate the kind words! I do have a separate recipe for spinach mushroom chicken (no pasta) here on the website but the ricotta/parm/thyme/mushroom/spinach combo is here in this recipe. Adding chicken and pancetta to the baked pasta would be great!

  10. Phyllis says:

    5 stars
    It was lunch/dinner today at our house! Yum! A trial run for a dinner party in the near future. Winner for sure.. next time, as you suggested, more nutmeg! Thanks!

    1. Jim says:

      So happy you enjoyed this one, Phyllis! Thanks for the comment and review!