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Healthy Mushroom Alfredo Pasta Bake

46 reviews / 4 average

It’s baaaack!

Creamy cauliflower sauce, I mean. How long has it been now? Years? I first posted the recipe for that garlicky, creamy, healthier Alfredo type sauce in 2012, and then in 2013 I wrote a whole bunch of other recipes including a whole ecookbook with recipes using the cauliflower sauce because you and I both Could. Not. Stop. and now here it is again! Making it’s grand entrance back into my life in the most delicious pan-roasted mushroom way.

Speaking of pan-roasted mushrooms, uhmm, those little shnugins are good. When you melt a little butter in that pan and get it really nice and sizzling hot, just before browning, and then you toss in those fresh, clean, pale mushrooms and watch them soak and sizzle and slowly turn the perfect shade of roasty golden brown right before your very eyes… that’s when you know the truth about mushrooms. I’m not even going to talk about adding garlic, white wine, or any of that because I will fall right off the edge.

Noodles and mushrooms steaming in a pan.
Healthy Mushroom Alfredo Pasta Bake in a pan.

If I had an oven, I wou– just kidding. I won’t start that whole thing again.

But since I actually don’t have an oven and won’t have an oven until five days from now *eeeeee* I made this at HOME home, like my parent’s house, and my 12 year old brother came in and saw it being all put together and started snatching mushrooms right out of the pan. What in the? LITTLE BOY KNOWS.

You guys, I have to talk to you about something and it’s a podcast called Serial. It was recommended to me by a number of people and I’ve recently been diving head-first into the series with complete and utter reckless abandon. It’s like that with TV and me – binge-watching through a season is how I most enjoy my entertainment. So now that Serial has me wrapped around its finger, I’ve been plowing through those episodes like it’s my job. Sometimes I pull into my parents’ driveway, an hour drive from our house, and I have no recollection whatsoever of actually driving myself there. But I can, more importantly, recall every detail about Asia McLean’s letters and what truly happened in the library on January 13th, 1999.

Oh, no. I’m that girl.

Healthy Mushroom Alfredo Pasta Bake in a dish with a wooden spoon.

If you podcast, you must start Serial. I take no responsibility for your missed meetings, appointments, and general distraction of life.

Also, if you mushroom, which I know you do because we just go together that way, you must try this deep, cheesy pan of cozy winterish comfort food.

This beauty is going to combine pan-roasted mushrooms with whole wheat pasta with the really defined ridges (mmm texture!) and creamy cauliflower sauce tossed up together, and then baked under a blanket of Gruyere cheese and decorated with fresh sage ribbons. How good is sage, by the way? Oh my gosh IT’S GOOD. Those pretty, fragrant, clean-and-cozy smelling velvety leaves are my Fall 2014 food muse.

Okay everybody put your face up to the screen now for a virtual eating together experience. Ready? One, two, three:

Healthy Mushroom Alfredo Pasta Bake close up.
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Mushroom Alfredo Pasta Bake in a pan with a spoon.

Mushroom Alfredo Penne Bake


Description

Healthy Mushroom Alfredo Pasta Bake with pan-roasted mushrooms, whole wheat penne pasta, creamy cauliflower sauce, and Gruyere cheese.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb. whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 head cauliflower (about 67 cups of florets)
  • 3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 24 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • fresh sage, sliced into thin ribbons
  • extras: caramelized onions, bacon, sausage

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta for 5 minutes – it should still be a little firm. Drain, toss with a drizzle of oil, and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the cauliflower, and cook for 5 minutes until tender-crisp. Meanwhile saute the minced garlic with a tablespoon of butter. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked cauliflower to a blender with 2 cups broth, milk, oil, salt, and sauteed garlic. Puree until very smooth. You might need to do this in batches.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat the 3 tablespoons butter in a very large skillet. Add the mushrooms and saute until golden brown.
  4. Toss the cooked pasta, cauliflower sauce, and mushrooms together. Add the remaining cup of broth to help the consistency stay saucy.
  5. Transfer to a deep 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and bake uncovered at 400 for 10-15 minutes. Some of the moisture from the mushrooms will seep out – give it a quick stir to reincorporate it and make it creamy. Top with fresh sage ribbons.

Notes

If you have time and want some extra flavor, add some caramelized onions, bacon, or sausage to the pasta before mixing and baking. YUM!

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: penne bake, mushroom penne, mushroom alfredo, alfredo pasta

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Recipe rating

167 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I mean, I am all for a little bit of getting my face up in tha screeen and doing some virtual eatage…but I think that would be doing this mushroomy/carby/HEALTHY (what what?) bake a dis-service.
    It deserves to be eating the world of real life. Probably multiple days in a row.
    And I am debating if I should turn on that podcast. I too only enjoy binge watching TV shows,so this could be love. Pinned!

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Yep! Mushrooms and cauliflower sauce. Let’s get this party started!

    Cauliflower cheese, as in macaroni and cheese, is also divine. It’s one of my family’s favorites.

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    That that beyond delicious and would totally pass my spouse’s taste test. We had a conversation about love and hate of cauliflower just last night. I was on the side of love… it’s a good thing I can force feed my spouse things sometimes.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    OK… this is torture! I too, don’t have an oven and won’t have one until November 19th. But I want to make this now. Is there a microwavable version? No? OK, I guess I just have to wait until our remodel is complete… 🙁

    When will you be moving into your new kitchen? I bet you are so excited to be able to cook from home again!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Two things: first, I am totally obsessed with Serial, too! My fiance and I crack open a bottle of wine and listen to it together every week, then argue about the new information. It’s fantastic. Two, for my whole life, I’ve thought I didn’t like mushrooms. I tried them last week because they came with my dish at a restaurant… and found out I totally love them. You read my mind with this dish because I’m so excited to cook with them now!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Samantha

    This is everything I love and more. Cannot wait to make this (minus onions, ew! Plus chicken sausage maaaybe?) I am in the middle of moving but who can’t make time to make something this delicious?!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    wendyb964

    Umm, what is a shnugin? I’ve not heard of that term.

    I do dearly love mushies and your cauliflower sauces. Both are now on my grocery list.

    Thanks!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I would much rather scratch my monitor and taste this delectable bake instead of “virtual eating” it – I hope you and Bjork can invent a screen that helps me scratch and taste to my hearts content! 🙂
    Hope y’all have a wonderful weekend!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Becky (Milo & Oats)

    I have been slow to come around to mushrooms…I never cared for them as a kid. This, however, looks amazing!! I see a gluten-free version in my very near future!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Ramona @ The Merchant Baker

    I love sage! We grow it in our garden in the summer and I can just taste it on top of this! Definitely adding this to the must make dinner list!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kate

    Serial is a great podcast- they hooked me the week it came out and I eagerly await the new episode releases on Thursdays! I listen to it on the treadmill and it makes the minutes fly by =-)

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Ashley

    Can this be made and assembled 24 hours ahead of time? I try to do as much meal prep on the weekend as I can. I supposed if not I could at least make the sauce ahead of time and have hubs put it together the day of for me.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Yes, I would just note that there might be some liquid in the bottom of the pan because the mushrooms will sort of weep some of their moisture out. It all works fine once you stir it back together though! 🙂

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This is SO. GENIUS!! I’m very familiar with cauliflower rice but have yet to make a creamy cauliflower sauce and mushrooms sound like the perfect pairing. I’ll be that crazy lady in the grocery store tomorrow buying like 5 heads of cauliflower!