This easy 30-minute mushroom spaghetti sauce is hearty and robust in flavor with minimal effort! This recipe is made with 9 simple ingredients you probably already have hanging out in your pantry – plus, deeply flavorful fresh mushrooms! This homemade tomato sauce is so delicious and easy to prepare it’s sure to become a family dinner favorite! (Keto-friendly, Low-carb, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Vegan-option)
You can prepare this quick vegetarian pasta sauce ahead and freeze it for later! This recipe is flexible and totally customizable, plus I’ve included an option to add meat! Serve this pasta sauce with spaghetti, veggie noodles or polenta! Or, use it on meatball subs and stuffed peppers for a fast, cozy dinner that’s sure to please! Continue to read on for helpful tips, and don’t miss the in-depth step-by-step photos in the post!
Hi, friends! Cozy pasta dinner coming at you today!
If you are a fan of mushrooms, you will absolutely love this easy mushroom spaghetti sauce recipe! But, to be fair, even if you aren’t a mushroom enthusiast, you will still love this recipe!! Take it from me, I’m not the biggest fan of mushrooms and I still swoon over this sauce!
Easy Mushroom Spaghetti Sauce
This easy mushroom sauce with spaghetti is my new favorite pasta dish!
This tomato-based sauce is hearty and bursting with savory, earthy and umami flavors! With notes of aromatic garlic, fresh herbs, complex parmesan and robust tomatoes, this rich sauce is enhanced by the meaty texture of fresh mushrooms. This sauce is complex in flavor and totally satisfying without being too heavy or rich! It’s the perfect way to add a meatless recipe to your dinner rotation – without sacrificing any flavor!
Aside from the amazing taste, this sauce incredibly simple and uncomplicated to prepare. Plus, it’s made entirely in one pot! This recipe is made with common, inexpensive ingredients and comes together in 30 minutes!
What is spaghetti sauce?
Spaghetti sauce, also known as pasta sauce or tomato sauce, is a slow-simmered sauce made primarily from tomatoes along with garlic, fresh herbs and various Italian seasonings. Spaghetti sauce is typically meatless; however, it can refer to any sauce you put on spaghetti. Marinara, Bolognese and meat sauce are also varieties of spaghetti sauce.
This recipe features tomatoes, garlic and fresh herbs along with fresh mushrooms to create a sauce that is thick, hearty and robust in flavor.
What ingredients do I need?
This easy homemade mushroom tomato sauce is bursting with flavor and relies on simple, readily available ingredients for a restaurant-quality taste!
- Olive Oil: Select a high-quality olive oil to add rich taste when sautéing the mushrooms.
- Mushrooms: One pound of fresh mushrooms give the sauce a intensely meaty flavor. You can use an assortment of mushrooms or just one variety. (See below for the best varieties of mushrooms to use!)
- Garlic: Two to three cloves of fresh garlic provide a distinctive, punchy taste. Use fresh garlic, not the minced variety sold in a jar.
- Thyme: Fresh thyme gives the sauce a concentrated herbal flavor.
- Seasonings: Italian seasoning, kosher salt and ground black pepper all provide flavor. You can use homemade Italian seasoning or store-bought.
- Tomato Paste: Tomato paste helps thicken the sauce while providing a rich flavor.
- Red Wine: Any red wine you prefer will work well! Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Chianti and Merlot are all great options. Or, you can substitute broth instead.
- Tomatoes: One can of tomatoes adds a sweet flavor with a touch of acidity. Use a high-quality brand you trust. I recommend fire-roasted tomatoes for delicious, slightly smoky flavor. For a smoother sauce, use crushed tomatoes and for a chunkier sauce, use diced tomatoes.
- Pasta Sauce: Select a good-quality prepared pasta sauce for the best taste! Lower-quality sauces lack a balance of flavors and create a sauce that is either too sweet or too acidic. You can use a can of plain tomato sauce or try your favorite flavor variety!
- Cheese: ½ cup of parmesan adds sharp, savory flavor. I recommend aged parmesan for the most complex flavor. You can substitute Pecorino Romano if you would like!
- Basil: Fresh basil adds a hint of pungent sweetness to the sauce that can’t be beat!
Want to make some changes to this tomato sauce?! No problem! I encourage you to make this sauce your own! Get creative and add your family’s favorite ingredients! Below are a few ideas to get you started.
- Tomatoes: Use a 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes for a more traditional-style spaghetti sauce. Or, use a 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes for a rustic-style sauce.
- Mushrooms: Finely dice all the mushrooms for a more traditional-style sauce. Or, thinly slice half the mushrooms, and finely dice the other half, for a sauce that’s hearty and rustic in texture.
- Vegetables: Want to sneak in more vegetables? Add finely diced onions, carrots, celery, bell peppers and/or olives to the sauce!
- Meat: Looking for a meaty spaghetti sauce? You can easily add ground beef, turkey, chicken or pork! (See below for meat sauce variations.)
- Herbs: Fresh herbs are a wonderful way to brighten up a tomato sauce. Add parsley, chives, oregano or bay leaves for a touch of herbaceous flavor.
- Seasonings: Spices and seasonings are a great way to subtly customize your pasta sauce! Add in crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne for a spicy kick! Or, try dried rosemary or oregano for an earthy flavor and sweet paprika for a sweet pepper flavor without any adding any heat.
- Cheese: Substitute a dairy-free parmesan cheese substitution or nutritional yeast to make this recipe dairy-free and vegan.
- Sugar: If your sauce is too acidic, add brown sugar or granulated sugar to tone down the tart flavor.
- Vinegar: If your sauce is a little too flat in taste, add a touch of balsamic or red wine vinegar to bring it to life!
- Worcestershire Sauce: Worcestershire is one of my favorite ingredients to add to tomato sauce. Add a few dashes to give the sauce a complex depth of smokey flavor.
What mushrooms are best for spaghetti?
Mushrooms add a delicious savory depth of flavor to tomato sauce! There are a few varieties of fresh mushroom you can use in this sauce! Each type of mushroom has a unique characteristic that will bring something different to pasta sauce. I recommend wild mushrooms if they are available; however, you should use your favorite variety! Or, get creative and play around with combinations of mushrooms to create a sauce you and your family love!
- White button: Button mushrooms are easy to find and a great choice if it’s not mushroom season. However, white button mushrooms are very light in flavor. I recommend mixing white button with one of the varieties below for the best taste.
- Cremini: Cremini mushrooms, also known as baby bella mushrooms, look like a brown version of white button mushrooms. They are meaty and very satisfying in flavor.
- Portobello: Portobello mushrooms are large in size and the meatiest of the bunch.
- Shiitake: Shiitake mushrooms are earthy in flavor and slightly chewy in texture.
- Chanterelle: Chanterelle mushrooms are typically found in white wine sauces; however, they work great in tomato sauces as well! They have a delicate taste with a peppery, almost fruity flavor.
- Oyster: Oyster mushrooms are similar to shiitake. They are meaty with a chewy, sponge-like texture that soaks up sauces beautifully.
Can I add meat?
Looking to take this sauce over the top and make it a meat lover’s dream?! Add some protein for extra flavor and texture!
You can add whatever ground meat you love or have on hand: beef, sausage, chicken, turkey, pork, etc! Or, try using a mix of your favorite ground meats, such as a combination of beef and pork.
To add meat to mushroom spaghetti sauce
- Brown the meat, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon as it cooks.
- Remove the meat and place it on a paper-towel lined plate to soak up any excess grease.
- Drain off any excess grease from the saucepan; leaving about two tablespoons of fat in the pan.
- Proceed with the recipe.
- Add the meat back to the saucepan when you add the tomatoes.
How to use tomato sauce?
There are numerous ways to use homemade mushroom spaghetti sauce! The most obvious way to use this sauce is on spaghetti or pasta (as seen here), but don’t stop there! This sauce is so versatile!! You can also use tomato sauce to create an Italian dish or use it wherever a recipe calls for pasta sauce! I recommend putting in on basically everything!
12 ways to use homemade spaghetti sauce
- Pasta: Toss warm, al dente noodles with plenty of sauce!
- Veggie Noodles: Craving pasta, but limiting your carbohydrates? Ladle spaghetti sauce over your favorite vegetable noodles, such as zucchini or squash!
- Eggs: Make a breakfast of champions! Use this sauce to prepare eggs in purgatory or Shakshouka!
- Spinach: Give spinach a tasty upgrade! Sauté fresh spinach in mushroom tomato sauce and finish with plenty of parmesan cheese!
- Stuffed Peppers: Pour the sauce over your favorite Italian stuffed peppers and bake until peppers are tender.
- Subs: Give your meatball sub sandwich a tasty upgrade with homemade mushroom sauce!
- Parmesan: Prepare your favorite eggplant, chicken or veal parmesan with mushroom pasta sauce for a boost of savory flavor!
- Polenta: Top a creamy bowl of polenta with a generous amount of sauce and a liberal sprinkling of parmesan cheese!
- Braised Chicken or Beef: Braise beef or chicken in pasta sauce for a hearty dinner.
- Meatballs: You can either braise meatballs right in the sauce or toss cooked meatballs into the sauce!
- Lasagna: Use mushroom tomato sauce as a layering sauce in your favorite lasagna!
- Baked Casseroles: Use sauce in pasta bakes or Italian casseroles, such as manicotti or ziti!
How to make mushroom spaghetti sauce?
This hearty mushroom pasta sauce is extremely easy to prepare and can be ready in 30 minutes or less! This recipe is made entirely in one pot and only requires 9 ingredients plus a few pantry seasonings!
(Don’t forget to scroll down for the detailed instructions in the complete printable recipe at the bottom of the page.)
- Cook pasta (optional): Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season generously with salt and add the pasta. Cook 1-minute shy of al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.
- Sauté the sliced mushrooms (optional): Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook, undisturbed, for 4 minutes. Stir. Continue to cook until the mushrooms are golden brown. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper. Remove the mushrooms to a plate and set aside.
- Start mushroom sauce: Add remaining oil to the pan. Add the diced mushrooms. Cook until golden brown. Add the garlic, thyme and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
- Deglaze: Add the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Simmer until the wine is mostly evaporated.
- Simmer: Add the tomatoes (and their juices) and the tomato sauce. Bring the sauce to a rapid simmer. Stir in the parmesan cheese. Simmer for 8-10 minutes. Stir in the basil.
- Add mushrooms: Add the reserved mushrooms (and pasta if using) to the sauce. Toss to coat the spaghetti. If sauce is too thick, add a splash or two of reserved cooking water.
- Serve: Transfer mushroom spaghetti to serving bowls and enjoy!
How to make homemade tomato sauce with mushrooms step by step photos
Expert tips for the perfect spaghetti sauce
The perfect mushroom spaghetti sauce will beautifully coat the back of a spoon and cling lightly to cooked pasta.
Below you will find easy, fool-proof ways to trouble-shoot any type of pasta sauce disaster!
How to fix spaghetti sauce that’s too thick?
A sauce can become too thick from over cooking or mis-measuring the liquid ingredients. However, have no fear, because thinning out a sauce that’s too thick is super simple!
To thin out spaghetti sauce, simply stir in more red wine or add a bit of broth. Make sure you start with a small amount and continue to add the liquid until the sauce is thinned out to your liking. Alternatively, if you are looking for a thinner sauce that has a creamy consistency, you can stir in a bit of heavy cream.
Why is my pasta sauce too watery?
A watery, thin pasta sauce is just as bad as a sauce that’s too thick! Spaghetti sauce shouldn’t be so thin that it runs off the pasta and spreads across the plate!
Luckily, a thin spaghetti sauce is easy to fix!
- To thicken a watery sauce without altering the taste: Simply continue to simmer the sauce over low heat until it’s reduced and thickened to your liking. Make sure the saucepan isn’t covered with a lid!
- Add more tomato paste: Stir in a little bit of tomato paste as needed and simmer to thicken the sauce. Use tomato paste sparingly as a little goes a long way!
- Alternatively, you can thicken a sauce by adding slurry to your sauce: Mix equal parts of cornstarch and water to create a slurry. Stir the slurry into the pasta sauce. Allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes until it thickens. Avoid adding too much or it will alter and ruin the texture of the sauce!
How to fix a mushroom sauce that’s too acidic?
A great tomato sauce has the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness. Too much of either one will leave you with a sauce that tastes flat. If you have found yourself with a sauce that’s a little too acidic, you can neutralize it by adding a bit of sugar. Add a teaspoon of granulated sugar to the sauce until you achieve the desired flavor.
Why is my tomato sauce too sweet?
Excess sweetness will ruin a perfectly delicious pasta sauce. This homemade pasta sauce recipe does not call for any sugar. However, if you use a low-quality prepared pasta sauce, you may end up with a final sauce that is too sweet. The best way to balance the sweetness is to add an acid, in this case, vinegar. You can either add a teaspoon of balsamic or red wine vinegar to the sauce until you achieve the desired flavor.
Tips for making ahead and freezing mushroom spaghetti sauce
How long will tomato pasta sauce last?
This homemade mushroom pasta sauce can easily be made ahead of time! Allow the sauce to cool completely to room temperature and transfer it to an airtight container or zip-closure bag. The sauce will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Can I freeze it?
Pasta sauce freezes beautifully! Freezing is one of the easiest ways to preserve your homemade sauce! Make a double or triple batch and stock your freezer with delicious sauce for easy weeknight dinners!
To freeze: Prepare the sauce according to recipe instructions and allow it to cool on the counter to room temperature. Transfer the sauce to an airtight container, leaving an inch of head space at the top. Store in the freezer for 4-6 months.
To use: Slowly defrost the sauce in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer the sauce to a saucepan. Reheat on the stovetop over medium-low to low heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed throughout.
Pro-tip: Freeze pasta sauce in small one to two-cup servings!
What to serve with mushroom spaghetti?
I think we can all agree that spaghetti dinners are delicious! But, if you are in a dinner rut and wondering what exactly goes with spaghetti, I’ve got you covered!
Below are 12 side dishes that will make you spaghetti dinner even better!
- Breadsticks: Is it even pasta night if you don’t have breadsticks for dipping?! Try cauliflower breadsticks for a lighter option!
- Bruschetta: Top crusty bread with bruschetta for a light, but delicious side option!
- Italian Salad: A hearty chopped Italian salad is the perfect type of dinner salad!
- Tomato Salad: A fresh caprese salad drizzled with plenty of balsamic never gets old!
- Ratatouille: Spoon a generous amount of ratatouille over your spaghetti for a hearty vegetarian dinner.
- Roasted Artichokes: Roast artichoke in foil and drizzle with a white wine vinaigrette for a fancy side dish sure to impress.
- Creamed Spinach: Rich creamed spinach is a hearty, cozy winner!
- Sautéed Peppers and Onions: Italian peppers and onions are an easy Italian side everyone will enjoy!
- Shrimp: Roast or sauté shrimp for a delicious shrimp spaghetti dinner!
- Meatballs: Meatballs are the obvious pairing choice for spaghetti.
- Cutlets: Bread pork or chicken cutlets with breadcrumbs and fresh Herbs for a deliciously crunchy pairing!
- Stuffed Chicken: Stuff chicken breast with plenty of mozzarella and bake until golden brown for a comforting weeknight dinner!
Fuss-free to prepare and insanely delicious to eat, this Mushroom Spaghetti (Sauce) will quickly become a cozy family favorite!
Until next week, friends, cheers!
Looking for more pasta sauce recipes?
If you love this spaghetti sauce with mushrooms, try one of these delicious recipes next!
The best mushroom spaghetti recipe 👇
Mushroom Spaghetti (Sauce)
- Large Saucepan
- Large Pot (for pasta - optional)
- 10-12 ounces Dried Spaghetti
- 3 1/2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil - DIVIDED
- 1- pound Fresh Mushrooms – cleaned, de-stemmed & DIVIDED; ½ thinly sliced & ½ finely diced (SEE NOTES)
- 2-3 cloves Garlic – finely chopped
- 1 ½ TBS Fresh Thyme Leaves
- ¾ tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 TBS Tomato Paste
- ½ Cup Red Wine
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can Fire Roasted Tomatoes (SEE NOTES)
- 1 ½ Cups Prepared Tomato Pasta Sauce (SEE NOTES)
- ½ Cup Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano Cheese - DIVIDED, plus more for serving (or vegan alternative)
- ¼ Cup Fresh Basil - chopped & DIVIDED
- Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper
- Cook pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season water generously with salt. Add the pasta and until 1-minute shy of al dente, 8-9 minutes, or according to package instructions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid. (Tip: Start boiling water now. Then, start cooking the pasta when you start cooking the finely diced mushrooms in step 3)
- Sauté the sliced mushrooms: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook, UNDISTURBED, for 4 minutes. Stir. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for an additional 3-5 minutes or until mushrooms are golden browned and tender. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper. Remove the mushrooms to a plate and set aside.
- Start mushroom sauce: Reduce the heat to medium and add remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of oil to the pan. Add the diced mushrooms. Cook, UNDISTURBED for 2 minutes. Stir and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until caramelized, about 1-2 minutes.
- Deglaze: Add the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Simmer until the wine is mostly evaporated.
- Simmer: Add the tomatoes (and their juices) and the tomato sauce. Bring sauce to a rapid simmer. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir in ¼ cup of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in half of the basil.
- Add the pasta & reserved mushrooms to the sauce. Toss for 1-2 minutes or until sauce is thick and coats the spaghetti. If sauce is too thick, add a splash or two of reserved cooking water. Taste and adjust pasta for seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Serve: Transfer mushroom spaghetti to serving bowls. Garnish with remaining cheese and remaining fresh basil. Enjoy!
- Mushroom varieties: You can use your favorite variety of fresh mushrooms in this sauce. Please see the post above for detailed information on the best mushroom varieties to use, .
- Mushrooms and Tomatoes: For a traditional tomato sauce, finely dice ALL the mushrooms and skip step 2 of the recipe. Use a can of crushed fire-roasted tomatoes. For a rustic-style sauce, follow the instructions using half sliced and half finely diced mushrooms. You can use diced tomatoes for a chunky, rustic sauce or crushed tomatoes for a less chunky, but still rustic-style sauce.
- Pasta Sauce: Use your favorite high-quality jarred pasta sauce. You can use any flavor variety you love!
- Adjusting Taste: Make sure you use high-quality ingredients in this sauce! Using lower quality ingredients can result in a sauce that’s too sweet or too acidic. However, you can easily adjust this sauce if needed! Please see the above post for detailed instructions.
- Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Alternatively, the sauce can be frozen for up to 4-6 months.
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