A Light vegan penne pasta made with mushrooms and spinach.  I used a light coconut milk sauce to mix all the ingredients together.  Its the perfect quick dinner recipe with just a few ingredients.  Its also made with red lentil pasta

Disclosure – This post is sponsored by (affiliate link) Barilla but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

I love a pasta recipe with very few ingredients.

A quick pasta recipe that takes very little effort to make and tastes delicious!

Who can resist that pasta for dinner, right?

Overhead view of a white bowl filled with vegan penne pasta, spinach and mushrooms

Barilla red lentil pasta

Today’s recipe is a quick, easy penne pasta recipe made with (affiliate link) Barilla’s Red Lentil Pasta which is a huge game changer for me.

It’s good in a light sauce, marinara sauce, or a whole bunch of grilled veggies. Or, make this super simple bucatini cacio e pepe by Running To The Kitchen. Yesterday, I made this amazing French onion pasta using this pasta, and it was beyond delicious!

The beauty of this pasta is that it can be flavored a hundred ways! The pasta happens to be gluten-free, low carb, and non-gmo certified,  as well as, all vegan

It has all plant-based proteins and NO animal protein.  How awesome is that!

OVerhead view of a box of barilla red lentil pasta sitting next to a bowl of cooked penne pasta

Tips for making this mushroom penne pasta

– Use very small baby bella mushrooms in this recipe because they blend well with the pasta

– If you wash mushrooms right before you cook them, make sure they are very dry.  Water tends to make these mushrooms soggy.  Ideally, wash them the day before and wrap them in paper towel to absorb any moisture

– Make sure you slice the mushroom as thinly as possible.  It might be a little tedious, but, so worth the effort

Overhead view of thinly sliced mushrooms on a brown chopping board - penne pasta

– I used fresh spinach in this recipe because that’s all I had in my refrigerator.  You can experiment with frozen spinach and let me know how it tasted

– Be sure to use full fat coconut milk to make the sauce because lite coconut milk makes the pasta runny

– If you have time, make this Greek seasoning and put it in the coconut sauce.

– I also recommend using my vegan Alfredo sauce or Fit As A Mama Bear’s coconut milk Alfredo sauce.  They both work great with mushrooms and spinach

– The lime zest really brings all the flavors together, so, don’t skip it

Closeup view of penne pasta in a bowl next to a zested lime

Cooking the lentil pasta

1) Start by putting 5 cups of water in a strong bottom pot

2) Add 1/4 tsp salt and bring water to a boil

3) Set the heat to medium high

4) Add 2 cups of the red lentil penne pasta into the boiling water

5) Give it a quick stir and let it cook

6) I noticed that this pasta has a lot of starch floating to the top.  So, I skimmed off as much of the starch as I could during the cooking process

7) The package calls for cooking it for 7 minutes of cooking time for “Al Dente” pasta.  I actually cooked it for 9 minutes

8) Drain the pasta and put it immediately into the pan with the mushrooms.  I found that the cooked penne pasta dries quickly, so, I sauce it immediately

Cloeup view of a fork with the cooked penne pasta

Veggies to add to vegan pasta

– Kale (instead of the spinach)

– Bell Peppers

– Asparagus

– Onions

– Sun-dried tomatoes

Broccolini Rabe

– Red pepper flakes for a slightly spicy penne pasta recipe

Overhead view of a white bowl filled with vegan penne pasta, spinach and mushrooms

Answering Common Questions

Is Spinach necessary in this pasta?

Spinach is definitely optional in this penne pasta recipe.  But, it adds additional nutrients and a differently texture to the red lentil pasta.
Plus, they are easy to cook and a great way to get my veggies in for the day.  Kale or even collard greens will be good substitute for the pasta.  Collard greens are a little unusual, but, if you have tried my ultimate antioxidant smoothie, you know that they are a pleasant surprise in any recipe

Can I freeze this pasta recipe?

Yes, but, freeze only the sauce part.  The red lentil penne pasta doesn’t freeze well and its best when consumed hot.
However, you can make the mushrooms and sauce in advance and save it.  Mix it into the pasta when you are ready to consume it.  You can also add a little pumpkin puree to the sauce like I did in my mushroom stroganoff

Is it possible to use regular pasta in this recipe?

Yes, you can use regular wheat, GMO, pesticide laden, gut-ripping pasta in this recipe. It will taste good, sure. But, is it worth hurting your gut?

Closeup view of penne pasta in a bowl next to a zested lime

So, try this pasta recipe tonight and let me know what you think.  Be sure to rate it below and comment on what you thought of it.

This pasta happens to be a delicious low-carb pasta. If you like low carb recipes, try my whipped feta dip and my olive salad.

Overhead view of a white bowl filled with vegan penne pasta, spinach and mushrooms

Vegan pasta recipes

If you are a fan of light pasta meals, then you are in luck.  Some of my blogger friends and I have a few recipes that you can try.  Which one is your favorite?

Balsamic Dressing Pasta Salad by Life Currents

Balsamic Dressing Pasta Salad
This Balsamic Dressing Pasta Salad is a classic easy to make vegan pasta salad. Perfect for a picnic, lunch, or light dinner
Check out this recipe
Balsamic Dressing Pasta Salad

Creamy Lemon Pasta by Bowl-Me-Over

Creamy Lemon Garlic Pasta
Creamy Lemon Garlic Pasta – Lemons, garlic, parmesan cheese, cream, olive oil and some spices – that’s it!
Check out this recipe
Creamy Lemon Garlic Pasta

Casarecce Pasta with Broccolini Rabe

Casarecce Pasta With Broccolini Rabe
Simple casarecce pasta with broccolini rabe in a rich herb butter sauce
Check out this recipe
Closeup view of a white bowl filled with casarecce pasta, roasted broccolini, vegan butter sauce and panko bread crumbs as garnish

Cold Pasta Salad

Cold Pasta Salad Recipe
A simple cold pasta salad recipe that is perfect weeknight meal idea. Works as the main course meal or as a side dish
Check out this recipe
A simple cold pasta salad recipe that is perfect weeknight meal idea. Works as the main course meal or as a side dish. This is a vegan recipe and even vegetarians meal. It is a quick dinner idea for the whole family

Sharing is caring

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Overhead view of a white bowl filled with vegan penne pasta, spinach and mushrooms

Penne Pasta With Mushrooms

Quick, easy vegan penne pasta recipe
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 5 servings
Calories 203 kcal



  • Start by boiling the water for the pasta while working on the other ingredients
  • Heat a pan for 30 seconds and add the oil
  • Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds on medium heat
  • Add the mushrooms and stir well
  • Cook mushrooms on medium heat for about 7minutes or until they start to brown
  • Add the spinach, but, don’t stir it
  • When the spinach is half its size, stir the mixture and cook for about 2 minutes
  • While the mushrooms are browning, the water should be ready, so, add the penne pasta
  • Cook the penne pasta for about 9 minutes. See notes
  • Drain the pasta and add it to the mushroom + spinach mixture
  • Add all the remaining ingredients (except the lime zest)
  • Mix well and let it cook for about 3 minutes on medium heat
  • Turn off heat and add the lime zest
  • Mix well and serve immediately


– When cooking this pasta, I skim off as much of the starch that rises up.  I prefer it that way, but, its not required


Calories: 203kcal
Keyword How to cook penne pasta, quick vegan pasta recipe
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  1. I would eat up every last bit of this! In fact, I may have everything but the mushrooms to make it. On the next store trip I’ll pick those up! This looks so good!

  2. Hi there. The recipe looks delicious but the nutritional information per portion is not correct.
    Protein 16g : 64 calories
    Carbs 40g: 160 calories
    Fats 21.5g: 193 calories
    Total: 417 calories

    1. Hello Andrea, thank you for your email. We use an automatic service that counts calories based on a standard metrics. I will confirm the numbers with them and let you know.