Mushroom Arugula Pasta Salad

Even though I was born in the U.S. I wasn’t raised on a traditional American diet. As a result, I’m not fond of many popular foods. Velveeta, although not really a food, comes to mind. As does Miracle Whip.

A few salads I also find unpalatable. Like the over-mayonnaised macaroni salad, salads with poppyseed dressing, and any salad with jello.

Pasta salads should be lovely, flavorful, not drowning in any kind of dressing, and definitely not sugary.

One day this pasta recipe caught my attention. If you’ve never discovered the blog The Vintage Mixer, you need to hop over there. Becky is a beautiful young woman, cook, traveler, adventurer, living in Utah.

She has even written a cookbook.

Her pasta salad contains roasted mushrooms, a definite improvement over raw mushrooms! The pasta in this salad if pesto-filled tortellini, and who doesn’t love tortellini?!! Also included are fresh arugula leaves, plus a simple lemon dressing. Simple but brilliant.

Because it is wintertime, I served this salad warm, with the warm tortellini and roasted mushrooms, and the arugula slightly wilted from the dressing.

Mushroom Arugula Pasta Salad

12 ounces fresh assorted mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
16 ounces pesto-filled tortellini
5 ounces arugula
1/3 cup grated Parmesan

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss mushrooms in olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and fresh thyme. Spread out onto a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 15 minutes.

While mushrooms are roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the tortellini and cook according to package directions.

Whisk together all of the ingredients for the lemon dressing and set aside.

Once mushrooms are done remove from oven and set aside.

Drain tortellini and toss with a little oil.

Once tortellini has cooled slightly, toss with the arugula and lemon dressing.

Let the arugula warm and “wilt” for a few minutes, then stir in the mushrooms and Parmesan gently.

Top with shaved Parmesan and serve.

As you can tell, I also sprinkled on some pomegranate seeds and microgreens over the salad for the sake of festivity!

note: After visiting 4 stores, I had to finally settle on cheese tortellini. Maybe I have to go to Utah for Becky’s pesto-filled tortellini!

By Published On: November 27th, 201743 Comments on Mushroom Arugula Pasta Salad

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons November 27, 2017 at 9:38 AM - Reply

    Amen to your comments about many popular foods in the US. My mother was British but raised in France, i had a similar experience. This is a wonderful whole meal salad, I think cheese tortellini is a good choice with the arugula.

  2. anotherfoodieblogger November 27, 2017 at 12:18 PM - Reply

    What a gorgeous warm winter salad! I can’t stand Miracle Whip either (ewww) BUT, being from Texas I just have to have Velveeta for a proper queso dip, lol!

    • chef mimi November 27, 2017 at 12:21 PM - Reply

      I completely understand! Are you from Austin?

      • anotherfoodieblogger November 27, 2017 at 12:26 PM

        I was born in Midland, raised in Houston, and went to college in Austin! I still have a brother and sister in Austin.

      • chef mimi November 27, 2017 at 10:00 PM

        Oh wow. We lived in Houston and Midland!

  3. Mackay Sherry November 27, 2017 at 12:36 PM - Reply

    This looks delicious and good for you. Yes when we visited friends in the US and were fed sweet fruity jello (we call it jelly) as a side dish, we were bemused to say the least. Eek!

  4. Angela@grapegravy​ November 27, 2017 at 1:32 PM - Reply

    Looks delicious! I’m not a fan of ” processed cheese food product” or ” sugar laden mayonnaise product” either. Still following!

    • chef mimi November 27, 2017 at 9:59 PM - Reply

      Thank you Angela! When I catered I learned that people are “allowed” to have their own opinions about food, that I had to respect, even if they were bad opinions! Hahahahahahaha

  5. marymtf November 27, 2017 at 2:10 PM - Reply

    Beautiful photo, Mimi. It all looks so luscious.

  6. Gerlinde November 27, 2017 at 5:00 PM - Reply

    I am visiting Germany and enjoying all the foods from my childhood. The bread , cakes and cookies are wonderful. Your salad looks very good. I like everything mushrooms.

    • chef mimi November 27, 2017 at 5:42 PM - Reply

      Me, too! Especially roasted or sautéed .

  7. Cocoa & Lavender November 27, 2017 at 6:12 PM - Reply

    Mimi – we have very similar opinions about certain foods! Don’t forget the Cheez Whiz! This pasta salad looks wonderful – I’ve been roasting we’re grilling mushrooms and serving them with arugula quite often this summer. It’s a wonderful combination!

    • chef mimi November 27, 2017 at 9:58 PM - Reply

      OMG cheese whiz. I guess I blocked that from my memory. Truly horrible. Yes, a wonderful combination!

  8. StefanGourmet November 28, 2017 at 1:43 AM - Reply

    No surprise you couldn’t find pesto-filled tortellini as they don’t exist in Italy. Pesto-dressed tortellini do, though they are fusion (pesto is from Liguria, tortellini from Emilia-Romagna and always filled with meat; their larger siblings tortelli are filled with squash/pumpkin or ricotta and spinach). Anyway, the salad sounds good!

  9. chefkreso November 28, 2017 at 7:06 AM - Reply

    Have to share this pasta salad recipe with friends, they’ll love it!

  10. Susan (@savoringtime) November 28, 2017 at 1:41 PM - Reply

    I love everything about this salad! I’m a big fan of arugula and roasted mushrooms too. Win, win!

    • chef mimi November 29, 2017 at 9:28 AM - Reply

      Definitely! And it was wonderful served warm.

  11. kitchenriffs November 29, 2017 at 10:35 AM - Reply

    Terrific looking salad — so nicely balanced. But I’m a sucker for anything with mushrooms. :-) Miracle Whip, though? No thank you. :-)

  12. Loretta November 29, 2017 at 1:44 PM - Reply

    My sentiments exactly Mimi……there are certain things I will not attempt to make, but this mushroom arugula pasta salad is a must for me to try, especially since we have a vegetarian person in this household. On her next trip, I’m gonna surprise her with this beauty! :)

    • chef mimi November 29, 2017 at 4:57 PM - Reply

      Serve it warm! It’s much better that way.

  13. Loretta November 29, 2017 at 1:45 PM - Reply

    oh and p.s. what’s the red in the salad? Dried Cranberries?

    • chef mimi November 29, 2017 at 4:57 PM - Reply

      I added some pomegranate seeds for color!

  14. canelakitchen December 1, 2017 at 4:33 PM - Reply

    Mimi I love this, we love mushroom!!
    Have a nice weekend!

  15. Julie is Hostess At Heart December 1, 2017 at 5:57 PM - Reply

    I grew up eating dishes drowned in velvetta and micracle whip and have got to say that my tastes are much cleaner and simpler now. I love everything about this beautiful salad. I love mushrooms so much and especially roasted!

    • chef mimi December 2, 2017 at 8:34 PM - Reply

      So did my husband. He won’t eat mayonnaise cause he thinks it’s miracle whip!!

  16. FrugalHausfrau December 2, 2017 at 4:53 AM - Reply

    Mimi, what a salad!! I didn’t grow up eating a lot of the “traditional” foods, mostlyl because my Mom was such an inventive cook. Regardless, I do have a confession – I like poppyseed dressing (home-made, anyway) but it does have to be on the right salad. I usually use it on fruit! I’ve always avoided most pasta/tortellini salads at potlucks and such, but you’ve totally transformed the idea!

    • chef mimi December 2, 2017 at 8:33 PM - Reply

      That’s okay – I forgive you! When I catered, I learned that everyone is entitled to his/her own likes and dislikes, and I don’t judge!

  17. Jeff the Chef December 2, 2017 at 8:16 PM - Reply

    What a gorgeous salad. I could be satisfied with nothing but that for dinner any night. Great idea to serve it warm.

  18. Anonymous December 7, 2017 at 10:23 AM - Reply

    This, I am sure, is a great salad!!

  19. A Cookbook Collection December 17, 2017 at 4:12 AM - Reply

    This looks really wonderful. I love the splash of colour from the pomegranate seeds

  20. Michelle Frank April 12, 2019 at 1:26 PM - Reply

    Not me! I grew up on Miracle Whip and Velveeta Cheese—I hate them BOTH!! I also remember “salads” that had no business being referred to a such, given that they contained no greens (well, except for the Jell-O—EW!). Your salad looks absolutely delicious! I love the pomegranates sprinkled over the top.

    • chef mimi April 12, 2019 at 2:35 PM - Reply

      HAHAHAHAHAHA! So did my husband. My only contact with velveeta was that my mother and I used it as fish bait!!!

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