Lion’s mane mushrooms add protein and a ton of flavor to any vegetarian or vegan pasta. Here’s how to make a delicious, seafood-inspired lion’s mane mushroom pasta:
What Is Lion’s Mane?
Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) is an adaptogenic mushroom known for its distinct appearance and the benefits it provides.
This unique mushroom provides an abundance of benefits for overall mental and physical health. It mainly grows in northern Europe, Asia, and North America. Thanks to the seafood-like flavor of lion’s mane, this fungus is a popular vegan alternative to lobster and crab meat.
Lion’s Mane Benefits
Research on the health benefits of lion’s mane indicates this fungus has the potential to maintain optimal brain health and relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. Lion’s mane also appears to ease the symptoms of dementia, lessen oxidative stress, as well as alleviate chronic inflammation.
Lion’s Mane Side Effects
For most healthy individuals, there are no long-term side effects to taking lion’s mane. If you’re new to adaptogenic mushrooms, you may experience slight digestive discomfort, but this should pass in a few hours.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Pasta Recipe
Lion’s mane is a great addition to any vegan or vegetarian pasta dish. It adds protein to an otherwise carb-heavy meal and makes paste dishes more complete. This vegetarian seafood pasta alternative is a delicious way to get lion’s mane into your diet, and the recipe features vegan alternatives as well.
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons of butter, vegan butter, or extra virgin olive oil
- 10 ounces of tomatoes (fresh and cubed or pre-made tomato sauce)
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 medium yellow onion (finely diced)
- 1-2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- ½ pound of lion’s mane
- 2 cups of uncooked pasta (preferably penne)
- ½ cup of vegetable broth
- ½ teaspoon of Italian seasoning
- ½ tablespoon of smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley (chopped)
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup of heavy cream, vegan cream cheese, or coconut milk (optional)
- 1 minced chili pepper or ½ teaspoon of chili powder (optional)
- 1 ounce of parmesan cheese (optional)
Nutritional information: 750 calories per serving
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Pour a tablespoon of vegetable oil into a saucepan and turn your stove top on to medium-high heat. Once the oil warms up, add the onions to the saucepan and turn the heat down to a low-medium. Let the onion cook, stirring occasionally until translucent. In the meantime, cook pasta according to package directions.
Once the onions become translucent, add in the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant (about a minute). Then, add in the tomatoes, tomato paste, and chili pepper to the saucepan, along with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, and the vegetable broth.
Stir, cover, and let it simmer on low-medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Once the mixture cooks down, add in the heavy cream (omit if you are vegetarian) and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
Melt the butter (or vegan butter or olive oil, for a vegan alternative) in a pan over medium heat. Cut the lion’s mane mushroom into small pieces and saute it until cooked (3-5 minutes). Add the sauteed lion’s mane to the sauce.
Drain your pasta once it’s al dente and add it to the sauce. Optionally, add in grated parmesan cheese and a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper and stir over low heat to combine. Garnish with fresh parsley and plate immediately.
More Lion’s Mane Mushroom Recipes
Is pasta not your thing? Luckily, there are plenty of other lion’s mane recipes to try. You can add lion’s mane to a myriad of foods, including sauces, ravioli, and curry. Or, roast lion’s mane florets in the oven.
Roasted Lion’s Mane Mushroom Recipe
If you’re looking for a quick and easy lion’s mane recipe, try roasting this adaptogenic mushroom. Marinate it in barbeque sauce for a delicious vegan chicken nuggets alternative.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Curry
Lion’s mane mushroom curry is simple to make. The process is similar to making lion’s mane pasta, with the only difference being that the curry is served with rice instead of pasta.
Lion’s Mane Alfredo Sauce
If you’re looking for a creamy mushroom sauce, make a lion’s mane alfredo sauce. All you need is heavy cream, parmesan, garlic, seasonings, and lion’s mane. Of course, you can substitute each ingredient with a vegan alternative if you want to make the sauce vegan.
Lion’s Mane Ravioli
Lion’s mane mushroom ravioli is a terrific alternative to meat ravioli. Use shredded lion’s mane instead of meat when making your ravioli filling. The process of making ravioli can be complicated and time-consuming, but the end result will be worth it.
How Do You Prepare and Eat Lion’s Mane?
It’s best to clean and prepare your lion’s mane right before you’re about to use it. Do not wash lion’s mane mushrooms, as they can absorb too much water, which will affect their flavor and cooking time. Instead, clean them with a paper towel.
There are many ways to eat lion’s mane. Some popular lion’s mane recipes are lion’s mane mushroom risotto and crab cakes made with lion’s mane, but they are just as delicious when pan-fried on their own.
How Do You Cook Dried Lion’s Mane?
Dehydrating (or drying) mushrooms is an easy way to preserve them for a long time. You can air dry lion’s mane (if you live in a hot, dry climate) or dry them in a food dehydrator or an oven. Once you want to cook with them, prepare lion’s mane mushrooms by letting them rehydrate in water for about half an hour. After that, cook them the same as you would fresh mushrooms.
What Part of Lion’s Mane Should You Eat?
You can eat all parts of the lion’s mane mushroom. The center of this fungus is meatier and better when dehydrated, while the icicles tend to be easier to digest when eaten raw. When cooked, all parts of lion’s mane are edible and healthy to consume.
Why Can’t You Eat Lion’s Mane Raw?
While eating raw lion’s mane is not dangerous, it’s far from the optimal way to consume this fungus. Raw lion’s mane is hard to digest, and you won’t be able to absorb some of the nutrients located in their indigestible chitin cell walls unless you consume them cooked, or in the form of an extract.
Another Way to Take Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
If you don't like the lion’s mane mushroom taste but still want to get the benefits of this amazing mushroom, fear not! Our mushroom granola will provide you with all the lion’s mane mushroom benefits and more, without any of the mushroom flavor.
In our breakfast granola bowl, you get a hyperconcentrated lion’s mane extract. The granola is gluten-free, vegan, and contains the lowest amount of added sugar on the market. What more can you ask for in a morning bowl of cereal?
FAQ on Lion’s Mane
How much lion’s mane is in Forij granola?
Forij granola uses a high-quality lion's mane mushroom extract made from whole medicinal mushrooms. Our dual extraction method extracts both water-soluble beta-glucans as well as alcohol-soluble triterpenes. Our decoction process breaks down indigestible chitin cell walls of the mushroom to get much more of these compounds out than ordinary processes do.
One serving of our granola provides 250 mg of hyperconcentrated lion's mane extract, which is eight times more concentrated than regular lion’s mane mushroom supplements. Therefore, you get as much potency as you would if you were taking a 2000 mg lion’s mane mushroom powder, all in one bowl of granola.
What kind of mushroom is good for pasta?
The perfect mushroom for your pasta varies depending on what kind of pasta you’re making. Of course, portobello mushrooms are always a great choice for any mushroom pasta sauce. If you’re making a seafood-inspired pasta, lion’s mane is your best option. And, if you want a vegan alternative to pasta with chicken, go with the chicken of the woods mushroom.
What should you not take with lion’s mane?
You should be cautious when taking lion’s mane mushrooms if you are on anticoagulants. Lion’s mane can interact with medications that produce a blood-thinning effect. Therefore, if you are on blood thinners, talk to your doctor before introducing this fungus to your diet.
Where can I buy lion’s mane mushrooms?
You can buy fresh and dehydrated lion’s mane in many well-stocked farmer’s markets and health food stores.
And, if you’d like to grow your own lion’s mane, you can do so with a growing kit. Mushroom growing kits come in two varieties—outdoor and indoor growing kits.
Of course, the easiest way to get your daily dose of lion’s mane are foods fortified with this fungus (such as our mushroom granola).
What is the tastiest mushroom in the world?
All mushrooms are tasty, and the tastiest mushroom for you will depend on your flavor palette. If you like the taste of seafood, lion’s mane may be the tastiest mushroom for you, as its flavor resembles that of crab meat and lobster.
What is the healthiest mushroom to eat?
Adaptogenic mushrooms are the healthiest mushrooms you can consume. Some of the healthiest adaptogenic mushrooms are lion’s mane, maitake, cordyceps, turkey tail, chaga, and reishi mushrooms.
Which mushroom is best for gut health?
Medicinal mushrooms, such as lion's mane, turkey tail, and chaga, possess benefits that aid in gut health. Lion's mane mushrooms have anti-inflammatory properties and may alleviate symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. Chaga also appears to have anti-inflammatory properties. Many use chaga mushrooms for constipation, as they appear to support healthy digestion.
How much lion’s mane should I eat in a day?
There is no limit to how much lion’s mane you should eat in a day. However, if you’re taking a lion’s mane supplement or eating foods fortified with a Hericium erinaceus extract, stick with a lion’s mane dosage of up to 2000 mg per day, especially if you’re new to lion’s mane, as higher doses can cause temporary digestive issues.
This article was written strictly for informational purposes and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The statements contained herein are not evaluated by healthcare professionals or the FDA advisory board and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment information.