Crab Pasta Recipe with Pesto, Mushrooms & Tomatoes

Last Updated on October 11, 2021 by Anne-Marie

This crab pasta recipe is gluten free and can be made with canned or imitation crab and pasta mix.

A bowl of Crab Pasta with Pesto, Mushrooms & Tomatoes and fork.

Why this recipe works

Crab Pasta Recipe with Pesto, Mushrooms & Tomatoes is one of my family’s favorite dinner recipes.

I’ve been making this pesto pasta recipe for over 20 years.

When I first started making this crab pasta recipe, pesto was only available in specialty gourmet stores in teeny, expensive jars.

A bowl of Crab Pasta with Pesto, Mushrooms & Tomatoes with a fork, napkin and plate of sliced lemons.

Luckily, back then I came across envelopes of pesto mix at my grocery store.

It was affordable and worked well when combined mushrooms, tomatoes, and imitation crab.

Over the years, my crab pasta recipe has made several changes. Sometimes I leave out the tomatoes and sometimes I use canned crab instead of imitation crab.

No matter how you make it, if you’re a fan of seafood pasta recipes, you’ll love this crab pasta.

A bowl of Pasta with crab, pesto, mushrooms and tomatoes with a colorful napkin and plate of sliced lemons in the background.

How to make a gluten free crab pasta

Go gluten free with gluten free pasta 

I now make gluten free crab pasta. (You don’t have to unless you’re gluten free.)

There are so many brands of delicious gluten free spaghetti on the market now that my family doesn’t mind this too much.

Gluten free imitation crab?

If you’re gluten free and are using imitation crab, make sure the brand you’re using is certified as gluten free. Not all brands are.

You can also canned crab, which is naturally gluten free.

Another option for this pesto pasta recipe is using bay shrimp instead of imitation crab.

A bowl of spaghetti with crab, pesto, mushrooms, tomatoes and grated cheese.

My family loves this recipe for crab pasta

Even though most kids don’t like crab, mushrooms or pesto, my children love crab pasta recipe.

Maybe it’s the sweetness of the imitation crab or the sprinkling of Pecorino Romano cheese. (You can also use Parmesan cheese.)

They love it reheated the next day, too.

I’ve even eaten this crab pesto pasta recipe cold. In my opinion, the mark of a good pasta dish is that it should taste as good cold as it does hot. Yum!


Make sure to use cherry tomatoes instead of grape tomatoes (and a variety of colors) since they're sweeter and more delicious.

A bowl of spaghetti with crab, pesto, mushrooms, tomatoes and cheese with a plate of lemons, a bowl of cheese, forks and a napkin in the background.

More easy pasta recipes

If you’re looking for more pasta recipes for dinner, try this Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe or Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables Recipe.

Both are terrific side dishes that go well with a grilled chicken dish.

If you like spicy foods, check out Spicy Pasta with Cauliflower.

This Simple Lemon Pasta Recipe is perfect for vegetarians and can be made vegan or dairy free with a few substitutions.

For you seafood fans, try this Seafood Pasta Salad Recipe.

Then there’s the classic done in a pressure cooker, Instant Pot Spaghetti Recipe.


Crab Pasta Recipe with Pesto, Mushrooms & Tomatoes

Crab Pasta Recipe with Pesto, Mushrooms & Tomatoes

This seafood pasta recipe is a family favorite. This crab pasta recipe is gluten free and can be made with canned or imitation crab.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 2 12-ounce boxes gluten free spaghetti, cooked in salted water
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 packets pesto sauce mix
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 3 6-ounce cans crabmeat
  • Pecorino Romano cheese, shredded for serving
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions while preparing sauce. Rinse and set aside.
  2. In a large pan, whisk together water, oil and pesto mix. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  3. Lower to medium and add mushrooms and tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes are tender.
  4. Add crabmeat and cook for another 10 minutes. Sauce should be simmering. If not, turn up heat.
  5. Lower heat and add pasta. Toss to combine pasta and sauce.
  6. Serve with shredded Pecorino Romano cheese and a spritz of fresh lemon juice.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 536Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 518mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 8gSugar: 4gProtein: 24g

Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.

Originally posted on June 12, 2014. Updated with new pictures and information.

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