Salmon and pasta are a perfect match, and this salmon pasta recipe is one of our favorite ways to combine the two. In this recipe, the tender chunks of salmon are tossed in a creamy lemon sauce with spinach and pasta for a 5-star main dish.
Is Salmon Pasta Healthy?
Loaded with flavor and nutritious ingredients, this salmon pasta recipe is rather healthy.
Salmon is one of the most popular fish choices in America, owing to its rich, buttery flavor. It's also a feel-good choice as it's beneficial to your health.
A serving of salmon — around 3 to 4 ounces — has approximately 120 calories. It has a low saturated fat content and is a rich source of protein and omega-3s. Additionally, the fish is brimming with potassium and other nutrients such as iron, vitamin D, and B12. All great for health and well-being, both physical and mental.
A creamy pasta sauce like this salmon pasta can be quite calorific and heavy in saturated fat. However, this issue can be resolved by making a few tweaks to the original recipe.
Due to the dish's calorie-dense ingredients like salmon and cheese, it's critical to keep an eye on the portion sizes. Each serving of our salmon pasta contains approximately 500 calories. This enables you to incorporate more green vegetables and fruits for a balanced meal.
In addition, we used just enough butter, cream, and milk, to make the sauce creamy and silky while keeping the saturated fat content of each serving to 9.4 g, in accordance with our dietary requirements.
If you're looking for more healthy salmon recipes, check out our recipe. They're prepared using fresh, tasty ingredients and are quite simple to make. This restaurant-quality meal will even convert your family's seafood skeptics.
We love to use fresh salmon filets, and you can purchase either skin-on or skinless. Although the skin is edible, some people don’t like it. In this case, we recommend peeling the skin off when preparing.
This recipe is an excellent way to use your leftover salmon (from grilling or baking, if you have cooked salmon on hand), but we recommend cooking it for a shorter amount of time, so it doesn’t dry out. Simply let it warm up.
If you’re not in the mood for salmon, you can easily substitute it for another protein, such as chicken breast, shrimp, or even squid. They all taste amazing in the homemade pasta sauce.
Use any type of your favorite long pasta for this recipe. For a low-carb substitute, use lentil or chickpea spaghetti.
We love spaghetti, but linguine, angel hair, bucatini, or fettuccine are all excellent alternatives too. You may also use shorter varieties of pasta such as penne, rigatoni, or rotini, but creamy sauces are often best served with long strands of noodles.
While fresh spinach is preferred, frozen spinach or kale can be used as a flavorful substitute if they’re the only type you have available at home.
Note that if you are using frozen leafy greens, do not let them thaw before you cook them. They should go into your cooking pan or wok straight from the freezer.
An excellent pasta wouldn’t be complete without a sprinkle of shredded cheese. This recipe calls for the classic parmesan, but please feel free to use whatever you have on hand.
5. Seasonings and Spices
Garlic and butter are all-important components in creating our creamy sauce. Butter brings richness while the sautéed garlic lends complexity.
Salmon is a versatile fish that goes nicely with a variety of flavors. Italian seasoning, basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, paprika, and coriander are all excellent seasonings for this recipe.
6. Salmon Pasta Sauce
Our delectable sauce for this salmon pasta is a combination of chicken broth, milk, and heavy cream.
Deglazing the pan with chicken broth makes the sauce thicker and gives it a deeper savory taste. You could also use white wine or vegetable broth for this step.
Milk and heavy cream are then added to create that rich and creamy texture that makes this recipe stand out. This smooth and straightforward sauce brings classic flavors together while still being delicate enough to let the salmon shine.
Storage and Reheating
While leftover salmon pasta can be reheated for lunch the next day or stored for up to 2 - 3 days in the refrigerator, this salmon pasta is best served immediately.
It is recommended that you do not freeze this salmon pasta. Seafood never reheats well, and cream sauces may separate during the freezing-thawing process.
So, while the recipe below serves a family of four, I'd recommend halving it if you're planning to serve it to just two people for a date night.
To reheat the dish, put it in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add a splash of cream, broth, or water to loosen up the sauce and then cook, stirring frequently until warmed through.
What to Serve With
To balance the creamy main course, it’s best to serve this dish with a salad based around fresh veggies and fruits like our beet and feta cheese salad. This colorful bowl of arugula, beets, orange, feta cheese, and walnuts, drizzled with olive oil dressing makes a perfect accompaniment.
We like to round out the meal with a simple pineapple water. This refreshing drink helps to cut through the richness of the pasta, and combines to transform your dinner into a restaurant-quality meal.
More Ideas to Cook Salmon With Pastas
With some fusilli and salmon we made for you this easy, delicious pasta bake. It’s packed with pasta, salmon, chunked veg, along with a plethora of seasonings. It’s especially suitable for hectic schedules.
Does it seem too dry for you? Introducing salmon alfredo, fettuccine coated with creamy goodness and topped with a golden brown salmon filet.
24 oz skinless boneless salmon (cut into 1-inch chunks)
14 oz cooked spaghetti
2 oz spinach
0.25 oz capers
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp unsalted butter (divided)
4 tbsp heavy cream
0.5 oz parmesan cheese (shredded)
1/4 cup unsalted chicken broth
1 tbsp garlic (chopped)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper flakes
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tbsp coriander
2 tbsp parsley (chopped)
Heat 1 tbsp butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp garlic and sauté for 30 seconds until fragrant.
Add 24 oz salmon and season the fish with 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp Cajun seasoning, 2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp oregano, 2 tbsp coriander, 2 tsp lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp pepper flakes. Gently flip and cook for 5 minutes. Set aside on a plate.
Add the remaining 1 tbsp butter and 2 oz spinach to the same skillet. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
Stir in 0.25 oz capers, 14 oz cooked spaghetti, 1/4 cup unsalted chicken broth, 4 tbsp heavy cream,1/4 cup milk, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook for an extra 2 minutes.
Return the salmon to the skillet and stir gently until everything is coated in the creamy sauce, about 3 minutes.
Take off the heat and sprinkle 0.5 oz parmesan cheese. Garnish with 2 tbsp parsley and serve hot.
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 500Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 9g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Vitamin A 2092IU
Vitamin C 8mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Emily Rogers is a California-based Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who specializes in Public Health Dietetics. She has had an eclectic career working as a health educator, nutrition counselor, recipe developer, clinical dietitian and outpatient dietitian. Emily is currently a full-time Public Health Nutritionist with the County of Orange where she teaches Nutrition Education and Community Nutrition courses.