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This creamy salmon pasta is so easy and quick to make. Perfect for weeknights but fancy enough for date nights. Ready in less than 30 minutes!

A black cast iron pan filled with salmon pasta.

This creamy salmon pasta is the perfect easy comfort food. A rich and creamy Parmesan Alfredo sauce is flavored with plenty of garlic, thyme, and fresh lemon– tossed with fettuccine pasta and served with crisp and juicy seared salmon. This dish would work great with our Air Fryer Garlic Bread!

Easy enough to make for a weeknight dinner but fancy enough for a date night at home! It looks straight from a high-end restaurant and is so delicious. This is one of my favorite dishes that even my one-year-old loves!

Reasons you’ll love this recipe

  • It’s very easy and quick to make
  • It looks fancy and tastes like from your favorite restaurant – perfect for date night
  • So delicious and creamy

Ingredient notes

Here is an overview of the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe. Scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom for quantities.

Ingredients for Salmon Pasta
  • Pasta – I’m using fettuccine noodles in this recipe but linguine, spaghetti, penne, or any other pasta shape would also work.
  • Oil – Olive oil helps sear the salmon– feel free to use your favorite neutral cooking oil.
  • Salmon – I like center-cut salmon fillets because they tend to be a uniform thickness and cook evenly. I’m leaving the skin on for a bit of texture, but feel free to prepare your salmon however you like it!
  • Garlic – Garlic adds great flavor and pairs deliciously with salmon. Two cloves should be about 2 teaspoons minced.
  • Thyme – Fresh thyme also pairs perfectly with garlic and salmon. If you don’t have fresh thyme, you can substitute ½ teaspoon dried.
  • Parmesan – Parmesan cheese adds a nutty cheesy flavor to the pasta sauce. Freshly grated Parmesan has a fantastic flavor, so I highly recommend buying a block and grating it yourself.
  • Spinach – Spinach adds a fresh flavor and lots of nutrients. Feel free to add as much or as little as you like.

How to make this recipe 

Detailed measurements and instructions can be found at the bottom of the page on the printable recipe card.

Steps for making salmon pasta from scratch
  1. While the pasta is cooking, sauté the salmon fillets skin-side down for a few minutes in a large skillet then turn it and add butter, garlic, thyme, and lemon juice. Spoon the butter over the salmon while it cooks. When it’s pink and flaky, take it out and let it rest.
  2. To the pan with the garlic butter add the flour and whisk it into the butter and oil to create a roux.
  3. Next add the chicken stock slowly, whisking constantly. Cook the sauce over medium heat for 1–2 minutes, or just until it begins to bubble around the edges. Add ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water to the sauce along with the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. Whisk to combine. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Add the salmon and the spinach and stir to combine– the spinach will wilt quickly. Serve immediately garnished with chopped parsley.

Julia’s tips for success

  • Substitute 1/4 cup of the chicken stock with your favorite white wine for an extra flavor boost. A dry white wine works best!
  • Reserve some of the starchy pasta water to thin out the sauce as needed
  • Make sure the skillet you use is big enough to hold the sauce and pasta to make it easier to combine everything before serving
  • Depending on the brand of pasta you use the pasta will soak up less or more sauce. You can always add more cream or pasta water to thin out the creamy sauce
  • Feel free to increase the amount of salmon

Recipe FAQs

What temperature should salmon be cooked to?

Fresh salmon should be cooked to an internal temperature of 125-130°F (52-55°C) and then rested loosely tented with foil. The salmon will continue to cook while it rests and will be juicy and perfectly cooked.

When is salmon done?

It’s important not to overcook salmon, or it will become dry. If you don’t have a thermometer you can check for doneness by pressing with a fork at the thickest part of the fillet, it should easily flake into moist sections and the flesh should be opaque.

A white bowl filled with salmon pasta with silverware next to it.

Serve it with

This dish serves 2–4 people, so if you serve it to four, I recommend adding a side salad and some garlic bread. Here are a few of my favorite side dishes:

Make-ahead, storage, and freezing

  • This dish tastes best eaten right away because seafood and cream don’t reheat well.
  • Leftovers keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2–3 days. Reheat in a skillet on low heat and add more heavy cream if the pasta seems dry.
  • I don’t recommend freezing this creamy pasta dish.
A female hand sticking a fork into a bowl of salmon pasta.

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5 from 1 vote

Creamy Salmon Pasta

This creamy salmon pasta is so easy and quick to make. Perfect for weeknights but fancy enough for date night. Ready in less than 30 minutes!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces dried fettuccine noodles
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 center-cut salmon fillets, about 4 ounces each
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish

Instructions 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, just until they are al dente. This should take about 8 minutes but make sure to check the package directions for the exact time. Before you drain the pasta, make sure to reserve ½ cup of the starchy pasta water for later.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large, high-sided skillet set over medium heat.
  • Pat the salmon dry on both sides with a paper towel and season it lightly with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, add the salmon skin-side down to the pan. Cook for 3–4 minutes, or until the salmon is golden brown and releases naturally from the pan. If you have to pull the salmon off the pan, it’s not ready to flip yet!
  • After you’ve flipped the salmon, add the butter, minced garlic, minced thyme, and lemon juice to the pan. Cook the salmon for an additional 2–3 minutes, or until it is light pink and flaky. Baste the salmon with butter a few times and then remove it to a plate.
  • Add the flour to the pan with the garlic butter and whisk it into the butter and oil to create a roux.
  • Next, add the chicken stock slowly, whisking constantly. Cook the sauce over medium heat for 1–2 minutes, or just until it begins to bubble around the edges.
  • Add ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water to the sauce along with the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. Whisk to combine. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. If the sauce becomes too dry, add the remaining ¼ cup of reserved pasta water.
  • Next, cut the salmon into bite-sized pieces and add it to the pasta. Add the spinach and stir to combine– the spinach will wilt quickly.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with chopped parsley.

Notes

  • Substitute 1/4 cup of the chicken stock with your favorite white wine for an extra flavor boost. A dry white wine works best!
  • Reserve some of the starchy pasta water to thin out the sauce, as needed
  • Make sure the skillet you use is big enough to hold the sauce and pasta to make it easier to combine everything before serving
  • Depending on the brand of pasta you use, the pasta will soak up less or more sauce. You can always add more cream or pasta water to thin it out
  • Feel free to increase the amount of salmon
  • This dish tastes best eaten right away because seafood and cream don’t reheat well.
  • Leftovers keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2–3 days. Reheat in a skillet on low heat and add some more heavy cream if the pasta seems dry.
  • I don’t recommend freezing this creamy pasta dish.

Nutrition

Calories: 727kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 652mg | Potassium: 800mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2385IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 291mg | Iron: 3mg
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About Julia Foerster

Hi, I'm Julia! Born in Germany, I call Canada now my home and love to share my favorite dishes with you! Here you'll find hundreds of recipes, all made from scratch, with lots of tips and detailed step-by-step instructions.

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