Creamy Salmon Pasta is an easy stovetop dinner made with zesty herb sauce, peas, and the perfect amount of garlic. Flavorful and delicious!
Creamy Salmon Pasta is an absolute delight by combining the wonderful flavors of salmon and linguine pasta in a zesty creamy sauce. It’s a recipe that’s not just flavorful but also easy to prepare and ready in under 30 minutes, making it a great choice to impress your guests or great for a busy weeknight dinner. Need more Pasta ideas? Check out our easy Chicken Alfredo Pasta or our special Truffle Pasta!
Imagine perfectly seared salmon fillets, perfectly cooked on the outside and tender inside, paired with the aromatic goodness of garlic and fragrant tarragon. The cream sauce adds a luxurious touch, coating the pasta in a rich, velvety embrace – very romantic this time of year! A squeeze of lemon juice and some zest provide that refreshing, citrusy kick, balancing out the dish’s flavor. Other Seafood Recipes you might be interested in include both the classic Maki Roll and the down-to-earth Shrimp Fajitas.
Table of contents
Sabrina’s Creamy Salmon Pasta Recipe
Sabrina’s Creamy Salmon Pasta dish is a mouthwatering dish that’s all about the simplicity of salmon and pasta coming together in a creamy, flavor-packed meal. It’s a contemporary fusion dish that combines Italian pasta with fresh salmon. Picture this: succulent salmon fillets, cooked to perfection getting cozy with linguine bathed in a creamy sauce infused with garlic, tarragon, and a zesty lemon twist. And guess what? It’s a breeze to whip up!
- 8 ounces Linguine: Linguine, a type of pasta, serves as the hearty base for this dish, offering a satisfying texture. You can use other pasta varieties like fettuccine or spaghetti if preferred.
- 4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter: Butter imparts a rich, creamy flavor to the sauce, contributing to its indulgent texture. If desired, you can use salted butter and adjust the salt accordingly.
- 1 pound Salmon: Fresh salmon fillets are the star of this recipe, providing a delicious, protein-packed element. Opt for wild-caught salmon for the best taste.
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt: Kosher salt enhances the overall seasoning of the dish. You can substitute it with regular table salt in a pinch.
- ¼ teaspoon Coarse Ground Black Pepper: Black pepper adds a subtle kick to the recipe, complementing the richness of the salmon and cream sauce. Freshly ground pepper is ideal but pre-ground pepper works too.
- 3 cloves Garlic: Minced garlic infuses the sauce with its aromatic goodness. Feel free to adjust the amount to suit your taste.
- 2 teaspoons Dried Tarragon: Tarragon brings a hint of sweet and earthy flavor. It is known for its distinctive flavor which is a subtle licorice or anise-like taste.
- 2 cups Heavy Cream: Heavy cream forms the creamy sauce’s base, lending it a luxurious, velvety consistency. For a lighter option, substitute with half-and-half or milk.
- 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice provides a vibrant, citrusy zing!
- 1 cup Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan cheese adds a salty, cheesy goodness to the sauce.
- 1 cup Frozen Peas: Frozen peas contribute a burst of color and a refreshing, sweet crunch to the dish. You can use canned peas or fresh peas if in season.
- 2 teaspoons Lemon Zest, grated: Lemon zest, grated from the lemon’s outer peel, offers a fragrant aroma and a burst of zing.
Kitchen Tools and Equipment
- Skillet: You’ll need a large skillet for searing salmon and making the sauce. Non-stick or stainless steel works well with high sides.
- Tongs or Fish Spatula: Use tongs or a fish spatula for flipping and handling salmon gently while cooking.
- Grater or Zester: Grab a grater or zester to get lemon zest for that citrusy kick.
- Cooking Utensils: Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir pasta and sauce gently without scratching the bottom of the pan.
How to Make Salmon Pasta
Time needed: 25 minutes.
- Step 1: Cook Pasta
Boil linguine until al dente (not quite fully cooked, but still soft) or according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Step 2: Sear Salmon
While the pasta cooks, season salmon with salt and pepper. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat, add butter, and sear the salmon for 4-5 minutes per side. Remove and flake gently.
- Step 3: Make the Sauce
In the same skillet, reduce heat to medium, add garlic and tarragon, sauté for 30 seconds. Pour in heavy cream and lemon juice. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Step 4: Combine Ingredients
Add cooked pasta, Parmesan cheese, frozen peas, and lemon zest to the sauce. Stir until peas are heated through.
- Step 5: Add Salmon
Gently mix in the seared salmon, ensuring it’s coated and just broken apart, not completely shredded. Serve hot and enjoy your Creamy Salmon Pasta with a side of homemade Garlic Bread!
Can This Be Made Ahead?
Yes, this Salmon Pasta can be partially made ahead. You can cook the pasta and prepare the sauce separately. Store them separately in airtight containers in the fridge for 1-2 days. When ready to serve, reheat the sauce, cook the salmon, and then combine everything for a fresh taste. However, it’s best to assemble and serve immediately for optimal freshness.
Tips & Tricks
- Perfectly Seared Salmon: To achieve that beautiful sear on your salmon, make sure the skillet is hot before adding the fish. Pat the salmon dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture, ensuring a crisp sear.
- Balancing Lemon Zest: When grating lemon zest, be cautious not to include the bitter white pith beneath the peel. The yellow zest carries the fragrant citrus flavor without the bitterness.
- Creamy, Not Curdled: To prevent the cream sauce from curdling, avoid boiling it. Simmer gently on medium heat until slightly thickened, then add lemon juice. This preserves the creaminess of the sauce.
- Salt the Pasta Water: Don’t forget to generously salt the pasta cooking water. It’s your chance to season the pasta itself.
- Taste and Adjust: Before serving, taste the dish and adjust the seasoning if needed. A pinch of salt or an extra squeeze of lemon can make a big difference in flavor.
- Fresh Herbs for Garnish: Sprinkle fresh herbs like fresh parsley or chives on top before serving. It adds a burst of color and a refreshing touch.
How to Store Salmon Pasta
To keep your leftover Creamy Salmon Pasta fresh, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate within two hours of cooking. Store for 2-3 days max.
When reheating, use a microwave or stovetop on medium heat. Add a splash of milk to restore creaminess and prevent dryness. Heat it gently to preserve the delicate salmon texture.
This dish is best served fresh, however, it can be frozen. For longer storage, freeze pasta in an airtight container or a freezer bag, removing excess air. Label with date. Frozen pasta can be stored for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating for best results.
Yes, fresh salmon works perfectly in this recipe.
Certainly, you can use half-and-half or whole milk for a lighter version, although it won’t be as rich. It will still be delicious!
Absolutely! You can replace the salmon with tofu or veggies like sun-dried tomatoes for creamy vegetarian pasta.
Certainly, feel free to use your favorite pasta. Fettuccine, spaghetti, or penne work well.
To prevent curdling, simmer the cream gently on medium heat and avoid boiling it. Also, add lemon juice once the cream is slightly thickened.
- 8 ounces linguine
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pound salmon , cut into 4 portions
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese , shredded
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest , grated
- Add butter to a large heavy skillet on medium high heat.
- Season salmon with salt and pepper.
- Add the salmon to the pan, cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Flip the salmon and cook an additional 4-5 minutes until well seared on both sides.
- Remove from the pan and flake gently.
- Add the garlic and tarragon to the pan, stirring and cooking for 30 seconds.
- Add in the heavy cream and lemon juice, stirring well.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Add in the cooked pasta, Parmesan cheese, frozen peas and lemon zest.
- Stir well until peas are heated through.
- Add in the salmon and mix gently to coat the salmon, but not break it apart.
- Click on the “yield” amount to slide and change the number of servings and the recipe will automatically update!
- Click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.
- To convert measurements to grams, click on the “Metric” option next to “Ingredients” in the recipe card.
Variations on Salmon Pasta
Creamy Pesto Salmon Pasta: For a vibrant twist, replace tarragon with Homemade Basil Pesto. Stir in a few tablespoons of pesto into the cream sauce after it thickens, and continue with the recipe as usual. The pesto adds a fresh, herby flavor to dishes like Baked Salmon too!
Lemon Dill Salmon Pasta: Swap tarragon for fresh dill to infuse a zesty and aromatic essence. Use lemon zest and dill generously in the sauce. The combination of lemon and dill creates a delightful citrusy and herby profile.
Spicy Cajun Salmon Pasta: Add a kick by dusting the salmon fillets with Cajun seasoning before searing. Increase black pepper for extra heat. The result is a spicy, bold flavor profile that pairs beautifully with the creaminess.
Gluten-Free Salmon Pasta: Use gluten-free linguine or pasta to make this dish gluten-free. Ensure that all other ingredients, including the cream and seasonings, are also produced in a gluten-free environment.