This Creamy Salmon Pasta is the most amazing one pot pasta you'll make! It is silky and indulgent tasting but doesn't actually have that much cream in it. An ultra-luxurious dinner ready in 25 minutes.
A simple, restaurant quality creamy salmon pasta, which is an amazing combination of luscious cream and savory sauce, along with succulent salmon and perfectly cooked al dente pasta. Prepare this speedy dinner, and watch as everyone savor every bite.
It is a simple pasta dinner for weeknights, but also makes a delicious meal for date nights, because of the rich and ultra-creamy sauce like the chicken and mushroom pasta.
My favorite part of this one pot creamy salmon pasta recipe is the starch released from pasta emulsifies with the roux, in creating an ultra thick, silky and creamy sauce that adheres to the pasta when compared to making it the traditional way like in one pot mac and cheese or lemon chicken pasta.
Many fish sold at the fish counter have actually been previously frozen and then thawed. Therefore, it's better to opt for salmon from the freezer section and thaw it just before cooking.
Why this recipe works?
- The roux along with the starches released from fettuccini provides a base thickener for the sauce, making the creamiest sauce of your life.
- Golden, caramelized bits left in the bottom of the pan, from cooked salmon, adds complexity and tremendous flavor to the sauce.
- No wine makes it kid friendly meal.
- There's actually only ¼ cup heavy cream for a serving of four, making it a much lighter dish.
Scroll down to the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and amounts.
- Salmon – You will need ¾ pound of salmon, which is two 6-ounce fillets for this creamy salmon pasta recipe.
- Stock – I used 33% reduced sodium stock. If you are using no sodium or regular sodium stock, then adjust salt accordingly.
- Milk - Use whole milk for a luscious sauce.
- Pasta – I like to use fettuccini like in chicken fettuccini alfredo, however this creamy salmon pasta is delicious made with any other pasta shape like linguini, penne, bow tie, spaghetti, fusilli or ziti.
- Heavy cream - Adds richness and body.
- Seasoning - Basic pantry seasoning like Italian seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper makes the dish packed with flavor.
- Garlic - Freshly minced garlic adds tremendous flavor like in spaghetti aglio e olio.
- Cheese - Use freshly grated and not the powdered stuff from the plastic can.
Tip: When working with salmon fillets that have skin, cook them while still attached to the skin, but remember to peel it off before adding it to the final dish.
How to make?
You can find full printable recipe below, but here is a quick overview of the procedure along with step-by-step photos.
1.Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
Tip: Pat dry your fillets with paper towels on all sides to remove any excess moisture.
2 & 3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add salmon and cook for 2 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through. Remove onto plate and rest for 5 minutes, then break into chunks while pasta is cooking.
Pro tip: My secret trick to perfectly cooked fish every time is to remove it a little earlier than usual. Resting time makes it perfectly flaky every single time.
4. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for additional 30 seconds, stirring nearly constantly.
5. Add stock, milk, Italian seasoning, salt, paprika and black pepper.
6. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally.
7. Add pasta, cook moving around every 2 to 3 minutes, and cook for about 10 minutes. The pasta should be almost cooked but there should still be liquid covering the base of the skillet.
8. Add cream and parmesan and mix. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1~2 minutes, until sauce is thickened and pasta is cooked. Toss in salmon and serve hot!
Pro tip: Searing the salmon is a great way to add flavor aka Maillard reaction, which is a set of reactions responsible for producing hundreds of aromatic compounds that adds complexity and savoriness to the creamy salmon pasta.
Storage and Reheating
This creamy salmon pasta dish will keep well for 2-3 days in your fridge. When it comes to re heating anything with cream sauce, like the creamy chicken pesto pasta or the chicken vodka pasta, I recommend adding a splash of water or stock, before heating in microwave. Stir halfway through microwave time.
Tip: Freezing creamy sauces is not recommended, as they tend to alter in texture, becoming grainy when thawed. Additionally, freezing and reheating pasta in a creamy sauce can make the pasta overly soft and lose its desired consistency.
- Salmon- You will need ¾ pound of salmon, which is two 6-ounce fillets.
- Pasta - Use your favorite noodle shape instead of fettuccini.
- Pat dry - Make sure to pat dry your salmon with paper towels, to ensure a good sear.
Fresh or frozen wild-caught salmon fillets, like Sockeye or Coho, are often recommended for their flavor and texture. If using frozen fillets, thaw them thoroughly and pat dry before using them in the recipe.
While fresh salmon fillets are preferred for their taste and texture, canned or smoked salmon can also be used for convenience and budget-friendly options.
How do I prevent overcooking the salmon?
Here are some steps to help you achieve perfectly cooked juicy salmon:
1. Choose the right thickness: Try to select fillets that are evenly thick, to ensure even cooking.
2. Pat dry: Use paper towels to pat them dry to remove excess moisture on the surface.
3. Preheat your pan: It's essential to have a hot pan to sear the salmon quickly.
4. Remove the salmon a couple of minutes before it's done cooking, and then let it rest until you cook the pasta. This step guarantees juicy fish and avoids overcooking the salmon.
More pasta recipes
Creamy Salmon Pasta
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 salmon fillets, 6 to 8 ounces each
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken stock I used 33% reduced sodium
- 1 ½ cups milk, preferably whole
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt I used ¾ teaspoon
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 8 ounce fettuccini
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add salmon and cook for 2 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through. Remove onto plate and rest for 5 minutes, then break into chunks while pasta is cooking.Tip: When working with salmon fillets that have skin, cook them while still attached to the skin, but remember to peel it off before adding it to the final dish.Pro tip: Use a skillet large enough to fit the pasta.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for addional 30 seconds, stirring nearly constantly.
- Add stock, milk, Italian seasoning, salt, paprika and black pepper. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Add pasta, cook moving around every 2 to 3 minutes, and cook for about 10 minutes. The pasta should be almost cooked but there should still be liquid covering the base of the skillet. Tip: If you find insufficient liquid before the pasta is cooked, add a splash of milk and continue cooking.
- Add cream and parmesan and mix. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1~2 minutes, until sauce is thickened and pasta is cooked. Toss in salmon and serve hot!
Nutritional information, based on third-party calculations, should be seen as estimates, not guarantees, as various factors like product types, brands, processing methods, and more can alter the nutritional content in recipes.
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