This creamy salmon pasta recipe is the ultimate easy (and healthy) comfort food! Fresh veggies, flakey salmon filets, and warm herbs are combined with tender gluten free pasta noodles. Tossed in a velvety greek yogurt sauce, it’s bold, tangy, and guaranteed to leave you coming back for more.
Is there anything better than a pasta dish? Whether it’s tahini pasta or lemon ricotta pasta, it never disappoints. However, if you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to add nutrients to your favorite recipes. Plus, if I’m being honest, I don’t often have the time to prepare pasta, multiple sides, and a main protein source, too.
That’s where this salmon pasta recipe comes in to save the day! My new go-to on busy weeknights, it’s hearty, filling, and ultra comforting. Plus, it’s cooked in a single skillet in a matter of minutes for a meal the whole family will adore. Winner, winner salmon dinner!
Why you’ll love this Salmon Cream Pasta Recipe
- High-protein and full of veggies and healthy fats
- Naturally gluten free, nut free, and dairy free-friendly
- It’s quick to prepare and easy to clean up.
- Leftovers store well to enjoy throughout the week
Creamy Salmon Pasta ingredients & notes
- Salmon - This creamy salmon pasta recipe can be made with fresh or frozen salmon. Wild-caught is best.
- Spices - Sea salt and paprika combine to enhance the flavor of the fish and add just a touch of heat.
- Olive oil - Helps cook the salmon in the skillet while adding a boost of healthy fats. I prefer the strong flavor of olive oil to balance out the rest of the ingredients, but coconut oil or avocado oil would work, too.
- Olive oil - Used to cook and caramelize the vegetables.
- Vegetables - Garlic, white onion, and mushrooms add a sweet and savory flavor along with nutrients and fiber, making this creamy salmon pasta a well-rounded recipe.
- Tomato paste - This is different than tomato sauce. Tomato paste comes in a very small can (6 oz) at the grocery store. It has a very thick consistency as it's made by cooking tomatoes for so long that the water cooks out. Added to the skillet, it creates a rich umami base for the flavor of the pasta sauce.
- Broth - Any type will work. I use vegetable broth, but chicken or bone broth will be just as tasty. Use reduced-sodium options to decrease the amount of salt in the dish.
- Seasonings - Sea salt, Italian seasoning, and paprika add extra warmth and savoriness.
- Greek yogurt - Use plain flavored yogurt, and allow it to come to room temperature first. This is added to the pasta sauce for an extra creamy texture. Plus, it’s a good source of protein!
- Pasta - I used chickpea pasta, but any type of pasta will work for this salmon pasta recipe.
How to make Salmon Cream Pasta
Contrary to popular belief, salmon isn’t difficult to make. In fact, it’s one of my favorite protein sources when I need an easy recipe because it cooks so quickly. For this creamy salmon pasta, all you’ll need is a large skillet, a saucepan, and a few minutes.
Step 1: Prepare the salmon. Sprinkle the seasonings over the salmon filets, and heat the oil in a large skillet. Once it begins to shimmer, add the fish skin side down, and allow it to cook until the sides begin to turn opaque.
Flip the salmon over, and continue to cook until each filet is opaque all the way through. Then, transfer them to a plate, and keep them warm off to the side.
Step 2: Sauté the vegetables. In the same skillet, add the remaining oil and vegetables. Cook until the mushrooms are soft and the onions are translucent.
Step 3: Form the base of the sauce. Mix the tomato paste in with the veggies until it turns dark red. Pour in the broth, and stir to combine. Allow the mixture to simmer and thicken.
Step 4: Cook the pasta. While the sauce simmers, prepare the pasta to al dente according to the package instructions.
Step 5: Temper the yogurt. Remove the skillet from the heat, and spoon some of the sauce into a bowl with the yogurt. Stir to combine. Add the yogurt to the skillet, and mix well until it's fully incorporated and the sauce is light orange in color.
Step 6: Combine and serve. Drain the pasta, and add it to the skillet. Toss to coat the noodles. Then, nestle the salmon filets in the pasta, garnish with parsley, and enjoy!
Salmon Pasta Recipe tips
- Make sure to use a large skillet that’s at least 10 inches in diameter.
- When cooking the salmon, try not to move the filets around too much, or you risk breaking the fish. Read all about my go-to way to cook cast iron salmon here.
- Place the cooked salmon filets on a plate, and cover them with a lid or foil to keep them warm. You can even plate them in the oven, turned off, to make sure the heat stays in.
- Timing is key in this salmon pasta recipe! You want the sauce to be ready in time for the pasta while the salmon is still warm. Keep this in mind as you structure when you are preparing the dish.
Salmon Cream Sauce Pasta variations
- Switch up the protein with shrimp, scallops, or tofu for a vegetarian option.
- Sprinkle some cayenne pepper into the pasta sauce for added heat.
- Use linguine or fettuccine pasta for an added flair.
- Stir in some roasted red pepper slices with the mushrooms and onions.
Creamy Salmon Pasta storage
If you have leftovers, store the pasta and salmon filets in separate airtight containers in the fridge. They will stay fresh for up to 5 days.
When ready to enjoy, heat the pasta in a bowl in the microwave in 20-second increments with a little splash of water to help loosen the sauce. Warm up the salmon filets on a plate with a damp paper towel over top in the microwave in 30-second increments. Serve the salmon on top of a plate of pasta, and enjoy!
Salmon and Pasta Recipe FAQs
Usually anywhere from 5 - 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon filets. The best way to tell when your salmon is done is to look at the sides of the filets. You want the fish to be an opaque pink color all the way up the sides. If only ½ of the side is a light pink, the fish needs more time to cook. You can also check the internal temperature of the cast iron salmon. When its internal temperature reads between 120 - 130° F, it’s medium-rare. When it reaches a temperature between 135 - 145° F, it’s cooked to medium, which is where I prefer it!
If the heat is too high or the pan isn’t greased well enough, the fish will stick. Make sure to cook the filets over medium heat with a well-oiled pan!
No, it’s actually better if you cook it with the skin on. Once the salmon is cooked, the skin is much easier to remove.
Wild-caught salmon is usually better than most farmed salmon as it contains more omega-3s and has better overall flavor and color. However, farmed salmon will work fine in this creamy salmon pasta recipe.
I like to buy a large filet at the seafood counter at my local grocery store and ask for it to be cut into smaller filets. The seafood counter will be able to slice the filet much easier than I can at home due to the stiffness of the skin.
You can also purchase small filets in the refrigerated or freezer section of most grocery stores. If using frozen salmon, just be sure to let it thaw for a few hours, and let it come to room temperature before cooking.
Yes, swap the Greek yogurt with coconut milk for a dairy free version of the sauce. Be sure to use the cream at the top of the can so the milk has a thicker consistency.
Just about any shape of pasta pairs well with salmon. Because this sauce is a creamy red sauce, I recommend using a smaller pasta noodle like a penne, rigatoni, ziti, etc.
Yes - yogurt is a great way to thicken up a pasta sauce that calls for cream. Be sure to “temper” the yogurt by stirring in some of the sauce before adding the yogurt to the sauce.
Yes - do this is in 2 parts, one for the pasta and one for the salmon. Heat the pasta in a bowl with a splash of water in 20 second increments until warm. Stir well. Then heat the salmon on a plate until warm. Serve the salmon on top of the pasta, and enjoy!
A squeeze of lemon juice or a dash of olive oil or avocado oil will add moisture to dry salmon.
For more easy salmon recipes, check out my:
PS : If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a star review and comment below! Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date on all tasty recipes here at The Fit Peach!,
Salmon Pasta Recipe with Cream Sauce
- 1 Large Skillet
- 1 Saucepan
- 1 Medium-Sized Bowl
For the Salmon
- 3 salmon filets
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
For the pasta
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove - large, finely chopped
- ¼ white onion - finely chopped
- ½ cup mushrooms - baby bella or white
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup broth - vegetable, chicken, or bone will work
- ½ cup greek yogurt - room temperature
- 6 oz pasta - I used chickpea pasta (about ⅔ of a box)
- Parsley - to garnish, optional
- Sprinkle the salt and paprika over the salmon filets. Heat a large skillet over medium heat with the olive oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the salmon filets, skin side down, to the skillet. Allow the salmon to cook for about 2 minutes until the sides of the fish turn an opaque pink half way up. Flip the salmon filets over using tongs or a spatula and allow them to cook for another 3 - 4 minutes until the sides are opaque all the way through (this is a salmon cooked medium). Cook for an extra minute or 2 for a well done salmon. Transfer the salmon to a plate and keep warm to the side.3 salmon filets, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon paprika, 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
- In the same skillet on medium heat, add the olive oil, garlic, white onion, and mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are soft and the onions are translucent.2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 garlic clove, ¼ white onion, ½ cup mushrooms
- Add the tomato paste, sea salt, Italian seasonings, and paprika to the skillet and mix into the mushrooms and onions until the tomato paste turns a darker red color (about 1 - 2 minutes). Pour the broth into the skillet and mix until well incorporated. Allow the mixture to simmer for 3 minutes until it thickens up.2 tablespoon tomato paste, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1 cup broth, ¼ teaspoon paprika
- While the sauce is simmering, prepare the pasta al dente according to package directions.6 oz pasta
- Remove the skillet from the heat. Spoon a little bit of the sauce into a separate bowl with the greek yogurt and stir to combine. This is how we “temper” the yogurt so it doesn’t curdle when it’s mixed into the hot sauce. Add the yogurt to the skillet and stir well to combine. The sauce should turn a light orange color.½ cup greek yogurt
- Drain the pasta and add to the skillet with the sauce. Gently toss the pasta with the sauce until the noodles are well coated. Nestle the salmon filets in the pasta, garnish with parsley, and serve!Parsley