Salmon Pasta

published Jul 31, 2021
Salmon Pasta

Flaky salmon and pasta tossed in a creamy sauce and spiked with lemon, capers, and fresh parsley, this salmon linguine is nothing short of luxurious and impressive.


Prep15 minutes

Cook20 minutes to 30 minutes

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Salmon pasta (linguini, chunks of salmon and parsley) in a bowl with a fork in it.
Credit: Kelli Foster
Salmon Pasta

Partnering flaky salmon with long strands of pasta might not have crossed your mind until now. Know this, though: They work wonders together and this is a combo you’ve got to try. Tossed in a creamy sauce and spiked with lemon, capers, and fresh parsley, salmon pasta is nothing short of luxurious and impressive. It’s perfect for a date night at home, when you’ve got people coming for dinner, or even your holiday table — yet it’s still totally doable for a weeknight dinner

How to Make Salmon Pasta

  1. Broil the salmon. The first step is to cook the salmon. We love broiling because it’s quick (think just six to eight minutes!), easy, and leaves the fish with a nice color on top. After pulling it from the oven, let the salmon cool for a few minutes and then use a thin metal spatula to separate the flesh from the skin and break it into thick pieces.
  2. Cook the pasta. While the salmon broils, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to the package instructions.
  3. Make the sauce. The sauce begins by sautéing a couple of aromatics. You’ll add the heavy cream and some pasta water, bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened. 
  4. Toss it all together. This is the good part! Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in lemon zest and juice, chopped fresh parsley, and capers. Then you’ll add the drained pasta, toss it all together, and lastly add the pieces of salmon. 

Can I Use Canned Salmon?

For the best results and most delicious salmon pasta, you’ll want to stick with a fresh or frozen salmon fillet (if using frozen salmon, do be sure to thaw it first).

There are a lot of great ways to use canned salmon, but you’re better off saving those cans for salad, a grain bowl, sandwiches, or patties.

Can I Make the Salmon Ahead of Time?

You can get a head-start on dinner by cooking the salmon a day in advance. Once cooled, store the salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to prepare the pasta, reheat the salmon in a 350°F oven for about five minutes. 

Salmon Pasta

Flaky salmon and pasta tossed in a creamy sauce and spiked with lemon, capers, and fresh parsley, this salmon linguine is nothing short of luxurious and impressive.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes to 30 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    medium shallot

  • 3 cloves


  • 1/4 cup

    fresh parsley leaves

  • 1 large


  • 1

    (1-pound) salmon fillet

  • 1 teaspoon

    olive oil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 10 ounces

    dried linguine pasta

  • 1 1/4 cups

    heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons

    capers, drained


  1. Finely dice 1 medium shallot, mince 3 garlic cloves, and chop fresh parsley leaves until you have 2 tablespoons. Finely grate the zest from 1 large lemon. Juice the lemon (about 1/4 cup juice).

  2. Arrange an oven rack about 6 inches below the broiler, then set the oven to broil. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil.

  3. Pat 1 (1-pound) salmon fillet dry with paper towels and place on the baking sheet, skin-side down. Brush with 1 teaspoon olive oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

  4. Broil until the salmon is cooked through and flakes easily, 6 to 8 minutes. Total cook time will depend on the thickness of salmon.

  5. Let the salmon cool slightly while you cook the pasta. Meanwhile, add 10 ounces dried linguine pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water, then drain the pasta.

  6. Slide a thin metal spatula between the salmon flesh and skin to remove the skin. Break the salmon into large chunks.

  7. Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup reserved pasta water, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring regularly, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

  8. Remove from the heat. Add the pasta, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, and 2 tablespoons drained capers. Toss to coat with the sauce. Top with the salmon.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The salmon can be cooked up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. Reheat in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes before serving with the pasta.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.