This canned salmon pasta recipe is fast, fresh, light, and uses a handful of everyday ingredients. It's ready in about 20 minutes!
If you're wondering what to make with canned salmon, this quick and easy pasta is sure to hit the spot. Canned salmon is inexpensive, healthy, and convenient. I always keep some on hand for when I want a quick meal and don't feel like tuna.
Looking for more tasty canned salmon recipes? Try my Canned Salmon Salad.
You may also like my Easy Canned Tuna Pasta - I make that recipe often and this recipe is based on it.
How to make canned salmon pasta (summary):
Boil a salted pot of water for the pasta. Meanwhile, in a small pan, sauté the garlic in the olive oil. Add in the canned salmon, lemon juice + zest, and the chopped parsley. Let it heat through, then add a couple tablespoons of the hot pasta water, then toss with the drained pasta. Easy peasy! (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)
Great for when you don't really feel like cooking but don't want to get takeout/delivery either!
What kind of canned salmon to use?
This recipe works best with skinless/boneless canned salmon, but bone-in skin-on is fine too (you may need to mash it together a bit more). Try pink salmon or sockeye.
Canned salmon pasta variations:
- Add in a chopped tomato or little tomatoes (grape, cherry, etc.) cut in half.
- Capers would go great in here.
- Try throwing in a handful of spinach towards the end (let it wilt for a minute or two).
- You can add in more fresh herbs if you happen to have some. Fresh dill is a good one!
- If you want to make this creamy, add a splash of heavy cream or a dollop of crème fraîche, sour cream, or cream cheese in towards the end.
Recipe notes & tips:
- Have leftover cooked salmon? Feel free to use it!
- To double the recipe, I'd straight double all ingredients.
- Use any kind of pasta. I used spaghetti.
- Tools: I use my handy Microplane zester/grater to easily zest that lemon, and for any recipe that calls for minced garlic, I simply use my garlic press to crush the cloves with little effort.
What to serve with canned salmon pasta?
It's great as-is, but you could definitely serve it with a side salad or garlic toast/a slice of fresh crusty bread to make the meal more substantial.
More delicious salmon pasta recipes to try:
- Creamy Salmon and Asparagus Pasta
- Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad
- Garlic Butter Salmon Pasta
- Creamy Lemon and Fresh Tomato Salmon Pasta
Questions about this easy canned salmon pasta? Let me know in the comments below!
Canned Salmon Pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large cloves garlic minced
- 1 (5 ounce) can salmon (pink or sockeye, boneless/skinless)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice + zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 4 ounces uncooked pasta (I used spaghetti)
- Boil a salted pot of water for your pasta and cook it al dente according to package directions. Prep your other ingredients while it cooks.
- When the pasta is close to being ready, add the oil to a small pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook it for 30 seconds.
- Stir in the salmon (break it up with your fork/flake it, and if you wish, add in the juices from the can for more flavor), the lemon juice + zest, and parsley. Let it heat through.
- Once the pasta is done, add some of the pasta water (a couple tablespoons) to the sauce and then drain the pasta and toss with the sauce. Season with salt & pepper as needed. Grate some parmesan on top if you wish.
- See blog post for more suggestions for add-ins/variations.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.