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This garlic butter salmon pasta is quick, easy, and uses only a handful of ingredients. Perfect for dinner on a busy weeknight!

Garlic butter salmon pasta in a white bowl

I’ve made this pasta a couple of times now, and I love how fast it comes together. If you’re looking for a simple sauce for salmon, butter and garlic make a fabulous combo. I will always stand by that. 😛 Add in the pasta and you’ve got yourself one tasty meal.

The sauce is easily made while the pasta is cooking. I suggest waiting until the water’s boiling before starting the sauce because it doesn’t take much time at all.

If you’re looking for another super quick weeknight pasta, try my popular tuna garlic pasta.

Garlic butter salmon penne bowls

The chicken broth reduces a lot and adds a delicious savory flavor to this dish. This isn’t really a super “saucy” pasta per se, but it’s perfectly buttery, and the lemon juice adds a bit of freshness. The olive oil stops the butter from burning while you’re searing the salmon.

A couple notes on the salmon:

  • I used a piece of fresh sockeye salmon that weighed around half a pound. Anything around that quantity will work. You can buy either skin-on or skin-off salmon. The skin is fine to eat, but some people don’t like it. If you buy a piece with the skin on but don’t want to eat it, I suggest peeling the skin off on the step where you’ve taken the salmon out of the pan – it should peel off easily.
  • You could use leftover salmon (like from grilling or if you happen to have cooked salmon on hand), but I suggest cooking it for even less time. Just let it warm through.

Salmon and pasta in a bowl

You can use any kind of pasta in this recipe. I’ve made it with penne and spaghetti, and it’s good either way. 

More salmon pasta recipes to try:

Easy salmon pasta in a bowl

I hope you’ll give this easy salmon recipe a try!

Questions? Let me know in the comments below.

Garlic butter salmon pasta in a white bowl
4.76 from 37 votes

Garlic Butter Salmon Pasta

This garlic butter salmon pasta is quick, easy, and uses only a handful of ingredients. Perfect for dinner on a busy weeknight!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 pound fresh salmon
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Flour for dredging
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • Optional garnish: fresh parsley, red pepper flakes, parmesan cheese
  • 4 ounces uncooked pasta

Instructions 

  • Boil a salted pot of water for your pasta. Cook it al dente according to package directions. I suggest starting the sauce once the water's boiling.
  • Sprinkle the salmon with salt & pepper and coat it in the flour.
  • Add the oil and butter to a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the salmon and cook it for 2 minutes/side, then take the fish out of the pan and set it aside (if you bought salmon with skin and don't want to eat it, you can easily peel the skin off at this point if you wish).
  • Add the chicken broth, garlic, and lemon juice to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for about a minute.
  • Add the salmon back into the pan and break it up with your spoon into bite-size pieces. Cook it for a few more minutes until it's cooked through and the sauce has reduced a fair bit.
  • Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet (you can add a little pasta water if you wish). Toss it & serve immediately with parsley, red pepper flakes, and parmesan cheese if desired.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 559kcal, Carbohydrates: 47g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 92mg, Sodium: 369mg, Potassium: 747mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 395IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 34mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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112 Comments

  1. This recipe was super simple and the result was delicious. I only had spaghetti in the pantry so that’s what I used. Replaced the chicken stock with beef bone broth and added a splash of Worcestershire sauce and the meal was superbly divine. Carrots and broccoli on the side and the meal was perfect! Can’t wait to make this again. I used 2 chunky slabs of salmon for it too so there was plenty to go around and still, there was nothing left because it was delicious!!!!

  2. 2 stars
    The salmon was good, but I thought it was pretty boring. Sorry. I even tried the parsley and parmesan cheese on top. That helped some, but still kinda boring. Thanks for the recipe anyway.

  3. 5 stars
    I made the salmon by itself in cast iron and chunked it into the already-prepared penne+sauce.
    that was my only deviation to your great recipe besides more garlic.
    this is delicious and I made enough for the next couple work days. thank you! 5 stars.
    uncomplicated is usually the best way to go.

  4. 4 stars
    I’ve made this recipe many times, sometimes with an 8 oz can of tomato’s and always with a sweet onion. Once in awhile I’ll make with the butter and like one of your comments I use baby spinach at the end after adding the pasta, one thing I always add is the pasta water in case the sauce is tight, which it always is. Save some of your pasta water, it has the starch from the pasta and it pulls everything together.

  5. 5 stars
    i tried this with canned salmon and the flavors were very good, i did make one mistake which is, because the canned salmon is already cooked, i skipped the cooking on high heat part first and just put it in at the end. the problem is that that means i skipped the only opportunity to add any crunch to it at all so the end result was very mushy. i think next time i won’t skip that step and instead i will put the salmon back in at the very end, maybe even after the pasta so it doesn’t cook too long. alternately one could add some vegetables to vary up the texture somewhat.