This 30 minute salmon pasta with a creamy garlic sauce is quick and delicious and makes an easy and impressive meal! It has restaurant flair that you can duplicate in your own kitchen.
You could also try this Creamy Garlic Salmon!
Quick and easy creamy salmon pasta
You'll savor every single bite of this irresistible restaurant-quality salmon pasta! The creamy sauce is loaded with garlic, and this pasta is going to be your new favorite date night meal.
This is one of those dishes that tastes like a lot of effort was put in, but it's actually simple enough to make without a lot of fuss when you're starving after a long day at work. Quickly pan searing salmon makes it extra tasty!
And the best part is that you can finish off the bottle of wine while you're cooking this. Just kidding. Sort of.
What goes into this salmon pasta recipe
- Garlic - a classic flavorful base for the creamy sauce
- Butter and olive oil - essential ingredients for perfectly pan seared fish
- Heavy cream - its richness makes this meal truly decadent
- Lemon juice - brightens up the sauce and is a signature pairing with salmon
- Salmon fillets - one of the best proteins to use with creamy pasta dishes. I prefer skinless, but if you can't find it, you can easily remove it during the cooking process
- Spaghetti - I love the way this kind of pasta works with flaked salmon, having an ideal mix of flavors and textures in every bite!
- Parmesan - grating your own parmesan cheese is key for texture of the sauce since it melts better than the bagged kind
- The sauce is fairly lemony, so if you're on the fence about how much to add, halve the amount of lemon. You can then always squeeze more in when you've given it a taste if you think it needs more. I love the stuff, so I usually add even more than I suggest in recipes when I'm cooking for myself, but it's totally up to you!
How to make creamy salmon pasta
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
While the pasta is boiling, pan sear the seasoned salmon in olive oil and butter. Transfer the salmon to a plate. Add flour to the skillet to make a quick roux, followed by the garlic and white wine. Whisk in the cream and lemon juice.
Stir in the parmesan, and then add the salmon back to the skillet, breaking it up with a spoon. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet along with the fresh parsley. Enjoy immediately!
- You can use any kind of pasta for this dish. I'd recommend a longer one like fettuccine, linguine, or spaghetti, but any kind you have in your pantry will work.
- I don't recommend substituting the heavy cream for anything else. The sauce may break because of the lemon juice.
- Use a dry white wine like sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio, or simply swap it out for chicken broth.
- This pasta serves 2-4 people, but you can make it with less pasta to make it even richer for two people, or serve a side salad with it for four people. Or up the salmon to 3/4 pound.
- You can easily double (or triple) this recipe for when you have guests over!
Leftovers and storage
- Recipes with cream generally don't freeze well, but this salmon pasta will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. However, it's best eaten right away.
- Reheat on your stove over low heat, and you can add a splash of cream if necessary.
Will you try making this lemon salmon pasta with a creamy garlic sauce? Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!
Salmon Pasta with a Creamy Garlic Sauce
- 8 ounces spaghetti or other pasta uncooked
- 1/2 pound fresh salmon see note
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
- 3/4 cup heavy/whipping cream
- Juice from 1/2 medium lemon (about 1 tbsp)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- Boil a large salted pot of water for your pasta and cook it al dente according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, season the salmon with the onion powder and some salt & pepper.
- Add the olive oil and butter to a skillet over medium-high heat. Once it's hot, cook the salmon for a couple of minutes on each side.
- Transfer the salmon to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the flour to the skillet and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring nearly constantly.
- Whisk in the garlic and wine (let it bubble for 20 seconds or so), followed by the cream and lemon juice.
- Once the sauce is smooth, whisk in the parmesan.
- Add the salmon back in the pan and break it up with your spoon so it's in bite-size pieces. Gently mix it in with the sauce. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or so until the sauce is thickened and salmon is cooked through.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet, along with about 1 tablespoon of the water you cooked the pasta in (or more if you want to thin the sauce) as well as the parsley. Gently toss the sauce and pasta. Serve immediately with extra parmesan cheese if desired.
- If you can't buy skinless salmon, you can easily peel off the salmon skin just before you add the salmon back into the pan (step 4). Or keep it on if you don't mind it.
- The sauce is fairly lemony, so if you're not into that, halve the amount of lemon, then add more in once you've tasted it if it's not lemony enough for you.
- Serves 2-4. If you want a really decadent meal for two people, make less pasta (then each person gets more sauce and salmon). For 4 people, I recommend serving this with a side salad or some garlic bread and/or increase the salmon to 3/4 pound or so.
- 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.
This recipe was originally published on June 13, 2016. It's been tweaked to be even easier, tastier, and has new photos!