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This easy creamy lemon and tomato salmon pasta recipe is a fresh yet decadent meal! It’s ready in only 20 minutes, but the tomato and parmesan cream sauce feels special.

You may also like my Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken or Tomato Spinach Shrimp Pasta next.

close-up of white bowl with creamy lemon and fresh tomato salmon pasta

Why you’ll love it

This tomato salmon pasta is comforting yet light and fresh, and it’s an impressive yet easy meal. One lovely reader said that she imagined herself “sitting somewhere on the Amalfi coast” eating this delicious seafood pasta! It has a kiss of lemon and in-season tomatoes.

This salmon and tomato pasta is so quick and low effort with a handful of everyday ingredients, yet the flavors end up tasting more complex than you’d guess. There’s plenty of garlic, parmesan, and a not-so-secret ingredient (Dijon) to amp up the savory taste.

What you’ll need

  • Pasta – I like a longer shape like spaghetti
  • Salmon – we’re using a fresh salmon filet
  • Italian seasoning – it’s an all-purpose blend of fragrant dried herbs that comes in a single jar
  • Olive oil and butter – for pan frying and the base of the sauce
  • Parmesan – grate your own so that it melts better into the sauce
  • Tomatoes – use what looks best in the produce aisle
  • Heavy cream – real cream makes the sauce texture and flavor luxurious!
  • Lemon – we’re using lemon juice and lemon zest for brightness
  • Garlic – another punch of savory goodness
  • Dijon mustard – this is my go-to flavor enhancer to really build layers of deliciousness. You don’t taste it specifically.
ingredients for creamy tomato salmon pasta

Pro tip

You can buy salmon with the skin on or already taken off. If you bought salmon with the skin on and don’t want to eat it, you can simply peel it off after you’ve done the searing step.

How to make tomato salmon pasta

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

pan searing salmon in a skillet and making creamy lemon fresh tomato sauce

Cook the pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, season the salmon with the Italian seasoning and salt & pepper. Heat up the oil and butter in a skillet, and sear the salmon for a few minutes on both sides. Transfer to a plate.

stirring in parmesan to a skillet with fresh tomato sauce and adding salmon

Add the tomatoes, heavy cream, lemon juice and zest, garlic, and Dijon. Mix well until combined, simmering for a couple of minutes. Stir in the parmesan. Return the salmon to the skillet, and break it apart with a spoon.

tossing spaghetti in a skillet to make fresh tomato salmon pasta with kitchen tongs

Continue to simmer until the fish is fully cooked through. Give it a taste, and season with extra salt & pepper if needed. Toss with the drained pasta, and top with fresh parsley if using.

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

Substitutions and variations

  • Substituting the heavy cream for something lower fat like half-and-half will likely curdle the sauce due to the acidity of the tomatoes and lemon, and it may not thicken as intended either.
  • I use spaghetti for this salmon pasta, but feel free to sub with any pasta you choose!

What to serve with tomato salmon pasta

Leftovers and storage

  • I like this one best fresh, but you can store leftovers of this creamy salmon pasta for 2-3 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • If possible, boil up fresh pasta for leftovers. Reheat the sauce over a low heat until warmed through.
  • I don’t recommend freezing it.
closeup of a skillet with creamy tomato salmon pasta

If you made this fresh tomato and salmon pasta recipe, please leave a star rating and review below! You can also tag me on Instagram if you made this pasta or any S&L meal.

close-up of white bowl with creamy lemon and fresh tomato salmon pasta
4.89 from 68 votes

Creamy Lemon and Fresh Tomato Salmon Pasta

This easy creamy lemon and tomato salmon pasta recipe is a fresh yet decadent meal! It's ready in only 20 minutes, but the tomato and parmesan cream sauce feels special.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 2


  • 4 ounces uncooked spaghetti (or other pasta)
  • 1/2 pound fresh salmon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning or to taste
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 3/4 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 medium lemon (about 1 tbsp juice)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Chopped parsley (optional)


  • Boil a salted pot of water and cook the pasta al dente according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, sprinkle both sides of the salmon with Italian seasoning and salt & pepper, to taste.
  • Add oil and butter to a skillet on medium heat. Sear salmon for 3 minutes/side. Remove the salmon from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the tomato, cream, lemon juice and zest, garlic, and Dijon mustard. Stir until smooth and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the parmesan.
  • Add the salmon back into the pan, and use a spoon to break it up into smaller pieces. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, toss it with the sauce. Serve with parsley and some extra grated parmesan cheese if desired.


  • I don’t recommend subbing the cream with half-and-half or milk because the sauce is likely to curdle due to the amount of citrus in this recipe. 


Calories: 925kcal, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 41g, Fat: 60g, Saturated Fat: 30g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 19g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 200mg, Sodium: 595mg, Potassium: 1139mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 2780IU, Vitamin C: 22mg, Calcium: 334mg, Iron: 2mg

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

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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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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4.89 from 68 votes (1 rating without comment)

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  1. Victoria Kirk says:

    5 stars
    I loved this dish cream, garlic, and lemon what’s not to love, apart from buying the salmon everything else are stored cupboard and fridge staples, I will definitely be making this again, yum yum get in my tum.

    Victoria UK

    1. Natasha says:

      Aww thank you so much for your lovely review, Victoria! Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. A says:

    5 stars
    I made as a pantry meal, so canned salmon/tomato, sub cream cheese for heavy cream, that kind of thing.

    Easy to make, though with a bunch of pans/tools/etc to clean up after.

    And did I mention, delicious? Definitely gonna make this again.

    Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Natasha says:

      You’re very welcome!! 🙂

  3. Odette says:

    5 stars
    So easy, so quick and oh so delicious. Thank you for the recipe.

    1. Natasha says:

      You’re very welcome!!

  4. Tams says:

    5 stars
    Made this last night with gemelli (because I had it on hand) and it came out great! Quick and easy to make. Definitely going to keep it in the proverbial “rotation”!

    1. Natasha says:

      Wonderful! 😀

  5. Rachel Thornton says:

    Absolutely delicious. I made this on a whim so I did not have the lemon; other than that I followed the recipe as written and it tasted fabulous.

    1. Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says:

      Excellent! So glad it worked out, Rachel!

  6. Pauline Clarke says:

    5 stars
    I love this recipe so tasty I’m making it again today, thanks for posting it

    1. Natasha says:

      Wonderful! You’re very welcome, Pauline. 🙂

  7. Agata O says:

    5 stars
    Ive made this so many times and this recipe is such a winner I’m making it for our Christmas Eve seafood dinner. It’s going to razzle dazzle the whole family! 5 star meal for sure!

    1. Natasha says:

      That makes me so happy! 🙂

  8. Karen says:

    Loved the shuttle lemon flavour, it was delicious and so easy. I used cooking cream. I might add in capers next time but I cannot fault this. I will make it again. Thanks.

    1. Natasha says:

      You’re welcome!

  9. Rob says:

    5 stars
    This is without doubt the best recipe I have ever found. I’m not one to particularly follow recipes but this is so simple and easy to follow. It’s one of the most rewarding recipes you’ll come across. Thank you so much for sharing this little gem.

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s so nice to hear, Rob!! 🙂 I appreciate your kind review!!

  10. Jean says:

    5 stars
    Fantastic yummy recipe. I substituted fresh salsa I made instead of tomatoes and butternut squash noodles instead of pasta. Great recipe. A keeper for sure. P

    1. Natasha says:

      Love those twists!