This Smoked Salmon Pasta recipe is a new way to use smoked salmon! You can prepare a delicious dinner in just 25 minutes with only a handful of ingredients.
Rigatoni pasta, smoked salmon, peas, mushrooms, cheese and garlic. Sounds like the start of a amazingly easy pasta recipe to me- almost like a salmon alfredo.
What is Smoked Salmon?
Smoked salmon is the way the salmon is prepared, usually a salmon fillet that has been smoked hot or cold, cured, and/or partly dehydrated. It is considered a very desirable food item.
It’s typically eaten with cream cheese, red onion, lemon, and capers on a slice of bread, but can be used in multiple recipes like pasta, canapés, salads, quiches, appetizers, dips and can even be found in sushi rolls.
But here, I’m making it with pasta. Bucking the system and marching to my own drum.
Why You’ll Love This Dish
Smoked salmon is a great protein to consider for quick weeknight meals due to the fact that it is already cooked (smoked) so other than heating, like tossing in the sauce, it doesn’t need any cook time.
Smoked salmon is also shelf stable and often given in gift baskets and then never used, sadly. Here is a great way to use it up!
Fast and easy, you’ll have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.
Smoked Salmon Pasta Ingredients
The ingredient list is fairly simple and includes many pantry staples. Since smoked salmon is shelf stable, you can purchase these items and wait one, two or even three weeks before making the dish.
- Pasta – I used rigatoni, but you can use penne pasta or any other tubular shaped pasta. Farfalle pasta would also work well; just something with grooves to soak up all that delicious sauce.
- Smoked salmon – Rather than buying whole salmon fillets and smoking them yourself, smoked salmon is something you can buy prepackaged at the grocery store.
- Frozen peas – You can also use canned peas if you’d like to. I just always have a bag of frozen peas in the freezer!
- Straw mushrooms – You can use any type of mushroom you prefer, but these are my favorite. If you can’t find them, look on the International aisle.
- Heavy cream – This is a creamy pasta, and heavy cream is the best way to make the creamy, rich sauce.
- Parmesan cheese – I always suggest grating your own cheese. We want this to be finely grated, plus save a little extra for garnish.
- Garlic cloves – I always prefer to mince my own garlic rather than buying the jar of minced garlic from the store. The flavor is much more pungent that way.
- Fine sea salt – A generous pinch of salt is the perfect way to take this
- White pepper – Rather than use black pepper, I like the milder flavor of white pepper here. You, of course, can you either, both or none. Whatever tickles your fancy.
- Crushed red pepper – This is an optional ingredient, but I always like to add a little spice to my pasta dishes. Add to taste, or completely omit them altogether.
How to Make Smoked Salmon Pasta
This easy dinner recipe will be ready in a jiffy since technically speaking the protein is already cooked.
- Cook pasta. In a medium saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Salt water well.
- Add heavy cream and garlic. Drain pasta. Return the same (empty) sauce pan to the stove top. Add heavy cream and garlic. Continue to cook for a few minutes.
- Stir in cheese and peas. Add Parmesan cheese, frozen peas, salt and pepper. Cook for another few minutes.
- Add rest of the ingredients. Lastly, add salmon and straw mushrooms. Stir. The mixture should be thicker than when you started, but not super thick and creamy.
- Top with cheese and red pepper. Serve salmon and sauce over pasta and garnish with extra Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper.
Variations on Salmon with Pasta
We always encourage you to put your own spin on dishes. Here are some of my favorite ideas for customizing your pasta dinner.
- Flavor – Lemon always pairs really well with salmon, so feel free to add a spritz of lemon juice or even lemon zest into the creamy sauce of this easy meal.
- Fresh fish – Of course, you could substitute fresh cooked salmon instead. You can also try smoking your own, just know it is a long process.
- Add ins – You can switch out the veggies, or add anything into this creamy pasta that your heart desires. Sun-dried tomatoes, asparagus, or red onion would all be great additions.
- Serving – This creamy smoked salmon pasta is best served with a fresh green salad and some crusty garlic bread for a full meal.
What to Serve with Salmon Pasta
I always serve my pasta dinners with a side salad and homemade salad dressing like homemade blue cheese or balsamic vinaigrette. Even though there are peas already in the dish, feel free to add another side dish of greens like my asiago asparagus or grilled broccoli.
Storage and Freezing
Storage: Store any leftover cold smoked salmon pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Freezing: You can store this salmon recipe in the freezer for up to three months. Just make sure to store in an airtight container or wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
More Pasta Recipes
- Pesto Pasta Bake
- Lemony Artichoke Pesto with Pasta
- One-Pot Chicken Bruschetta Pasta
- Squid Ink Pasta with White Wine Cream Sauce
Smoked Salmon Pasta
- 4 cups rigatoni , uncooked
- 6 ounces smoked salmon , thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
- 12 ounce can straw mushrooms (look on the International aisle)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese , finely grated, plus extra for garnish
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 teaspoon fin sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- crushed red pepper , optional
- In a medium saucepan, cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Salt the water well.
- Drain the pasta, set aside. Return the same (empty) sauce pan to the stove top. Add the heavy cream and garlic. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Whisk in the parmesan cheese, frozen peas, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Lastly, add the salmon and straw mushrooms. Stir for an additional 3-4 minutes. The mixture should be thicker than when you started, but not super thick and creamy.
- Serve the salmon and sauce over the pasta and garnish with extra Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper (optional).
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.