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Smoked Salmon Pasta

Smoked Salmon Pasta

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1 Put pasta water on to boil: Heat to boiling a large pot with at least 4 quarts of salted water in it. (2 Tbsp of salt for 4 quarts of water.)

2 Toast the pine nuts: While the water is heating, brown the pine nuts. Put the pine nuts in a single layer in a large skillet. Heat on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned. Remove pine nuts from pan and set aside.

3 Start cooking the pasta: Once the water is boiling, add the pasta to the pot. Cook uncovered on high heat at a rolling boil. Put the timer on for 8-10 minutes, or whatever your pasta package says is appropriate for al dente (cooked but still a little firm).

Once the pasta is done, and before draining the pasta, scoop out one cup of the pasta cooking liquid and reserve.

4 Prepare the sauce: While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a large skillet heat olive oil on medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, cook for 2 minutes, then add white wine, lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp of lemon zest. Increase the heat and let boil down by half.

If you want a slightly creamy sauce, add the cream and let boil a minute more.

The sauce should be done about the same time the pasta is done. If you get done earlier with it than the pasta, take it off the heat.

5 Add pasta, some pasta cooking liquid, smoked salmon, toasted pine nuts, parsley, zest to sauce: Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the sauce. Add back some of the pasta cooking liquid to the pasta if it is a little dry. Add the smoked salmon, toasted pine nuts, parsley, and the remaining lemon zest. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

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Penne with Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Sauce

By Chef Michael Smith &bull 10 years ago

This is my family’s all-time favourite dinner party pasta dish. Our friends request it all the time. I’m happy to oblige because it tastes great, and the sauce makes itself! It’s easy. Steaming wet, just-cooked pasta and melting cream cheese form an incredibly smooth luxurious sauce. The smoked salmon adds flavour extravagance that’s balanced by the familiar flavours of capers, dill, lemon, onion and mustard. A five-star dish for sharing!


1 1 pound box penne pasta
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1 bunch fresh dill, chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup capers
8 ounces smoked salmon, or more, cut into ribbons
a sprinkle or two sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Cook penne in lots of boiling salted water until al dentecooked through and tender but still retaining some texture and chew.

Scoop out some of the starchy cooking water and reserve. Drain the pasta but not quite all the way. Leave it a bit wet. Put the pasta back into the pot along with a splash or two of the reserved water.

While the pasta is still steaming hot, immediately add the rest of the ingredients except the salmon. Stir with a wooden spoon as the cheese melts and forms a creamy sauce.

At the last second briefly stir in the smoked salmon this way it won’t break up as much. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.


You can use any of your favourite shaped pastas for this dish, like bowties but ribbon pastas, like spaghetti, don’t work as well. This dish also works equally well with any kind of smoked fish. And if you don’t have green onions, try a finely minced red onion. If you don’t have capers, try a spoonful of standard green hot-dog relish.

How do you make smoked salmon pasta?

In my recipe for smoked salmon pasta I drew on the flavours that smoked salmon is traditionally served with like lemon, capers, creme fraiche and chives.

I decided not to use any Parmesan cheese in the sauce itself as I thought the bold flavours of smoked salmon and aged cheese would compete with each other, rather than compliment.

I did serve the finished product with a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and that amount was just perfect.

It acted as a light seasoning rather than a dominating flavour, which was just right. I wanted the smoked salmon to be my shining star in this stunning pasta dish.

And finally just a tiny dusting of green chives that added a touch of colour and some brightness of flavour to this creamy pasta.

Creamy Smoked Salmon Pasta

Up until about two weeks ago, I thought the only thing you could really do with smoked salmon was to pile thin slices atop a bagel with cream cheese. Was I wrong. Pasta may not sound as natural with smoked salmon as a bagel, but it is no less delicious. Creamy smoked salmon pasta is 15-minute (yes) dinner that tastes amazing: salty, satisfying, and brightened with lemon and chives.

You’ll also like: Fettuccini Alfredo e Pepe and The World’s Best Pesto Pasta

Buying smoked salmon used to mean using some of it once on a delicious weekend bagel, then letting the rest of the package languish in the refrigerator until I remembered (too late) that I was supposed to use it within a few days after opening. Now I cook this.

I adapted this recipe from a simple pasta dish in The Silver Spoon cookbook. The Silver Spoon is to Italy as The Joy of Cooking is to America: a necessary Bible of home cookery. This recipe involves little more than boiling pasta and adding it to a pan of smoked salmon pieces that have been simmering in a pan of butter and cream.

Smoked salmon is actually a not-unpopular Italian food. Smoked salmon was — and remains — an effective a way of preserving fresh seafood, enjoyed even by the ancient Romans and Greeks.

Recipe Notes: Creamy Smoked Salmon Pasta

Pasta choice. A creamy pasta wants a long, flat noodle. Pasta shapes like linguine, fettuccini, tagiatelle, or other ribbon pasta envelops the sauce just so. Often, when the pasta topping is chunky, you would want a chunky pasta. But here, the smoked salmon pieces are small enough to work with a long pasta.

Check the salt. Different brands and types of smoked salmon (lox, nova, and so on) differ in sodium content, but all do have a lot of salt. Thus, this recipe does not call for added salt — you are also boiling the pasta in salted water — but check for seasoning anyway.

Scallions also work really well here. Just like with salmon cream cheese, scallion and smoked salmon make a great flavor combination, with the fresh, mellow allium sharpness of scallions working as a great counterpoint to the salty salmon. I use chives here because they give the dish a great presentation and taste more mild, but scallions are a fine alternative.

Smoked Salmon Pasta Recipe

This Smoked Salmon Pasta recipe is your new favourite 10 minute meal. Light, fresh and ready in super speed.


For the sauce

  • 250 g Creme fraiche See Note 2.
  • 15 g Dill See Note 3.
  • 1 Lemon Zest and juice
  • 200 g Smoked Salmon
  • Salt and pepper

Optional extras


Add the pasta to a pan of boiling salted water and cook according to the pack instructions (normally about 10 minutes).

3 minutes before the pasta has finished cooking, add in the broccoli.

Drain the cooked pasta and broccoli and put back into the hot saucepan.

Add all of the sauce ingredients to the pasta in the hot pan and stir through. (The heat of the pasta will warm the sauce.)

Recipe Notes

Note 1 - Broccoli
I like using Tenderstem Broccoli but regular is fine too. Cut into small pieces.

Note 2 - Creme Fraiche
I tend to use the half fat Creme Fraiche as I can't tell the difference and it's a lighter option. Either is fine.

Note 3 - Dill
Dill is one of the only herbs where I think fresh is much better. If you can get it, it kind of makes this dish. Some supermarkets sell it frozen too and I like to keep a bag in the freezer for this.

Otherwise, mint works here too. Dried would be okay, but just okay. I wouldn't recommend dried though as they don't have time to cook and soften. If they are all you have, better than nothing though! Just use 1 tsp if using dried.

Note 4 - Capers
If you have any capers in the fridge or cupboard, they add an extra ZING to this dish and take it up a notch.

Note 5 - Peas or Petit Pois
Just add these when you add the broccoli to the pasta water if you fancy some extra vegetables.

How to make Smoked Salmon Spaghetti (or pasta of your choice)

The photos below are the easy step by step instructions you need to bring this dish together:

  1. Cook the pasta, drain, reserve 1 cup of pasta water then add pasta and water to pan(Photo 1)
  2. add cream (Photo 2)
  3. use a spoon and stir to combine(Photo 3)
  4. add spinach leaves and stir again to combine (Photo 4)

The fresh spinach, smoked salmon and dill give this pasta a lovely fresh boost!

You can either sprinkle the flaked salmon pieces over the spaghetti (it will lightly cook from the warm pasta) or . add it into the pasta and let it cook through.

Once the pasta, spinach and smoked salmon are combine we season the dish with dill, capers, parmesan cheese and pepper.

The hallmark of a really great carbonara sauce is a rich, silky, creamy sauce. A lot of people think that cream is used to get this consistency, but traditionally it is not included in a carbonara sauce.

The secret to a perfect silky carbonara sauce comes down to 2 things: egg yolks, and technique which means cooking the eggs onto the pasta without scrambling them.

The number one thing to consider when cooking carbonara sauce is this: you can always add more heat in, but you can't take it out so start at a lower temperature than you may think necessary.

This recipe is for 2 people, but if you are serving more you can easily double or triple the recipe.

Because this pasta comes together so quickly and requires precise attention I like to make sure that I have all my ingredients on hand and ready to use before I start.

Once you have rounded up your ingredients preparation goes as follows:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. I use sea salt, and I like to add enough salt that the water tastes a bit salty - this will flavour the pasta well.

When your water is boiling put your spaghetti into the pot and cook according to the package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, whisk up your eggs, add the cracked black pepper and set aside.

When the pasta has finished cooking, reserve about ½ cup of cooking water from the pot and drain the pasta.

Place the hot pot on a burner that is not turned on - you don't want to add any heat to pot right now, just work with the residual heat from cooking the pasta.

Place the pasta back into the pot and add the butter along with about 1 tbsp of the reserved cooking water. Toss quickly to coat the pasta.

Add the eggs to the pot and begin to stir it into the pasta vigorously. The goal here is to heat the eggs slowly to prevent scrambling. As the egg mixture begins to heat up it should thicken up. If the sauce is not thickening, you can place the pot back on the burner at the lowest heat while stirring the pasta constantly. What you want to do is heat up the bottom of the pot.

When the sauce begins to thicken, stir in the parmesan cheese, and continue to cook the pasta until the sauce is heated through. You can repeat the process of putting the pot back on the heated element for 30 seconds or so as many times as necessary to cook the sauce. When the sauce is properly cooked the egg with have thickened, but will not be dry.

Just before serving, stir the strips of smoked salmon into the pasta.

Garnish with the chopped chives when serving.

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Our local town market makes some pretty amazing smoked salmon. We have it a lot when guests come over, it’s always devoured in no time. Recently my sister in law found a great recipe for smoked salmon, and this weekend I will be smoking my first one on our Traeger . Yes, I know. I am kind of putting the cart before the horse, and sharing the pasta made with smoked salmon before the recipe for smoked salmon. But hopefully it’ll make you come back!

30 Delicious Smoked Salmon Recipes

You can use it in casseroles, salads, sandwiches, brunch dishes – you name it, smoked salmon is a great ingredient to incorporate into your cooking.

We all know that salmon is packed with heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids and we should be getting more of it in our diets. Below are 30 fantastic recipes, created by expert food bloggers, that will help you create more dishes with smoked salmon. Enjoy!

If you make a recipe below, we’d love to hear your impressions and results in the comments section below this post!

Smoked Salmon, Mushrooms & Egg Breakfast

This smoked salmon, mushroom and egg dish is a great way to incorporate more healthy Omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. With mushrooms and poached eggs, this dish is umami goodness on a plate!

Smoked Salmon Quiche with Leeks and Cottage Cheese

This Smoked Salmon Quiche with Leeks and Cottage Cheese is the perfect dish for brunch, to take to work in your lunchbox or to enjoy as a light dinner.

Smoked Salmon Pasta

This simple Smoked Salmon Pasta salad makes a great make-ahead lunch, or it is perfect for a summer picnic or pot luck.

Smoked Salmon Salad

This Smoked Salmon Salad features flavorful smoked salmon, tender baby spinach, crisp apples, chewy raisins and toasted almonds all tossed in lemon vinaigrette. So easy to make and amazingly delicious!

Smoked Salmon Pate

This homemade smoked salmon pate is made with double cream, lemon juice, salt and pepper. It couldn’t get any easier to make. Just pop the ingredients in a blender and enjoy the results.

Everything Bagel Smoked Salmon Quiche

Quiche is a great way to use smoked salmon, but this recipe elevates it with cream cheese, and everything bagel seasoning, baked in a flaky crust. It’s a perfect twist for breakfast!

Swedish Smörgåstårta Sandwich Cake

This Swedish Sandwich Cake makes a wonderful appetizer for your next party! This recipe is so easy to make as it uses a loaf of bread and just a few fillings.

Eggs Royale: Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict

This Eggs Royale is a seafood twist on the classic Eggs Benedict. It’s made with smoked salmon, poached eggs, and a creamy yogurt sauce, and is a lighter take on the breakfast classic!

Cottage Cheese, Kale & Smoked Salmon Frittata

This herb-packed cottage cheese, kale and smoked salmon frittata is low in calories, but full of flavour. Serve cold for breakfast or with a light salad for lunch.

Smoked Salmon, Spinach and Egg White Wraps

These 10-minute smoked salmon, spinach and egg white wraps make the perfect quick, easy and healthy meal! Packed full of protein and healthy fats, they’re super filling, and also paleo, gluten-free and keto-friendly.

Pineapple Salsa with Smoked Salmon

This quick and easy pineapple salsa recipe takes little effort to make, and the addition of the smoked salmon makes it a real treat for the taste buds.

Pasta with Smoked Salmon

This creamy pasta with smoked salmon is impressive, as well as delicious, and the best part is that it requires minimal ingredients and takes only 20 minutes to throw together.

Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Dip

A recipe that always shines at a party is the smoked salmon cream cheese dip. It’s always a hit, and it’s so simple to make. This easy recipe should be on your party quick list.

Smoked Salmon Croissant Strata

For brunch, try this smoked salmon croissant strata that adds a bit of elegance and excitement to the breakfast table. This dish combines smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers and dill with croissants into a delightful baked dish.

Smoked Salmon Caprese Salad

This is a super simple, fresh salad that can be served at parties, or even as a meal. It includes vibrant tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and smoked salmon as a special twist on the classic.

Smoked Salmon Pasta Carbonara

A healthy and simple smoked salmon pasta carbonara recipe, made with just five simple ingredients and ready in 10 minutes. It’s creamy (without any cream), luxurious and packed full of flavor.

Smoked Salmon Sandwich with Avocado

Smoked salmon sandwich makes for the perfect epic lunch sandwich. Packed full of veggies such as arugula, alfalfa, avocado and cucumber this one of the best sandwiches of all time. Gluten-Free & Dairy Free.

Smoked Salmon Sushi Bowl

Sushi bowl with smoked salmon, avocado, cucumbers, edamame and rice makes for the perfect Japanese themed meal that is ready in under 30 minutes. All the flavors of a sushi roll but none of the fuss. Gluten Free and Dairy Free too.

Smoked Salmon & Asparagus Fried Rice

Smoked salmon and asparagus add a fancy touch to fried rice in this 20 minute meal. It’s a great way to use up leftover rice and it really delivers on flavor.

Smoked Salmon Cheesecake

You’ve probably never thought to put smoked salmon in a cheesecake before. But this creative, savory recipe will change your mind. This savory cheesecake is flavored with smoked salmon, Gruyere cheese, and dill.

Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball

Up your cheese ball game with this Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese Ball! This unique cheese ball will be the star of your party.

Smoked Salmon Pastry Cups

These Smoked Salmon Pastry Cups with mascarpone & fresh dill may look fancy, but they are a breeze to throw together and perfect for any gathering. [See the Recipe]

Smoked Salmon & Summer Vegetable Risotto

This smoked salmon and summer vegetable risotto is made with cauliflower rice making it perfect for a light summer lunch.

Smoked Salmon Appetizer with Goat Cheese and Avocado

This easy smoked salmon appetizer combines delicious smoked salmon, creamy goat cheese and avocado. Made in under 15 minutes!

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

These smoked salmon deviled eggs looks so luxurious and delicious, and they’re so easy to make that they belong on every party menu. Everyone loves a good deviled egg and the smoked salmon in these make them irresistible.

Chive & Tarragon Smoked Salmon Sandwich

No more boring lunches with this creamy Chive and Tarragon Smoked Salmon Sandwich on a multigrain and seeded bread with fresh veggies.

Smoked Salmon Okonomiyaki

Smoked Salmon Okonomiyaki is a Japanese cabbage pancake with smoked salmon, drizzled with Japanese mayonnaise and okonomi or ‘brown’ sauce.

Smoked Salmon & Lobster Bisque

This smoked salmon and lobster tail bisque is as delicious as impressive looking. Best of all, it comes together in only 30 minutes. It’s a perfect starter course for New Year’s Eve, a dinner date or any special occasions.

Smoked Salmon Rice Salad with Lime Dressing

Smoked Salmon Rice Salad With Lime Dressing is a twist on the classic pairing of smoked salmon, capers, and red onion. A flavourful, chilled salad, with a tart, tangy dressing, it would make a fabulous side dish for summer barbeques or potlucks any time of year.

Smoked Salmon Tart with Herbed Quinoa Pastry

This smoked salmon tart with herbed quinoa pastry, cream cheese and capers is a classic combination of flavours sure to please everyone. Serve warm from the oven with a fresh side salad for a sensational lunch, or enjoy it for a picnic on a warm sunny day.

Smoked Salmon Mousse

This delicious smoked salmon mousse is so quick to prepare. Just a few minutes in the blender and its done. Its wonderful served as a canapé, or as a dip. Its even delicious simply spread on a cracker for a snack!

Now that you’ve got dozens of fantastic smoked salmon appetizer ideas, it’s time to get cooking! Serving these appetizers at a party or gathering will surely win you praise. Tried one of these appetizers?

We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

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Pin it for later!

(Note: This is a collection of recipes from other fantastic food bloggers. All photography was provided courtesy of the recipe owner.)

Laura is a home cook who loves making new recipes and finding new favorite things to eat, whether at home or abroad. She also runs a popular travel blog and spends a lot of her time traveling for food.

Fresh Colored Pasta with Salmon, Avocado and Wild Garlic Sauce is a seasonal delight. It is quick to make, satisfying and not a worry for your waistline. Ready in minutes, Pasta with Salmon, Avocado and Wild Garlic Sauce is ideal for an impromptu or last-minute supper with a special someone tête-à-tête. What a dream for a weeknight supper!

While the wild garlic makes this a seasonal dish, you can easily substitute a smaller dose of ordinary garlic or fresh garlic instead. Wild garlic, also known as ramps, has a more subtle flavor so it would not take much ordinary garlic to match its flavor. For more recipes featuring wild garlic, click here.

If you are concerned that the avocado will give this pasta with salmon dish an odd taste, there is no need to worry. Surprisingly avocados have a mild taste when cooked lightly. A single avocado makes this dish so creamy without all the saturated fat of cream. It also adds abundant vitamins and improves this dish’s nutritional value.

Fresh colored pasta goes well with the salmon and avocado sauce to make this dish a tiny bit more elegant. But if you don’t have fresh pasta or colored pasta available, do not worry as this dish will also be yummy with dry pasta, either egg or spinach.

Smoked Salmon Pasta

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 25 M
  • Serves 2

Ingredients US Metric

  • 7 ounces spaghetti
  • 2 1/4 ounces smoked salmon
  • Zest of 1 lemon, grated (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons finely snipped fresh chives
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons heavy cream, more as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt


Pull out a large saucepan and fill with at least 8 cups of water. Bring to a rolling boiling and add salt. Drop in your pasta and cook according to the package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, slice the salmon into thin slivers.

Drain the pasta well and return it to the saucepan over low heat.

Add the salmon, lemon zest, chives, and 4 tablespoons cream to the pasta and stir well to combine. If the pasta seems dry, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Be careful here, as smoked salmon can be quite salty in itself, so you’ll want to sneak a taste before seasoning. Serve immediately.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Wow. This simple yet elegant pasta is on the list for a dinner party first course. My devious little brain is already planning a menu for whenever I can have people over. The heavy cream mellows out the smokiness of the salmon, and the chives and lemon zest are perfectly balanced. The only thing I would change would be an additional tablespoon or so of heavy cream to increase the sauce. The aroma of chives and lemon when they were blended into the hot pasta was delicious.

So simple and easy, this took all of 25 minutes to put together. I doubled the recipe for a quick lunch for the two of us and had enough to take to work.

This is a very simple and easy dish to prep and prepare. The lemon zest and chives provide a nice acidic undertone and complement the salmon perfectly. This is a very tasty dish, one that I will definitely make again.

We used some fresh linguine rather than dry pasta. The portion size of the salmon seemed small so I added an extra ounce, which turned out to be perfect. Next time I make it I’ll increase the cream to 6 tablespoons, as the fresh pasta can certainly absorb the liquid.

This easily serves 2 people. I had a little bit of pasta leftover, so I made a breakfast carbonara the next morning. I nuked the pasta at 20% for 2 minutes, then scrambled 2 eggs with a tablespoon of cream and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan, adding the pasta and a bit more smoked salmon about halfway through the scramble to bring it all together. A good topping of fresh black pepper and it was wonderful!

This is an easy and delicious recipe. I didn’t need to add or remove anything and the instructions were easy to follow. Perfect for a rush lunch or dinner because the final result is a very flavorful spaghetti. I accompanied it with Caesar salad and avocado. Very, very yummy.

I'm always on the hunt for recipes that stretch an expensive ingredient while also making it the star of the show, and this recipe did exactly that. The noodles and cream created a subtle backdrop to the smoked salmon and complemented the strong flavor the smoked salmon brought to the table. This dish was easy to put together, and the portions are perfect if you are cooking for 1 or 2.

This dish says to "serve immediately,” and rightfully so, but if the stars don’t align for you, you can add a little pasta water to loosen up the sauce as I did.

I'm always on the hunt for recipes that stretch an expensive ingredient while also making it the star of the show, and this recipe did exactly that! The noodles and cream created a subtle backdrop to the smoked salmon and complemented the strong flavor the smoked salmon brought to the table.

This dish was easy to put together and the portions are perfect if you're cooking for 1 or 2.


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