Smoked Salmon Pasta
Smoked salmon pasta is a creamy pasta recipe that is easy to make and absolutely delicious. It's made with staple ingredients and there are many options for substitutions so you can make this pasta with what you have on hand. In just 20 minutes you can have a tasty and cozy dinner on the table.
This smoked salmon and pasta is a recipe that we've been making for years. You probably have all the ingredients on hand right now. And if you're missing a few, don't worry; we've got lots of substitution suggestions so that you can make this tonight.
Why we love this smoked salmon pasta
- Smoked salmon, artichoke hearts, capers, and a little dill for a big-time flavor bites.
- All wrapped up in a slightly creamy sauce.
- With a spinach and tomato veggie boost.
- On the table in just 20 minutes.
- Smiles all around.
How to make smoked salmon pasta
- Start by cooking the pasta. Make sure to scoop a cup of the pasta water before you drain the pot!
- Saute the onions and garlic then add everything else to the pan.
- Once it comes to a boil, pour the sauce over the pasta and some spinach and mix mix mix.
See how easy that was?
- Smoked salmon – lox, cooked fresh salmon, or canned salmon
- Fresh spinach – kale, steamed asparagus or broccoli, frozen spinach, or peas
- Sour cream – yogurt, cream cheese, whipping cream, or cashew cream (equal parts cashew butter + water)
- Fresh lemon juice – lime juice or bottled in a pinch
- Capers – olives
The tomatoes and artichoke hearts are tougher to substitute, but you can omit them if you don't have any on hand.
What kind of smoked salmon to use
There are two kinds of smoked salmon. Lox, which is cold smoked or cured salmon. And hot or BBQ smoked salmon, which is what we prefer in this recipe. You can see a picture of it above. The flavor is ideal for smoked salmon pasta.
You'll find it sold in the fresh seafood department. It goes by the names Hot Smoked Salmon, BBQ Salmon Tips, or BBQ Chum.
It also freezes very well so pick up extra to have some on hand the next time you get a smoked salmon pasta craving.
Favorite easy pasta recipes
- Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
- Sage Pumpkin Pasta Bake with Kale and Buttered Pecans
- Warm Caprese Pesto Pasta
- Green Goddess Pasta Bowls
- Fresh Summer Spaghetti
Smoked Salmon Pasta Recipe
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- 10 ounces pasta, gluten-free if needed (we like linguine but any pasta will work)
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 10 ounces smoked salmon, see notes
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 cup canned artichoke hearts, cut in half if large
- ⅔ cup sour cream or plain yogurt
- ¼ cup lemon juice, from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons capers
- A pinch of chili flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water then drain the pasta and put it back into the pot. Place the spinach on top of the pasta.10 ounces pasta, 5 ounces baby spinach
- While the pasta cooks, begin making the sauce. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes, until it is transparent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 medium onion, 3 cloves garlic
- Break the smoked salmon into pieces and add it to the pan along with the cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, sour cream, lemon juice, capers, chili flakes, and ½ cup of the pasta water. Bring the pan to a boil and stir until everything is creamy and mixed together. Season to taste with salt and pepper then mix in the dill.10 ounces smoked salmon, 2 cups cherry tomatoes, 1 cup canned artichoke hearts, ⅔ cup sour cream or plain yogurt, ¼ cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons capers, A pinch of chili flakes, Salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon fresh dill
- Pour the smoked salmon sauce into the pasta pot and mix everything together. If needed, add a splash more pasta water to loosen the pasta.
Great recipe. Thanks! Had leftover smoked salmon and this was a great supper! added a little bit of half and half and it elevated the creaminess!
This was new, easy, and exciting. Thanks for a great recipe!
I really enjoyed it… Used Dangote pasta
Delicious and fresh tasting! I cut back on the capers, no dill & no lemon juice. Then used 1/3c yogurt and 1/3c half & half. Sprinkled on Romano at the end. Thanks for the recipe!
How long will any leftovers of this keep in the refrigerator?
They’ll keep for 2-3 days!
Hi! May I ask for reheating suggestions for this pasta?
I usually opt to reheat pasta in a pan on medium-low heat. But a microwave will work well, too!
Honestly didn’t enjoy it. To be honest it’s just got too much sour and saltiness for my liking. Not saying it’s a bad dish, just wasn’t for me. Made it exactly as the recipe states and used sour cream. May try to add or adjust some things on another attempt to maybe enjoy it more.
I had the same issue. I replaced the sour cream with mascarpone cheese and the subtle sweetness balanced the dish really well.
This was great! Since I have a lot of swiss chard in the garden, I replace spinach with that. This is a keeper.
This was so delicious, even without the artichokes.
Simple, easy and delicious! Don’t listen to the nay sayers, sour cream works perfect and adds that extra tang. I used kale instead of spinach and sun dried tomatoes instead of cherry. Plus I smoked the salmon the Traeger but this was so simple and fast I’ll be using it a lot more now!
Delicious! Since I was out of spinach, I substituted asparagus, and it was great. I might cut back on the salmon just a bit, but it was a great combo of ingredients. Thanks!
This recipe sounds super delicious and I would like to make it tomorrow but I only have fresh frozen salmon on hand. Can you suggest the best way to pre cook the salmon to use it in this recipe?
My favorite way to cook salmon is to bake it. You can check out this recipe: https://www.theendlessmeal.com/8-minute-baked-salmon/
Once it’s cooked, you can flake it and use it in the pasta. Should be tasty!
Delicious. Linger over it with a nice bottle of white or Prosecco. Had to substitute arugula for spinach and it was delish! Used hickory smoked salmon from Heinens in Bay Village oh
Really enjoyed it 👍
Delicious! I had a big piece of smoked salmon leftover from Christmas appetizers, and wanted a salmon and pasta side dish for New Year’s Eve. This was super easy and very tasty- it was not tart at all as another reviewer thought. It was a light creamy sauce with fresh flavors from the dill, tomatoes, and spinach. I used the recipe as written- no substitutions needed. The smoked salmon I had was from the Polish deli so it broke into chunks which I might add a little later next time as they kind of fell apart as the sauce cooked. Also will use the whole pound of pasta next time, and full can of artichokes, and up the other ingredients a little.
This recipe made an amazing meal. Premium Foods hot smoked maple glazed salmon from Costco worked incredibly well. We had no spinach so went without the green. I used whole fat Greek yogurt (home-made in the Instant Pot). The combination of yogurt, lemon juice and capers with the artichokes, mixed cherry tomatoes, dill and salmon gave a flavour mix to die for.
This will be a showcase meal for guests in my repertoire!
We enjoyed this recipe very much tonight. To the salmon I added broccoli, red onion, frozen edamame beans that have been waiting to be added to something like this, spring onions, sliced gherkin and sun dried tomatoes. It’s early Spring here in NZ so tomatoes are expensive, plus we are in Lockdown, and grocery shopping is a bit more fraught. Didn’t use artichokes, don’t have those lying around in the fridge. But they do sound yummy! Threw heaps of dried dill in at the end, and used lemon and yoghurt ,which gave it a great tang and didn’t separate. Added about two cups of pasta water, then made up a paste out of dried milk powder, cornflour and cold water, and thickened the whole lot. Will definitely cook it again.
So easy to do and the combination of flavors is heavenly.
Way too sour with yogurt and lemon. Added some fresh basil and Parmesan which helped a little. Will not make this again
So delicious! I had no artichoke so I put in some sun dried tomatoes. Amazing flavours!
This was amazing. The only difference is I used gluten free pasta. Even the husband liked it. I will definitely make this again and again.
Wonderful and sooo easy. Love that there are substitutions provided in case you feel too lazy to head to the market 🙂 As per the recipe substitution suggestions, I used only what I had on hand. Perfect! Peas instead of spinach, heavy cream instead of sour cream. Plus I had to sub sun-dried tomatoes for the grape tomatoes since I had only 4 in the house. It was still delicious! This recipe is a keeper. Thank you Kristen.
I made it yesterday, my family love it and so with my daughter’s friend. I will be making it again. So easy and simple. Bottom line, soo yummy!!
Yummy, great having alternative ingredients listed, so easy
I used goat butter instead of sour cream and sundried tomatoes. I used penne pasta. Very delish!
Loved the recipe with fresh caught salmon that we smoked! A few substitutions that worked well:
* Used Creme Fraiche instead of sour cream. Rich but not as thick.
* Used Arugula instead of spinach. Added a nice peppery flavor
* Used shallot instead of onion. A bit more bite
We will make this recipe again soon!
You CANNOT use yogurt for this recipe. It breaks and causes curds to appear. Don’t waste your time being (creative) use HEAVY CREAM ONLY
I find that yogurt works great in this recipe. But if yogurt or sour cream is boiled for too long it will break.
Great recipe – and quick and simple. I didn’t have capers, used black olives and dehydrated dill.
I had smoked salmon and pasta and I needed inspiration for dinner last night, so did a quick search. This recipe came up, I had everything except artichoke hearts but went for it. Quick and easy to pull together and the result was absolutely delicious. Flavourful but delicate. We loved it!! I will definitly be making this again and adding it to our go to recipes. Thank you so much, I cannot wait to try another of your recipes.
Delicious! and my husband does all the prepping of the veggies!!!!
Loved this recipe. Super easy and delicious! Also easy to make substitutes. I used semi sundried tomatoes and left out the artichokes. Yum!
An absolutely quick and delicious dish! I made it with thin sliced smoked salmon, cream cheese, red and green onions, broccoli, capers, lemon and rotini pasta. Topped off with a generous handful of shredded mozzarella. All 3 of my kids cleaned it right up!
Wowsers! I was skeptical but plowed ahead and was amazed. Absolutely loved it, so did my husband. Thank you!!
Made with spaghetti squash instead of pasta…
Just awesome! This is the first recipe I’ve commented on in more than a year even though I try and enjoy many online recipes. This is the equivalent of a fine dining entree that would put a restaurant in your regular dining rotation. I have made variations of this dish several times. Although excellent as written, here are my recommended modifications:
1. Substitute at least a pound of asparagus cut on the bias instead of using spinach.
2. Substitute about 5 ounces of chopped up sun-dried tomatoes for the cherry tomatoes. This tastes better and holds up better when used for leftovers.
3. I like to hot smoke my own salmon. There are excellent instructions to do so here: https://honest-food.net/how-to-smoke-salmon-recipe/
4. Strictly for a slightly healthier result, I use fat-free sour cream with excellent results.
5. Instead of black pepper, I use white pepper for esthetic reasons (white sauce – white pepper).
6. For a real treat, get salted capers, not ones bought in a jar of liquid. Make sure to rinse them off before using, and you will finally taste what capers really taste like – and if you are like me, you will use mor than prescribed here.
Again, the recipe is great as written. These suggestions are personal recommendations that you will really appreciate, especially if you take the time to smoke your own salmon!
Made this tonight and it’s a keeper! Absolutely delicious! I didn’t have any capers or artichokes on hand, and added some blue cheese crumbles. My partner who is usually a small portion eater had 3 helpings. Definitely something to serve at a fancier dinner party, or as comfort food since we’re stuck at home these days. Thank you for this beautiful recipe!
You’re very welcome, Leah!
This pasta was amazing. There was so much flavor! Will absolutely make it again.
That’s wonderful to hear. Thanks, Tessa!