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.

Smoked salmon pasta on a white plate with a fork.

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. I'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 bomb.
  • 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.

Smoked salmon pasta in a pan with a serving spoon inside.

How to make smoked salmon pasta

  1. Start by cooking the pasta. Make sure to scoop a cup of the pasta water before you drain the pot!
  2. Saute the onions and garlic then add everything else to the pan.
  3. Once it comes to a boil, pour the sauce over the pasta and some spinach and mix mix mix.

See how easy that was?

Substitution suggestions

  • 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.

Two pieces of hot smoked salmon on a white plate.

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 I prefer in this recipe. You can see a picture of it above. I think 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.

Smoked salmon pasta in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

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Smoked salmon pasta in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

Smoked Salmon Pasta

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

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.

✨ If you love this smoked salmon pasta recipe as much as I do, make sure to give it a 5-star review in the comments below!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 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 garlic cloves, 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)

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. While the pasta cooks, being 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Notes

We like to use hot smoked salmon (as opposed to lox) in this recipe. It is sold in the seafood department often under the name BBQ salmon.

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Smoked salmon pasta on a white plate with a fork with the recipe title on top of the picture.