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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.
- 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.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.