Creamy Salmon Pasta Recipe

If you're looking for a way to eat salmon that doesn't involve simply cooking it and enjoying it as-is, then this creamy salmon pasta will be a welcome addition to your repertoire. This dish features plenty of flaky salmon, but it also features penne pasta, asparagus, and a quick and easy cream sauce. "The combination of succulent salmon, a rich creamy sauce, and zesty lemon is so tasty," recipe developer Catherine Brookes says. "This dish is really easy to make but feels a little fancy!"

Indeed, you might feel like you're enjoying a bowl of pasta from your favorite restaurant, but in actuality, this lovely dinner comes together quickly on even the busiest of weeknights. Best of all, it's a full meal all on its own, featuring carbs, protein, and a vegetable in one hearty bowl. If plain old grilled salmon just isn't doing it for you anymore, then this creamy salmon pasta may be just the pick-me-up that your dinner routine needs.

Gather the ingredients for this creamy salmon pasta

You'll need 2 salmon fillets and penne pasta to make up the bulk of this recipe. To build the sauce, you'll need olive oil, a diced onion, crushed garlic, asparagus tips, dry white wine (Brookes likes to use Sauvignon Blanc, but any dry white will work here), lemon zest and juice, heavy cream, salt, pepper, chopped fresh parsley, and Parmesan. "The Parmesan cheese gives the dish that extra bit of richness and indulgence," Brookes says.

Bake the salmon

Get your oven preheating to 400 F and focus on the salmon first. Place the fillets into a baking dish or on a sheet pan, skin side-down, and drizzle 1 teaspoon of oil over them. Add some salt and pepper to taste, and be sure to rub the seasonings into the flesh so they stick. Once your oven is preheated, go ahead and bake the salmon for about 12 minutes, or until it's fully cooked through. 

Boil the pasta, then the asparagus

While the salmon bakes, get a large pot of salted water boiling on the stovetop. Cook the pasta first according to the package instructions, which should take about 10 minutes to reach al dente. Reserve 3 tablespoons of pasta water before draining the penne, but be sure to leave most of the water in the pot for the asparagus.

That boiled water is playing double duty in this step, because as soon as the pasta is out, the asparagus can go in. Boil the tips for about 3 minutes, just until they're bright green and tender. Now, you can drain them and discard the water.

Build the creamy sauce

Place a large pan on the stovetop over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add in the diced onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, until softened, then add the garlic and cook for another minute or so while stirring constantly. Turn the heat up to high, then add in the wine, allowing it to bubble away for about 3 minutes.

Next, add in the heavy cream and lemon zest, stirring thoroughly to combine with the other ingredients. Reduce the heat back down to medium and let the sauce cook for another 3 minutes. Finally, stir in the Parmesan, allowing it to melt into the sauce.

Mix the salmon and pasta into the sauce, and serve

Once the salmon is out of the oven, roughly chop it up and be sure to discard the skin. Then, mix the salmon chunks into the sauce along with the pasta, lemon juice, chopped parsley, cooked asparagus tips, and reserved pasta water. Keep the pasta on the heat for a couple more minutes to make sure everything is nice and warm for serving, then add a little bit of salt and pepper to taste.

When it comes time for serving, this pasta is a full meal all on its own, but Brookes does have some pairing suggestions. "This pasta pairs well with a glass of white wine or a zesty cocktail," she says. "You could also add some extra steamed greens on the side if desired." If you aren't able to finish all of the pasta in one sitting, Brookes also has some advice on the leftover front: "Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 2 days and can be reheated in the microwave."

Creamy Salmon Pasta Recipe
5 from 28 ratings
Packed with pasta, salmon, asparagus, and a lemony cream sauce, this is a complete meal in one bowl.
Prep Time
Cook Time
creamy salmon pasta in bowl
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 10 ounces penne pasta
  • 1 cup chopped asparagus tips
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and bring a pot of salted water to boil.
  2. Place the salmon fillets in a baking dish or on a sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper, rubbing the seasonings into the flesh to stick. Bake for 12 minutes, until the fish is fully cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, boil the pasta in the prepared water according to package instructions, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and set aside, reserving 3 tablespoons of the pasta water for later and keeping the rest of the water in the pot for the next step.
  4. In the same pot, boil the asparagus tips for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  5. Start cooking the sauce. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes until softened.
  6. Add the garlic to the pan and fry for another minute, stirring constantly.
  7. Add the wine and turn the heat up to high. Let simmer and reduce for 3 minutes.
  8. Add the cream and lemon zest. Stir well, bring the heat back down to medium, and cook for another 3 minutes to thicken.
  9. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
  10. Once the salmon has finished baking, chop it roughly into chunks, discarding the skin.
  11. Add the salmon, cooked pasta, lemon juice, parsley, cooked asparagus, and reserved pasta water to the sauce and stir for a few minutes to heat everything through. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.
Calories per Serving 1,018
Total Fat 56.9 g
Saturated Fat 22.4 g
Trans Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 184.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 62.6 g
Dietary Fiber 4.3 g
Total Sugars 6.2 g
Sodium 1,058.5 mg
Protein 57.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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