Pasta/ Quick and Easy/ Seafood

Creamy Salmon Pasta with Spinach

This creamy salmon pasta with spinach is perfect for date night. Think of your favorite kind of pasta smothered in a creamy garlic white wine sauce with baked flaky bite-sized salmon chunks and fresh spinach, lemon and capers.

A plate of creamy salmon pasta with spinach with lemon wedges and grated Parmesan cheese on the side.

Today we’ll be making a fun and delicious creamy salmon pasta with spinach. Think of this as a creamy version of the crowd-favorite light lemon garlic pasta with salmon. While the lighter version relies on high-quality olive oil as a kind of ‘sauce’, this slightly more decadent twist has a light creamy sauce, fresh spinach and the beautiful and bright flavors of lemon and capers. And while it sounds pretty fancy, it’s really easy to make.

There’s also plenty of ways to customize this. Switch it up with your favorite kind of pasta, substitute spinach with fresh basil or asparagus, make it kid-friendly by leaving out the white wine, bake the salmon with more spices to add some contrasting flavor, or try adding some red pepper flakes to the sauce for some heat. This one is perfect for date night or an easy but comforting weeknight meal and leftovers heat up well. So let’s start cooking!

A close up shot of creamy salmon pasta with spinach on a white plate.

CREAMY SALMON PASTA WITH SPINACH TIPS AND TRICKS

Pasta: Add a drizzle of olive oil and salt to the pot while cooking the pasta. The oil prevents sticking and the salt evenly seasons each noodle from the inside out. It makes a difference! Also, feel free to substitute linguine with any other kind of pasta. You can use spaghetti, angel hair, pappardelle, farfalle, or any tube-type pasta.

Salmon: Use either fresh or frozen salmon at about 5-8 oz. each. Make sure to season generously with salt and pepper. I like to use coarse sea salt because it’s more forgiving. In this recipe, we bake the salmon but if you don’t feel like heating up the whole house, you can pan-fry it over the stovetop. You can also customize the salmon by adding more seasoning. Some options are adding smoked paprika, brown sugar, or chili powder.

Lemon: One medium-sized lemon should be enough to get the zest you need. I used a microplane to zest up a lemon and then cut the leftovers into wedges to serve on the side for folks that like adding more lemon juice to the sauce.

Creamy salmon pasta with spinach in a saucepan with lemon wedges and Parmesan cheese on the side.

Garlic: Four medium-sized cloves are roughly equal to about 1 tablespoon of minced garlic. I find it easier to use either a garlic press or a mini grater to mince the garlic.

Spinach: If you don’t like spinach, feel free to substitute it with fresh basil or chopped asparagus spears.

Sauce: This recipe makes a very light creamy sauce. If you prefer a thicker creamy sauce, try adding some freshly grated Parmesan cheese to the sauce while simmering which will give it an Alfredo taste.

White wine: Leave out the white wine to make this kid-friendly or substitute it with chicken stock or more heavy cream.

Add more flavor: Feel free to add more garlic or capers to your taste. You can also add red pepper flakes to the sauce for a hint of heat.

A close up shot of creamy salmon pasta with spinach on a white plate.

Toppings: Serve with either shaved Parmesan chunks, freshly grated Parmesan, or the green shaker Parmesan. Add some lemon wedges on the side for freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Sides: Serve this with a side of salad, some garlic bread, or some easy Parmesan garlic knots.

Leftovers: Heat up leftovers by adding any leftover heavy cream you might have or milk to the pasta. Stir and microwave for a few minutes.

And that’s about it. We loved this meal so much and had a ton of fun eating it. If you ended up buying a huge salmon fillet, any leftover salmon you might have can be used to cook balsamic glazed salmon, honey garlic salmon or honey mustard salmon.

For a lighter version of this recipe, try out light lemon garlic pasta with salmon. For similar dishes enjoy some lemon and Parmesan-crusted salmon or this lemon garlic butter-baked shrimp.

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A plate of creamy salmon pasta with spinach with lemon wedges and grated Parmesan cheese on the side.

Creamy Salmon Pasta with Spinach


  • Author: The Cooking Jar
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 46 1x

Description

This creamy salmon pasta with spinach is perfect for date night. With fresh spinach, lemon and capers in a creamy garlic white wine sauce.

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 lb. linguine
  • 2 salmon fillets (58 oz. each)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 oz. baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • Lemon wedges for serving
  • Fresh Parmesan for serving, shaved or grated

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente.
  2. Season both sides of the salmon fillets with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes or until the salmon is no longer pink and internal temperature reads 145° F.
  4. Melt butter over medium heat in a dutch oven or deep skillet.
  5. Add minced garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Add heavy cream, wine, lemon zest and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  8. Add in cooked pasta, spinach and capers. Stir and simmer until the spinach is cooked, about 2 minutes.
  9. Flake the salmon into bite-sized pieces and gently toss the salmon in with the pasta.
  10. Dish and serve hot with lemon wedges and Parmesan cheese.
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