This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Give yourself the date-night-out treatment from the comfort of your kitchen via this swoon-worthy Salmon Pasta.

Creamy salmon pasta in a bowl

Tender flakes of salmon tossed in a creamy lemon sauce with sun-dried tomatoes and whole wheat noodles, this elegant recipe will leave you feeling like a 5-star chef.

Of course, there’s a distinct benefit: unlike the chef in a restaurant, you get to sit down and be the diner too!

In years past, Ben and I intentionally chose to stay in for Valentine’s Day, which used to feel romantic, especially whenever Ben made me this Balsamic Glazed Salmon.

Admittedly, after staying in so many nights in a row, cooking has lost much of its luster.

That’s why we need recipes like this scrumptious salmon pasta.

This easy recipe is decidedly low maintenance (thank goodness!), but it tastes special enough to make your evening feel like an event.

Two bowls of salmon pasta with cheese

About this Salmon Pasta Recipe

Don your LBD (Little Black Dress) or your SSP (Super Stretchy Pants) and cook this meal for a special someone.

And yes, that special someone can absolutely, 100% be YOU!

  • Like my Seafood Pasta, this creamy salmon pasta recipe wants you to light a candle, pour a glass of your favorite wine, and turn on some music.

While this pasta tastes rich and decadent, per usual I pulled out my wholesome tricks, so you can feel great adding it to your regular healthy meal rotation.

Put it all together: al dente noodles + divine cream sauce (no cream!) + tender, flaky salmon, and you have a weeknight dinner you’ll remember for many nights to come.

Healthy salmon pasta with basil

How to Cook Salmon Pasta

Think of this creamy tomato salmon pasta recipe like a lighter version of salmon alfredo that will make you feel comforted but not comatose.


To cook white pasta sauce from scratch without relying on heavy cream, be sure to reserve some of the pasta cooking liquid.

Its starchiness will help the sauce thicken, come together easily, and have great texture. This is key for the best salmon pasta without cream.

The Ingredients

  • Salmon. Tender, perfectly-cooked salmon pieces make this healthy salmon pasta feel especially elegant and add wonderful lean protein. Salmon is rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins.

Switch up the Salmon

In addition to the fresh salmon pasta directions provided in this recipe, you can also use leftover salmon or change up the way you cook it.

Lemon, red pepper flakes, and garlic are some of the flavors that go best with salmon. A few salmon recipes that highlight these and pair well with pasta are:

Another option is to make this as a smoked salmon pasta, swapping hot smoked salmon in for the baked salmon called for in this recipe.

I recommend a thick, flaky salmon (hot smoked salmon), vs. the more thin and tender cold-smoke (think lox-style) salmon. See this Smoked Salmon Dip for another great recipe that uses it.

  • Pasta. I chose to use whole wheat pasta for its redeeming value, as it’s higher in fiber. Penne, rigatoni, or another similar pasta will work perfectly here. You could even try it with spaghetti or linguine.
  • Lemon Zest + Juice. Gives this dish delicious brightness and acidity.
  • Butter + Shallot + Garlic. The all-important beginnings of our salmon pasta cream sauce. A touch of butter brings richness, and the garlic and shallot help build deep flavor.
  • White Wine. An important part of how you make salmon cream sauce for pasta. It helps deglaze the pan and create the liquid for the sauce. You can use white wine, chicken broth, or vegetable broth for this step.
  • Red Pepper Flakes. Adds just the right amount of heat.
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes. Intense tomato lusciousness is packed into each of these little red jewels. Like in Tuna Pasta Salad, they make the dish feel extra special and add beautiful color.
  • Fresh Basil. A touch of basil (or fresh parsley) adds freshness and Italian flair to the dish. Basil is also an herb that goes well with salmon.
  • Parmesan. For that can’t-resist cheesy, nutty, yummy goodness.

The Directions

A fish filet in a baking dish
  1. Bake the salmon at 425 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes.
Pieces of salmon on a plate for salmon pasta
  1. Let the salmon rest, then break it into pieces. Cook the pasta. Reserve some of the pasta water before draining.
Garlic being sautéed in a skillet
  1. Saute the shallot in butter and oil. Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
Ingredients being sautéed in a skillet
  1. Add the wine, zest, and juice. Let simmer for a couple of minutes. Toss the pasta noodles with the sauce, adding pasta water as needed.
Noodles, cheese, red peppers, and herbs in a pot to create the best salmon pasta
  1. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, and Parmesan. Gently incorporate the salmon. DIG IN!

Wine Pairing

Serve this simple salmon pasta recipe with Sauvignon Blanc, crisp Chardonnay, Malbec, or Pinot Noir.

Salmon pasta in a pot with cheese

Storage Tips

  • To Store. This pasta dish is best enjoyed the day it is made, but it can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
  • To Reheat. Very gently rewarm leftovers on the stovetop over medium heat or in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. The sauce may separate a little once thawed, but it will taste delicious.

Meal Plan Tip

Bake the salmon up to 1 day in advance, and refrigerate it in an airtight storage container. Let it come to room temperature first, then add it to the recipe as directed.

Easy salmon pasta in a bowl

What to Serve with Salmon Pasta

From salad to roasted veggies, there are countless options for what you eat with salmon pasta.

The Best Dutch Oven

While it’s an investment, this heavy-duty, high-quality kitchen tool will last you a lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s a Good Sauce for Salmon?

While this salmon pasta has my favorite sauce already on it, you can check out this Garlic Pasta that has a flavorful sauce that would complement the salmon (no flour added) or the sauce in this Pasta al Limone (for a delicious lemon salmon pasta)!

What Goes with Salmon Pasta for a Full Meal?

To create a fabulous dinner menu, serve salmon pasta with Air Fryer Asparagus as a side dish and Crab Stuffed Mushrooms as an appetizer. For dessert, add this romantic Flourless Chocolate Cake!

What’s the Difference Between a Shallot and an Onion?

Shallots have a milder taste and smell than onions do, with a hint of garlic flavor. Shallots are higher in many essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamin B6, manganese, copper, folate, and vitamin C.

Can I Serve Cheese with Seafood?

While it’s typical for Italians not to add cheese to seafood, as it is believed the cheese can overpower the fish, that applies more to recipes with delicate seafood flavors. Because salmon has a more pronounced flavor, it tastes delicious with Parmesan in a creamy pasta sauce. If you prefer, you can omit the Parmesan.

Time to treat yourself, the salmon pasta way!

Salmon Pasta Video

If you enjoy this video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel. Be sure to click the BELL icon so you can be the first to know when we post a new video (and thank you for subscribing!).

YouTube video

Salmon Pasta

4.70 from 55 votes
Guaranteed to impress, this creamy salmon pasta with sun-dried tomatoes is spectacular. The garlic lemon alfredo sauce is made with no cream!

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

Servings: 4 servings


  • 1 pound salmon fillet* I prefer cooking salmon with skin on, though you can use skinless if you prefer
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons, freshly squeezed lemon juice divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper divided
  • 8 ounces whole wheat penne rigatoni, or similar pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup white wine or low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil plus additional for serving
  • 1/3 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving


  • Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the salmon in a shallow baking dish just large enough to hold it comfortably and pat dry.
  • Drizzle the salmon with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons lemon juice (you’ll need the zest of 1/2 lemon later on, so be sure to plan accordingly). Sprinkle the salmon evenly with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
  • Bake the salmon for 10 to 12 minutes for a 1-inch fillet, until it flakes easily with a fork and reaches 145 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. DO NOT overcook. If your salmon is thicker or thinner than 1 inch adjust the cooking time accordingly (I usually start checking it around 12 minutes, remove it a few degrees early, then cover it and let it rest to allow the carry-over cooking to finish the job). Remove to a cutting board or plate.
  • Let the salmon rest 5 minutes, then with a fork, break it into large, bite-sized pieces. Discard the skin.
  • While the salmon bakes, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta to al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain.
  • While the pasta cooks, in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat the butter and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-low heat.
  • Add the shallot and cook until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the red pepper flakes and remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
  • Add the wine, lemon zest, and remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice. Bring to a simmer. Simmers gently for 2 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed.
  • Stir in the noodles. Toss the noodles so that they become coated with garlic-lemon sauce. If at any point, the sauce becomes too thick or dry, splash in the reserved pasta water as needed.
  • Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and parmesan.
  • Last, gently stir in the flaked salmon, heating just until warmed through. Enjoy immediately, with a sprinkle of extra Parmesan and basil.


YouTube video


  • *You can also swap the 1 pound salmon fillet with four, 4-ounce fillets. Arrange them side-by-side in the baking dish. Start checking the fish for doneness at the 8-minute mark, then adjust accordingly.
  • Add capers as a final touch! They’re delightfully salty and briny!
  • TO STORE: This dish is best enjoyed the day it is made, but it can be refrigerated in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Very gently rewarm leftovers on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. The sauce may separate a little once thawed, but it will taste delicious.


Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 554kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 34gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 85mgPotassium: 857mgFiber: 5gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 667IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 131mgIron: 2mg

Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

Create an account to easily save your favorite recipes and access FREE meal plans.

Sign Me Up

More Special Salmon Recipes

Did you try this recipe?

I want to see!

Follow @wellplated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Share this Article


You May Also Like

Free Email Series
Sign Up for FREE Weekly Meal Plans
Each includes a grocery list, budget, and 5 healthy dinners, helping you save time, save money, and live better!

Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

Leave a Comment

Did you make this recipe?

Don't forget to leave a review!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


Leave a comment

  1. I watched the special video (Valentine’s Day dinner idea) & was inspired to try this dish. The little bowtie pasta were adorable & the lemon tones/flavour in the dish were super! I would never have thought of putting salmon IN my pasta dishes (or parmesan cheese with salmon) – but it was all a WIN/WIN combination. My husband says the recipe “is a keeper”. Thank you Erin for another winning recipe. PS: I selected your Roasted Broccolini side dish to go with & it was also fantastic!5 stars

  2. So delicious, best thing I’ve ever eaten. I added a dash of heavy whipping to it but that’s it. I will make this recipe again and again and again.5 stars

    1. Hi Cody! You could probably use either one. I’d love to know how it turns out if you decide to experiment!

  3. LOVED it! I’ve never made pasta with salmon before and this recipe was easy to make! I didn’t have white wine so used veg stock instead and it was very delicious. Hope to see more creative salmon recipes :)5 stars

Load More Comments