This Salmon Pasta is one of the easiest, most satisfying pasta dishes you will ever make at home.
Perfectly baked, lemon-garlic salmon served over a bed of basil pesto linguine is a flawless combination of flavors, and it comes together in less than 30 minutes, start-to-finish.
Whether you're looking to feed the family a simultaneously healthy and comforting dinner, or put on the ritz by hosting a fancy date night in, Salmon Pasta checks all the boxes.
ABOUT THIS SALMON PASTA
In this recipe, the salmon really is the star of the show, and the pasta plays a supporting (yet entirely delicious) role.
Salmon fillets are ideal for this Salmon Pasta Recipe. You'll want them to be about 5 ounces each and 1 ½ inches thick at the centermost part of the fillet. Note, the thickness of the salmon will affect how long it takes to cook -- a thicker fillet will take longer to cook, whereas a thinner fillet will take less time.
The salmon comes together with very little prep (like, less than 10 minutes, folks) thanks to a simple yet flavorful oil medley!
The oil consists of heavy-hitting flavors from fresh chopped garlic and lemon zest, as well as chopped parsley for an herbaceous touch.
CAN I USE LEFTOVER SALMON?
If you have leftover salmon you're looking to put to good use, you can absolutely still make this Salmon Pasta! Just omit the salmon fillet and the lemon-garlic portion of the recipe and proceed as directed with the pasta.
No need for heavy cream sauces when it comes to Salmon Pasta. Guaranteed, you won't be missing those fatty, calorie-laden creamy Salmon Pasta recipes one bit! As far as the pasta sauce for this salmon is concerned, pesto is where it's at.
Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce consists of fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and olive or avocado oil. All of these ingredients pair insanely well with salmon.
The pesto portion can be as homemade or as store-bought as you'd like it to be. Not surprisingly, homemade basil pesto is a far superior product to anything you could possibly find at a store.
If you've never made it before, you will be surprised at just how easily it comes together with a food processor!
To make the pesto for your Salmon Pasta from scratch, all you have to do is process all of the ingredients in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment until everything is finely minced and a paste-like mixture forms.
Then, with the food processor on, very slowly drizzle in the oil through the feed tube. That's all there is to it!
If you don't plan to make the pesto sauce from scratch, I recommend getting the freshest pesto you can find! Oftentimes, you can find high-quality, fresh pesto in the refrigerated section of your grocery store alongside the fresh pasta.
Buitoni is my go-to store-bought pesto brand and will work great if you're in a pinch for time!
The last element to this over-the-top simple Salmon Pasta is the pasta itself. Because it is such a simple dish, with very few ingredients, you'll find the quality of the ingredients really makes a difference. If at all possible, reach for the fresh linguine for this recipe!
You can typically find fresh pasta refrigerated near the deli section of the grocery store. Again, our go-to brand here is Buitoni.
If you can't find fresh pasta, dried pasta will do! But, note, you will only need a half package of dry pasta. If you'd like to cook the whole package, grab an extra cup's worth of pesto to add to it!
HOW TO MAKE SALMON PASTA
The lack of prep work is probably one of my favorite things about this recipe, but before you get to really cooking, here are a few items to check off the list:
- Preheat the oven.
- Put a large pot of water on to boil.
- Make the pesto (if not using store-bought pesto).
- Chop garlic and parsley.
Once you've got your prep items underway, it's on to the salmon.
Love a salmon recipe!? Be sure to try our Salmon with Dill Sauce next.
Prep the Salmon | To prepare the salmon, you'll first need to get the lemon–garlic oil ready. To do this, simply mince up a few cloves of garlic and add them to a small bowl. You'll also add in some finely chopped Italian parsley, lemon zest, olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and it's on to the salmon!
Pat the salmon fillets dry with a paper towel, place them on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and spoon the lemon-garlic oil over the top.
Bake the Salmon | Bake the salmon in a 425°F preheated oven for about 9-13 minutes until the salmon is cooked to your liking.
Cook the Pasta | Once your salmon is in the oven, you can begin cooking your pasta. Note, if you are using fresh pasta, it will cook to al dente much quicker than dry pasta! Be sure you are cooking your pasta according to package directions.
Add the Pesto | As soon as the pasta is ready to your liking, strain it add it back to the pot. Then, add in all of the basil pesto. Stir until the pasta is completely coated in the pesto. By this time your salmon should be ready!
Assemble and Serve | To serve your Salmon Pasta, divide the pasta into four portions and top with a salmon fillet. Feel free to remove the skin before serving if you'd like.
Then, add a garnish of freshly grated Parmesan, a squeeze of fresh lemon across the top, and if you'd like to add a bit of heat, some red pepper flakes!
6 MORE PASTA RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Lazy Homemade Lasagna
- Tortellini Alfredo
- Cajun Shrimp Alfredo Pasta
- Steak Pasta
- Chicken Pesto Pasta
- Shrimp Pasta
An easy Salmon Pasta recipe featuring lemon baked salmon with a quick-fix, 5-minute lemon garlic oil served over basil pesto pasta.
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
- 1 generous teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 (about 5-ounces each ) single-serving salmon fillets, skin on and about 1 ½" at the thickest part
- 1 (9-ounce) package fresh linguine pasta (such as Bertolli) or ½ of 16-ounce package dry linguine pasta, cooked according to package directions
- 1 cup high-quality basil pesto, storebought or homemade
- ⅓ cup grated or crumbled Parmesan cheese
- Lemon wedges for serving
Preheat the oven to 425°F and have ready a rimmed baking sheet lined with nonstick aluminum foil. Also, place a large pot of water over high heat and bring it to a boil.
While you're waiting on the water to boil, prepare the salmon. Add the garlic, parsley, lemon zest, oil, salt and pepper to a small mixing bowl and stir to combine.
Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel and place it on the baking sheet. Spoon the garlic and lemon oil over the fillets, and bake for 9-13 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through to your liking.
While the salmon is cooking, cook the pasta according to package directions, strain, and add back to the pot. Add in the basil pesto and stir to coat.
To serve, divide the pasta into four portions and top each portion with a salmon filet (skin removed if desired), a sprinkle of Parmesan, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.