Quick and Easy Salmon Pasta Recipe

My quick and easy salmon pasta recipe may sound indulgent but actually, it’s far lighter in calories than a traditional creamy pasta dish such as Carbonara.  This is a mid-week family favorite for us.  It’s quick to prepare, really filling, and packed with protein, omega 3, and vegetable fiber.  #winning

I use half fat crème fraiche to create the luscious creamy texture for this creamy salmon pasta dish.  It’s lighter in calories than the full fat version but it can still deliver on flavour especially when the whole dish is finished with a generous sprinkle of full flavour parmesan.

The salmon works beautifully well with the cheese and cream combo and is also a great flavour partner to the iron-rich broccoli that I add.  Salmon is a rich source of omega 3 and protein both of which help to build strong bones, repair muscles and add shine and strength to hair and skin.  

This recipe could not be more simple to make.  Once the fish, pasta and broccoli have been cooked, it’s just a case of assembling all the ingredients before dividing into bowls and adding a flourish of parsley and parmesan. 

If I’m using dried pasta I’ll cook it along with the broccoli in the same pan.  Since both ingredients get combined together anyway, once cooked, they can both be drained into a colander together.  It’s a good idea to reserve a little of the cooking liquid for later in case you need to loosen the sauce.

Salmon Pasta Recipe Variations

Select seasonal veg

I’ve selected broccoli for this recipe but I do tend to move with the seasons.  Grated or ribbons of courgetti (zucchini), roughly chopped spinach or cooked sweetcorn, asparagus or peas all work well in this recipe.

Substitute for parsley

No parsley? No problem!  Parsley is delicious with fish but if you don’t have any or don’t like the taste then you could substitute the parsley for dill or even basil instead.

Ditch the crème fraiche

If a creamy sauce doesn’t appeal then you could easily vary this recipe by leaving out the crème fraiche and replacing it with 100ml of a good quality shop bought tomato sauce or better still, make your own.  I often whip up a quantity of the tomato-based sauce I use for my Gluten-free meatball recipe.  Click the link for details. 

A good basic tomato sauce recipe is a great one to have in your repertoire and will never disappoint.  It can be made in batches and stored in your freezer compartment in handy freezer bags of containers.

Another alternative and often served at our dinner table is salmon, broccoli and pasta with pesto.  Two to three tablespoons is enough to coat the other ingredients and add a different twist to this dish.

More Delicious Salmon and Broccoli Recipe Ideas

If you are feeling inspired by this Salmon Pasta recipe with Broccoli, why not head over to my blog for more healthy recipe inspiration. Alternatively, give my Healthy Chicken Brocoli Ziti a try or my yummy Healthy Noodles with Asian-inspired Salmon. Click the links for details.

Salmon Pasta Recipe


Creamy Salmon Pasta Recipe

Course Main Course
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4


  • 4 salmon fillets skin and bones removed
  • 200 g fresh or dried penne or rigatoni
  • 300 g broccoli broken into florets
  • 100 g half fat crème Fraiche
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 50 g parmesan cheese grated
  • Small bunch of parsley stalks removed and finely chopped


  • Set your oven to 190c fan
  • Place the salmon in a dish just big enough for the fillets fit snuggly. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Cook in the hot oven for 9-12 minutes depending on how well done you prefer your salmon. You’ll know that the salmon fillet is cooked when the flakes start to separate slightly. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
  • Place the broccoli florets into a pan of boiling water. Season with salt and cook for 5 minutes until still slightly firm to the bite. Once cooked, drain the broccoli in a colander.
  • Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Once cooked, drain the pasta in a colander. Reserving a small amount of the cooking water for later.
  • Return the pasta to the warm pan and stir in the crème fraiche and lemon zest. Add the broccoli florets and give everything a stir. If you feel that the mixture needs to be loosened up then now is the time to add about 2 tablespoons of the reserved pasta liquid.
  • Gently break the salmon into bite sized flakes and carefully add to the pasta. Give everything a gentle stir.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice then gently stir once more to combine.
  • Divide into serving bowls. Sprinkle with the parsley and parmesan before serving.

Salmon Pasta Recipe Ingredient Substitutes

Replace the Parmesan with strong cheddar:

If you’re not keen on the distinct flavour of parmesan or simply don’t have any in the fridge, a good strong flavoured alternative will work just as well.  I like extra mature cheddar because it has a good strong taste.  You also need to use less of it which is great if you are counting calories. 

Swap salmon for another fish such as smoked haddock, cod, prawns or another sustainable meaty fish:

Fish in a cheesy, creamy sauce is a great flavour combination so you don’t have to stop at salmon as your fish of choice for this recipe.  I like to have a browse at my local fish counter and see what the catch of the day is.  Make sure you select a fish with a meaty texture rather than one that is delicate or has lots of bones in it.    Flat fish would just disintegrate when stirred into the pasta and creamy sauce and fish with lots of bones take quite a while to prepare.

Make this a vegetarian creamy pasta recipe:

Simply leave out the salmon and replace the parmesan for a strong flavoured vegetarian cheese.  You could add more broccoli (or veg of your choice) to bulk the dish out and make it go further.


Leftovers can be stored in a plastic container in the fridge overnight and eaten for lunch the following day. Yum!

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