This lemony salmon pasta is an easy weeknight meal that combines leftover cooked salmon with pasta and a creamy lemon sauce. A quick and elegant weeknight winner.
*NOTE: How To Make Quick And Easy Baked Salmon
No stash of leftover cooked salmon in the fridge? No problem. Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C), give a fresh salmon fillet a squeeze of lemon, top with a pat of butter, if desired, and then slide the salmon in the oven until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet.
Lemony Salmon Pasta
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 40 M
- Serves 4
- For the pasta
- For the lemon cream sauce
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add the linguine and cook according to the package directions until al dente.
While the water is heating, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream and butter to a gentle boil, stirring and watching carefully so that it doesn’t scorch.
Reduce the heat to a bare simmer and stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice, along with a pinch of salt and a grinding of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened and reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
Whisk in the crème fraîche or buttermilk and then gently stir in the salmon. Reduce the heat to low and keep the sauce warm while you finish the pasta, being careful not to let the sauce come to a boil.
When the pasta is al dente, turn off the heat and measure out 1 cup cooking water before draining the pasta. Return the pasta to the empty pot.
Place the pot over medium-low heat and pour in the sauce along with 1/4 cup reserved cooking water. Toss well with a wooden spoon or a pair of tongs for about 30 seconds and then add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and toss again to combine. If the sauce seems too thick, add a little more pasta water and stir, repeating until the desired creaminess is achieved.
Remove the pot from the heat. Taste the sauce and, if desired, adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice. Sprinkle in the chives, stir, and serve hot.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
The lemony lusciousness of the sauce is what nails this perfect weeknight pasta dinner. It’s easy, delicious, and comes together in 30 minutes. The delicate sauce was perfect—not too heavy or rich but just the right consistency to elegantly cling to and coat the noodles. I used buttermilk and after adding it to the thickened cream mixture, the consistency was perfect without needing to add any pasta cooking water.
Like all my favorite pasta dishes, this recipe seems flexible and invites creativity. I wouldn’t hesitate to increase the amount of salmon if you happen to have it on hand. Other add-ins such as roasted cherry tomatoes, pistachios, or olives might also work well if desired, but rest assured, this keeper recipe is satisfying and delightful exactly as written.
This recipe hit my great flavor hot spots: cream, lemon, salmon and pasta. The recipe was fast and easy with easily found ingredients and quick mise en place. I would be happy to serve this at my next dinner party.