I handwrite all my recipes in a kitchen notebook using different colored biros (pens) so that I can see where and when I have made changes and revisions. I made this simple smoked salmon pasta recipe as the result of a fridge raid one lunchtime. I seem to have nailed it the first time as the whole thing is written in red pen. I scribbled a single word in the top right-hand corner of the page, which I think pretty much sums up the dish: luscious.–Rachel Phipps

Smoked Salmon FAQs

What type of smoked salmon should I use?

There are two types of smoked salmon readily available: lox or hot smoked salmon. Lox is cold-smoked or cured, and you find it sold in very thin slices. It’s ideal for topping bagels or pizza, and it’s what we prefer for this recipe.

Hot-smoked salmon is firmer and tends to have a more pronounced flavor. It is generally sold in larger pieces or chunks in the seafood department. It’s wonderful served on its own, or in salads.

How do I reheat this pasta?

This pasta with smoked salmon is best served immediately after making, but if you do have leftovers or it sits too long and needs reheated, set it over low heat and add a splash of pasta water or cream to loosen the sauce. Stir gently until heated through.

A yellow and white pot filled with smoked salmon pasta and garnished with fresh chives.

Smoked Salmon Pasta

5 / 4 votes
This smoked salmon pasta is a simple meal that creates lotsa flavor by easily tossing together spaghetti and smoked salmon with a lemon cream sauce. Did we mention it’s on the table in less than half an hour?
David Leite
Servings2 servings
Calories510 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time25 minutes


  • 7 ounces spaghetti
  • 2 1/4 ounces smoked salmon
  • Zest of 1 lemon, grated (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons finely snipped fresh chives
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons heavy cream, more as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt


  • Pull out a large saucepan and fill with at least 8 cups of water. Bring to a rolling boiling and add salt. Drop in your pasta and cook according to the package directions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, slice the salmon into thin slivers.
  • Drain the pasta well and return it to the saucepan over low heat.
  • Add the salmon, lemon zest, chives, and 4 tablespoons cream to the pasta and stir well to combine. If the pasta seems dry, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. Be careful here, as smoked salmon can be quite salty in itself, so you'll want to sneak a taste before seasoning. Serve immediately.

Adapted From

One Pan Pescatarian

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 510 kcalCarbohydrates: 75 gProtein: 20 gFat: 14 gSaturated Fat: 7 gMonounsaturated Fat: 4 gCholesterol: 48 mgSodium: 268 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 3 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2020 Rachel Phipps. Photo © 2020 Haarala Hamilton. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Wow. This simple yet elegant pasta with smoked salmon is on the list for a dinner party first course. My devious little brain is already planning a menu for whenever I can have people over. The heavy cream mellows out the smokiness of the salmon, and the chives and lemon zest are perfectly balanced.

The only thing I would change would be an additional tablespoon or so of heavy cream to increase the sauce. The aroma of chives and lemon when they were blended into the hot pasta was delicious.

So simple and easy, this smoked salmon pasta took all of 25 minutes to put together. I doubled the recipe for a quick lunch for the two of us and had enough to take to work.

This is a very simple and easy salmon pasta dish to prep and prepare. The fresh lemon zest and chives provide a nice acidic undertone and complement the salmon perfectly. This is a very tasty dish, one that I will definitely make again.

We used some fresh linguine rather than dry pasta. The portion size of the salmon seemed small so I added an extra ounce, which turned out to be perfect. Next time I make it I’ll increase the cream to 6 tablespoons, as the fresh pasta can certainly absorb the liquid.

This creamy salmon pasta recipe easily serves 2 people. I had a little bit of pasta leftover, so I made a breakfast carbonara the next morning. I nuked the pasta at 20% for 2 minutes, then scrambled 2 eggs with a tablespoon of cream and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan, adding the pasta and a bit more smoked salmon about halfway through the scramble to bring it all together. A good topping of fresh black pepper and it was wonderful!

This is an easy and delicious smoked salmon pasta recipe. I didn’t need to add or remove anything and the instructions were easy to follow. Perfect for a rush lunch or dinner because the final result is a very flavorful spaghetti. I accompanied it with roasted romaine Caesar salad and avocado. Very, very yummy!!!

I’m always on the hunt for recipes that stretch an expensive ingredient while also making it the star of the show, and this recipe did exactly that. The noodles and cream created a subtle backdrop to the smoked salmon and complemented the strong flavor the smoked salmon brought to the table. This dish was easy to put together, and the portions are perfect if you are cooking for 1 or 2.

This dish says to “serve immediately,” and rightfully so, but if the stars don’t align for you, you can add a little pasta water to loosen up the sauce as I did.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner as I was pleasantly surprised I had everything on hand to make it and I’m so glad that I did! If you love smoked salmon and want a new way of enjoying it other than on a bagel with cream cheese, then give this recipe a whirl. It’s creamy, smokey and really simple to prepare. I did add an extra ounce of smoked salmon as suggested in a review above and I’m glad that I did as it ended up to be the perfect amount of salmon. It served two people but I can see this easily being divided into four small portions as a starter course.