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Creamy Salmon Pasta | Clean, Nutritious, And Simple To Make!

Some nights may call for a resto-worthy dish and this creamy salmon pasta is the REAL deal. Rich and satisfying yet lighter in calories, this post shares how to make it healthy and weight loss-friendly.

Creamy Salmon Pasta

You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for a dish that’s as impressive as it is easy to make. 

Thing is, anything with carbs and cream has gotten a bad rep when it comes to weight loss! But since we all love pasta, the simple solution is just to #makeithealthy. So if you’ve tried my Goat Cheese Chicken Pasta or my Creamy Tuscan Shrimp With Sweet Potato Noodles, there’s a 100% chance you’re gonna love this recipe too.

This mouth-watering masterpiece is made with pan-fried salmon, sun-dried tomatoes, baby spinach, and a creamy garlicky sauce. Great for date nights, a fancy potluck, or even an easy weeknight dinner, this dish can be made in less than 30 minutes! 

Let’s make it, shall we?

Creamy Salmon Pasta

What Is In This Recipe? 

Simple ingredients complete this delectable dish in just under 30 minutes. This creamy salmon pasta recipe serves 2-3.  

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Extra virgin olive oil: Loaded with antioxidants and linked to cancer-fighting properties, EVO makes it to my Healthiest Oils To Cook With list.
  • Chickpea penne: You can also use whole wheat pasta. I like swapping white flour pasta with chickpea or whole wheat options for more nutrients and fiber. 
  • Whole fat milk: This will bring the creaminess to your pasta minus the heavy calories from well — heavy cream. 
  • Onion (medium): Always a beautiful complement to your salmon.
  • Garlic (minced): Insane flavor, boosted immunity, lower blood pressure and cholesterol? Check.
  • Sundried tomatoes: They add a burst of freshness to balance out your dish.
  • Baby spinach: Try going for fresh baby spinach but frozen’s fine too. If you don’t have spinach, you can sub it with kale. 
  • Lemon juice: A splash of sunshine to a savory salmon dish. 
  • Salt and pepper: Don’t forget to season and taste throughout!
Creamy Salmon Pasta

Is Creamy Salmon Pasta Ok For Weight Loss Diets? 

Most creamy pasta dishes contain lots of calories due to their sauces with heavy cream (and sometimes, lotsa cheese). Aside from excess calories, they lack fiber and nutrients when white pasta is used. So I wouldn’t recommend having these dishes regularly for anyone looking to lose weight. 

But when made with healthy and lighter ingredients, you can still enjoy your creamy salmon pasta with your weight loss meal plan. (In moderation, of course!)

Here’s what makes this recipe clean and light:    

  • We’ve added a healthy protein: Fatty fish like salmon are considered healthy proteins that boost your omega-3s and antioxidants. Proteins also help you stay full and reduce your hunger hormones.
  • We’re using chickpea or whole wheat penne: White pasta is practically devoid of nutrients and fiber. So we’ve swapped empty calories for fiber-rich carbs. 
  • We’ll skip the heavy cream: Whole fat milk has 82% fewer calories than heavy cream which is typically used in creamy salmon pasta. It’s also lighter than creme fraiche, which is also normally used in this dish. 

How Many Calories Are In This Salmon And Pasta Dish?

This yummy dish only has around 487 calories per serving! Adding this pasta recipe is perfect for when you’re craving a low-calorie, nutrient-dense pasta meal during the week.

Creamy Salmon Pasta

Should I Bake Or Pan Fry Salmon? 

Baking and pan-frying are both good ways to cook salmon. The preferred method will just depend on the type of dish you’re making and the time you have. 

Here’s why I would choose either method:

Baked: This is the healthiest way to cook your salmon as it uses less fat and calories. (As long as it’s baked with healthy seasoning, of course.) This option takes longer than pan-frying but it’s perfect for when I Meal Prep Salmon and have to cook bigger batches in one go.

Pan-fried: I go for this when I want to save time or when I’m using salmon as a topping in a recipe such as this. Another good reason to pan-fry would be to enjoy a golden crust beautifully seasoned to perfection. Try my no-fail Pan-Fried Salmon recipe, the most cooked dish in my kitchen. (Yes, it WILL blow your mind.)

What Is The Safe Temperature For Cooking Salmon?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests a minimum internal temp of 145˚F at the thickest part of cooked salmon. This would come out well done. 

However, if you prefer your fish cooked medium, the internal temp should reach 125 to 130˚F. For medium-rare salmon, you can stop when the thickest part reaches 120˚F.

Creamy Salmon Pasta

How To Make Creamy Salmon Pasta?

This resto-worthy dish is shockingly easy to make! 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. To cook your pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then season generously with salt. Add your pasta and cook until al dente. Drain then set aside 1 cup of pasta cooking water. 
  2. To prep the milk for your sauce: While your pasta cooks, transfer the milk to a small pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce to low and keep warm until needed.
  3. To pan-fry your salmon: Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Pat the salmon dry and season with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, followed by the salmon. Then cook them for around 4-5 minutes per side, or to your desired doneness. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  4. To make your creamy sauce: Use the same pan for the salmon and reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan, followed by the sliced onions. Season them with salt and pepper and sauté for around 5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add your garlic and sundried tomatoes and sauté for 30-60 seconds.
  5. Thicken your sauce and add the milk: Stir in chickpea flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in warmed milk, stirring constantly to prevent lumps.
  6. Add your pasta and spinach: Add the cooked pasta and baby spinach to the pan along with a few tablespoons of the pasta water, to thin the sauce. Toss to combine. Then break the salmon into large chunks and gently stir into the pasta. Stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed. 
  7. Voila! Your Creamy Salmon Pasta is ready!
Creamy Salmon Pasta

Can You Freeze Cooked Salmon Pasta?

Yes, you can freeze this creamy salmon pasta recipe after you’ve cooked it. Here’s how:

  1. First, make sure your pasta has cooled down to room temp. 
  2. Place it in an airtight and freezer-safe container.
  3. Store it in your freezer for up to 3 months.

To defrost, you can store it in the fridge overnight. Then reheat it on a pan with some extra virgin olive oil. 

If you want to store your pasta in the fridge, simply place it inside an air-tight container and it should be good for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to serve, follow the same steps to reheat above. 

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More Tasty Salmon Recipes

Salmon is always a good idea and these easy and clean recipes are here to prove it:

Creamy Salmon Pasta
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
 

Some nights may call for a resto-worthy dish and this creamy salmon pasta is the REAL deal. Rich and satisfying yet lighter in calories, this post shares how to make it healthy and weight loss-friendly.

Servings: 4
Calories: 487 kcal
Author: Lacey Baier
Ingredients
  • 8 oz chickpea penne or whole wheat pasta
  • 12 oz salmon fillets
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • cups whole fat milk, or milk of choice
  • ½ medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp chickpea flour
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • juice of half a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt. Add pasta and cook until al dente according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water.

  2. While pasta cooks, transfer milk to a small pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce to low and keep warm until needed.

  3. Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Pat salmon dry and season with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to pan, followed by the salmon. Cook for approximately 4-5 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

  4. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan, followed by the sliced onions. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté approximately 5 minutes or until softened and translucent. Add garlic and sundried tomatoes and sauté 30-60 seconds.

  5. Stir in chickpea flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in warmed milk, stirring constantly to prevent lumps.

  6. Add cooked pasta and baby spinach to pan along with a few tablespoons of pasta water, as needed, to thin the sauce. Toss to combine.

  7. Break salmon into large chunks and gently stir into pasta.

  8. Stir in lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed.

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Salmon Pasta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 487 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 56mg19%
Sodium 104mg4%
Potassium 764mg22%
Carbohydrates 45g15%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 2998IU60%
Vitamin C 12mg15%
Calcium 149mg15%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.

Lacey Baier

Hey y’all, I’m Lacey Baier and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, A Sweet Pea Chef. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

2 thoughts on “Creamy Salmon Pasta | Clean, Nutritious, And Simple To Make!

  1. The recipe ingredients do not list garlic and sun dried tomatoes but in the instructions it says to add to the sautéing onions. What is the quantity of those two ingredients?

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