This creamy smoked salmon pasta has a simple cream based sauce, leeks and plenty of rich smoked salmon. It’s on the table in just under 30 minutes, perfectly portioned for two and makes for a lovely date night meal!
Hitting you guys up with a super simple pasta recipe that you’re gonna love!
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I’m thinking this would be perfect to make for you and your honey, bff or, heck, make it all for yourself! No judgement here!
Even forgetting Valentine’s Day, who doesn’t love a meal that’s on the table in less than 30 minutes using simple ingredients?
Ingredients for Creamy Smoked Salmon Pasta
- Smoked salmon
- Pasta (linguine or your fave variety)
- Heavy cream (also known as ‘whipping cream’)
- Lemon (zest and juice)
- Olive oil, salt & pepper
How to Make Seafood Pasta
Full details in recipe card below, but here are the basics –
First, cook your pasta per package instructions.
Tip: When draining pasta, don’t throw out all your pasta water! Some of that is used later for your sauce.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the seafood pasta sauce –
- In a pot on medium heat add olive oil.
- When oil is shimmering, add thinly sliced leeks. Cook for a little until softened.
- Add minced garlic and give a quick cook.
- Pour in cream.
- Next, pour in some reserved pasta water.
- Season with some freshly cracked black pepper and salt.
- Toss in cooked pasta.
- Add smoked salmon, mixing to combine.
- Off heat, add lemon juice.
- Add a little lemon zest.
- Give another little toss. If you want things looser, add a little more reserved pasta water. Pour in a little at a time until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Remember, it’s easier to add than take away.
- Portion up that deliciousness. Garnish with a little more lemon zest and some finely chopped chive, if you like. Time to enjoy!
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What Type of Salmon Should I Use? How Much Do I Need?
Hot smoked salmon was used here. It’s texture is meaty and flaky (similarly to a regularly cooked salmon fillet, for example). Though, you can get a cold smoked salmon, which has less of a cooked texture and more raw-like.
Smoked salmon is different than lox (salmon belly cured in salt) or gravlax (which includes not only salt, but sugar and dill (and sometimes other ingredients)). Food & Wine has a great article about the differences in all 3 varieties of salmon and how you can make ’em!
Because the smoked salmon is so predominant, I opt for about 2 – 2.5 ounces per person for this seafood pasta recipe. You can add more if you prefer.
Can I Use Another Smoked Fish?
Absolutely! You can sub in smoked trout, if that’s what you have on hand or enjoy. Other options include smoked kippers or smoked mackerel.
Tip: Keep in mind, though, the variety of seafood you use (and the level of smokiness) will impact the overall flavour.
More Helpful Tips & Variations
Prep ingredients before starting. This seafood pasta is made quickly. Have everything ready to go before starting to cook.
Opt for another variety of pasta, if you like! Fettuccine works well here too.
Chives were used for garnish, but you could use another herb or garnish, like green onion or parsley, instead. Panko bread crumbs cooked in melted butter until golden also makes a lovely topping (and adds texture).
Instead of leek (or in addition to) mix in some peas for another pop of colour, brightness and freshness!
Serve with a lemon wedge for an extra bit of brightness and pop of flavour!
For a gluten free version, opt for gluten free pasta.
Make It A Meal!
To make things even more complete, enjoy with an appetizer and dessert!
This apple & gouda mixed green salad has fresh, crisp apple, smoky Gouda cheese and buttery croutons.
Finish things off with lemon curd dessert in a jar! This one has a ‘cheesecake-like’ layer, homemade lemon curd (or use store-bought jam) and plenty of berries.
Sound good 😉 ?
Hope you enjoy this creamy smoked salmon pasta recipe as much as we do!
Until next time, take care and chit chat again soon,
Make this creamy seafood pasta? That’s awesome! Love it if you left a comment and rating below. Many thanks!
Creamy Smoked Salmon Pasta (date night dinner!)
- 187 grams linguine , about 1/2 a 375 gram box (or your favourite long pasta, cooked per package instructions)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small leek , halved and thinly sliced into half moons (clean and drain well)
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 2/3 cup heavy cream (also known as 'whipping cream', 35% milk fat)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 ounces smoked salmon (about 150 grams or 1/3 of a pound torn/cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest lemon BEFORE juicing. Plus, more for garnish (garnish optional))
- 3 tablespoons minced chives (garnish, optional)
- Cook pasta per package instructions and drain. RESERVE 1/2 cup of pasta water.
- While pasta is cooking, in a pan on medium heat, add olive oil.
- When shimmering, add leek and cook until softened, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
- Pour in cream, 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, salt and pepper. Bring to a light simmer and reduce slightly, about 3-5 minutes or until you've reached your desired consistency.
- Stir in cooked pasta, tossing to combine with sauce. Stir in smoked smoked fish and cook 1-2 minutes until heated through. If you want things looser, you can stir in remaining 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water (optional).
- With heat off, stir in lemon juice and zest. Portion onto warmed plates/bowls and garnish with additional lemon zest, chives and another pinch of black pepper, if desired. Enjoy!
- Prep ingredients before starting. This seafood pasta is made quickly. Have everything ready to go before starting to cook.
- Opt for another variety of pasta, if you like! Fettuccine works well here too.
- Chives were used for garnish, but you could use another herb or garnish, like green onion or parsley, instead. Panko bread crumbs cooked in melted butter until golden also makes a lovely topping (and adds texture).
- Instead of leek (or in addition to) mix in some peas for another pop of colour, brightness and freshness!
- Serve with a lemon wedge for an extra bit of brightness and pop of flavour!
- For a gluten free version, opt for gluten free pasta.