This creamy smoked salmon pasta has a simple cream sauce, leeks, and plenty of smoked salmon. It’s on the table in just under 30 minutes, perfectly portioned for two, and makes for a lovely date night meal!
Today I’m sharing 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, best friend 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
- Lemon (zest and juice)
- Olive oil, salt, and 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:
- Heat some olive oil in a pan.
- 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. Simmer and reduce the sauce.
- 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. Then portion up that deliciousness, garnish and serve!
What Type of Salmon Should I Use?
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)). This is a great article about the differences in all 3 varieties of salmon and how you can make them!
How Much Salmon Do I Need?
Because the smoked salmon is so predominant, I usually use about 2 to 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.
Tips and Variations
- Prep ingredients before starting. This seafood pasta is made quickly. Have everything ready to go before starting to cook.
- Serve this seafood pasta with a lemon wedge for an extra bit of brightness and pop of flavour!
- Use another variety of pasta, if you like! Fettuccine works well here too.
- Chives are 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!
What To Serve With It
To make things even more complete, enjoy with an appetizer and dessert!
This apple and 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.
More Easy Pasta Recipes
If you make creamy seafood pasta, be sure to leave a comment below!
Creamy Smoked Salmon Pasta
- 6.5 ounces linguine, about ½ of a 375 gram box (or your favourite long pasta)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small leek, cut in half lengthwise and sliced thinly into half moons (white, light green and tender darker green parts only, not the tougher dark green part). Rinse well and drain before using as leek can contain debris/dirt between the layers.
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅔ cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 5 ounces smoked salmon, torn or cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, plus more to taste for optional garnish
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- Cook pasta per package instructions and drain. RESERVE ½ cup of pasta water.
- While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a 12-inch pan (like a sauté pan or one that's about 2.5 to 3 inches deep) over medium heat.
- Add leek and cook, stirring often, for about about 5 to 8 minutes or until softened.
- Add garlic, stir, and cook 1 minute.
- Add cream, ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a light simmer and cook to reduce slightly, stirring occasionally, for about 3 to 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 to 2 minutes until heated through. If you want things looser or thinner, you can stir in remaining ¼ cup of reserved pasta water (optional).
- With heat off, stir in lemon juice and zest.
- Portion the pasta into warmed plates or bowls and garnish with additional lemon zest (if desired) and chives. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition estimate (if provided) is based on 1 Serving.
Nutrition information (if provided) is provided as a courtesy and should be considered an estimate only. Ingredients can vary and Girl Heart Food makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are guidelines only.
Tried this recipe?
If you do make this recipe, thank you!! It would mean so much if you could leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed it, and it helps other readers too!