This Salmon Pasta couldn’t easier to make! Served with a Creamy Dill Sauce, quick date night dinners have never been so delicious!
When I say the flavours in this dish are a marriage made in heaven, I truly mean it. That gorgeous creamy sauce with chunks of buttery salmon is just to die for. Better still, like I said it couldn’t be easier to make!
The hero ingredient in this dish is the salmon, so naturally you want to bring out the best in it. Many similar recipes to this actually poach the salmon in the sauce, or dice it before frying.
Personally I feel the best way to cook salmon, not only in the context of this creamy pasta but in general, is to pan fry it.
For this salmon pasta, I opt for using salmon without skin.
Top tips for how to pan fry salmon without skin
- Prep – Ensure you bring the salmon up to room temp before you fry. This will help the salmon cook evenly and prevent it from drying out.
- Season – Like any meat or fish, generously season with salt and pepper before it hits the pan.
- Pan – Using a non-stick pan will prevent the salmon from falling apart when you flip it.
- Heat – Keep the heat medium/heat to get a nice golden crust.
- Butter – Once you flip, baste in butter to add a gorgeous rich flavour.
- Rest – Allowing the salmon to rest will ensure it fully cooks through without sacrificing juiciness.
From there, I simply shred with two forks. However you can just dice it into bite sized chunks if you fancy!
So, you’ve got some yummy buttery salmon ready and waiting for you. Let’s talk creamy dill sauce.
Creamy Dill Sauce Ingredients
- Leftover Browned Butter
- White Wine
- Heavy Cream
- Lemon Juice
- Chilli Flakes (optional)
After you’ve basted the salmon with butter, it will start to turn brown. Once it’s foamed and begins to settle, it turns a deeper shade of brown and releases a gorgeous scent. This sweet and nutty flavour is going to be the start of your sauce.
A few other things to consider to get the most delicious sauce:
Top tips for the best Creamy Dill Sauce for Salmon
- White wine – This is great for two reasons: Adds a nice bit of acidity to cut through the richness of the cream. Also helps deglaze the pan to collect up all that flavour.
- Dill – It’s actually quite a strong herb, so I find as little as 1 tsp of fresh dill does the job. The browned butter will also already be infused with dill from pan frying the salmon.
- Pasta Water – You’ll find that the cream thickens almost as soon as it hits the pan, so use some starchy pasta water to thin out as needed.
What pasta to use for Salmon Pasta?
Personally I like spaghetti. I’ve always got a crap tonne of spaghetti in my cupboards that needs using up, so this recipe is perfect. In general I advise using a long cut pasta, it holds this dish better than a short cut pasta would. I have used tagliatelle, fettuccine and linguine in this recipe and all work great.
What can I substitute the Chilli Flakes with?
I add a teeny weeny amount of spice to this dish to help balance out the richness. Cayenne pepper is a great substitute, but if you don’t like spice leave it out. Add a pinch more black pepper instead.
Can I substitute Creme Fraiche?
Many similar recipes use creme fraiche instead of heavy cream. I have actually tried this recipe with creme fraiche instead of cream and personally felt the dish ended up lighter, but much too sour. If you are keen on adding it, then just add a couple of tbsp and consider lowering the amount of lemon juice you use.
And there we have it! An easy and delicious dinner for two ready and waiting. Gorgeously creamy and herby with a gentle tang, this salmon pasta is a force to be reckoned with!
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How to make Salmon Pasta & Creamy Dill Sauce (Full Recipe & Video)
Salmon Pasta in a Creamy Dill Sauce
Ingredients (check list):
- 2 Salmon Fillets (skinned & deboned)
- 7oz / 200g Spaghetti (or long cut pasta of choice)
- 3/4 cup / 180ml Heavy Cream
- 1/3 cup / 80ml White Wine
- 2 sprigs of Fresh Dill
- 1 tsp Fresh Dill, finely diced
- 1 heaped tbsp Fresh Parsley, finely diced + extra for serving
- 2 small Shallots, finely diced
- 2 cloves Garlic, finely diced
- 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- small pinch of Chilli Flakes (optional)
- Lemon Juice, to taste
- Parmesan, to serve
- Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- Olive Oil for frying
- Generously season all sides of your salmon with salt and pepper.
- Fry over medium-high heat in a small drizzle of olive oil. Once golden on one side, flip over and place a sprig of dill on top of each fillet. Melt butter into the pan and baste the salmon (see video). Fry the 2 other sides of the salmon then place to one side and rest.
- Cook your pasta until al dente, reserving a cup of starchy pasta water. Drain when needed.
- Lower to medium heat and fry your shallots in the leftover browned butter until softened, then fry your garlic for a further minute or so.
- Pour in your wine, deglazing the pan as necessary. Leave to simmer for a minutes to reduce, then stir in your cream. It's important to reduce the wine so it burns off the alcohol and doesn't end up too bitter.
- Add your dill, parsley, small pinch of chilli flakes (optional) and a small squeeze of lemon juice to taste (careful, you won't need much). Season with salt and pepper.
- Shred your salmon or cut to bite sized chunks then add to your sauce. Use your pasta water to thin out as necessary.
- Combine with your pasta then serve with an extra sprinkle of parsley and a good grating of parmesan.
Quick 1 min demo!
Tips for the best Salmon Pasta and Creamy Dill Sauce:a) Pan Frying Salmon - Try to use a non-stick pan. Ensure the salmon is at room temp before frying so it cooks evenly and doesn't dry out. Don't worry about getting it completely cooked throughout, it'll finish cooking when resting and adding back into the pan. It's mostly important to get that golden crust. b) Lemon Juice - The white wine will add a good amount of acidity to balance out the richness of the cream, so don't go squeezing an entire lemon in as well, the dish will end up too sour. I find around 1 tsp works well, but work to preference. c) Chilli Flakes sub - A tiny amount of heat works nicely with the dish, again to balance out the richness. If you don't have chilli flakes, cayenne pepper works well. Either way, only a tiny amount is needed. If you don't like spice then leave it out all together, will still taste great. d) Browned Butter - You want to cook down the butter until it turns a dark brown colour, so if you haven't achieved this by the time you remove the salmon, then spend a few minutes cooking it out until it browns. Browned butter adds a gorgeous sweet nutty flavour to the sauce. e) Calories - Based on using 1 tsp olive oil for frying and 1 tbsp parmesan per serving.
For another quick, easy and delicious fish dinner, check out my Pan Fried Cod!