This Salmon Pasta couldn’t easier to make! Served with a Creamy Dill Sauce, quick date night dinners have never been so delicious!
Creamy Salmon Pasta
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. This salmon pasta is incredible for so many different reasons, but here’s why you’re going to fall in love with it:
- Perfect Salmon – Here I’ll give you some tips and tricks for perfectly cooked salmon.
- Creamy, but not crazy rich – Some creamy pasta recipes can often be heavy and too rich. Here I add white wine and a dash of lemon juice to balance out the flavours.
- Flavoursome – Bursting with flavour! Including fresh blasts of dill and parsley, nutty browned butter and tasty shallots & garlic.
The other great thing about this creamy salmon pasta is that it makes THE perfect Date Night Dinner! I mean, anything with wine in the recipe is a winning dinner for two right?
Okay, let’s talk salmon…
Pan Fried Salmon
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.
By pan frying the salmon you get a gorgeous golden crust, which translates to extra gorgeous flavour. You also get the leftover flavour from the salmon in the pan to start the sauce. For this salmon pasta, I opt for using salmon without skin. Salmon skin has no place in pasta 😳
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/high 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.
Process shots: add seasoned salmon to dash of oil in non-stick pan (photo 1), fry then flip and add dill (photo 2), melt butter (photo 3), baste salmon in butter (photo 4).
Creamy Dill Sauce
So, you’ve got some yummy buttery salmon ready and waiting for you. Let’s talk creamy dill sauce.
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. Here’s what else you’re gonna need:
Creamy Dill Sauce Ingredients
- Leftover Brown Butter – as mentioned, this adds a gorgeous flavour to the sauce.
- Shallots & Garlic – both very finely diced. You want more of the flavour than you do the flavour. Both of these will be fried in the leftover butter.
- Dill & Parsley – both add a lovely herby flavour to lift the sauce and compliment the salmon.
- White Wine – this offers a nice subtle flavour to the sauce, whilst also cutting through the richness of the cream/butter.
- Heavy/Double Cream – this creates the bulk of the sauce.
- Lemon Juice – this pairs perfectly with salmon. It also helps lighten up the heaviness of the cream.
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.
Process shots: remove salmon (photo 1), fry shallots then garlic (photo 2), add in wine (photo 3), simmer to reduce (photo 4).
Top tips for the best creamy salmon sauce
- 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. However, it is essential that you simmer the wine to reduce it as much as possible; otherwise, it’ll be way too pungent and spoil the sauce.
- Dill – It’s actually quite a strong herb, so I find as little as 1 tsp of fresh dill does the job. The brown 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 it out if you need to.
- Salmon – After you’ve cooked the salmon and it’s ready to add to the pasta, I recommend breaking it into large chunks. It’ll naturally flake as you toss it into the pasta, so don’t shred it too fine in the first instance or it’ll get lost in the sauce.
Process shots: stir in cream (photo 5), stir in dill, parsley, lemon and seasoning (photo 6), toss in cooked spaghetti (photo 7), toss in cooked salmon (photo 8).
Serving Creamy Salmon Pasta
Once you’ve stirred through your pasta, I usually plate up with an extra sprinkling of parsley and a good helping of parmesan (because is it really acceptable to eat pasta without copious amounts of parmesan?!). If you fancy you can also serve with a side of Garlic Bread too!
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. To the full recipe!
How to make Creamy Salmon Pasta (Full Recipe & Video)
Creamy Salmon Pasta in a Dill Sauce
- Large Pot & Colander
- Large Frying Pan
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Pasta Tongs
- Wooden Spoon
Ingredients (check list):
- 2 skinless/boneless Salmon Fillets, at room temp (7oz/200g total)
- 7oz / 200g Spaghetti (or long cut pasta of choice)
- 3/4 cup / 180ml Heavy/Double Cream, at room temp
- 1/3 cup / 80ml Dry White Wine
- 2 sprigs of Fresh Dill
- 1 tsp Fresh Dill, finely diced
- 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley, finely diced + extra for serving
- 2 small Shallots, very finely diced
- 1 large clove of Garlic, very finely diced
- 1 heaped tbsp Butter
- gentle squeeze of Lemon Juice, to taste (see notes)
- Parmesan, to serve
- Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- Olive Oil, as needed
- Generously season both of the salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
- Add to a non-stick pan over medium-high heat in a small drizzle of olive oil. Once golden on the bottom side, flip over and place a sprig of dill on top of each fillet. Melt 1 heaped tbsp butter into the pan and baste the salmon until golden on the other side and just about cooked through the centre. Remove and place to one side. Break up into large chunks just before needed (discard dill).
- Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente, reserving a cup of starchy pasta water. Drain when needed.
- Lower to medium heat and fry the shallots in the leftover brown butter until soft and deep golden, then fry the garlic for a further minute or so.
- Pour in 1/3cup/80ml wine and leave to simmer for a good 4-5mins to reduce, deglazing the pan as necessary. Reducing the wine is important so it burns off the alcohol and doesn't end up too bitter. Once almost completely reduced/evaporated, stir in 3/4cup/180ml heavy/double cream.
- Stir in 1 tsp finely diced dill, 1 heaped tbsp finely diced parsley and a small squeeze of lemon juice to taste (careful, you won't need much). Season with salt and pepper. Keep on a gentle simmer.
- Toss through the pasta until the sauce clings to it, adding a dash of starchy pasta water if you needed to loosen up the sauce. Add salmon and gently toss to combine.
- Serve with parmesan & parsley and enjoy!
Quick 1 min demo!
Tips for the best Creamy Salmon Pastaa) 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 added 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. If you want a more lemony flavour just serve with more at the end. c) Brown 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. d) Calories - Based on using 1 tsp olive oil for frying and 1 tbsp parmesan per serving. e) Updated - I've updated the recipe with a new video and step-by-step photos. I've also removed the chilli flakes as I don't deem them necessary (still great if you do fancy them though).
Your Private Notes:
If you’re looking for another easy fish dinner then definitely check out my Pan Fried Cod and Garlic Butter Salmon! Similar technique and ultra delicious. If you’re looking for similar pasta recipes then I’ve also got you covered.
Delicious Creamy Pasta Recipes
- Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
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- Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- Creamy Prawn Linguine
- Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sun Dried Tomato
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