Smoked Salmon Pasta

LentQuick and EasyPasta and NoodlesSalmon

Smoked salmon with pasta in a sauce of shallots, garlic, white wine, lemon, and cream, with toasted pine nuts and parsley.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

What I love about this recipe, other than the ingredients (smoked salmon, pine nuts, yum!) is that it can be pulled together so quickly and it’s not particularly heavy, as so many cream sauce pastas can be.

There’s also room for maneuvering; add more or less wine or cream to taste; leave out the pine nuts if you can’t be bothered; add some asparagus or cream cheese if you want; use smoked trout or sturgeon instead of the salmon.

The essentials are smoked fish, lemon, garlic, and pasta with some olive oil, wine, and or cream binding them together.

Smoked Salmon Pasta

Smoked Salmon Pasta Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 3


  • 8 ounces spaghetti (or other) pasta
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots (can substitute onions)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine (can substitute pasta cooking water with a Tbsp of lemon juice)
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (divided into 1 Tbsp and 1 Tbsp)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or dill
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Fresh ground black pepper


1 Put pasta water on to boil: Heat to boiling a large pot with at least 4 quarts of salted water in it. (2 Tbsp of salt for 4 quarts of water.)

2 Toast the pine nuts: While the water is heating, brown the pine nuts. Put the pine nuts in a single layer in a large skillet. Heat on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned. Remove pine nuts from pan and set aside.

3 Start cooking the pasta: Once the water is boiling, add the pasta to the pot. Cook uncovered on high heat at a rolling boil. Put the timer on for 8-10 minutes, or whatever your pasta package says is appropriate for al dente (cooked but still a little firm).

Once the pasta is done, and before draining the pasta, scoop out one cup of the pasta cooking liquid and reserve.

4 Prepare the sauce: While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a large skillet heat olive oil on medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, cook for 2 minutes, then add white wine, lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp of lemon zest. Increase the heat and let boil down by half.

If you want a slightly creamy sauce, add the cream and let boil a minute more.

The sauce should be done about the same time the pasta is done. If you get done earlier with it than the pasta, take it off the heat.

5 Add pasta, some pasta cooking liquid, smoked salmon, toasted pine nuts, parsley, zest to sauce: Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the sauce. Add back some of the pasta cooking liquid to the pasta if it is a little dry. Add the smoked salmon, toasted pine nuts, parsley, and the remaining lemon zest. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

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Smoked Salmon Pasta

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

79 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Graham

    This was amazing! Held off on the nuts, used parsley from the herb garden and added some giant pacific shrimp on the edge of the bowls. New summertime fave!


  2. Gilda

    Is a very good recipe. However, I did added the capers to the sauce after the wine and the lemon, not towards the end. Also I added a little bit more cream.
    Although I LOVE parsley, especially with Red Pasta, I totally recommend the dill for this particular white one! And definitely the Pine Nuts.
    As in terms of Pasta, in my opinion the best to use is fresh Tagliatelle… or Linguine.
    And don’t ruin it with Parmesan or any other cheese.


  3. Nadine

    This sounds fabulous! I’m considering using some goat cheese instead of cream or cream cheese. You have a great sense of what goes together. What do you think? Thanks!

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  4. Joel

    This was delicious! Home smoked salmon in a light garlic wine sauce with toasted pine nuts and penne. We served with ratatouille which was a perfect complement.


  5. Sarah

    Some days I feel like I can’t please half the table. Tonight, I feel warm and fuzzy like I never want the feeling to dissipate.
    I scored a Regal wood smoked salmon on special. I followed your recipe. My hubby said where’s the sauce.. I said trust me. I added some frozen prawn meat.
    All the family loved it! Six happy hungry people. All had seconds and thirds. Quite the lockdown feast.
    Thank you for the recipe. I’m looking forward to doing it again


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