Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad

Simple pasta salad with smoked salmon, orange bell peppers, celery, green onions, lemon juice, and mayonnaise.

Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad
Elise Bauer

One of the challenges of the holidays is keeping everyone fed when the family comes to town.

We're always looking for dishes that can feed lots of people well, without a lot of hassle, and that are relatively easy to store. Better yet if it can use up holiday feasting leftovers.

Here is a simple smoked salmon pasta salad that used up the last of some smoked salmon we had for a gathering.

I take no credit for the idea; I shamelessly reproduced the recipe from a lovely pasta salad I had at a friend's house the other day.

It must be my dad's midwestern roots taking hold in me. Of all the beautiful dishes at the table, including roast goose and prime rib, the one I kept going back to for seconds was this pasta dish brought by Peg's friend Jackie.

So simple, but so good!

The little bits of smoked salmon do pretty much all the heavy lifting as far as flavor goes. There's just enough mayo so the salmon sticks to the pasta. The celery and bell pepper provide color, coolness, and crunch.

Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 8 servings

This recipe can easily be halved or doubled.

While the pasta water is heating, prep the other ingredients.


  • 1 pound dry penne rigati, gemelli, fusilli, or other short-cut pasta, or a combination

  • Salt for the pasta water

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, shredded

  • 1/2 cup orange or yellow bell pepper, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup green onions (scallions), chopped

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Pinch dried dill

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Cook the pasta:

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (use a tablespoon of salt for every 2 quarts of water). Add the pasta. Cook uncovered, at a rolling boil until al dente, or tender, but still a bit firm.

    Drain and rinse under cold water. (If you are making the pasta ahead of time, stir in a little olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking to each other.)

    Note that if you are using different kinds of pasta, you may want to cook them separately as different types of pasta cook at different rates.

  2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients:

    adjusting the amounts of mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

    Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
138 Calories
4g Fat
19g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 138
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 638mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 16mg 78%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 96mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.