Salmon Fettuccine is a quick and easy pasta perfect any night of the week! With chewy al dente pasta, succulent, juicy salmon and a creamy cheesy sauce, you will love the delicious flavors in this dish. Smoked salmon fettuccine is a great change to a meat based pasta and will tick all the right boxes!
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Family friendly: this is a recipe that the whole family can enjoy together. Comfort food that tastes delicious. The salmon is succulent and melts in your mouth. The alfredo sauce smothers the pasta deliciously, so the kids will enjoy it much like any other creamy pasta sauce.
- Taste and texture: the chewy al dente pasta, smooth creamy sauce, bursting capers and succulent smoked salmon are an easy combination that simply tastes delicious!
- Simple ingredients: there is nothing needed for the recipe that will see you driving all over town to get! Your local supermarket will sell each of the ingredient to make the salmon alfredo pasta and my substitutions and variations has options to switch it up (well worth a read 😉👍).
- Fast cook time: we make the alfredo sauce, cook the pasta then combine the sauce, cooked pasta, salmon and capers. It is a simple step by step process that doesn't take hours to make.
- Versatile: you don't have to stick to the salmon alfredo recipe without being able to switch it up. If you want it to be more aligned with your personal preferences you can. On example is using your favorite pasta and if that is not fettuccine go for it my friend 👍😉😘.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Smoked salmon: a somewhat premium product that will be available at your local supermarket in a variety of portion sizes.
- Fettuccine pasta: available in the pasta section of the supermarket or fresh in the pizza and pasta sauces cold section of the store.
- Butter: I recommend unsalted as we add a little salt to the sauce.
- Garlic: chunky minced if you can get it or a few cloves finely chopped into pieces will work well also.
- Salt: we add a small amount of this to the melted butter when we cook the minced garlic.
- Cream: heavy cream, cooking cream or thickened cream are all names to describe this ingredient. It is what we use to create the thick, creamy alfredo sauce.
- Parmesan cheese: the traditional cheese used in alfredo sauces. Freshly grated if you can is best. It adds a sharp, bold taste to the cream sauce that compliments the salmon very nicely.
- Capers: these beautiful little green buds literally burst in your mouth! They have a salty taste and work exceptionally well with the smoked salmon.
- Basil: fresh, bright and green these are an excellent way to garnish the dish for serving.
Tasty Tip: I like to offer a number of substitutions and variations to give you options when making the recipe. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section before diving into the instructions on how to make the recipe below 👍😉.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by taking simple steps to make the pasta sauce. A sauté pan or large frying pan will be needed.
- Melt butter (Photo 1)
- Add garlic, salt, stir and cook for 1 minute (Photo 2)
- Add cream, reduce heat (Photo 3)
- Add cheese (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Salmon Fettuccine
Start by placing a large fry pan on the stove on high heat. Add the butter, let it melt, then add in the garlic and salt. Stir and allow these to cook for 1 minute.
Next pour in the cream, turn the heat down to medium and then add the cheese. This will slowly melt. You can stir occasionally throughout this time.
- Reserve pasta water (Photo 6)
- Stir to combine (Photo 7)
- Toss fettuccine in sauce (Photo 8)
- Add pasta water (Photo 9)
🐟 Salmon and Fettuccine
At the same time as you are making the sauce, you can use a separate element on the stove to cook the pasta.
Simply bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Cook the fettuccine according to the instructions on the packet (yet minus 1 minute to ensure it is al dente). This means 'chewy' 😉👌.
Moments before it is ready, use a heatproof jug to scoop out some of the pasta water and set it aside. We need this starchy pasta water as an ingredient in the alfredo sauce. It helps the sauce stick together.
Next use a colander over the sink to drain pasta, discarding the rest of the water.
Returning to the sauce, once the cheese has melted, give it a couple of stirs to ensure that the texture is consistent.
Then add the cooked pasta to the sauce and pour in ½ cup of the reserved pasta water.
Use a wooden spoon to toss and coat the fettuccine in the alfredo sauce.
Once done, you can use 2 forks to flake the salmon then add these pieces to the pasta and sauce. You want the heat to be on medium or low at this point to gently warm the smoked salmon.
Sprinkle in the capers then garnish the dish liberally with a sprinkle of black pepper, parmesan cheese and basil leaves.
- Use 2 forks to flake the salmon (Photo 9)
- Add smoked salmon to fettuccine alfredo (Photo 10)
- Then add capers (Photo 11)
- Garnish the dish (Photo 12)
You can choose to portion then garnish or garnish the dish if wanting to place the pan on the table and portion from there.
Have some forks and spoons at the ready and then everyone can get ready to dive on in!
🍽 Serving Suggestions
This is a filling satisfying meal in one and you may not need or want any sides or pairings to go with it.
If however, you want more then I have some options.
A glass of white wine goes down treat with this creamy salmon pasta. I like to pair it with a Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio.
When garnishing the dish, I like to sprinkle in some capers, grate some parmesan over the top, give it a season with black pepper and add some basil leaves for pops of colour and herby zestfulness to finish it off.
You can see this combination in the photos throughout the post.
Provide some forks and or forks and spoons for the eaters and everyone can get ready to get their twirl on! 😉.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftovers of the fettuccine in a sealed airtight container in the fridge. They can be refrigerated for 3 days and are best consumed hot.
How to Freeze
Allow the dish to fully cool. Then portion into airtight containers or zip lock bags, squeeze the air out then seal. Frozen portions of the dish can be kept in the freezer for 3 months.
How to Reheat
Allow frozen portions to fully thaw in the fridge overnight or on the bench during the day before reheating. Reheat in the microwave (fastest) covered for 3 to 4 minutes. Or you can add the cooked salmon pasta back to a pan on the stove, turn to medium heat and stir till the pasta is heated through.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- If you would like to use store bought hot smoked salmon you can. Simply flake and add to the pasta once you have tossed the pasta in the sauce.
- If adding citrus is your goal, then slice a lemon into wedges and provide them when serving so they can be squeeze over the top of the pasta.
- You can also cook your own skinless salmon fillets, then flake and add those to the recipe.
- If you want an alternative for the capers, try adding green peas.
- Or if you would like to use tinned salmon that option will work also. Drain, don't rinse and use a fork to flake.
- There are many type of pasta varieties you can use. Try your favorite pasta or another long pasta such as spaghetti, linguine or trenette. Gluten-free pasta works also.
- Parsley or dill will work in place of the basil leaves.
- Pecorino romano can be used in place of the parmesan cheese (equivalent amount 😉).
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- Tasting a piece of the pasta when you think it is almost done is the best guide to knowing if it is not ready (still quite hard in the centre) or a little chewy which is perfect for al dente pasta!
- Either 2 forks or a pair of kitchen scissors will work well to cut the salmon into smaller pieces.
- You can reduce the amount of smoked salmon in the pasta to make the recipe more budget friendly. Using canned salmon will achieve this also.
- The cream and cheese will combined together best when the heat is reduced. Whilst high heat is good to melt the butter, we want to reduce when we add the more delicate ingredients to the sauce.
- A wooden spoon an or kitchen tongs are handy to toss the pasta through the creamy sauce. We want this to be consistently mixed before adding the salmon and capers.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What flavors go well with salmon?
Here are 5 flavours that work to compliment salmon beautifully:
- Parmesan cheese
Is smoked salmon cooked or raw?
Smoked salmon is cooked when purchased. It can however, be heated through for pasta recipes, used as a pizza topping, cold bruschetta topping or paired with avocado toast.
What herb can I use instead of dill with salmon?
Basil or parsley are both good options that work well with salmon. If not wanting to use dill which is a popular and common pairing either of these 2 herbs will work well.
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
Options are the thing you need for the main meal of the day, every day! I like to provide variety through taste, texture, proteins, cooking appliances and methods as well as proteins and ingredients. Here are some more recipes that I think you will love the explore:
- Pesto Rigatoni
- Mongolian Beef Noodles
- Meatball Tray Bake
- Penne Alfredo
- Garlic Pepper Beef
- Tagliatelle Pesto
- Meatball Bolognese
- Sticky Pork Ribs
- Pesto Pasta Bake
- Easy Tuna Pesto Pasta
You can also find all of my pasta recipes in the one spot. Let's get our salmon on my friend!
- 1 Large saute pan to cook and combine the dish
- 1 Wooden spoon to stir and toss
- 1 Medium sauce pan to cook the pasta
- 1 Heatproof jug to reserve the pasta water
- 1 Colander to drain the pasta
- 3 tbsp/40 grams unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon garlic chunky, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup/250 ml heavy cream
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 350 grams/12 oz smoked salmon Note 1
- ½ cup/125ml reserved pasta water
- 500 grams/16 oz fettuccine
- 110 grams/4 oz capers drained, not rinsed
- black pepper
- parmesan cheese
- basil leaves
- Pasta sauce: add the butter to a large sauté pan on high heat. Let this melt. Then add the garlic and salt and cook for 1 minute. Next pour in the cream, stir, reduce het to medium and then add in the cheese. Allow this to slowly melt, stirring occassionally until consistently combined.
- Fettuccine: read and follow the instructions on the packet to cook the pasta in a medium sauce pan of boiling salted water. Test a piece of the pasta and if it is chewy (al dente) it is ready to go. Use a heatproof jug to scoop out some of the pasta water, then set this to the side. Use a colander over the sink to drain and discard the rest of the water.
- Combine pasta and sauce: add the cooked drained fettuccine to the alfredo sauce. Pour in ½ cup of the reserved pasta water then use a wooden spoon to toss and combine.
- Salmon: use 2 forks to gently flake the smoked salmon into smaller pieces. Then transfer the flaked salmon into the pan with the tossed pasta. Sprinkle the capers over the top.
- Garnish: spread some black pepper over the top of the pasta, then grate some parmesan cheese over the top. Sprinkle in some basil leaves. Provide forks and spoons for serving and enjoy!
- Note 1 - Smoked salmon: this can be an expensive ingredient! You also don't get a lot for the money you spend. However, one way to make the dish more budget friendly is to reduce the amount of smoked salmon that goes into the dish or used canned drained salmon.
- Note 2 - Reserved pasta water: we do want to measure the amount that we add in. ½ cup is 125 ml and this is the perfect amount. Pour it in then toss and consistently combine with the pasta and sauce.
- Serving size: this will easily work for 4 adults. However, you can also reduce the portion sizes of you want to feed more people or pair it with breads, sides or salad.