Leftover salmon gets a recipe remake with bowtie pasta, fresh asparagus, and dill in this super simple Parmesan cream sauce that makes meal prep a breeze. This salmon pasta couldn’t be easier to make!
Easy Leftover Salmon Recipe
You know how moms are always, always, always telling others what to do? “Giving” their advice? Even when nobody asked. “Sharing” their opinion. Even when everybody already knows what it is.
Here I am. Hand raised. I’m a mom! That’s me! Straight up, I’m not even denying I have a slightly (not slight at all) bossy streak, or as I like to call it, “Offering tips to make things better.” Or easier. And better. At least in my eyes.
And the scary part is that I was like this well before my child bearing years, during them, and of course continuing strong even now after them. My poor family.
So if you’ve followed this blog for long, you’ll know I’ve “given my advice” and “shared my opinion” about meal planning and how it’s my “favorite tip” to making dinner time “easier and better.”
See! My bossy ways do pay off!
This creamy pasta recipe came about because of my craving for the classic spring flavor combo of asparagus and dill, and because I had a bunch of leftover salmon from my Poached Salmon in Mustard Dill Sauce hanging around the fridge. Knowing our little family of three wouldn’t eat 4 salmon fillets in one sitting, I planned ahead to make the leftover fillets into a savory but bright pasta night.
Unlike me, my husband is NOT the biggest fan of leftovers, so in order to get him to buy into the process, a little creativity by big mama is in order. I adapted this salmon pasta recipe from a super simple 30-minute weeknight wonder, my Meyer Lemon Fettuccine recipe that comes together with minimal investment of time or ingredients.
What’s in This Salmon Pasta?
This salmon pasta recipe is a great way to use up not only salmon, but any random veggies you have lying in your produce drawer as well. Here’s what I threw into this creamy pasta:
- Bow tie pasta
- Asparagus spears
- Heavy cream
- Meyer lemon zest
- Parmesan cheese
- Fresh dill
- Cooked salmon
- Kosher salt and pepper
How to Make Salmon Pasta
Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked pasta to a colander, then reheat the pasta water and throw the chopped asparagus into it. Cook the asparagus until bright green.
Meanwhile, heat the heavy cream in a skillet and simmer until reduced by half. Then, stir in the lemon zest, Parmesan, dill, and salmon and cook until heated through.
Add the pasta and asparagus to the skillet and toss to coat in the sauce. Sprinkle with more Parmesan before serving, if desired.
Is There a Heavy Cream Substitute I Can Use?
No, heavy cream is a must in this creamy salmon pasta recipe. If you try to use half and half or regular milk, the sauce won’t thicken up enough and will be too runny to coat the pasta properly.
Can I Add Other Veggies to This Pasta?
I bet you could! Frozen peas would be a good addition to the cream sauce, as would fresh spinach.
Tips for Making Creamy Salmon Pasta
Meyer lemons are another springtime favorite and I load up on them every chance I get. If you can’t find Meyer lemons, consider upping the amount of lemon zest in the sauce to really get that lemon flavor to shine in the sauce.
For the best flavor and texture, I recommend buying a block of Parmesan cheese and grating it yourself. Avoid the stuff in a shaker can, it doesn’t compare to freshly grated Parm.
If you have leftovers of this salmon pasta, gently reheat them over low heat on the stove. You may need to add a splash of cream to loosen up the pasta.
More Easy Pasta Recipes for Busy Weeknights
- Fresh Tomato and Ricotta Whole Wheat Pasta
- Baked Sausage and Cheese Rigatoni
- Homemade Cheeseburger Macaroni
- Gnocchi with Pomodoro Sauce
- Pasta with Turkey Sausage and Peas
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Bookmark this recipe and leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Creamy Asparagus & Salmon Pasta
- 1 pound dried bow tie pasta or farfalle
- 2 cups chopped asparagus spears cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Zest of 2 Meyer lemons use 2-3 regular lemons if you can't find Meyer lemons
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/8 cup chopped fresh dill fronds plus more for garnish
- 2 cups flaked, cooked salmon
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the bow tie pasta according to package directions until al denté.
When noodles are done cooking, use a slotted spoon to transfer the pasta to a colander, reserving the pasta cooking water in the pot. Reheat the pot of water over medium heat and add the chopped asparagus spears, cooking until they turn bright green, about 1-2 minutes, then transfer to the same colander as the pasta. You want the asparagus to still have a snap to but not taste raw.
While the pasta and asparagus are cooking, pour the cream into a 12-inch skillet and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook until reduced by half and the cream easily coats the back of a spoon.
Add the lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, fresh dill and cooked salmon to the cream and stir until the Parmesan is melted into the cream and the salmon is warmed through. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
Add the cooked bow tie pasta to the skillet and toss to coat. Add more salt and pepper if desired, and top with more Parmesan cheese and dill if desired. Serve immediately.
More Italian Recipes You’ll Love
- 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Parmesan
- Mom’s Homemade Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
- How to Make the Best Minestrone Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
- Vegetarian Crockpot Lasagna Soup
Craving more life balance, less stress, and better health? Check out my Nourished Planner, the daily planner to help create simplicity and under-schedule your life.
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