Salmon Spinach Pasta

Tender and flaky salmon tops this Salmon Spinach Pasta that has a rich, cheesy, Parmesan-infused sauce. Spinach brightens up this dish, making it a great pick that’s equally delicious for weeknight dinner as it is for entertaining friends.

Four seared salmon fillets over cheesy spinach pasta in a stainless steel skillet on a rustic wood background.

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You don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen to make something fabulous, and this creamy salmon skillet is proof of that! Quick-cooking salmon filets rest on top of the creamy pasta, and when you dig in, I'm telling you, it’s perfection.

I used penne pasta in this salmon pasta recipe because I love the way the sauce gets into the middle of the noodles. Good stuff, right? I'm all about more sauce per bite. You can use whatever you have on hand if you don't have penne, though. It’s equally delicious with farfalle, and the kids love curly rotini.

If you love salmon recipes, then this dish is for you. Unlike other salmon pasta recipes, this one doesn’t chunk up the salmon and mix it into the rest of the ingredients. Instead, the filets are nestled on top of this dish. It is so pretty on a plate. Just scoop up a fillet of salmon with a generous portion of the pasta with spinach and dinner is served!

Four seared salmon fillets over cheesy spinach pasta in a stainless steel skillet on a rustic wood background.

How to Make Salmon Spinach Pasta

This is a quick and easy dish to make. Boil pasta according to the package directions. Start by seasoning and searing the salmon, then set it aside to keep warm while making the rest of the dish. Saute butter in garlic in the skillet, then add the fresh spinach and wine to wilt it. Set that aside, too. Add the rest of the butter, then the flour to make a roux. Add the milk while you whisk it, and then simmer it to make a lovely, thick sauce. Add the Parmesan cheese, cream cheese, and seasonings. Toss all of this with your al dente pasta and put it into a serving dish. Nestle the salmon filets on top and serve.

How to Buy Salmon at the Grocery Store

Salmon at the seafood counter at the grocery store should look fresh and moist. Avoid salmon with discolored spots and don’t be afraid to ask to smell the salmon. Salmon should have very little odor. Look for salmon that’s already had the pin bones removed, and for this recipe, you’ll need skinless salmon. You can either buy it skinned or skin it yourself. Here’s a tip: If buying a large piece of salmon to filet yourself, ask for a section from the head end of the fish. That’s where it is widest and where you’ll get the most flavorful, fatty, and oh-so-delicious belly fat. Fillets closer to the tail get thinner and tougher and have less fat in them.

Salmon Spinach Pasta ingredients arranged on a wood cutting board.

How to Skin Salmon Fillets

Don’t be intimidated by skinning your own salmon; it’s really quite simple! To skin salmon, use a long, thin knife. A filleting knife works perfectly, but any thin, long, sharp knife will work. Starting with the narrowest end of the fish and with the skin side down, work the knife between the skin and the flesh just a little bit. Hold onto the skin with one hand and work the knife down the length of the fish, putting some tension on the skin as you go. Move the knife back and forth cutting to remove the skin from the fish. If you keep your knife horizontal to the counter/cutting board, the skin will come away nicely.


There are lots of ways you can switch up this delicious salmon spinach recipe. Here are just a few:
  • Change the pasta - I used penne, but you could use farfalle, fusilli, and even macaroni. You can even use whole wheat pasta. 
  • Use baby kale instead of spinach in this creamy spinach salmon recipe. 
  • Like it spicier? Try bumping up the cayenne a bit. A sprinkle of red pepper flakes will also increase the heat. 
  • Add a squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkle of fresh parsley, or freshly grated Parmesan cheese on the top before serving.

A collage of step by step photos of Salmon Spinach Pasta being made.

What to Serve With This Easy Salmon Pasta Recipe

You’ve already got starch (pasta) and vegetables in this recipe, so you don’t need a lot to go with it. Sometimes I serve it with a simple salad and garlic bread or my family’s favorite Parmesan rolls. You can also never have too many veggies on the table! This dish of roasted asparagus will go nicely with your Salmon Spinach Pasta recipe.

How to Store Leftover Salmon Spinach Pasta

Store any cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. You don’t want to keep cooked salmon much longer than that. You can also freeze this leftover salmon recipe for up to 3 months. It won’t be quite as good as the original, but you can freeze it.

A seared salmon fillet over cheesy spinach pasta on a blue plate on a rustic wood background.

How to Reheat Salmon Pasta

I’d recommend reheating this creamy salmon pasta recipe in the oven. Pop your leftovers into an oven-safe casserole dish and add a few tablespoons of milk to keep the sauce creamy. Heat it in a 325 degree F oven until heated through.

More Yummy Salmon Recipes

Looking for more awesome salmon recipes? Check out these popular recipes from the archives:

If you try this recipe, I'd love to know what you think in the comments below. Enjoy!

Salmon Spinach Pasta

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 MINUTES
cook time: 25 MINUTES
total time: 40 MINUTES
Tender and flaky salmon tops this Salmon Spinach Pasta that has a rich, cheesy, Parmesan-infused sauce. Spinach brightens up this dish, making it a great pick that’s equally delicious for weeknight dinner as it is for entertaining friends.


16 ounces penne pasta
4-6 salmon fillets
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, split
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 tablespoons butter, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
5 ounces baby spinach
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and season the salmon on both sides.
  3. In a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat, cook the salmon for 3-4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the salmon. Remove the salmon from the pan to a plate and cover with foil.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium low and add 2 tablespoons of butter to the same skillet. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the wine to the skillet and cook for 1 minute, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add the spinach to the skillet a stir until the spinach is just wilted. Remove spinach from skillet.
  5. Raise the heat back to medium high and add the remaining butter to the skillet. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a whisk, until the flour is light golden brown. Slowly add the milk to the skillet, whisking constantly until the mixture begins to boil. Cook for 3 minutes until thickened. Stir the in parmesan cheese, cream cheese, and seasonings and continue stirring until the cheese is completely melted. Stir in the spinach and cooked pasta into the sauce. Transfer to a serving dish and top with the salmon.


Author: Becky Tarala

Nutrition data should not be considered a guarantee. Please see our full Nutrition Data Disclosure.

1 comment

  1. Ih my delicious goodness! Salmon is a favorite in my house as well as pasta!