Last Updated on May 9, 2023 by Suzy Sakamoto
This Healthy Salmon Pasta Without Cream is light, fresh, juicy and flavorful! You can't pass up this flaked salmon, coated in a garlic lemon herb sauce, with roasted cherry tomatoes, asparagus and of course - pasta!
It's a simple pasta with salmon recipe using fresh ingredients and ready to whip up in no time, and with no cream in sight!
With the help of juicy, flaky salmon there's no dairy necessary in this dish. The amazing omega-3s are a great healthy alternative to cream, or butter. But extra virgin olive oil sure helps when pasta is involved. Taking inspiration from a classic Italian seafood pasta, where milk and cream are no where near!
I can't help but cook fish at least 3 times a week! Besides this Healthy Salmon Pasta Without Cream, my other go-to light dishes are featured in Mediterranean fish and seafood recipes.
Like this Mediterranean Fish With Artichokes and Olives that's bursting with brine and flavor. This Umami-packed Furikake Salmon that's oh so good!Rosemary Parmesan Crusted Fish is decadent goodness on a plate, and of course, Air Fryer Frozen Fish is a weekly regular in my household for a super quick healthy dinner to pair with a side of veggies!
WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- This is a flavorful Salmon Pasta without cream for a light healthy dish.
- Using fresh ingredients leaves behind the high-calorie creamy sauce you typically see with seafood. In turn making it a much more palatable dish!
Quick to make!
- This quick and easy dinner comes together to create a flavorful and filling meal in just about 15 minutes. You can't beat that!
- The cherry tomatoes, leeks, asparagus and the salmon bake together, while the pasta is getting boiled for a speedy dinner prep process.
Healthy and bursting with flavor!
- What better pairing for a fresh homemade pasta dish then by adding fresh garlic, fresh herbs, and of course a good amount of fresh squeezed lemon - yum!
- The flavor from the garlic, dill, roasted tomatoes and leeks shine through and compliment the juicy flaky salmon.
So, let's get to cooking it!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
Pasta. Start out with dried pasta of your choosing. I prefer to use an angel hair pasta in this recipe for a classic Italian salmon en pasta that's fresh and light.
Salmon. Fresh or freshly thawed filets is the way to go for this dish. I like using our own fresh caught fish, otherwise I go for wild caught Alaskan fish to ensure quality and flavor.
Fresh cherry tomatoes. These vs regular tomatoes that are diced create much needed texture and less water added to this dish. It's definitely the way to go!
Asparagus. Using fresh asparagus is possible, otherwise look for frozen asparagus as a back-up. They add such a great crunch!
Leeks. I love using leeks with seafood, and it's truly highlighted in this dish without being the star of the show.
For the Salmon Pasta Sauce
Fresh Dill. You can find fresh dill in the refrigerated section of your typical grocery store. They're typically packaged in a clear pack near the vegetables. Oh the flavor this brings to the dish is spectacular!
Garlic. Go for fresh garlic, over pre-minced. I prefer to use a garlic press to extract as much flavor as possible from the garlic cloves.
Fresh Lemon. You'll want to grab your go-to lemon juicer and fresh lemon for the best flavor in this dish. It's a much needed ingredient to lighten it up!
Extra virgin olive oil. An absolute staple to turn this salmon pasta without cream into a recipe into this decadent dish!
Red pepper flakes. Adding a little kick helps add more dimension to this dish.
*Exact measurements are found in the recipe card below.
- Sheet pan or a baking dish to bake the veggies and filets in.
- Garlic press. It's one of my favorite kitchen tools.
- Lemon squeezer. Another no brainer tool that I can't live without when using fresh lemon on a daily basis.
- Medium-large pot. This will be used to boil the pasta.
- Colander. To drain the pasta.
- Knife. Using a good knife to chop the leeks, cherry tomatoes, and the asparagus.
HOW TO MAKE SALMON PASTA WITHOUT CREAM
First, I like to make the sauce, then prep the vegetables and salmon, then boil the pasta while the rest is cooking!
To make the sauce: Mix the salmon pasta sauce ingredients together in a small-medium mixing bowl until well combined.
Set aside or place in the fridge until ready to use. If you have time earlier in the day, make the sauce and allow a few hours for the flavors to meld.
To prep and cook vegetables and filets: Wash the veggies, then cut the asparagus down to 1-inch pieces. Place the asparagus, tomatoes, and leeks on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil.
Toss veggies in the garlic dill sauce.
Place the filets in between the veggies and top with the sauce.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the salmon registers 130 degrees. We want it to remain juicy.
Cook the pasta: Boil the pasta in water, adding a few pinches of salt. Cook per al dente directions according to the package. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water to use in the sauce, as needed.
*Adding salt to the water helps bring out more flavor in the pasta while it's boiling.
Also, leaving this as the last step helps the pasta stay soft and not stick together.
Assemble the dish: In a large bowl, gently fold the pasta and tomatoes, asparagus and leeks, including all the sauce left on the baking dish. Add ¼ cup of pasta water, more if needed.
Flake the salmon using two forks and sprinkle it on top of the pasta.
Garnish with fresh dill and serve warm or cold!
- Salt your pasta water! It adds much needed flavor to the pasta and helps boost the dish altogether.
- Don't cook the pasta first. This may sound backwards but I prefer to cook my vegetables and protein first and leave pasta for last. This is mainly because pasta can dry out easily and has a tendency to stick together. Avoid your pasta sticking by leaving it as the last step.
- Avoid overcooking the salmon. Stay close to the oven or air fryer and check for doneness as you're nearing the end time. In order to get the most rich and decadent flavor in this salmon pasta without cream dish, your filets need to juicy!
VARIATIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Skip the oven and use the air fryer instead! To air fry, preheat to 350F and cook for 6-8 minutes.
- If you prefer butter over olive oil, use that instead for a creamier sauce without the need to use milk or cream.
- Gluten-free pasta, made of rice, brown rice, or even lentils are a great option for those that are sensitive to wheat. This also creates an even lighter meal with the gluten not weighing you down.
- Use other vegetables instead of asparagus and tomatoes. Good alternatives are peppers, broccoli, snap peas, or spinach.
- Change out the herb! Not a fan of dill? Use basil, thyme, or parsley instead.
- Add parmesan or asiago cheese to the dish to add a touch of creamy flavor to compliment this light homemade pasta.
Being that this is a simple and light salmon pasta recipe, you can dress it up or down! Serve it in a pasta dish, a bowl or a plate.
Great options to go along with this dish are hummus and pita bread. One of my favorite side dish is this Mediterranean-style Quinoa Salad that's full of all the best and briny Mediterranean flavors!
For a drink, go for this Jalapeno Mango Margarita, I absolutely love pairing it with seafood!
To store in the fridge: Keep in an air-tight container and store for up to 2 days. I like to eat seafood no later than the 2-day mark for optimal freshness.
To store in the freezer: Freeze in a glass container with an air-tight lid, or in a freezer bag. Thaw overnight then heat in glass bowl or plate the microwave until warmed through.
HOW TO PREP AHEAD
Prep ahead by making the pasta sauce in advance and storing it up to a day in advance.
If you prefer to have this dish cold then prep the entire dish up to one day in advance and store in an air-tight container in the fridge until you're ready to serve. Remove from the fridge 15-20 minutes prior to serving.
Yes. You can still enjoy this dish with canned salmon. Choose a good quality can for freshness and optimal flavor! Coat the flakes well in this lemon garlic dill sauce to make it really shine.
It's best to cook fresh salmon in the oven at 400F degrees. At this temperature the filets are cooked to flaky perfection while remaining full of flavor and incredibly juicy.
Be sure to stand near the oven as you're nearing the 8-10 minute mark. Test the internal temperature from the 8 minute mark and remove from the oven as soon as the filets get to 130F each.
Some are thicker than others, so they may need to cook longer. In that case, pull the filets that are done, and keep the others in the oven for another minute or two.
The best thing to cook with salmon is a garlic lemon herb sauce. I love using fresh herbs to go for as much freshness that pairs well with most fish. Grab fresh garlic, fresh squeezed lemon, fresh dill, salt, pepper and for a little kick add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Your filet will taste absolutely amazing with this sauce!
Just about any vegetable! I like to go for a medley of juicy and crunchy options. Like in this garlic pasta dish that has asparagus and tomatoes, for a crunch and a pop of freshness. Other great options are spinach, broccoli, and I love snap peas as well. Be sure to add onions, or capers for a pop of flavor!
SIDE DISHES TO PAIR
MORE FISH RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
Baked Furikake Salmon for the ultimate umami-packed salmon!
Spicy Salmon Sushi Bake is a family favorite quick go-to recipe.
Smoky Bourbon Brown Sugar Salmon
Easy Air Fryer Frozen Fish, take your fish filet from frozen to completely cooked in 10 minutes!
I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU! When you make this dish, please RATE using the ⭐️stars in the recipe card, and COMMENT at the end of the page how you enjoyed this dish. I love to connect with you in the comments section.
Make sure to share this recipe with others (there's an easy SHARE on FB button in the recipe card!) or post your picture on Instagram and tag @theperfecttide.
Healthy Garlic Dill Salmon Pasta Without Cream
- Medium-large pot
- 8 oz Pasta , use angel hair, regular cut, or penne. Reserve pasta water
- 2 filets Fresh salmon
- ½ bunch Asparagus , cut bottom 3 inches
- 1 cup Cherry tomatoes , cut in half
- ⅓ cup Leeks , thinly sliced, or use red onion
- ¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoon Fresh dill , or 1 TB dried
- ¼ cup Lemon juice , fresh squeezed
- 3 large Garlic cloves , minced
- ⅛ teaspoon Red pepper flakes , optional
- ½-1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Black pepper
- Fresh dill to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400℉ degrees.
- Cook the salmon: Mix the sauce ingredients in a medium size bowl and set aside.
- Wash the vegetables, then cut the asparagus down to 1-inch pieces. Place the asparagus, tomatoes, and leeks on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil.
- Toss veggies in the garlic dill sauce.
- Place the filets in between the veggies and top with the sauce.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the filets register 130℉ degrees. We want it to remain juicy.
- Cook the pasta: Boil the pasta in water and salt, per al dente directions according to the package. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water to use in the sauce, as needed.
- Assemble the dish: In a large bowl, gently fold the pasta and vegetables, including all the sauce left on the baking dish. Add ¼ cup of pasta water, more if needed.
- Flake the salmon using two forks and sprinkle it on top of the pasta.
- Garnish with fresh dill and serve warm or cold!
- Add more salt as needed after assembling the dish.
- If you have the time, make the salmon pasta sauce in advance and store in the fridge for a few hours or overnight for best flavor.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. It makes a great meal prep for the next couple of lunches or dinners.
- Add other veggies to replace the asparagus and tomatoes. Good alternatives are peppers, broccoli, spinach, red onion, and snap peas.
- Replace dill with other herbs like parsley or basil.
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