Zesty Salmon Pasta Without Cream Recipe

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This salmon pasta without cream recipe is an excellent option for those looking for a hearty, easy and flavourful dinner option that comes together in under 30 minutes. It’s super simple to throw together and only uses a few ingredients but it packs in a lot of flavour, so it’s great for whenever you’re hungry but want a quick and delicious dinner option.

Though traditional salmon pasta that you would find in an Italian-American restaurant typically is in a thick, heavy cream sauce, I’ve forgone that style for this recipe. It’s not common to mix fish with dairy in Italy and though salmon pasta isn’t exactly something you’d find there, I did like the idea of making a bright, lemony white wine sauce to pair with this.

However, I still highly recommend finishing the dish with a bit of parmesan, so it’s not completely dairy-free unless you want it to be!

All in all, this recipe is really easy and super delicious. So if you’re after an excellent salmon pasta, make sure to check this one out!

Salmon Pasta With No Cream
Salmon Pasta With No Cream

How to Make Salmon Pasta Without Cream

The first step is to make the salmon! I opted to go simple for the salmon prep because it’s just going to get shredded up anyway so there’s no need to make something like my cilantro-lime salmon.

All you need to do is season the salmon generously with salt and pepper. Then, add some olive oil to a large skillet and set it over medium heat.

Ingredients for this salmon pasta
Ingredients for this salmon pasta

Once the oil is shimmering, add your salmon and cook on one side until it’s crispy and golden brown, this should take about five minutes.

Then, flip the fish over and cook on the other side. Cook the salmon until an instant-read thermometer registers at 50°C (125°F) when inserted at the thickest point. Then, transfer it to a plate and allow it to cool for a few minutes before cutting it into small, bite-sized pieces.

Cooking the salmon
Cooking the salmon

While you’re cooking the salmon, go ahead and put your pasta on. You can use whatever kind of pasta you’d like in this recipe, however, I personally like using rigatoni.

Cook the pasta in heavily salted water and cook it for a minute or two less than the package suggests. Also, make sure you don’t drain off all the pasta water! You’ll be using it later.

Now, in the same pan you cooked the pasta in, add a bit of sliced garlic, a couple of anchovy filets and some chili flakes.

Adding the garlic. anchovy & chili
Adding the garlic. anchovy & chili

Cook this until the anchovy fillets dissolve and the garlic is beginning to brown just slightly. The anchovies don’t add any fishiness to the pasta, they simply give a bit of a deeper, more umami-rich flavour.

Then, toss in a couple of strips of lemon zest that you’ve removed with a vegetable peeler and deglaze the pan with some dry white wine.

Deglazing the pan
Deglazing the pan

Scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan and allow the wine to bubble away and reduce. Cook this until the strong alcoholic smell has cooked off – about 2-3 minutes.

Now, it’s time to add your cooked pasta along with a bit of the pasta cooking water. Toss the pasta in the sauce until everything is coated.

Adding the pasta to the pan
Adding the pasta to the pan

Then add your cooked salmon and toss to combine. If necessary, add a bit more pasta water until the pasta is at the consistency that you’d like.

Mixing in the salmon
Mixing in the salmon

Add a squeeze of lemon juice and some fresh parsley to your pasta and then serve. Top with a bit of parmesan cheese, if you’d like, however, it’s going to be great without it as well!

Salmon Pasta Without Cream

Salmon Pasta Without Cream

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This salmon pasta is a light and bright meal that is quick to throw together. Using lots of umami boosters and vibrant, fresh flavours, it's simple to make on any night of the week.


  • 300g (10oz) salmon fillet
  • 500g (1lb) pasta
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 oil-packed anchovy fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 2 strips lemon zest, removed with a vegetable peeler
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  1. Pat the salmon dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet and set over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the salmon and sear on one side for about 5 minutes. Flip and sear on the other side until the fish registers 50°C (125°F) when an instant-read thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the fillet - about 5 more minutes.
  3. Remove from pan and allow to rest on a plate. After the salmon has cooled for a few minutes, break it up into bite-sized pieces.
  4. While the salmon is cooking, cook your pasta in plenty of heavily salted boiling water for 2 minutes less than the package requires. Once cooked, reserve roughly 250ml (1 cup) of the cooking water instead of draining it off completely.
  5. In the same pan the salmon was cooked in, add the garlic, anchovy fillets and chili flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until the anchovies dissolve and the garlic begins to turn a very light golden brown - about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the lemon zest strips and deglaze the pan with the white wine. Scrape off any browned bits from the bottom of the pan and allow the alcoholic smell of the wine to cook off and reduce, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the cooked pasta, along with about 60ml (1/4 cup) pasta cooking water. Toss the pasta in the sauce, adding more pasta water as needed to thicken or loosen the consistency.
  8. Add the salmon, the parsley and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and toss to combine. Taste to adjust for seasoning, adding salt, pepper or lemon juice as needed. Serve immediately, topping with parmesan cheese if desired.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 497Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 95mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 25g

Nutritional information is automatically generated and provided as guidance only. Accuracy is not guaranteed.

And that’s how to make this salmon pasta recipe without cream! As you can see, it’s a super simple process and it’s absolutely delicious when you get to dig in!

Are you making this salmon pasta? Have any questions about this recipe? Let me know in the comments!

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Maggie is the creator behind No Frills Kitchen. She is a world traveller, home cook and recipe developer who loves to experiment with new cuisines and techniques at every chance she gets. No stranger to improvising and making do with the equipment and ingredients she has available, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others. Read More

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