Jan 3, 2023
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When you want a simple, family-friendly dinner that everyone will devour, this cajun salmon pasta is it!
The seasoned salmon is cooked in a pan while the pasta is cooking, and everything is tossed in a fabulous pan sauce. Take a look, and let’s make it!
Skillet Cajun Salmon Pasta
Want to add more salmon to your meals? This cajun salmon pasta is a great way to get more protein and nutrition while enjoying a delicious dish you can assemble quickly in one skillet.
Pasta is the perfect vessel to get the benefits of salmon onto our diets, plus it also stretches out our budget since you need a little less per person than when making salmon the main item of the meal.
While the pasta cooks, you’ll cook the salmon on the skillet and then make an epic sauce with garlic, tomatoes, and salmon … it’s an out-of-this-world recipe. The best part: this pasta dinner comes together in 30 minutes!
Check out this post for more cajun-inspired recipes!
Simple ingredients turn into this 30-minute pasta with cajun salmon that looks like you spent hours in the kitchen.
Here’s what you need for this delicious recipe:
- Spaghetti: It’s what my family loves for this recipe but your favorite type of pasta will work too!
- Salmon: fresh or frozen (thawed), about 2-3 fillets.
- Salt and pepper: for seasoning.
- Olive oil: for cooking.
- Butter: if you use salted butter, you can omit adding in the extra salt.
- Onion: thinly sliced, to add flavor and texture.
- Garlic: minced garlic cloves are great for flavor, but you can use garlic powder too, if that’s what you have in your pantry.
- Tomatoes: canned diced tomatoes.
- Spinach: fresh and chopped.
- Cajun seasoning: its spicy and smoky flavor pairs great with salmon.
- Heavy cream or half & half: add creaminess and flavor to the pasta sauce. You can swap it for pasta water to lighten up this dish, in the same amount
- Parmesan cheese: optional for serving.
How to Make Cajun Salmon Pasta
Cook pasta, grab a skillet to cook the rest of the ingredients, and that’s all! Just follow this step-by-step to see how easy it is to make this meal come together:
- Cook the pasta
Prepare the pasta of your choice according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Drain pasta and set aside.
- Prepare the salmon
Pat dry salmon fillets with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Cook the veggies
In a large skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for about 4 minutes, until the onions are golden. Add the garlic and stir. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture simmers. Remove from the pan onto a large plate.
- Cook the salmon
Add a little more olive oil to the pan, and cook the salmon for 4 to 6 minutes per side until golden/seared on each side and the meat separates easily with a fork. Remove from the pan onto the plate.
- Make the sauce
Add the cream or half & half to the pan and ½ cup of the reserved pasta water. Bring it to a simmer and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, using a wooden spatula. Add the Cajun seasoning, and mix to incorporate it with the sauce.
Break up the salmon into large pieces and add them into the pan along with the tomatoes, onions, and chopped spinach. Toss the cooked pasta in, and mix to coat everything with the sauce. Add the remaining pasta water, a little bit at a time, until the sauce reaches the thickness and consistency you like.
Serve with chopped parsley and parmesan cheese, if desired, and enjoy!
Make next: Cajun Alfredo with Sausage
Swaps and Add-Ons
You can always make little changes and add ingredients to customize this recipe to your family’s needs and preferences:
Swap heavy cream or half & half for canned coconut cream or additional reserved pasta water if you want to make the dish lighter. Omit the butter and use a little extra oil instead.
Change regular pasta for your favorite gluten-free pasta.
Make this cajun salmon pasta even more nutritious by adding celery, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, peas, kale, or cooked broccoli.
Reserve an additional ½ cup of pasta water before draining and swap it for the half and half or cream. Alternatively, reduce the amount and just swap half.
How to Store Leftover Cajun Salmon Pasta
To store cajun salmon pasta, allow leftovers to cool down and place them in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 2 days and reheat to enjoy!
What to Serve with This Recipe
Cajun salmon pasta is a satisfying meal you can enjoy just like it is, but side dishes are always a tasty addition! These recipes pair great with a fresh, simple side salad, some spicy green beans, or roasted broccolini.
Cajun Salmon Pasta
- 12 ounces spaghetti or fettuccini pasta
- 1 cup reserved pasta water*
- 8 ounces fresh salmon about 2 fillets
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 14 ounce can diced tomatoes drained
- 2 cups fresh spinach chopped
- 1 ½ tablespoons Cajun seasoning
- ½ cup heavy cream or half & half
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese optional for serving
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, drain pasta and set aside.
- Pat dry salmon fillets with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- In a large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for about 4 minutes until the onions are golden. Add the garlic and stir, add the tomatoes and cook until the mixture simmers, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the pan onto a large plate.
- Add a little more oil to the pan, and cook the salmon, 4 to 6 minutes per side until golden/seared on each side and the meat separates easily with a fork. Remove from the pan onto the plate.
- Add the cream to the pan and ½ cup of the reserved pasta water. Bring it to a simmer and with a wooden spatula, scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the Cajun seasoning, and mix to incorporate with the sauce.
- Break up the salmon into large pieces and add them into the pan along with the tomatoes, onions, and chopped spinach. Toss the cooked pasta in, mix to coat everything with the sauce. Add remaining pasta water, a little bit at a time, until you reach the thickness and consistency of sauce you like.
- Serve with chopped parsley and parmesan cheese, if desired.
WOW. This cajun salmon pasta was out.of.this world! My family devoured it. I like that it’s more affordable than other recipes because it has less salmon but you still feel like you eat a lot.