Cajun Pasta With Salmon

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This flavor-packed Cajun Pasta With Salmon is exactly the type of meal you crave after a long day. Imagine digging into a creamy salmon pasta with perfectly flaky salmon, a spicy yet velvety cream sauce, and thick pappardelle pasta ribbons to hold all of the luscious sauce.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? That’s exactly what you’ll experience when indulging in this 30-minute cajun salmon pasta.

Plated Cajun Pasta With Salmon.

This family favorite recipe hits the mark with flavor and presentation. Not to mention, this creamy salmon pasta is a 30-minute meal, which means it allows you with more time for other things.

If you love recipes with homemade sauce like this one, you’ll also love my Chicken in White Sauce, Chicken Drumsticks in Creamy Sauce, or Fish in White Sauce, so make sure to add those recipes to your must-try list, too!

I also have some healthy recipes you can pair with this comforting pasta dish. Try serving this dinner with a veggie-packed Lettuce Salad or Cucumber Avocado Salad.

Cajun Pasta with Salmon

Cajun Pasta with Salmon with fresh parsley.

With this easy recipe, you can impress seafood fans and pasta fans alike. The creamy sauce in this cajun pasta is the perfect accompaniment for tender bite-sized salmon pieces. Although the dish might look quite extravagant, it comes together quickly on the stovetop and requires no oven time at all!

So, no need to wait for the oven to preheat or worry about juggling certain parts of the meal on the stove and other parts in the oven.

Another thing I appreciate about this recipe is how you can cook the salmon in the skillet first and then make the sauce in the same skillet. This not only saves me from dirtying tons of dishes, but it also ensures that the sauce has an excellent flavor base to start off with. Honestly, this method is the key to some of my most insanely delicious recipes!

I can promise you will absolutely love this creamy Cajun salmon pasta recipe. So, head to the grocery store to pick up any ingredients you’re missing because you certainly won’t want to miss out on this easy dinner recipe. And if you give it a try, don’t forget to leave a star rating below and let me know how it went for you!

Ingredients Needed

Ingredients needed for Cajun Pasta With Salmon.

Here are some notes about the primary ingredients in this creamy cajun pasta with salmon pasta recipe:

  • Salmon Fillets: You’ll need 1 ½ lbs of fresh salmon filets. Salmon is high in protein and a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, so it is a nice, nutrient-packed foundation for the meal!
  • Pasta: For this recipe, I used pappardelle pasta. The thick pasta strands are perfect for enjoying with a rich, creamy cajun sauce like this one! You’ll need 1 pound of it to make 6 servings as the recipe suggests.
  • Heavy Cream: Heavy cream, or heavy whipping cream, ensures the sauce is nice and thick as well as rich. Real heavy cream has at least 36% fat, and the fat is much needed to achieve the sauce’s creaminess, which is why regular milk won’t work.
  • Assorted Seasonings: Both the salmon and the pasta contain Cajun spices for a robust, warm, and spicy Cajun flavor, so you’ll need 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning total. You’ll also need other seasonings, too, such as red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and paprika.

There are other ingredients required for the recipe, so be sure to check out the recipe card below where you can find the detailed list of ingredients and measurements.

Recipe Variations

  • Add Veggies: For instance, add fresh red bell pepper or other color bell peppers, baby spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, or roasted red peppers.
  • Modify The Pasta Sauce: Instead of 2 cups of heavy cream, you can swap a portion of the cream with chicken broth or coconut milk. You can also add a small amount of white wine for some depth, or add a couple spoonfuls of tomato paste for a creamy tomato sauce!
  • Change The Protein: If you don’t prefer salmon, you can use white fish or make cajun shrimp pasta. Another option is to avoid seafood altogether and make chicken or sausage pasta. Keep in mind that this will change part of the cooking method, but you can still make the sauce the same way and season your preferred protein with some cajun spices.
  • Add Cheese: As suggested, you can garnish this dish with some fresh parmesan cheese. However, you can also add some directly into the sauce to make cajun salmon alfredo pasta! When making the creamy cajun alfredo sauce, make sure to add the parmesan gradually so it doesn’t clump up. Or melt some cream cheese or shredded mozzarella into the sauce to make it more cheese-based.
Cajun pasta with creamy sauce and salmon pieces.

Substitutions

  • Pasta Type: You don’t have to use the exact pasta shape I used. Feel free to use penne pasta, fettuccine pasta, or whichever kind you have on hand. For this dish I think the larger pasta shapes work better than smaller ones like tiny shells.
  • Garlic: The pasta sauce recipe calls for fresh minced garlic. If you don’t have fresh, you can use some garlic powder instead. It just won’t have the same robust taste.
  • Cajun Seasoning: You can make your own homemade cajun seasoning recipe if you don’t have a cajun spice blend. Cajun seasoning often includes garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne, and sometimes even oregano or thyme. You can also alter the cajun seasoning to make blackened salmon pasta by including a little bit less cayenne.
  • Butter: Salted butter also works fine. If you have the salted kind, you might not need to add any extra salt to the sauce recipe! Make sure to give it a taste test to determine if you would like to include some.

How To Make Cajun Pasta With Salmon

Step 1: Cook and Drain Pasta.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta. Cook pasta for one minute less than the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Step 2: Prep, Season and Sear Salmon.

Meanwhile, pat dry the salmon fillets with paper towels so they get a nice brown sear. Cut the salmon into 1-inch bite-size pieces.

Cutting salmon into bite-sized pieces.

Season salmon on both sides with the Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, and salt.

Raw salmon seasoned with spices.

Heat a large skillet, such as a cast iron skillet, on medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the olive oil, then the seasoned salmon and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, starting with the skin side down. The salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork, or when it reaches an internal temperature of 145℉ on a meat thermometer.

Cooking salmon in a large skillet.

If you find that the salmon is sticking and you need to add an additional 1 tablesoon oil to the skillet, feel free to do so.

After the salmon cooks remove it from the large pan and turn it down to medium heat. Cover salmon to keep warm.

Step 3: Make the Creamy Sauce.

Heat butter: melt butter in the skillet. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn the garlic.

Add the heavy cream, Cajun seasoning, and paprika. Let the cream simmer on medium heat until it is reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes.

Stirring homemade creamy cajun pasta sauce.

Step 4: Coat Pasta with the Sauce and add Salmon.

Add the cooked pasta to the pan and coat with the creamy sauce.

Mixing cooked pasta with homemade sauce.

Season with salt and black pepper to taste and toss to combine.

Add the salmon to the pasta. Toss to combine. You can also serve the pasta topped with the salmon.

Cajun pasta with salmon pieces added.

Garnish with minced fresh parsley or sliced fresh basil and some shredded parmesan if desired. Serve warm.

Tips For Perfect Cajun Pasta With Salmon

  • The pasta will continue to cook off the heat and when you mix it with the sauce, which is the reason why I suggest cooking the pasta for slightly less than the package directions suggest. So aim for al dente!
  • Make sure not to use low heat when cooking the salmon. If the heat isn’t high enough, it won’t get a nice crust. Also, you only need to cook it for 3-4 minutes maximum on each side. It cooks quickly, and overcooking it will ruin its lovely, flaky salmon texture. Using a kitchen thermometer is a helpful guide.
  • If you wish, you can reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water just in case you want to thin out the sauce, but it is not necessary.
  • After the food cools, you can store leftovers in an airtight container with a fitting lid and keep it in the refrigerator.
  • To brighten the flavor, you can squeeze a splash of fresh lemon juice into the sauce and mix it in just before serving.

Serving

Serve this Cajun Pasta With Salmon with the following tasty sides:

More Pasta Recipes

Check out some of my favorite pasta dinners below!

If you make this recipe please leave a star rating below. Your rating helps others find the recipe plus I love hearing from you! Thank you!

Plated Cajun Pasta With Salmon.

Cajun Pasta With Salmon

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This Cajun Pasta With Salmon features a creamy flavorful sauce tossed with pasta and tasty seared salmon, all ready in 30 minutes! Pair pasta with seafood, and you'll enjoy this lighter pasta dinner!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients  

For Salmon

  • 4 6 oz. salmon fillets 1½ pounds total
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning unsalted
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

For Pasta

  • 16 oz pasta I used pappardelle
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Garnish and Serving

  • Minced parsley or sliced basil optional
  • Grated parmesan optional

Instructions 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook it for one minute less than the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, pat dry the salmon fillets with paper towels. Cut the salmon into 1-inch bite-size pieces. Season both sides of the salmon with the Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, and salt.
  • Heat a large (12-inch) skillet on medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the olive oil to the pan, then add the seasoned salmon and cook for 2 minutes per side, starting with the skin-side down, or cook the salmon until done. Be careful not to overcook the salmon. The salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork, or when it reaches an internal temperature of 145℉ on a meat thermometer.
  • Remove the salmon from the pan and turn down the heat to medium. Cover salmon with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  • Add butter to the skillet and let it melt. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
  • Add the heavy cream, Cajun seasoning, and paprika. Let the cream simmer on medium heat until it is reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the pan and coat with the creamy sauce.
  • Season with salt and black pepper to taste and toss to combine.
  • Add the salmon to the pasta. Toss to combine. You can also serve the pasta topped with the salmon.
  • Garnish with minced fresh parsley or sliced fresh basil and some shredded parmesan if you like. Serve warm.

Notes

  • If your Cajun seasoning is salted, avoid adding salt to the salmon or regulate the amount of salt you add depending on the saltiness of the seasoning.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. When reheating, add a little milk to thin it out, as it will be pretty thick after chilling in the refrigerator. If you thin it with more milk, add a pinch of salt.
  • For acidity and freshness, consider squeezing some fresh lemon juice into the creamy sauce before adding the pasta.

Nutrition

Calories: 670kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 228mg | Potassium: 304mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2.156IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 2mg

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Western
Calories: 670
Tried this recipe?Mention @preciouscore or tag #PreciousCore!

About Precious

Welcome to my core! I am Precious Nkeih, the recipe developer and writer right here on my blog, Precious Core. My goal is to show you insanely delicious recipes you can replicate in your kitchen. And I love to tell stories too. Hope you find recipes here that will make cooking easier for you! Check me out on YouTube at YouTube.com/PreciousKitchen.


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2 Comments

  1. Sounds great. Will make when we have more salmon in the fridge. Love the veggie options you mentioned.