Want to spice things up for dinner tonight? This One-Pot Cajun Salmon Pasta is creamy, delicious, quick, easy, and has a little kick!
What’s a better combo than salmon and pasta? Ready in under 30 minutes to feed 2-4 people (depending on your appetite) and with minimal clean-up required, this will be your go-to dinner for recipes with fish!
Green tip: Speaking of cleanup, if you have a dishwasher-use it! Comparing dishwashing to handwashing, using an efficient dishwasher uses 1/6th the amount of water to get your dishes clean!
And with just ten ingredients and ready in 30 minutes, this one-pot pasta recipe just ticks every single box!
Cajun Salmon Pasta Ingredients
Here’s everything you need:
- Salmon. You can buy skinless or remove the skin before getting started. 11 ounces should be plenty to serve two, but if you’re cooking for a family of three+, you may want to get a larger cut, and slice it into individual portions.
- Cajun seasoning. Find it at the store, buy it online, or make your own!
- Olive oil. To pan-fry your salmon in.
- Fresh garlic. I love to use 4 cloves of fresh garlic and mince it myself, but if you are sensitive to garlic, just use two.
- Diced tomatoes. Canned. You can add the contents of the whole can—both the diced tomatoes and the liquid it comes in.
- Vegetable broth. You could also use mushroom or chicken broth here.
- Fettuccine. You can substitute linguine, but other shapes of pasta vary in cooking time.
- Fresh spinach. Two tightly packed cups of baby spinach adds some freshness, nutrition, and color.
- Cream. Light cream or half and half is preferred, but you can also use coconut cream!
- Parmesan Cheese. Grated to add a little extra salt and to thicken your sauce ever so slightly.
If not done correctly, salmon farming can pose a risk to our environment for several reasons. This includes, but is not limited to, the antibiotics used in salmon farms that can then leach into the surrounding environment and the depletion of other wild fish harvested to feed the salmon.
However, wild-caught salmon poses other risks, including overfishing and bycatch. Plus, there are often issues with availability and access to wild-caught salmon.
So where does that leave us when it comes to sourcing salmon sustainably?
We have two great choices: sustainably farmed salmon, or wild-caught Alaskan salmon.
Green tip: Look for Marine Stewardship Council and Friend of the Sea labels on your fish to ensure they were harvested sustainably.
Cajun Pasta with Salmon Tips and Tricks
Use a Large Sauce Pan or Shallow Pot
One of my favorite things about this dish besides the taste and how quickly it comes together is the fact that it only requires one pot. Use a large saucepan or shallow pot for best results!
I use my trusty, toxin-free, and sustainable Always Pan (use code: marleysmenu for 10% off!) for this dish and, well, pretty much everything, if you are looking for one to use for this dish!
It’s best to use a shallow pot or large frying pan rather than a tall and more narrow pot because you want the pasta to be completely submerged in the liquid.
Green tip: If you have an electric range, use a pot or pan that both sits flat on and matches the size of your burner to make sure you are not wasting energy.
Dry and Season Your Salmon
Whether you’re using fresh or frozen, it’s best to completely dry off your fish before coating it in the spice blend. If you are using frozen salmon, make sure to thaw it first.
The easiest way to do this is by placing your fish filets in between two paper towels and pressing them down. Drying the fish will ensure your seasoning blend sticks, and will avoid extra hot oil splatter from additional water on the fish.
Once your salmon is dry, sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning on both sides of your fish filet. Set the rest of the Cajun seasoning aside to add to your pasta later.
Fry Your Salmon First
Add your olive oil to the pan and get it hot over medium heat. After heating for about 2 minutes, carefully place your seasoned salmon on the pan and fry for about 5 minutes on both sides. The salmon should reach an inner temperature of 125°F.
Green tip: Fishing for wild-caught salmon poses risks to the environment in the way of bycatch and overfishing. While irresponsible salmon farms have negative effects on the environment, choosing fish from sustainable, organic salmon farms is the most responsible way to enjoy salmon.
If you’re looking for sustainable salmon from an environmentally conscious salmon farm that can be delivered straight to your doorstep, I highly recommend these salmon fillets. It’s important to stress that not all salmon farms are created equal.
Use The Same Pan for Your Pasta
Once your salmon is cooked on both sides, remove it from your pan and set it aside. We will cook the pasta in the same pan to take advantage of any flavor left in there from frying the salmon.
Add your minced garlic first and fry it up for a minute or two until it’s nice and fragrant. Then, you’ll add your diced tomatoes and vegetable broth.
Then, snap your pasta in half and add it to the pan with the rest of your Cajun Seasoning.
Cover to cook the pasta for about ten minutes. Make sure to stir every so often to avoid any burning on the bottom or pasta noodles sticking together.
Add The Spinach and Cream
Next, you’ll remove the cover and add your fresh spinach and cream. Stir and continue to cook uncovered until the spinach wilts and any excess liquid cooks off.
You should be left with creamy pasta.
Add the Parmesan Last
Once you are happy with the consistency of your sauce, remove the pan from heat and add your parmesan cheese. This will add a little extra salt and thicken your sauce slightly.
Serve it Up with the Cajun Salmon
Serve up your pasta with the Cajun-seasoned pasta and voila! Easy, delicious salmon dinner!
Should You Have Leftover Cajun Salmon Pasta
This Cajun Salmon Pasta will last for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
The best way to re-heat it is by adding your leftovers to a baking dish and preheating your oven to 375°F. Cover completely with tin foil to trap moisture and heat the pasta and salmon in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
If you feel your leftover sauce has thickened too much, add a little milk or cream (more veggie broth will work in a pinch, too) to add moisture back in before reheating.
If you really want a quicker + easier reheating method, you can safely reheat leftovers in the microwave covered and on high for about 3 minutes. However, the microwave tends to dry out both the salmon and the cream sauce. So, if you have the time, use the oven!
Cajun Salmon Pasta Frequently Asked Questions
What’s Cajun seasoning made of?
Cajun Seasoning has a lot of different variations, but generally, it starts with a base of paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and oregano.
It’s traditionally reddish in color and has a little kick to it!
Can I reheat creamy salmon pasta?
Yes! The best way to reheat creamy salmon pasta is to add it to a baking dish and cover it completely with tin foil. This will help to trap moisture and avoid your pasta and salmon getting too dry.
It should be thoroughly reheated within 20-25 minutes in a 375°F oven. The inner temperature of the salmon should reach 125°F—the safest way to check is to use a kitchen thermometer.
What can you have with salmon for dinner?
Salmon is a great main course filled with healthy omega-3s and protein. It’s super flavorful on its own and is a great compliment to pasta, like in this Cajun Salmon Pasta dish.
Why You Should Make This One-Pot Cajun Salmon Pasta
- It’s easy! Both to make and to clean up!
- The texture. That creamy pasta with the crispy salmon on top—what a delight!
- The spice. Just enough creaminess to balance the spice while retaining a little heat (but not too much!).
One-Pot Cajun Salmon PastaPIN RATE Print
- Bamboo Paper Towels (optional)
- 11 ounces salmon (skinless, individual portions)
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 14.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes (14.5 oz usually = 1 large can)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 16 ounces fettuccine (or linguini)
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 2 cups light cream, half and half, or coconut cream
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- If need be, remove the skin from the salmon and cut it into two equal portions. Use a paper towel to pat the salmon dry on both sides.
- Use about 2 teaspoons of your Cajun seasoning to season both sides of the salmon filets.
- Add olive oil to a large saucepan or shallow pot and bring up the temperature of the oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully drop in your seasoned salmon filets.
- Fry salmon for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the center of the thickest part of the salmon reaches 125°F. Remove the salmon from the pan and set it aside.
- Add your minced garlic to the same hot pan you cooked your salmon in. Let it fry in the leftover oil for about 2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add your diced tomatoes (and any liquid they are submerged in in the can) and veggie broth. Snap your Fettuccine in half and add it to the pan with the rest of your Cajun seasoning.
- Make sure your pasta is submerged in the liquid, and cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally to make sure the pasta noodles do not stick together or burn on the bottom of the pan.
- After 10 minutes, remove the cover and turn your stove down to low heat. Add the fresh spinach and cream, stir, and cook on low until spinach wilts and you have a thick and creamy consistency.
- Remove from heat, add the Parmesan cheese, and stir to combine. Serve the Cajun salmon atop the creamy pasta and enjoy!
- This recipe is best with light cream or half and half, but I also tested it with coconut cream for those who have sensitive stomachs to cream. It still tasted delicious, but there was a subtle hint of coconut. It’s a great option for those who enjoy coconut, but cream or half and half is preferred to allow the Cajun seasoning to shine.
- Pasta lover? Me too! I think you’ll love this collection of my best pasta meals.
- Want more recipes like this? Check out this list of Salmon Pasta Recipes.