Y’all, I am so excited to share this easy creamy salmon pasta salad recipe with you! It’s one of those easy clean out your pantry meals and is absolutely delicious! You are gonna love it!
Now, friend, when it comes to cooking up some Southern comfort, you know I’ve got a trick or two up my sleeve. So, I was going through my pantry stock the other day and looking for what I need to rotate out.
I had a few cans of salmon that I ran across that I needed to use up and thought this wonderful simple salmon pasta salad recipe would be the perfect way to enjoy an easy meal and to share my recipe with y’all.
So, get ready to dive into a mouthwatering dish that’s perfect for those warm summer days or any occasion that calls for a little bit of down-home comfort food.
It’s my delectable Salmon Pasta Salad, and trust me, folks, it’s the kind of dish that’ll have your friends and family comin’ back for seconds. I’m sure it will become a favorite addition for your recipe box.
Let’s gather up the ingredients and get started on this delicious salmon and pasta salad.
Best Salmon Pasta Salad
Oh my word! Doesn’t that look good, y’all? It really is amazing and is so simple to put together. I should also mention that this salmon pasta salad is good warm, but is best chilled and served cold.
Those flavors just get better and better after all of those ingredients mingle together for a bit.
If you find yourself with some canned salmon that you need to use up then you’ll want to try this pasta dish. Another dish I love to prepare with canned salmon is Southern salmon patties served on a bed of creamy grits.
What to Serve with Salmon Pasta Salad?
The salmon pasta salad is great on its own. You can also add sides that you might enjoy to make it a meal that you and your family will love. I have a few great suggestions for what you might serve with this seafood pasta salad.
Crusty Bread: A classic choice to accompany pasta dishes, a fresh bakery loaf, home baked baguette, or cheesy garlic bread pairs wonderfully with the flavors of the salmon and pasta salad. You can see my carb-loving heart chose to serve up some home baked baguettes with this meal.The baguettes that I used came from Costco in the freezer section and you bake ’em up in your oven until golden brown. Super easy and so good, y’all!
Coleslaw: A creamy or vinegar-based coleslaw can add a nice crunch and a touch of tanginess to your meal. In my neck of the woods, coleslaw and seafood go hand in hand.
- Salad: a garden salad or tangy cucumber salad would be great served with a pasta meal.
Vegetables: Roasted or grilled vegetables like asparagus, bell peppers, zucchini, or cherry tomatoes make for a healthy and flavorful side dish.
- Hush Puppies: I can’t help but think of anything with seafood and a side of hush puppies. I could almost make a meal out of the hush puppies.
And don’t forget a tasty beverage to wash it all down! Water, tea, or a glass of wine would be wonderful with a pasta dinner.
Ingredients for Salmon Pasta Salad
What do I need to make a salmon pasta salad? Well, honey, it doesn’t take much to create this simple dish. Here is what you’ll need.
- Pasta: I used Publix store brand medium shells, since this was a seafood dish. You can use macaroni or whatever pasta shape you have on hand. You’ll need cold water to cook the pasta and can just follow the package instructions to prepare it until it is soft and al dente.
- Canned Salmon: I prefer skinless and boneless and it doesn’t matter whether it is red or pink salmon for this recipe. These days I do prefer the wild caught sustainable brands, and that is what was in my pantry that I needed to use up.
- Mayonnaise: Y’all know that I’m a Duke’s mayo gal, so that is what I used for my creamy salad dressing. It adds a nice tanginess to the dish.
- Lemon Juice: bottled or fresh. If using a fresh lemon then you might want to add a bit of the lemon zest too.
- Seasonings: I used salt, black pepper, onion powder, and some Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning.
- Capers: add a wonderful burst of flavor.
- Fresh Dill: goes wonderfully in the dressing to add flavor for this cold salmon pasta salad.
- Bell Pepper: I used red for the pop of color and sweetness of flavor.
- Green Onion: adds color and mild onion flavor. I also enjoy red onion in a seafood pasta salad but didn’t have one on hand.
- Celery: adds a bit of crunch texture and flavor.
Optional Ingredients and Variations
Y’all, I am all about using what ya got on hand when making these pantry staples meals. If you cooked a fresh salmon for supper the night before and have leftover salmon, then feel free to flake that up and use it in the recipe.
You could even chop up some smoked salmon and use that.
Use whatever pasta you might have on hand and mix up ingredients to change up the flavors to suit your own tastes. If you enjoy other seasonings or fresh herbs then add them into the mix.
Flavor variations could also be added to color and texture, such as cherry tomatoes, diced English cucumber, green peas or diced asparagus.
The dressing could also be changed up with creamy Greek yogurt or sour cream if preferred.
For an added, but optional pop of color, chopped parsley makes a wonderful garnish when serving this simple salmon pasta salad.
The Creamy Dressing with Lemon, Capers, and Dill
The first step is to prepare the creamy dressing. Add the mayonnaise, seasonings, chopped dill, lemon juice, and capers to a small mixing bowl and stir to combine everything together.
I used a teaspoon salt and half teaspoon of the other seasonings in the dressing, but those can be adjusted to taste if needed. Keep in mind that the capers are quite tangy however.
Set the salmon pasta dressing aside while you continue prepping.
Canned Salmon Pasta Salad
Next, add the cooked shell pasta to a large bowl. I like the medium shells because the dressing and other tasty bits get into all of the nooks and crannies to deliver delicious flavor in every bite.
The next step is to add the diced red bell pepper and sliced green onion to the mixing bowl with the pasta.
Y’all will also want to go ahead and add your bite-sized pieces of celery in too. You don’t see it in the photo above because I forgot and added it in at the end.
Southern Salmon Pasta Salad with Mayo Dressing
Finally, add in the drained canned salmon and the dressing. Use a spatula to give everything a good stir until everything is combined.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the bowl into your refrigerator until ready to serve.
Easy Clean out the Pantry Meal
The pasta does absorb a bit of the dressing as it chills but all of that flavor is infused into each bite as everything mingles together.
If you think that you would prefer to freshen up the creaminess, you can reserve two tablespoons of the dressing to mix in before serving, or add a little mayo to freshen it up.
Printable Recipe Card for Salmon Pasta Salad
Let’s eat y’all! How is that for an easy pantry meal? It’s so delicious and I know you will love it just as much as we do.
Below you will find the printable recipe card so you can add this delicious recipe to your collection of favorite pasta dishes.
- 16 ounce Medium Shell Pasta, cooked according to package directions
- 24 ounces Canned Salmon, skinless and boneless (red or pink salmon - this is about 4 small cans or 2 larger sized), drained
- 1¼ Mayonnaise
- ½ tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 teaspoon Salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon Onion Powder, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons Capers, drained
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Dill, chopped
- 2 Red Bell Peppers, diced
- ½ cup Green Onions, sliced
- ½ cup Celery, diced
- Chopped Parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Cook pasta according to package directions or bring 4 quarts of water to a boil, add half a teaspoon of kosher salt to the boiling water then drop the pasta in, stir, and cook 10-12 minutes until al dente. Drain.
- Prepare the creamy dressing by adding the mayonnaise to a small mixing bowl. Next add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, onion powder, Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning, capers, and chopped dill to the mayo then stir to combine; set aside until needed.
- In a large bowl add the cooked shell pasta, bell pepper, green onion, celery, and drained salmon. Transfer the creamy dressing to the mixing bowl with the other ingredients and use a spatula to mix until everything is combined.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.
- When serving, garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.
See full blog posts for other options and variations as well as serving suggestions.
This recipe can also be used with canned tuna or canned chicken.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 234Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 728mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 23g
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Easy Creamy Salmon Pasta Salad Recipe
So, there you have it, my friends – a delicious Salmon Pasta Salad that’s not only bursting with flavors but also incredibly versatile.
Whether you are hosting a summer barbecue, planning a picnic, or just want a hearty and satisfying meal, this dish has got you covered. It’s a great meal any time of year.
The combination of tender chunks of salmon, al dente pasta, and creamy lemon dill dressing is simply unbeatable.
So, gather your loved ones around the table, savor every bite, and create some cherished memories.
I hope you enjoy every delicious forkful of this Salmon Pasta Salad.
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Love and Happy cooking, y’all!