Quick Dinner Idea! A fantastic pasta recipe that’s on the table in under 20 minutes. My Pan Fried Salmon is flaked into tender pieces and served with spaghetti and zoodles/courgetti in a light lemon cream sauce. Mixing the spaghetti with zoodles is a great compromise for those carb lovers who want to cut down a little without feeling like they’re missing out!
Pasta with salmon really is a match made in heaven isn’t it.
I love a good pasta recipe, but cooking it with cream and cheese can make the dish feel quite heavy.
This version is a made a little lighter with the addition of spiralized courgette (zucchini), little chunks of sugar snap peas and a good sprinkling of lemon zest.
Pan frying the salmon
Have you jumped on the spiralizer wagon yet? I’ve got this one (<–affiliate link) and I love it!
Courgetti spaghetti is definitely a favourite, but I can’t completely give up on my pasta, so I like to mix the two.
Spiralizing the courgette
The sugar snap peas, courgetti and spaghetti are all cooked in the same pan (less washing up!!), and then it’s drained and added to the pan with the salmon and creamy sauce.
Removing the skin from the part-cooked salmon
I don’t go too mad with the cream – it really doesn’t need it. Just add in a good splash of the hot water from the cooked spaghetti and that helps to bind everything together and enhance the saucy creaminess.
Cooking the salmon flakes in the creamy sauce
This quick recipe is ready in less than 20 minutes (check out the video below, I think we did it in 16 minutes!) – which makes it a brilliant, balanced meal for those busy week nights.
Here’s the video for this recipe – as part of our 20 minute Tuesdays series:
Can I make it gluten free?
Yes, simply swap the spaghetti for gluten free spaghetti
Can I swap out the salmon for chicken?
Yes, replace the salmon fillets with boneless, skinless chicken fillets, but pan fry them for 5-8 minutes longer, so they’re cooked all the way through before you slice/shred the chicken. You can also replace with other fish, such as haddock or cod, although I think salmon tastes best. Trout would work well, and prawn would too. If you’re using prawns, just add them in with the softened onions for the last few minutes of cooking, rather than pan frying them first.
Can I freeze salmon with spaghetti?
Unfortunately this dish won’t freeze well.
How do I reduce the calories more?
Replace more (or all) of the spaghetti with more courgetti/zoodles. Removing the spaghetti entirely and replacing with 2 extra spiralized courgettes (zucchinis) will save approx 300 calories per portion!
How can I make a vegetarian version?
Yes, make a vegetarian version by replacing the salmon with quorn ‘chicken style’ strips (Linda McCartney Vegetarian Pulled Chicken is pretty good). Replace the Parmesan/Grana Padano cheese with a vegetarian/hard cheese.
The 20 minute Pan Fried Salmon with Spaghetti and Cream Lemon Sauce Recipe:
- 340 g dried spaghetti (use gluten free spaghetti if required)
- 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp butter salted or unsalted
- 1 pinch of salt and pepper
- 3 boneless salmon fillets
- 1 small onion peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 tbsp white wine optional
- 5 tbsp double/heavy cream
- zest of 1 lemon
- 85 g sugar snap peas, roughly chopped (or snow peas)
- 1 small courgette/zucchini spiralized or cut into thin strips
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tbsp Grated parmesan or Grana Padano
- pinch Black pepper
- Lemon zest
- Lemon Wedges
Place the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling water and simmer for 10-13 minutes - until cooked to your liking. Note - you'll be adding the sugar snap peas and courgette to the spaghetti for the last minute of cooking.
Whilst the spaghetti is cooking, heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan (Note 1)).
- Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on the salmon fillets and place in the frying pan skin side down. Cook for 3 minutes, until the skin is crispy. Turn the salmon over and add the onions to the pan. Cook the salmon and onions for a further 3 minutes, until the onions start to soften.
- Take the salmon out of the pan and place on a chopping board.
- Add the garlic to the onions and cook for a minute whilst stirring. Add the wine and let it bubble for a minute, then add in the cream. Heat through slowly.
- Whilst the cream is heating through, remove the skin from the salmon, and break the salmon into rough chunks (don't worry if it's not quite cooked at this point as it's going back in the pan). Add the salmon back into the pan with the cream. Also, add the lemon zest.
- By now the spaghetti should be almost ready. Add the sugar snap peas and spiralized courgette in with the spaghetti for the last minute of cooking.
Drain the pasta, reserving about half a cup of the cooking water. Add the spaghetti, sugar snaps and courgette to the frying pan and toss through along with a good splash of the spaghetti water (Note 2) and the lemon juice.
- Divide between four bowls and top with grated parmesan, freshly ground black pepper and a little bit of lemon zest. Serve with lemon wedges.
Note 1: Make sure your frying pan is big enough to hold all of the pasta and courgetti, as it's all tossed together at the end.
Note 2: If you want the pasta dish to be a little more saucy, add in a more of the reserved pasta water and an extra tbsp of cream.
Unfortunately this meal can't really be made ahead or frozen.
Nutrition info is for one serving of this recipe.