This easy pesto pasta with salmon and peas is is made with fresh pesto, roasted salmon, green peas, and a splash of bright lemon juice. Enjoy this incredible salmon pasta warm, cold, or room temperature.
Whether I’ve had a busy day or a really long week, there is nothing better than to finish it with a good meal and a glass of wine. A go-to for me is my Pesto Pasta with Salmon and Peas as it’s simple and comes together quickly and easily, but it still tastes delicious and is made with quality ingredients to be nutritious and filling. Skip the microwaved meal and make this classy seafood dish and pour yourself a glass of Captûre Wine to unwind and feel satisfied after a hectic week.
Why seafood with wine?
Whether at a restaurant or enjoying your meal at home, seafood and wine go together like peanut butter and jelly. The fruity and fresh taste of wine can help to tone down the “fishy” taste of salmon and other seafood. Captûre Wines has a wonderful assortment to choose from when it comes to finding the perfect match for your meal. I love to go with a white wine, like their Sauvignon Blanc, but depending on the seafood, you may like a more bodied red. But I find the dry, acidic white wine pairs well with the pesto which is fatty and salty from the cheese and oil. The floral basil also pairs well with the grapefruit notes in the sauv blanc.
- Salmon: A great source of protein and omega 3s, I love to cook with wild salmon, but farmed salmon is a great alternative.
- Pesto: Store bought or homemade, pesto makes a delicious, nutty, herby sauce for pasta.
- Pasta: I typically use rotini, but you could use a bowtie or penne pasta as well.
- Olive oil: Heart healthy and mild flavored, the olive oil helps to bring the sauce together.
- Chili flakes: Adds just a kick of heat and nuance to the flavors of the pesto sauce.
- Peas: Frozen peas are an easy and affordable way to include a vegetable in your meal.
- Lemon juice: Bright and acidic, it’s a flavor that pairs well with seafood and pasta.
How to Make Pesto Pasta with Salmon and Peas
Start your pesto pasta with salmon and peas by talking your salmon fillet and seasoning with salt and placing on a prepared baking sheet.
Next take a portion of the pesto and spread it over the top. Then throw it in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes, until it flakes easily.
Then take a pot of salted water and bring it to a boil, then add your pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain, reserving some of the pasta water, then set aside.
While pasta is cooking, take a deep skillet and add the olive oil and the rest of the pesto over medium-high heat.
Sprinkle in the chili flakes and then heat until warmed through.
Add a bit of the reserved pasta water, keeping the rest in case you need more for the correct consistency of the sauce.
Next stir in the cooked pasta.
Followed by the frozen peas.
Squeeze in the fresh lemon juice and season with a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
Once the salmon is finished baking, remove it from the oven and flake with a fork.
Add it to the pasta and stir to combine, heating until everything is warmed through.
Serve garnished with fresh parsley alongside your favorite glass of wine, and enjoy your Pesto Pasta with Salmon and Peas!
- Swap the seafood. This pesto pasta would also taste great with shrimp or scallops in place of the salmon.
- Use a different green. If you aren’t a fan of peas, or just don’t have any at the moment, you could use green beans, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts!
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do you get pesto to stick to pasta?
This is why I include some of the pasta water in my recipe! Using some of the leftover, starchy pasta water in your pesto sauce helps it to stick to your pasta.
Does pesto always contain cheese?
I believe there are brands that make a vegan pesto without cheese in it, but I haven’t ever tried them myself.
What’s the best pasta to cook for pesto?
Pesto tastes great on all types of pasta, short-cut or long-cut.
- Parmesan Crusted Baked White Fish
- Honey Mustard Salmon
- Shrimp and Broccoli Penne
- Cajun Shrimp Pasta
- Grilled Salmon with Lemon Garlic Sauce
Did you try this recipe and like it? The next time you make it, snap a picture and share it to your socials! Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share your dish.
Unwind and enjoy it alone, or serve it to your friends, but my Pesto Pasta with Salmon and Peas is best enjoyed next to a glass of Captûre Wine.
Your fork is waiting.
Pesto Pasta with Salmon and Peas
- 1 pound salmon (preferably wild)
- ½ cup pesto (store-bought or homemade, divided)
- 8 ounces rotini pasta (or short-cut pasta of your choice, prepared according to package instructions)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- pinch chili flakes
- 1 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- fresh parsley (optional garnish)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Spray with cooking spray then place salmon on top and pat dry with paper towel.
- Spread 1/4 cup of the pesto on top of salmon and bake until it flakes easily with fork, 15-20 minutes.
- While salmon is baking, cook pasta according to package instructions reserving 1 cup of the starchy pasta water.
- In large, deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat then remaining 1/4 cup pesto and chili flakes. Heat until warmed through, about 1-2 minutes, before stirring in 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water (reserving the rest in case you need it later.)
- Stir in cooked pasta, frozen peas and lemon juice. Toss well until evenly coated in pesto sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you need a bit more liquid, add in a little more starchy pasta water.
- Carefully flake the salmon with two forks before stirring in to the pasta. Garnish with fresh parsley before serving.
Disclosure: This recipe was developed in partnership with Captûre Wines. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Lemon Bowl possible. All thoughts are my own.