Ultra creamy and indulgent, this creamy smoked salmon pasta is a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
Why you’ll love this pasta:
Truth be told, this’s NOT a traditional Italian alfredo pasta. Authentic Alfredo sauce is a creamy sauce made of emulsified cheese and butter.
My creamy Alfredo sauce is basically a homemade version of store-bought jar of Alfredo sauce.
- Creamy, thick and indulgent!
- It comes together super quick. Gather the ingredients and it’ll be ready in less than 20 minutes!
- Plus, it’s an instant favorite. Everyone loves it from the first bite!
- Cream cheese – Whipped cream cheese is the secret to the flavorful yet lighter sauce. Just make sure to grab original version, not a fruity one. Brick-style cream cheese makes the cause a bit too thick, in my opinion.
- Parmesan cheese – I think parmesan cheese is the only connection to real Alfredo sauce. But it’s equally important to use high-quality Parmigiano-Reggiano, preferably grated fresh. It’s an essential ingredient and the main flavor component!!
- Smoked salmon – Now, this pasta is delicious without it, but I just love the addition of smoky protein! I prefer hot-smoked salmon for this pasta. (Read the difference between cold and hot smoked salmon.)
- Lemon juice – Don’t skip this step! A little bit of lemon juice offsets the richness, making it really balanced and flavorful!
How to make this recipe:
- Start cooking the pasta according package directions. Once you drop pasta into the boiling water, start making the sauce.
- In a large skillet, melt butter and add whipped cream cheese along with garlic and seasonings.
- Then pour in milk and heavy cream and bring it to a boil.
- Stir in parmesan cheese and cook until thickened.
- Add cooked pasta, smoked salmon, parsley and lemon juice. Toss to combine and enjoy!
The sauce might seem runny at the beginning, but rest assured it’ll thicken rather quickly. Just keep a close eye on it once it comes to a boil. And don’t leave the stove to take a phone call, or something!
If the sauce is too thick, thin it out with some pasta cooking water.
You can absolutely substitute chicken for smoked salmon. I love adding leftover rotisserie chicken.
Refrigerate leftover Alfredo pasta in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
To reheat, add about 2 tablespoons of milk and microwave for 1-2 minutes.
Got Instant Pot? Try this Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo Pasta next!
Smoked Salmon Fettuccini Alfredo
- 8 oz fettuccini
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 oz whipped cream cheese Note 1
- 2 garlic cloves pressed
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup milk Note 2
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese Note 3
- 8 oz smoked salmon flaked Note 4
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice Note 5
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water and drain.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Stir in whipped cream cheese, garlic. Cook it for about 2 minutes, whisking occasionally. (Note: The mixture will look curdled and weird, but don't worry, it's totally normal.)
- In 2-cup measuring cup, combine heavy whipping cream and milk and slowly stir into the cream cheese mixture, whisking constantly.
- Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in parmesan cheese and continue to cook until desired thickness. (Keep in mind the sauce thickens rather quickly. If the sauce had thickened too much, thin it out with a bit of pasta cooking water.)
- Add cooked pasta, smoked salmon, parsley and lemon juice. Toss everything until well combined. Serve immediately.
Tips & Notes:
Refrigerate leftover pasta in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To reheat, add about 2 tablespoons of milk and microwave for 1-2 minutes.
This recipe was originally published on April 7th, 2016.