Add some zing to your pasta night with this salmon and broccoli pasta in a creamy dill-flavoured sauce. Salmon and dill pair beautifully together. Add chopped mushrooms for extra flavour and peas for pops of sweetness and you have a delicious supper that's ready in next to no time.
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A different way to serve salmon
The Scandinavians eat a lot of salmon. I found that out when I was attending a conference in Copenhagen a few years ago. Every meal we were served had salmon in it in some shape or form. Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs at breakfast time; open sandwiches with salmon at lunch; and large pieces of poached or fried salmon for supper. Even I, who loves fish, found it a bit much.
However, one of the dishes we were served was similar to this salmon and broccoli pasta with creamy dill sauce, which I am sharing today. This was one of the tastiest pasta dishes I've ever eaten. It was made with salmon fillets, poached in dill-infused milk, and combined with broccoli and mushrooms in a creamy, saucy pasta.
It was hard to believe that so few ingredients could combine into such a burst of flavour, but surprisingly they did (and very well too).
Since returning home, I've adapted the recipe to suit my own taste. I believe the original sauce had cream in it, which I found a bit rich, so I used cornflour or cornstarch to thicken the sauce instead. It still tastes amazing. And it's so quick and easy to make. You can have this dish on the table in about half an hour. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
What do you need?
All you need to make this dish are 4 main ingredients, plus the sauce and pasta, and you have a mouth-wateringly tasty family supper. You can get the complete list of ingredients and full instructions for making this salmon and broccoli pasta on the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
This recipe serves 2 people, but you can easily increase the quantities to feed a larger family. Prep time is about 15 minutes, and if you put the pasta on to boil while the fish is poaching, the actual cooking time is around 15 minutes too.
You should allow about 3.5 ounces of fresh salmon per person (or 100g each). It's not necessary to remove the skin - the skin will peel off easily once the salmon has been poached. If you don't have fresh salmon you can use canned salmon instead which will make the recipe even easier to make.
The quantity of salmon is in accordance with recommendations from the American Heart Association. I realise there are other ingredients in this dish, including pasta, so you may wish to cut the salmon down to 80 grams (or about 3 ounces) per person. It will depend on your appetite.
For the broccoli, you should allow about half a cup of florets per person. You can use either normal broccoli or tender-stem broccoli. If you don't want to use broccoli you could substitute this with another vegetable that you enjoy. Red pepper goes well with salmon (see this recipe for salmon and red pepper pasta salad). You could also try using sliced green beans, sugar snap peas, zucchini or even carrots.
I have used baby mushrooms for this recipe, but you can use firm white mushrooms, chestnut mushrooms or even portobello mushrooms. The mushrooms should be sliced or quartered, depending on their size. You will need approximately half a cup of sliced mushrooms per person.
Peas add a nice touch of sweetness - I like to use frozen petit pois, but you can use frozen garden peas instead. If you prefer you can substitute the peas with frozen corn kernels.
For the sauce, you will need butter and milk, dried dill and parsley, and salt. Half of the milk will be used to poach the fish and the rest of the milk will be mixed with cornflour or cornstarch and used to thicken the sauce.
This recipe uses dried dill and parsley. If you prefer you can use fresh dill and parsley, but you should treble the quantity as dried herbs are much stronger than fresh. So for each teaspoon of dried herbs, you should substitute with 1 tablespoon of fresh.
For this recipe, I like to use linguine, which is like flat spaghetti. You could use normal spaghetti if you prefer, or even a shell noodle. I wouldn't use penne or ziti for this recipe as you need something that the sauce can be scooped up in. Linguine wraps nicely around your fork and you can spear the salmon on the prongs to get a nice mouthful!
How to make salmon and broccoli pasta
If you put the pasta on to boil before you start on the fish, you can cut down on the total cooking time.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and cook the pasta for the time indicated on the packet. If you use salt, you can add a teaspoon of salt to the water.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain and keep warm.
- Prepare the vegetables by cutting the broccoli into florets and the mushrooms into slices or quarters.
Poach the salmon
- Pour half of the milk into a frying pan, add the butter and herbs and heat until the butter has melted.
- Place the salmon skin-side down in the hot milk, cover the pan with a lid and allow to poach gently for about 6 minutes until the colour changes to pale pink.
- Using a spatula, carefully turn the salmon over and poach for a further 3 minutes until the salmon can be flaked with a fork.
- Remove the salmon from the pan and break it into flakes.
- Leave the poaching liquid in the frying pan. This will be used to make the sauce.
Make the sauce and cook the vegetables
- Mix a tablespoon of cornflour/cornstarch into a cup of milk and add to the poaching liquid in the frying pan.
- Stir over a low heat until the sauce has thickened.
- While the salmon is poaching, place the chopped broccoli in a microwave-safe dish, cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for 3 minutes until just softened. If you prefer you can steam the broccoli instead, or just boil it in lightly salted water until soft.
- Saute the mushrooms in a small saucepan with a knob of butter until softened.
- Once the sauce has thickened, mix in the pasta. Make sure the pasta is well-coated with the sauce. Then add the broccoli and mushrooms. Add the frozen peas and place the pan on a low heat until the sauce is piping hot and the peas are defrosted.
- Then stir in the salmon and serve.
How to double up the recipe
This is a breakdown of the ingredients you will need per person:
- 3.5oz (100g) salmon
- Half a cup each of broccoli and mushrooms and one-quarter of a cup of frozen peas
- 1oz butter
- 1 cup of milk. Use half of the milk for poaching the fish and the other half for adding to the sauce.
- Half a teaspoon of dill and half a teaspoon of parsley
- 2oz (65g) dried pasta per person.
What to serve with salmon and broccoli pasta
You don't really need anything by way of side dishes. If you really want to add to the meal you could serve it with slices of freshly toasted garlic bread and a simple salad made with chopped lettuce and sliced tomatoes, with a simple French dressing.
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Is salmon good for you?
Salmon is extremely good for you. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are good for your heart, and is also an excellent low-calorie protein source. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two 3.5-ounce portions of salmon or other oily fish per week.
In addition, salmon is an excellent choice of protein if you are watching your weight. A 3.5-ounce serving of salmon contains only two-thirds the number of calories in an equivalent serving of steak.
A little-known fact about dill
When I was researching the history of the ingredients that go into this dish, I came across some interesting facts about dill.
- The entire plant can be eaten, the fronds (dried or fresh) are used to flavour fish or salad dishes, whereas the seeds are used in pickling and also in dal or lentil curries.
- Dill is one of the ingredients in 'gripe water' that is given to babies who are suffering from colic and tummy aches.
- The word Dill derives from an old Norse or Scandinavian word 'dilla', meaning 'to soothe'.
Make in advance
I wouldn't freeze this dish, but you can make it in advance.
Prepare and assemble the dish and then transfer it to an ovenproof container and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave, or place the container in the oven until well-heated through.
Pin for later
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Other seafood pasta recipes
If you enjoyed this salmon pasta recipe, perhaps you'd also like to try some of my other pasta recipes:
- Seafood stuffed pasta shells
- Pasta Pescatore
- Ham and mushroom tagliatelle
- Meatball stuffed jumbo pasta shells
- Mussels with pasta in a spicy tomato sauce
- Creamy mussel pasta
Salmon and broccoli pasta with creamy dill sauce
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- 7 ounces / 200 grams fresh salmon
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup sliced white mushrooms
- ½ cup frozen petit pois or garden peas
- 2 ounce
/60 gramsbutter (plus 1 teaspoon extra for frying the mushrooms)
- 1 cup milk for poaching the fish
- 1 cup milk for the sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried chopped dill (or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill)
- 1 teaspoon dried chopped parsley (or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or cornflour (plus extra if the sauce does not thicken sufficiently)
- 4 ounce 110 grams linguine (uncooked)
- salt to taste
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil (optionally add 1 teaspoon salt) and cook the pasta for the time indicated on the packet.4 ounce 110 grams linguine (uncooked)
- Drain the pasta and keep warm.
- Cut the broccoli into florets and slice the mushrooms.1 cup broccoli florets, 1 cup sliced white mushrooms
- Place the broccoli in a microwave safe dish, cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for 3 minutes or until the broccoli is just tender. Set aside.
- Saute the mushrooms in the extra butter until softened. Set aside.
- Pour one cup of milk into a large saucepan and add the butter, dill and parsley. Heat until the butter has melted.2 ounce /60 grams butter, 1 cup milk, 1 teaspoon dried chopped dill, 1 teaspoon dried chopped parsley
- Add the fish (skin side down), cover with a lid and poach gently for about 6 minutes.7 ounces / 200 grams fresh salmon
- Using a spatula, carefully turn the fish over and poach for a further 3 minutes until the salmon is cooked through and can be flaked with a fork.
- Remove the salmon from the pan (leave the poaching liquid in the pan) and carefully remove the skin. Discard the skin and break the salmon into flakes.
- Mix 1 tablespoon cornflour with the second cup of milk and add to the poaching liquid in the frying pan. Add salt to taste and stir over a low heat until the sauce has thickened.1 tablespoon cornstarch or cornflour, salt, 1 cup milk
- Add the pasta to the sauce and stir until well coated. Add in the broccoli and mushrooms then stir in the frozen peas.½ cup frozen petit pois
- Stir over a low heat until piping hot and the peas have defrosted.
- Stir in the salmon and serve.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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