This creamy Tuscan salmon and pasta has a delicious, garlicky cream sauce with sun dried tomatoes, fresh spinach, and savory parmesan cheese. This 20 minute meal makes for an fantastic, easy weekday dinner!
Salmon with spinach and tomatoes
If you like salmon recipes, check out my one-pan baked parmesan crusted salmon with vegetables, bourbon-glazed salmon, or honey sriracha salmon.
Salmon is such a fabulous protein to cook for busy week nights. It cooks quickly, is mild in flavor, and there are countless recipes to prepare it! Personally, I really dig this baked salmon with cranberry relish. It’s made with fall produce but still has summertime freshness!
This creamy Tuscan salmon is all my family is talking about right now! It’s made effortlessly in 20 minutes. I’m talking prep time AND cook time! It’s such an easy meal with little prep work, easy cleanup, and guaranteed to satisfy the whole family. A bold claim, Sherry. I know!
This dish starts with pan searing salmon filets, then building an easy cream sauce that includes a good handful of parmesan cheese. The sun dried tomatoes and spinach add a delicious fresh layer of flavor! Toss this cream sauce with the pasta, top with the salmon, and you have yourself a five star dinner, my friend!
I really love this salmon dinner. It’s creamy, garlicky, buttery, and just so simple to put together. Creamy garlic Tuscan salmon is about to be your new favorite, too!
Tuscan creamy garlic salmon ingredients
- Salted butter– Butter is melted to pan sear the salmon in, which is then used to build the flavor and base of the cream sauce. MMM. pan drippings.. so delish!
- Seasoning– Paprika, basil, and red pepper flakes give this Tuscan salmon a truly authentic Italian flavor.
- Salmon– Smaller salmon filets are used for this recipe to keep the cooking time down to a minimum!
- Garlic- Fresh raw garlic is finely chopped and sautèd before building the cream sauce.
- Parmesan cheese– Grated parmesan cheese helps thicken the cream sauce so it clings better to the pasta.
- Sun-dried tomatoes– You can use herb sun-dried tomatoes or just regular ones, but this ingredient turns the cream sauce a beautiful color and adds a delicate flavor.
- Spinach– Fresh spinach is added to the cream sauce in the last few minutes of simmering because it wilts quickly.
- Fettuccine pasta– This kind of pasta is a wider, longer noodle that the parmesan cream sauce just clings to! YUM!
How to buy good quality salmon
Using a good quality salmon will not only provide more nutrients in your meal, add more flavor, and create better consumer habbits.
Whenever you have the oppertunity, always select wild caught salmon over farm raised salmon. Farm raised salmon is more prone to disease, pollution, and parasites. The farming conditions range in quality and the nutrient value is different than that of wild caught, mainly because farm raised salmon is fatties and typically 46% higher in calories.
If you can’t find fresh wild caught salmon, buy vacuum packed wild caught salmon, instead. This will be your next best bet in buying the best quality.
Lastly, if you simply cannot find these, farm-raised or sustainably farmed salmon is probably what’s laid across the ice in the seafood department of your grocery store. These will work just fine for this recipe.
Pan sear the salmon perfectly
Salmon is super easy and quick to cook. The cooking time varies depending on the size of the salmon filet.
First, take the salmon out of the fridge and place it on the counter (allow it to come to room temperature for 15 minutes, this helps prevent uneven cooking), then melt the butter in the pan. Make sure the pan is large enough to cook all the salmon filets, or cook them in batches, don’t over crowd the pan.
Season the salmon filets with paprika, salt, and pepper. Lay the salmon filets skin down (of it has skin on it), then sear for 4-5 minutes on each side, depending on the size.
How to make Tusacan salmon with pasta
- Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a roaring boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions until it is al dente. Drain the pasta and set it to the side.
- Pan sear the salmon. Remove the salmon from the fridge and place the filets on a plate. Pat dry the salmon with a paper towel, then sprinkle the filets with paprika, salt, and pepper. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Lay the salmon filets in the pan, then sear for 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove the salmon from the pan and place on a plate to the side.
- Build the cream sauce. Sautè the finely chopped garlic in the remaining butter in the pan. Add the basil, red pepper flakes, sun dried tomatoes, and heavy cream. Bring the sauce to a light boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the parmesan cheese to the sauce, then stir until it is melted and well incorporated. Once the cheese is melted, add the spinach and stir to help it wilt. Remove the pan from the heat once the spinach is wilted.
- Combine. Toss the pasta in the sauce, then place the salmon on top, including any juices from the salmon. Serve, mangia!
How to store creamy garlic Tuscan salmon and pasta
This meal was not only easy to make, it made a lot, so leftovers were turned into the next day’s lunch! Score!
You can store this dish in a refrigerator safe, airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
You can reheat this creamy garlic Tuscan salmon by popping it in the microwave for 2 minutes, or by reheating in a non stick pan over medium low heat for about 10 minutes (my prefered method because it saves more flavor!).
What to serve with creamy garlic salmon and pasta
- This quick side dish results in crispy pan fried broccoli florets that are equally healthy and addicting! Robust olive oil and raw garlic adds a perfect touch of flavor.
- Oven roasted asparagus is such an easy side dish that is healthy, delicious, and fast cooking.
- These white wine and lemon roasted artichoke halves are packed with flavor and nutrition. With complimenting hints of white wine and lemon, with lemon zest, the artichokes are juicy and delicious!
- Sweet potato and green beans are tossed in a full-bodied olive oil with raw garlic and fresh thyme, then roasted to perfection! These roasted vegetables are healthy and delicious.
- This delicious Italian sub tossed salad is jam packed with all the best Italian sub ingredients and drizzled with a homemade vinaigrette- without the bread!
Creamy Tuscan Salmon and Pasta
- 3 tbsp salted butter
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1 lb salmon filets
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 tsp basil
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1/2 tsp salt or more to taste
- 1 lb fettuccine pasta
- Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a roaring boil. Cook the fettuccine according to package instructions to al dente. Strain the pasta and place it to the side.
- Pan sear the salmon. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator so it has time to come to room temperature (this helps with cooking the salmon evenly). Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Pat dry the salmon filets with a paper towel. Sprinkle the salmon with paprika, salt, and pepper. Place the salmon (skin side down) in the pan and sear on each side for 4-5 minutes (depending on size of salmon). Once the salmon is done cooking, remove it from the pan and place it to the side.
- Build the sauce. Sautè the garlic in the remaining butter in the pan for 2 minutes. Add the basil, red pepper flakes, sun dried tomatoes, and heavy cream. Bring the sauce to a light boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the parmesan cheese and stir until it is melted and well incorporated. Add the spinach and stir, then remove the sauce from the heat once the spinach has wilted.
- Combine. Toss the pasta in the sauce, then top with the salmon and any juices that have accumulated. Serve with a pinch of fresh parsley and more parmesan cheese. Mangia!
Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.
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