📖 Recipe


Penne al Salmone

Three seared salmon filets over a bowl of Penne al Salmone pasta, garnished with fresh basil leaves.

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5 from 2 reviews

Penne al Salmone combines the rich and savory flavors of fresh salmon, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese with penne pasta and a splash of white wine. This creamy salmon pasta recipe has incredible flavor, is decadent (yet still very simple), and can be whipped up in only 30 minutes! 



For the salmon:

  • 2 pounds fresh salmon filets 
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper

For the pasta and sauce:

  • 1 pound penne pasta 
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large garlic cloves - minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups parmesan cheese - freshly grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Optional ingredient: Fresh basil for serving


  1. Cook your penne pasta according to package instructions.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Generously salt the pasta water, add your pasta, and cook until al dente.  Drain and set aside. 
  2. Heat 2-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat in a large, non-stick skillet with deep sides.  Season the salmon filets with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.  Place the salmon skin side up in the hot skillet.  
  3. Sear the salmon for about 5 minutes per side. Flip the salmon once a golden crust has formed on the flesh side of the salmon. Resist the urge to fiddle with the salmon while it is cooking.  Check salmon for doneness using a digital meat thermometer (see recipe notes).  
  4.  Remove the cooked salmon from the pan, clean your skillet, and add the butter to the pan.  Melt the butter over medium to low heat.  Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  
  5. Add the dry white wine and bring to a simmer.
  6. Once simmering, pour in the heavy cream.  Let the heavy cream come up to a very gentle simmer over low heat.  
  7. Add all of the shredded parmesan cheese.  Stir until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth and creamy.  
  8. Turn off the heat and stir in the dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. 
  9. Toss the cooked pasta into the cream sauce.  Transfer the pasta to 4-6 serving bowls (or one large serving bowl).  Top each serving of pasta with a portion of seared salmon and fresh basil.  Serve immediately and enjoy! 


  • I made my salmon and sauce in my Lodge Cast Iron Casserole Pot.  This pan is like a cross between a skillet and a casserole dish.  Any heavy-bottomed, high-heat, non-stick skillet will work.  Cast iron is always preferred!  
  • Make sure you preheat your pan before adding your salmon.  A hot pan ensures a good sear and helps prevent sticking. 
  • Check the salmon for doneness using a digital meat thermometer.  Salmon is done when the internal temperature reaches 145°F. I find that 145°F results in a very dry and overdone salmon. Personally, I like to cook my salmon to 135°F and check to make sure the thickest part of the salmon is light pink and easily flakes apart with a fork.
  • Simmer the cream sauce gently over low to medium heat.  Avoid boiling the sauce, as this can cause the cream to separate, curdle, or "break."
  • The nutrition information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.  It should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice.