Creamy Cajun Salmon Alfredo Pasta

This creamy cajun salmon pasta recipe has a creamy alfredo sauce with delicious blackened salmon, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, and spinach. It is a restaurant worthy creamy pasta dinner that is as impressive as it is decadent.
Bowl of creamy cajun salmon alfredo pasta with sun dried tomatoes, red peppers, and mushrooms.

This Cajun salmon pasta has a creamy alfredo sauce with Cajun spiced salmon, roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach. It is a restaurant worthy creamy pasta dish that is as impressive as it is decadent! Ready in under an hour

Cajun salmon pasta with creamy alfredo sauce and blackened salmon.

The best cajun salmon alfredo

As a south Louisiana native, I believe adding a little Cajun seasoning to your dish always makes it better! This salmon pasta combines three of my favorite things: creamy alfredo sauce, flaky blackened salmon, and spicy cajun seasoning

If you’re a creamy Cajun pasta lover too, Creamy Cajun Alfredo Sauce and One Pot Cajun Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo are two of the most popular recipes on the site! They’re both decadently creamy and cajun spiced!

For more delicious Cajun salmon recipes, try Cajun Honey Butter Salmon or Cajun Crab Stuffed Salmon

Lauren’s note: I enjoyed developing this Cajun salmon alfredo pasta recipe because it is so dang delicious! When testing out the recipe I couldn’t decide which add-ins I liked the best, so I included them all! You can pick your favorites out of spinach, roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, or mushrooms or include them all!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Cajun spices. This salmon pasta has just the right amount of Cajun seasonings without being too spicy. 
  • Perfect flavor pairing. Salmon pairs well with the flavors of cream, garlic, mushrooms, shallots, tomatoes, and white wine. 
  • Homemade alfredo sauce. Making a homemade alfredo sauce from scratch is easier than you think!
  • Blackened salmon. Searing the salmon in cajun spices gives it a perfectly crisp outside and tender flaky inside. 
  • You only need 1 hour. This delicious dinner recipe is ready in under one hour. 

Ingredients & Substitutions

Ingredients needed for cajun salmon alfredo pasta.

See the recipe card below for the complete list of ingredients and measurements.

  • Salmon – Salmon is the star of this dish, so start with fresh salmon and high quality ingredients.  Normally I recommend searing salmon with the skin on, but I prefer to remove it for this recipe so each side can be seared. 
  • Cajun seasoning – You can use store bought cajun seasoning, but you can easily make your own with this homemade Cajun seasoning recipe. You can also change it up and try out Blackening Seasoning instead!
  • Mushrooms – Omit if you don’t like them. Baby portobello or cremini mushrooms will work well here. 
  • Shallot – Use one large shallot or 2 small ones. Substitute for a small yellow onion. 
  • Dry white wine –  Like sauvignon blanc. Use something you would drink. You can swap for chicken broth if you don’t want to use alcohol. 
  • Heavy cream – Heavy cream makes this salmon alfredo extra thick and creamy. If you swap out for half and half, use half the amount of broth. 
  • Roasted red peppers – I love the taste of red bell pepper, but you can omit it if you don’t. 
  • Sun dried tomatoes – I use the jarred julienne cut kind in oil. Drain the oil then squeeze out remaining oil with paper towels. 
  • Parmesan cheese – Use authentic parmigiano reggiano cheese for the best flavor. Always grate it fresh, and avoid buying pre-shredded. Use a fine microplane
  • Pasta of your choice – Fettuccine, linguine, tagliatelle, or penne pasta will work well with this sauce, although pappardelle is pictured. Bow tie pasta would be fun!

PRO TIP: Save your parmesan rinds and use them to flavor soups, stews, and sauces! See it in action in Creamy Bolognese Sauce, Short Rib Rigatoni Ragu, and Homemade Vegetable Soup.

Equipment needed

How to make cajun salmon alfredo

Cajun seasoned salmon seared in a skillet.

STEP ONE: SEAR

Sear seasoned salmon until it forms a blackened crust on all sides. Remove salmon and set aside.

Sautéed mushrooms and shallots in a skillet.

STEP TWO: SAUTÉ

Cook mushrooms until browned, then sauté shallots and add garlic.

PRO TIP: The FDA recommends salmon be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C), but salmon cooked to that temperature will be dry and overcooked. If you are using good quality sushi grade salmon from a reputable source, you can cook the salmon to a lower temperature.

Pouring cream into a pan of sautéed mushrooms.

STEP THREE: DEGLAZE

Deglaze pan with white wine then add chicken broth and heavy cream. 

Up close adding spinach and red peppers to salmon cream pasta.

STEP FOUR: ADD-INS

Add spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and roasted red peppers. 

Up close creamy alfredo sauce with mushrooms, spinach, red peppers, and sun dried tomatoes.

STEP FIVE: SIMMER

Mix together and simmer until sauce thickens and spinach is wilted. 

Sprinkling parmesan cheese onto cajun salmon pasta.

STEP SIX: FINISH

Stir in parmesan cheese and add salmon back. Combine with cooked pasta, and a splash of pasta water and serve!

Expert Tips

  • Dry salmon = perfect sear. Pat salmon dry with a paper towel before searing. This helps the salmon get a perfectly crispy sear. 
  • Check for bones. Run your finger along the top and sides of your fresh salmon filets to feel for any pin bones. Remove them with fish bone tweezers
  • Oil the protein, not the pan. Brush oil onto the salmon fillets just prior to adding them to the pan. Adding oil to your protein rather than to the pan helps reduce smoking when searing meat at high temperatures. 
  • Do not disturb. The best way to brown mushrooms is to add them to the hot pan, and leave them alone for at least 5 minutes, allowing them to brown before disturbing them. If adding salt, don’t add it until the very end of cooking them. Salt will release moisture from the mushrooms, preventing them from browning. 
  • Al dente, please! Don’t overcook the pasta! Cook pasta to just under al dente according to package directions. It will cook a little more once you add it to the alfredo sauce. 
  • Check your seasoning. Different cajun seasoning blends have different salt levels in them, so taste it before you add too much to your dish. 

Storage & make ahead

How to store leftovers: Store cajun salmon alfredo leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If possible store cooked pasta and creamy cajun sauce separately. For more information about storing alfredo sauce, check out How Long Does Alfredo Sauce Last in the Fridge

How to freeze: I do not recommend freezing this recipe. 

How to reheat: The best way to reheat cajun salmon pasta is in a skillet. Avoid the microwave, as this will cause the salmon to be rubbery and the creamy sauce to break. Heat a skillet over low heat and add in the leftovers. Heat gradually while stirring. Add another splash of water, broth, or cream to the sauce to loosen up.

Reheating alfredo can be tricky, I have an entire guide on How to Reheat Alfredo Sauce so your leftovers can be just as delicious as when you first made them!

Make ahead instructions: I don’t recommend making this dish ahead of time, as it is best enjoyed fresh. You can prep and portion your ingredients (mise en place) ahead of time. 

A bowl of cajun salmon alfredo pasta.

What to serve with salmon alfredo

This is a rich and creamy dish, so serving it with a lighter side is a good idea. 

Try a green salad with Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette and Homemade Croutons. Spinach Arugula Salad with Crispy Prosciutto is also a delicious choice!

I also have a whole round up of Healthy Side Dishes for Salmon so you can keep it on the lighter side!

Troubleshooting

Sauce is too thick: If the pasta sauce becomes too thick, you can add a splash of water or broth and stir to loosen it back up. Keep in mind sauce will thicken as it cools.

Sauce is too thin: If your sauce is too thin, it needs to be reduced more. Heat the sauce over low heat until simmering and continue to stir occasionally until sauce has thickened to the desired consistency. Remember sauce will continue to thicken as it stands. 

Sauce breaks: Remove big chunks of salmon and whisk sauce while slowly adding a little more cream to the pan. To prevent a cream sauce from breaking, heat it slowly and don’t boil it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this ahead of time?

I don’t recommend making this recipe ahead of time, as both fish and cream based sauces are best when served fresh. You can however prep and portion out your ingredients a day ahead of time. 

What’s in cajun seasoning?

Cajun seasoning is a mix of paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and dried herbs. You can use store bought or make your own homemade cajun seasoning

Is cajun salmon pasta spicy?

As written, this cajun salmon pasta is mildly spicy. You can make this pasta as spicy as you want! Start with a little cajun seasoning, and add more as necessary. 

How to reheat salmon pasta?

The best way to reheat salmon pasta is in a saucepan. Add sauce and pasta to the saucepan with a splash of water, chicken broth, or cream and heat over low. Stir pasta until warmed throughout and creamy again.  I don’t recommend microwaving, as the salmon will become rubbery and the sauce will break. Read more about reheating creamy pasta sauces in How to Reheat Alfredo Sauce.

More salmon recipes

More alfredo sauce recipes

Lauren sitting on the kitchen counter.

Meet Lauren

I’m the blogger, recipe developer, food photographer, and otherwise food obsessed gal behind Lauren From Scratch. I was born and raised in New Orleans and lived in South Louisiana most of my life. Growing up around Cajun country has instilled a love of food that runs deep in my bones. I am passionate about food and teaching you how to make mouth-watering Louisiana inspired dishes in your own kitchen!


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This post was updated on 5/2/22 to include related recipes, additional links, web story, and Pinterest images.

Bowl of creamy cajun salmon alfredo pasta with sun dried tomatoes, red peppers, and mushrooms.

Cajun Salmon Alfredo Pasta Recipe

This creamy cajun salmon pasta recipe has a creamy alfredo sauce with delicious blackened salmon, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, and spinach. It is a restaurant worthy creamy pasta dinner that is as impressive as it is decadent.
4.87 from 59 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Cajun
Servings 4 servings
Calories 586 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Instructions
 

  • PREP: Pat salmon dry with paper towels. Run your finger along the top and sides to feel for any pin bones and remove. Coat evenly with Cajun seasoning. Slice mushrooms. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • SEAR: Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil on salmon. Sear salmon for about 3-5 minutes on each side depending on the thickness, until it forms a blackened crust, and is about 2/3s of the way cooked (medium to medium rare). Remove salmon and set aside.
  • BROWN: In the same pan, cook the mushrooms until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Grate parmesan cheese while mushrooms are browning.
  • SAUTÉ: Turn heat to medium low and add in shallots. Sauté shallots until caramelized, about 3 minutes. Then add garlic and cook while stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • DEGLAZE: Add white wine to deglaze and scrape up any browned bits (fond) from the bottom of the pan. Cook about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing alcohol to burn off.
  • SIMMER: Add in chicken broth and slowly stir in heavy cream. Add in spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and roasted red peppers. Bring to a simmer and cook on low for about 5-10 minutes until sauce has reduced to desired consistency, and spinach has wilted. While the sauce is simmering, cook pasta to al dente in a large pot of water.
  • FINISH: Stir in parmesan cheese and allow to melt into the sauce. Add salmon back to the pan with juices and break up with a wooden spoon into smaller chunks. Cook salmon in the sauce for 2-3 minutes. Combine with cooked pasta, and a splash of pasta water as needed.

Notes

  • How to store leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If possible store cooked pasta and creamy cajun sauce separately.
  • How to freeze: I do not recommend freezing this recipe.
  • How to reheat: The best way to reheat cajun salmon pasta is in a skillet. Avoid the microwave, as this will cause the salmon to be rubbery and the creamy sauce to break. Heat a skillet over low heat and add in the leftovers. Heat gradually while stirring. Add another splash of water, broth, or cream to the sauce to loosen up.
  • Make ahead instructions: I don’t recommend making this dish ahead of time, as it is best enjoyed fresh. You can prep and portion your ingredients (mise en place) ahead of time.
  • Sauce is too thick: If the pasta sauce becomes too thick, you can add a splash of water or broth and stir to loosen it back up.
  • Sauce is too thin: If your sauce is too thin, it needs to be reduced more. Heat the sauce over low heat until simmering and continue to stir occasionally until sauce has thickened to the desired consistency. Remember sauce will continue to thicken as it stands.
  • Sauce breaks: Remove big chunks of salmon and whisk sauce while slowly adding a little more cream to the pan. To prevent a cream sauce from breaking, heat it slowly and don’t boil it. 

Nutrition

Calories: 586kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 35gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 21gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 156mgSodium: 719mgPotassium: 1589mgFiber: 4gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 5292IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 283mgIron: 4mg
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4.87 from 59 votes (59 ratings without comment)

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