A lightened up twist on the traditional alfredo, this sundried tomato, and salmon alfredo is every bit as indulgent as the original, but without lots of heavy cream. A creamy alfredo sauce combined with perfectly cooked salmon and some sun-dried tomatoes for a little pop of sunshine, this is a one-pot dish perfect for serving up to the whole family on a weeknight. Pair with a simple side salad and you will be ticking all the boxes. Leftovers reheat perfectly which means that this can be packed for lunch the next day too. Easily meal prepped ahead of time and just thrown into the oven when needed. This makes a great make-and-freeze meal also.
If you love dishes with creamy pasta sauce then you should definitely try this Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta Alfredo next! An easy recipe with a homemade alfredo sauce and homemade Cajun seasoning that is simply delicious.
Sun-dried Tomato and Salmon Alfredo Pasta Bake
I have whipped up a couple of batches of this sun-dried tomato and salmon alfredo pasta this month for various friends. Whenever a friend is having a hard time, or just in need of a little TLC.
With its rich alfredo sauce this little beauty is my go-to comfort dish.
- it is quick and easy to prepare;
- it can be prepared in advance, so your friends (or you) can just pop it into the oven when needed;
- it is hearty without being too heavy;
- there's cheese (need I say more?);
- it can all be prepared in one pan (fewer dishes? yes please);
- it is freezer friendly and family-friendly;
- it's perfect both as a date night fancy dinner or as a weeknight staple;
- leftovers reheat well for lunch the next day.
What more could you want?
A Note On Ingredients
The list of ingredients for this easy meal may look a little daunting at first glance, but they are all pretty much pantry and fridge staples, so it still comes together very easily.
You will need:
- penne pasta: I use whole wheat penne pasta for this recipe, but you can use whatever pasta you prefer;
- butter: you will want to use unsalted butter so you can control the salt content of the dish;
- garlic: fresh or prepared garlic will work in this recipe. garlic powder could be used in a pinch also;
- flour: I use whole wheat flour, but you could also use white flour or a gluten-free alternative if preferred. The flour is used for thickening up the alfredo, so you will want something that can easily be whisked into the liquids, not something like an almond meal that would leave a grainy texture;
- milk: I use full-fat milk, but any type of milk would work here;
- cream cheese;
- chicken broth or vegetable broth: use a good quality broth and check for salt content before adding it to the dish;
- fresh salmon fillets: look for wild-caught salmon if possible, and we will not be using the salmon skin in this recipe, so buy skin-off fillets if possible;
- diced tomatoes: fresh diced tomatoes or canned tomatoes work well here;
- mozzarella cheese: this will be shredded. Pre-shredded mozzarella has preservatives added to it that can have a grainy texture when melted, for this reason, I would recommend grating your own mozzarella, as we want the alfredo to be smooth;
- sun-dried tomatoes: these can be found in the deli or in the canned vegetable section of the grocery store where you would find jars of olives etc. So as not to make the dish too oily try purchasing the dried tomatoes not in oil. If you can only find the sundried tomatoes in oil just be sure to drain them and pat dry with a paper towel before adding to the recipe;
- Parmesan cheese: again, try grating your own cheese if at all possible so that the sauce will be smooth without a grainy texture;
- parsley: I would recommend fresh parsley, not dried parsley in terms of flavor.
And of course, you will need some freshly cracked black pepper, kosher salt, chili flakes, and leafy greens for serving.
Meal Prepping Instructions
This is the perfect meal to make and give to friends or family or have whipped up and ready to go on busy weeknights.
I find the best way to prepare this for giving away is to use a disposable aluminum baking dish so that it does not have to be returned.
Leave a note on top with instructions to bake for 15 minutes.
This is also perfect for making and freezing until needed.
To meal prep this salmon alfredo recipe:
- make it up to step 7 in the recipe card below, and then add it to a disposable baking tray;
- store in the fridge until ready to make;
- bake in the oven for 15 minutes and then continue with step 8.
What Makes This Different From a Traditional Alfredo?
This salmon alfredo pasta is on the lighter side when compared with a traditional alfredo recipe, and therefore totally acceptable when it's a bit warmer outside.
We use some milk and a little bit of cream cheese instead of loads of heavy cream, just to lighten it up a bit. But it is still very creamy, cheesy, and indulgent (I promise).
It is without a doubt every bit as comforting as the original, with only half the guilt 🙂 I just know you will love it.
It also comes together in ONE pot!
Tips, Tricks, and Substitutions
I use skin-off salmon filets for this salmon alfredo pasta recipe, but you could also change things up by using other ingredients.
Why not try:
- some shredded cooked chicken like in this Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake;
- shredded store-bought or homemade rotisserie chicken (you can even make your own);
- some lightly steamed broccoli in place of the salmon for the vegetarians;
- or add broccoli along with the salmon and maybe some green peas to get some extra veggies in.
Use your imagination, get creative, and try some different ways of serving up this family favorite!
Pop a simple salad on the side and some crunchy baguette for mopping up the remaining alfredo sauce, perhaps a glass of white wine, and you are good to go.
Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Lightened Up Sundried Tomato and Salmon Pasta Alfredo Bake
- 8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese
- ¼ cup chicken broth or more, to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb salmon skin off
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- ¼ cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
- chilli flakes to serve
- Preheat oven to 350F (180C)
- Cook pasta according to package instructions until cooked al dente.
- In a large skillet with a lid, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, add in the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 1-2 mins, until fragrant
- Whisk in the flour for about a minute and then gradually whisk in the milk, watching for lumps. Whisk continuously until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in cream cheese and the chicken broth and mix until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and turn the heat to low
- Pop the salmon filet into the alfredo mixture and put the lid on the skillet. Let it sit for about 3 minutes before flipping it over and putting the lid back on for another 3 mins (you may need a minute or two more on each side if it is a thicker cut).
- Using a fork, gently flake the salmon into the alfredo mixture. Don't worry if the salmon is slightly undercooked in the middle, it will be going into the oven in the next step so the fish will cook through.
- Add the cooked pasta, diced tomatoes, mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes to the mixture and stir well to combine. Sprinkle the parmesan on top and pop into the oven for 10-14 mins (see notes)
- Serve garnished with parsley with a nice hunk of fresh bread and a salad on the side
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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