Cajun Salmon Pasta: smoky, bold, and flaky salmon top a bed of creamy tomato-infused Cajun fettuccine alfredo for a satisfying, delicious, and quick and easy dinner recipe that everyone will love!
If you are a fan of big and bold flavors, you are going to love this creamy cajun salmon pasta recipe!
Made with an easy and low-salt homemade Cajun seasoning recipe, this is a healthier Cajun salmon alfredo recipe that you can feel good about eating! The alfredo sauce is made with whole milk instead of heavy cream, calls for only moderate amounts of cheese, and is studded with juicy tomatoes and spinach, adding nutrition, flavor, and fiber!
Best of all, this recipe is quick. We’re talking ready-in-under-30-minutes quick! Though the blackened salmon pasta is impressive enough for get-togethers, dinner parties, and family meals, it is simple and accessible enough for busy and hungry weeknights.
What is Cajun Salmon Pasta?
Also known as blackened salmon alfredo or blackened salmon pasta, Cajun salmon pasta is a hearty and epic meal. Fresh-cooked fettuccine is tossed in a lighter but still creamy and cheesy alfredo sauce that has a kick of heat. Moist Cajun-spiced salmon tops the salmon, offering flaky, meaty, and spicy bites to twirls of creamy fettuccine.
Why You’ll Love This Cajun Salmon Pasta Recipe
- A Complete Meal. With carbohydrates, protein, and vegetables, this Cajun pasta with salmon is a one-dish dinner you can rely on!
- Zesty, Garlicky, Spicy, & Bold. Choose this recipe for a flavor explosion, offering the balance of blackened Cajun flavors and a creamy cheesy pasta sauce. So tasty!
- Impressive but Easy. Present this creamy Cajun salmon pasta recipe to hungry guests for guaranteed “oohs” and “ahhs,” though it will be your secret that dinner just took you 30 minutes and a few simple steps!
- Easily Made Gluten-Free. If you follow a gluten-free diet, this recipe is super easy to adapt! Just substitute gluten-free fettuccine or linguine for the traditional pasta and follow the recipe directions as listed.
- Salmon Fillets – If using skin-on salmon fillets, cook the salmon skin-side down. You can also make the recipe with skinned salmon. Spray the baking sheet with non-stick spray to keep the salmon from sticking.
- Cajun Seasoning – Easily make homemade Cajun seasoning with my recipe, or use premade Cajun seasoning or cajun spices, though the sodium levels in the recipe may be different than as listed.
- Fettuccine – A wider cut long pasta shape. Perfect for alfredo!
- Whole Milk – Replaces heavy whipping cream to make a lighter base for the Cajun alfredo sauce.
- Mozzarella Cheese – All we need is 1/4 cup of this grated cheese to add umami and cheesy notes.
- Parmesan Cheese – Use freshly grated parmesan cheese for the best flavor.
- Cream Cheese – Cut into cubes so it melts easily.
- Garlic – Minced garlic sautés down, offering a mellow nutty and sweet base to the sauce.
- Fire Roasted Tomatoes – Canned diced tomatoes with a bit of heat and smoke.
- Spinach – Adds nutritious greens and a pop of color to the dish.
- Avocado Oil – A neutral oil for sautéing the minced garlic.
- Shrimp – Almost as classic of a combination as salmon and blackening (or Cajun) seasoning, shrimp can work in place of all or part of the salmon. If roasting the shrimp with the salmon, add the shrimp to the baking sheet halfway through the salmon’s cooking time, as the shrimp cooks up quicker than the fish.
- Pasta – Almost any other long pasta shape can substitute for the fettuccine; linguine, pappardelle, tagliatelle, spaghetti, or even bucatini are all great picks.
- Tomatoes – Traditional canned diced tomatoes can substitute for fire-roasted tomatoes. Fresh cherry tomatoes or diced Roma tomatoes work, also. Add an extra pinch of smoked paprika to the pasta sauce to replace the lost smoke and heat.
- Oil – Feel free to use your favorite healthy cooking oil! Our favorite here is avocado oil but olive oil is perfect, too!
How to Make Cajun Salmon Pasta
Make this restaurant-level Cajun salmon pasta recipe in a snap with just a few simple steps. Here’s how:
Step 1: Preheat the oven and cook pasta in a large pot of water. Preheat the oven to 425°. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and set aside.
Step 2: Season the salmon. Place the salmon filets skin side down on a lined or greased baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tbsp oil and sprinkle with 1 tbsp cajun seasoning.
Step 3: Bake the salmon in the preheated oven for 16-20 minutes (depending on the thickness of the filets), until cooked through to 145°. Set aside.
Step 4: While the salmon bakes, make the pasta sauce. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of avocado oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute.
Step 5: Stir in the milk and cream cheese. Break the cream cheese up as it melts, and whisk and stir until the creamy cajun sauce is smooth..
Step 6: Stir in the cheeses and Cajun seasoning. Add the parmesan, mozzarella, and remaining 2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning and stir constantly until the cheese has melted.
Step 7: Finish off the creamy Cajun alfredo sauce. Stir in the fire-roasted tomatoes, then the fresh spinach.
Step 8: Toss the cooked pasta in the pasta sauce. Add the drained noodles to the skillet and toss to coat with the cajun sauce.
Step 9: Assemble and serve. Remove the skins from the salmon, then top the pasta dish with the salmon. Serve!
- Cook the Pasta to Al Dente. Or, until it still has a slight bit of chew to it. The pasta will cook further as it is tossed in the hot pasta sauce; cooking it al dente can prevent it from getting mushy.
- How to Know the Salmon is Done. The salmon will be done when it has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit in the thickness of the body, or when the salmon flakes easily with a fork.
- Stir the Sauce as It Simmers. Or until it is smooth and creamy. Stirring frequently will help the cheese to melt evenly and will prevent the cheese from burning on the bottom of the pot.
- Adjust the Heat. For a mild Cajun salmon alfredo, reduce the cayenne pepper in the Cajun seasoning blend. Alternatively, to make extra spicy salmon pasta, just increase the cayenne pepper in the blend.
- Make Cajun Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo. Season the peeled and deveined shrimp with the Cajun seasoning and roast for 8-10 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked through and pink.
- Add Extra Veggies. For extra nutrition, crunch, and flavor, sauté onions, celery, carrots, and/or peppers in the avocado oil for 4-5 minutes before adding the garlic.
- Refrigeration: Leftover salmon cajun pasta keeps covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. It does not freeze well.
- Reheating: Warm the leftovers in the microwave on medium heat or until the salmon and pasta are heated through.
One serving of this blackened salmon pasta recipe boasts over 33 grams of protein and is a great source of carbohydrates. It is low in sodium and fat compared to traditional Cajun pasta recipes, thanks to a reduced-sodium Cajun seasoning blend and a reduced-fat homemade alfredo sauce base.
This well-balanced recipe delivers nutritious vegetables as well. Chopped spinach contributes vitamin C, mangesium, and fiber while canned tomatoes provide lycopene (a powerful antioxidant that encourages skin health), vitamin K, and additional fiber.
Blackened salmon not only contributes ample protein, but it is also a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help prevent heart disease and stroke as well as promote brain health.
Finally, the whole milk, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheeses in the lighter Cajun alfredo sauce recipe are great sources of calcium, protein, and vitamin D, making this recipe an all-around nutritious dinner option for your family!
The total nutritional content per serving is:
- Calories: 467 calories
- Total Fat: 16 grams
- Protein: 33 grams
- Sodium: 592 mg
- Carbohydrates: 48 grams
- Fiber: 4 grams
*This nutritional information is an estimate and calculated based on the ingredients used to create the recipe. The nutritional value of your ingredients may differ slightly. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.
This is what I personally paid to make this recipe:
- 16 oz dry fettuccine noodles: $1.38
- 1 ½ lbs salmon filets: $9.74
- 2 tbsp avocado oil: $0.45
- 3 tbsp homemade cajun seasoning: $0.63
- 4 cloves garlic: $0.15
- 1 cup whole milk: $0.62
- 4 oz cream cheese: $1.84
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese: $2.62
- ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese: $0.23
- 15 oz canned fire-roasted tomatoes: $1.79
- 1 cup chopped fresh spinach: $0.29
The total for this recipe comes out to be around $19.74 or roughly $2.47 per serving!
There are many different ways to spice up alfredo sauce. A few of my favorites are to stir in Cajun or blackening seasoning and fire-roasted tomatoes, as we do in this creamy Cajun salmon alfredo pasta recipe. You can, however, also add heat to alfredo sauce with red pepper chili flakes or Calabrian chili peppers.
Cajun seasoning is made out of a combination of garlic powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, onion powder, thyme, and oregano. You can easily make your own homemade cajun seasoning blend, or you can purchase any of these premade blends.
The secret to the best salmon is to cook it at high heat and not overcook it. Cooking it at high heat, such as 425 degrees Fahrenheit, seals a very light crust onto the salmon, locking the moisture and flavor into the fish. Not overcooking the salmon, or cooking it only to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, keeps the fish nice and juicy while still being safe to eat.
More 30-Minute Dinners
- Foil-Baked Salmon with Garlic and Dill
- Ground Beef & Cabbage Stir-Fry
- Ground Turkey Ramen Skillet
- Air Fryer Shrimp Tacos
- Spicy Southwest Salad
Tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating in the comments below! I would really appreciate your feedback!
Creamy Cajun Salmon Pasta
- 1 large skillet
- 16 oz dry fettuccine noodles
- 1 ½ lbs salmon fillets
- 2 tbsp avocado oil divided
- 3 tbsp homemade cajun seasoning divided
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 oz cream cheese cut into cubes
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 15 oz canned fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
- Preheat the oven to 425°. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
- Place the salmon filets skin side down on a lined or greased baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tbsp oil and sprinkle with 1 tbsp cajun seasoning. Bake the salmon in the preheated oven for 16-20 minutes (depending on the thickness of the filets), until cooked through to 145°. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of avocado oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute.
- Add the milk and cream cheese. Break the cream cheese up as it melts, and whisk/stir until everything is combined with no lumps.
- Add the parmesan, mozzarella, and remaining 2 tbsp cajun seasoning and stir constantly until the cheese has melted.
- Stir in the fire-roasted tomatoes, then the fresh spinach.
- Add the drained noodles to the skillet and toss to coat with the cajun sauce. Remove the skins from the salmon, then top the pasta with the salmon. Serve!
- Homemade Cajun Seasoning: Make a large batch of homemade cajun seasoning and store leftovers for the next time you make this recipe. If you don’t have the ingredients for the homemade seasoning, you can also use a pre-made cajun blend, though the sodium levels of the final recipe will likely differ.
- Pasta Substitutes: Almost any other long shape of pasta can substitute for fettuccine: linguine, pappardelle, spaghetti, bucatini, and more.
- Salmon Substitutes: Deveined and peeled raw shrimp can work in place of the salmon. Bake the shrimp for only 8-10 minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink.
If you end up making this and loving it, take a photo and tag me on Instagram! I’d love to see your versions of my recipes! And feel free to rate it down below in the comment section. I would really appreciate it!