Smoked salmon pasta salad is a meatier, brighter, and more flavored version of the average pasta salad. It has the smoky saltiness of the salmon, the tart sweetness of the mandarin oranges, the fresh crunch of the celery, the appealing filling pasta of your choice, and the herbs to enhance the fresh taste.
The flavors may be layered, but the process is easy. Here are some tips on how to make this salmon pasta salad.
The reason the recipe specifies hot-smoked salmon is because hot-smoked salmon and cold-smoked salmon have different tastes and textures due to their unique processes.
Both of them are cured, rinsed and smoked. However, the cold-smoked version is cured in salt to draw out the moisture and is smoked around 90 degrees Fahrenheit; hot-smoked, on the other hand, is cured using salt water or wet brine and smoked at a higher temperature of around 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Because of these differences, the cold version has a silky texture and fresh taste (which is great on bagels and crackers), while the hot version is flakier and tastes smokier. The hot-smoked version is what we are using in this salad for its flakier texture and smokiness.
The salad may be salty with its smoked salmon and capers, but the salad breaks the saltiness down with citrus fruit like lemon juice and mandarin oranges.
If you want a fruit that is similar to mandarin oranges but with a sweeter taste, I recommend clementines. They are honey-sweet, a tad sour, seedless (less hassle for you), and are related to mandarins.
The recipe uses mayo to help bind the ingredients together. If you wish to use an alternative ingredient similar to mayo to bind them, Greek yogurt or sour cream have a similar creamy and tangy taste.
Do you like your salmon pasta salad served warm or cold? If you liked this version of smoked salmon pasta, please comment and share!
Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad
- 2 cups Fusilli - or other short pasta of your choice
- 2 cups hot-smoked salmon (the flaky kind) - broken into chunks
- ½ cup mandarin oranges - peeled and separated
- ½ cup celery - diced
- ¼ cup capers
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice - or to taste
- 3 tbsp. fresh dill - chopped (or 1 tbsp. dried dill)
- ¼ cup chives - finely chopped (to garnish)
- Salt and pepper - to taste
- Prepare pasta al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cool water.
- Mix all ingredients (except for the chives) with the pasta in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- You can serve the pasta salad right away or chill in the refrigerator for later (1 to 2 hours). When ready to serve, top with chives.
Nutrition information on In the Kitch is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It may not include toppings and/or sauces.
Check out How to Make Ceviche: A Step by Step Guide for more seafood inspo!
This is really tasty! The oranges are a bright and light twist along with the herbs. Definitely a winner, thanks!
I love my salmon pasta HOT! Although, I would not turn this down cold either. Delicious!
Either way works for me. Thanks Terri!
I’m a BC girl so smoked salmon is my jam! This pasta is DELISH. Thanks so much. 🙂
Thank you Sharon! I love BC!
Love smoked salmon! I’m all for non-boring salads and this looks like it satisfies! Thanks for sharing this recipe!
Thank you Lisa!
We’re big fans of hot-smoked salmon here and smoke our own. This pasta salad is a fabulous way to enjoy smoke salmon. Perfect for spring and summer dinners!
Thanks Elaine. Even better that you smoke your own!
Love the idea of salmon and pasta. Especially love that you can use already prepared smoked salmon for a quick dinner. Pinned for later.
We love smoked salmon and this pasta salad looks delicious and also quick and easy to make. Definitely trying this one!
Thank you Colleen! It is definitely quick and easy, tasty as well. 🙂