Make this Pesto Salmon Pasta with Peas in just 25 minutes with less than ten ingredients. It’s a balanced meal that you’ll find yourself making over and over again because it’s just that good (and easy!).
Weeknights can be so busy and the last thing most people want to do is labor over a complicated recipe for an hour or more. That’s why I love this Pesto Salmon Pasta recipe! It calls for only 9 ingredients and takes just 25 minutes to make from start to finish.
For this recipe, I recommend looking for a good pre-made pesto with a short ingredient list (basil and extra-virgin olive oil should be two of the first ingredients listed). You’re absolutely welcome to make your own, but I use a store-bought pesto for this recipe just to make things easier.
I always have a bag of green peas in my freezer for meals like this. You may think of peas as kids’ food, but don’t be too quick to dismiss them. Peas are very nutritious and quite versatile in cooking. Did you know the one cup of peas has EIGHT grams of protein? That’s pretty darn good!
In this recipe, the peas take on the flavor of the pesto and blend perfectly into the other flavors in the dish.
We’ve been eating this Pesto Salmon Pasta with Peas regularly over the past month and can’t get enough. If you’re gluten-free, feel free to substitute your favorite GF pasta. I’ve made this recipe with the Modern Table Meals Lentil Pasta and it’s still just as delicious!
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1.5 cup frozen peas
- 6 oz. Atlantic salmon, patted dry with a paper towel
- 1/8 cup basil pesto, plus more to taste
- 1/8 cup pecorino romano*
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 6 oz. whole wheat penne or rigatoni
- Salt and pepper
Boil a large pot of water and cook the pasta according to package instructions, making sure to salt the water. Drain pasta and set aside, covered to keep warm.
While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, and once hot, add the sliced onion. Sauté for about 10 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add one additional Tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and add the sliced garlic. Stir constantly so that the garlic does not burn, about 30 seconds. Add the frozen peas to the pan and sauté for about 2 minutes, until the peas are warm. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the vegetables, and remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the pesto, pecorino romano, and red pepper flakes. Taste and season the pasta with additional salt and pepper if needed. Cover to keep warm while the salmon cooks.
Season the salmon with salt and pepper. In a separate small, nonstick skillet, add the last Tablespoon of olive oil, and once hot add the salmon to the pan. Cook time will vary depending on the thickness of your salmon and desired level of doneness, but estimate approximately 2 minutes per side, ensuring you get a nice sear on both sides. Once cooked, pat the salmon dry of excess oil with a paper towel. Cut the salmon into two equal portions and serve on top of the pasta with peas.
* Can substitute Parmesan
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