This one-pot salmon leek pasta bake is a healthy, delicious spring time meal idea. It comes with the added goodness of asparagus which forms a crunchy, bright green coloured topping. Quick and easy to make, low in fat, it’s perfect for a family of 4. I will show you how to make this recipe using salmon leftovers as well as how to easily prep the salmon from raw.
One-pot pasta dishes make fantastic weeknight family meals and today I am sharing an easy salmon leek pasta bake recipe. If you are a regular visitor on Everyday Healthy Recipes you will know that I never use heavy cream in my recipes. I rely on low fat, healthy ingredients that can deliver fantastic results without too many calories. In this case – low fat (semi-skimmed) milk and fromage frais (fromage blanc).
How to make low fat creamy sauce for salmon leek pasta bake
Fromage frais is my go-to ingredient when it comes to making sauces and dips. It doesn’t curdle in cooking, is a great natural thickener and is almost fat free! It’s similar in flavour and consistency to the more popular crème fraiche, which, however, is a lot more calorific.
I usually make a sauce separately but for this salmon pasta bake I cooked the leeks in a bit of oil first, then made the sauce in the same pan with the leeks in it. I used my simple white sauce recipe and made a few adjustments.
Start by cooking the leeks in a little oil until softened (butter burns easily so I swapped it for oil). Then add the flour, stir to combine and pour in some of the milk. Whisking all the time, wait for the sauce to thicken, then add the remaining milk.
Continue cooking and whisking until the mixture thickens and starts bubbling up. Remove from the heat, stir in the fromage frais and season to taste. Your sauce is now ready to combine with the pasta.
What if I don’t have salmon leftovers
Not a problem. You can cook salmon from raw in 15 minutes (and add it into your sauce straight from the oven). Simply season your salmon fillet, drizzle with lemon juice and a bit of oil and bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes at 375 F/190 C/ gas mark 5. The salmon can still be a little raw inside, it will finish cooking with the pasta. You can also add the juices from cooking into the sauce.
How to prep the asparagus
Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus spears (usually about 2-3 cm long) and chop the asparagus tips into 4 pieces each. Season and coat in a little oil (1 tablespoon), then, once the pasta, leek sauce and salmon are combined in your casserole dish, scatter the asparagus pieces over the top. The dish is now ready to bake.
Can I stir the asparagus into the sauce before popping in the oven
Yes, you can. If you choose to do this I recommend drizzling a little oil over the whole thing before putting in the oven. I think, however, that the asparagus works really well as a topping. It bakes to perfection and adds a lovely bright green colour to the dish, so this is the method I recommend for this salmon pasta bake.
How to assemble the salmon leek pasta casserole
Cook your pasta for about 5 minutes, drain the water off and place the pasta inside your casserole dish. Pour in the leek sauce and stir thoroughly to combine. Then scatter the salmon over the top, tuck into the pasta, stirring gently to ensure it’s coated in the sauce. Top the whole thing with the asparagus pieces and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
Can I add herbs to leek salmon pasta bake
Absolutely! I used chives for garnish only but parsley or tarragon or dill would work well added right into the sauce. Apart from tarragon, they can also be sprinkled over this salmon asparagus dish after it’s been cooked. Or you could use a combination of herbs if you prefer.
More easy salmon dinner recipes
Check out also this collection of 13 healthy, easy one pot chicken recipes!
Salmon Leek Pasta Bake with Asparagus
- 430 g cooked salmon
- 2 cups raw fusilli pasta
- 270 g asparagus tips weigh after you've snapped off the tough ends
For the Sauce
- 1 medium leek finely chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil use 1 to coat the asparagus, see Instructions below
- 1 and 2/3 tbsp corn flour
- 1 and 1/3 cup semi-skimmed (low fat) milk
- 3 tbsp fromage frais (fromage blanc)
- Fine sea salt and pepper to taste plus chopped chives (or other herbs) for garnish
- If you’ve got ready cooked salmon preheat the oven to 375 F/ 190 C/ gas mark 5. If you need to cook the salmon first, season it, drizzle with lemon juice and a little oil and bake for 15 minutes (gas mark 5). It will finish cooking in the casserole so can still be a little raw inside. Leave the oven on.
- Boil the fusilli in salted water for 5 minutes, strain and place in a medium sized oven dish (it should be about 6 cm deep).
- Whilst the pasta is cooking prepare the asparagus. Snap off the tough ends (approx. 2-3 long) and chop the asparagus tips into 4 pieces each. Combine with 1 tablespoon of oil, season and set aside.
- To make the sauce in a medium sized frying pan or saucepan heat up 2 tablespoons of the oil, add the chopped leek and cook slowly for about 5 minutes until softened (not browned). Add the flour, stir to combine, then add some of the milk and continue stirring until the sauce starts to thicken. Add the rest of the milk, increase the heat and continue cooking and stirring until the sauce starts to bubble up. Remove from the heat, add the fromage frais, season to taste and stir thoroughly. (Use a whisk for stirring the sauce as it cooks).
- Pour the leek sauce over the pasta and stir thoroughly. Scatter the salmon over the top and carefully stir until the salmon is completely coated in the sauce. Top with the asparagus pieces and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.