Lemon Penne Pasta with Salmon and Baby Spinach

This is a follow-up on my previous recipe of roasted salmon. I often have leftovers and LOVE to put it to good use (and quite frankly, I think it’s a shame to waste fresh food!) – this is one of my favorite hearty, yet healthy, one-pot meals to make with leftovers.

This makes a great weekday lunch (I love to pack this along with us on picnics because it keeps pretty well for a few hours outside of the refrigerator!). The best part of this dish is the lemon that makes this pasta dish so refreshing and surprisingly light.

If you have kids (or beautiful nieces like I do!), they will gobble this up – promise!

Enjoy! 🙂

Yields: 2-3 servings


1 (16 ounce) box of dry penne pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, chopped (or 1/4 white or yellow onion, finely chopped)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 large lemon, zested and juiced (or 2 smaller lemons)
1 large handful of fresh baby spinach
12 ounces roasted salmon, roughly broken into cubes/pieces (or however much you want!)
2 tablespoons garlic olive oil, or extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dill (fresh is better!)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of pasta water, reserved


Cook pasta in boiling water according to directions on package. Before draining pasta, reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water and set aside.

Melt the butter in a pan on medium-high and add the shallots and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Now add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds (be careful while cooking garlic – you don’t want it to burn, and it cooks VERY quickly!).

Now add the remaining ingredients: lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, baby spinach, pasta, salmon, dill, salt, and pepper and cook on medium heat for 1 minute so that spinach is incorporated and the other ingredients are mixed in well evenly.

Now add the reserved water and toss to coat (you can choose to omit this step or add less than the 1/4 cup). Taste the pasta and adjust salt and pepper as desired.

Serve hot!

VARIATIONS: You can add in fresh asparagus, edamame, peas, or even zucchini to change up this recipe!

WINE PAIRING: This dish pairs wonderfully with any Riesling white wine.

One thought on “Lemon Penne Pasta with Salmon and Baby Spinach

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