Salmon Pasta Salad

Honey Mustard Salmon Pasta Salad

The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1027 Calories
58g Fat
68g Carbs
59g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 1027
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 58g 74%
Saturated Fat 14g 72%
Cholesterol 155mg 52%
Sodium 477mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 68g 25%
Dietary Fiber 9g 33%
Protein 59g
Calcium 306mg 24%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A cold salmon pasta salad is perfect for the hot days of summer when you want to do as little cooking as possible. This recipe features a honey mustard dressing with chives, paprika, bell pepper, shallot, and Havarti cheese.

The flavor of the honey mustard salmon pasta salad is anything, but bland. With each bite, a new flavor pops out of the mix to delight the taste buds. It's a great use for leftover salmon, though it's just as easy with frozen fillets or canned salmon. And—just like any salad—there are a number of ingredients you can add based on what's in your refrigerator or garden at the moment.

Make this salad up a few hours or even the night before as the flavor develops and gets better with time. Enjoy it for lunch, dinner, or both—it's a complete and filling summertime meal when served with bread. This is also a great pasta salad recipe for potlucks, cookouts, and picnics as long as you can keep it cold.


  • 8 ounces short pasta (such as bow tie, macaroni, rotini)
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup honey mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (around 1/2 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 pinch salt (to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 fillets salmon fillets (cooked and broken into large pieces)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cups Havarti cheese (cubed)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Honey Mustard Salmon Salad
    S&C Design Studios
  2. In a large pot filled with boiling, salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Place the frozen peas in the colander, then drain and rinse the pasta (it will simultaneously thaw the peas). Shake well to remove excess water.

    Drain Pasta Over Frozen Peas and They Thaw Instantly
    S&C Design Studios
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, add the mayonnaise, yogurt, honey mustard, lemon juice, chives, paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix the dressing well and adjust to taste.

    Making the Dressing for Honey Mustard Salmon Pasta Salad
    S&C Design Studios
  4. Assemble the salad in the serving bowl you intend to use. Add the pasta and peas, then the salmon, bell pepper, and Havarti cheese. Top with the dressing.

    Adding the Dressing for Honey Mustard Salmon Salad
    S&C Design Studios
  5. Gently toss to combine. Cover and chill for at least 1 or 2 hours in the refrigerator.

    Preparing a Cold Honey Mustard Salmon Salad
    S&C Design Studios
  6. Serve and enjoy!


  • Covered, the salad will keep for up to two days in the refrigerator. It will become dry the longer it sits, so don't wait too long to finish it up.
  • If you're not using leftover salmon, the easiest and quickest way to cook salmon is to pan-fry the fillets. Simply heat up a few tablespoons of oil in a pan and fry the salmon for three to five minutes per side; the inner flesh should be opaque and the fish will easily flake when done. Place the filets in the freezer for a quick chill while you prepare the other ingredients.
  • To store the extra bell pepper, place it in a plastic storage bag. Adding a paper towel absorbs extra moisture. The pepper will keep in the crisper for about two days.

Recipe Variations

  • If you prefer, use 14 ounces of canned salmon rather than fillets. No cooking is required.
  • The recipe also works with cooked chicken, turkey, or ham. It's a perfect use for leftovers!
  • Add half a chopped shallot to the salad or use scallions (green onions) for a milder flavor. Minced garlic mixed into the dressing is really nice, too.
  • Chop up a single bell pepper (of any color) or switch to a few smaller sweet peppers of various colors if you don't think you'll use the other pepper halves.
  • Add other herbs or use them to replace the chives. Savory herbs like basil, dill, parsley, and thyme are great choices and can be added as a garnish as well.
  • Add seasonal produce, like grape or cherry tomatoes, chopped avocado, celery, or chile peppers, and broccoli florets. These should be added just before serving or to the individual bowls and double as a colorful garnish.