Salmon Pasta Salad

Honey Mustard Salmon Pasta Salad

The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 10 cups
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
496 Calories
32g Fat
21g Carbs
30g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 496
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 86mg 29%
Sodium 366mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 76mg 382%
Calcium 216mg 17%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 570mg 12%
*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.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces bow tie pasta

  • 2 cups frozen peas

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt

  • 1/4 cup honey mustard

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1/2 lemon

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 1 pinch salt, or to taste

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 2 salmon fillets, cooked and flaked

  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 1/2 cups cubed havarti cheese

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 peppers, 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.

    Honey Mustard Salmon Pasta Salad

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

Tips

  • 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

  • Any short pasta, including macaroni, rotini, and the like, works well in the salad.
  • 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.