Salmon Pesto Pasta Salad


You’ve probably heard that eating seafood rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids can help protect against heart disease while delivering other important nutrients, and that it is best to enjoy a couple of times per week. But how can you get that regular dose of goodness without breaking the bank when the summer salmon season winds down? Fortunately, this salmon pesto pasta salad and other great recipes can be made year round with wild canned salmon.

Salmon Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe (dairy-free, gluten-free optional)

This salmon pesto pasta salad uses the beautiful late summer / early fall produce and is perfect for gatherings and lunch boxes. In winter, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli can be substituted for the broccoli.

Be sure to pick wild salmon for the most health benefits. My favorite canned brand is Pure Alaska Salmon Co – I’ve met the owners / fisherman in person and they are amazing people who truly care about fishing methods and salmon quality.

This recipe was shared with us by Alaska seafood. They have tons of great fish info on their website and more recipes, though not all are dairy free.

Salmon Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe (dairy-free, gluten-free optional)

Special Diet Notes & Options: Salmon Pesto Pasta Salad

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, peanut-free, and optionally soy-free. Just be sure to choose your ingredients wisely – some Italian dressings are made with milk and/or soy.

For nut-free salmon pesto pasta salad, choose a dairy-free, nut-free pesto, such as the one from Go Dairy Free.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Salmon Pesto Pasta Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8-10
  • 8 ounces dry, small shell pasta (gluten-free, if needed)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons garlic, finely minced
  • ½ cup prepared dairy-free basil pesto (homemade or brands like Meditalia)
  • ½ cup light dairy-free Italian salad dressing (such as Annie's)
  • 1 zucchini, cut in ½-inch half-moon slices
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1 can (14.75 ounces) Wild Alaska salmon (traditional or skinless, boneless), drained and chunked
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions; drain well. Let cool slightly then toss with garlic, pesto and dressing.
  2. Cook zucchini in covered microwavable container on high 2 minutes or until just tender and bright green.
  3. Toss blanched zucchini, tomatoes, onion and peas into pasta and stir to combine. Gently fold in drained salmon; season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or chill before serving.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. This was really tasty. Pretty quick to prep and cook the entire dish. I like using the canned tuna rather than from a fillet, since it becomes even easier and quicker to make. I kept the salmon separate and folded in just enough for my serving. I reserved the rest for my leftovers. I’ll fold in the salmon, after reheating the pasta.

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