This simple gluten-free salmon pesto pasta recipe takes less than 30 minutes to make and includes simple ingredients that come together for a fast, family-friendly weeknight meal. Almost all the ingredients come from Trader Joe’s and cost less than $25!
If you’re looking for a simple gluten-free salmon dinner that tastes like a million bucks, look no further than these flavorful salmon pesto pasta bowls made with simple ingredients and served in a bowl. Who doesn’t love a good bowl meal?
I shopped almost exclusively at Trader Joe’s for all the products used to create this meal and spent about $25 total to feed my family of four. This isn’t a bad price considering it tastes like a gourmet meal!
The salmon is seared to perfection and topped with only salt and pepper. The amazing pasta (which I’ll tell you more about next) tastes homemade, and the blistered grape tomatoes truly elevate the flavor and beauty of this overall dish.
Making Salmon Pesto Pasta
As mentioned, this meal comes together quickly, so gather the following ingredients before you start cooking:
Salmon: I purchased 1 pound of fresh Atlantic salmon filets at Trader Joe’s. They’re pre-cut into four filets, which means they’re perfectly portioned for my family of four. I seasoned the filets with kosher salt and pepper.
Gluten-Free Egg Fettuccine: I think the star of this dish is the gluten-free egg fettuccine. I purchase two packages of gluten-free egg fettuccine pasta at Trader Joe’s. This pasta is gourmet and truly heightens the taste and texture of this meal. Each package contains 9 ounces of pasta, so you could swap it with 18 ounces of any gluten-free pasta of your choice if you’re unable to shop at Trader Joe’s. You could also make your own egg noodles with my quick gluten-free egg noodle recipe.
Pesto Sauce: I used jarred pesto sauce, which you can get at Trader Joe’s, but I already had a big container of pesto from Costco (Kirkland brand), so I used that. I tested the Kirkland pesto for hidden gluten in this article. You could, of course, make your own pesto sauce too.
Grape Tomatoes: I recommend two cups of grape tomatoes for this recipe. You can find them at Trader Joe’s or any grocery store nationwide.
Avocado Oil: I use avocado oil whenever I cook foods at high heat.
Once you’ve shopped for and gathered all your ingredients, you’re ready to cook!
Start by preparing the egg fettuccine, or alternative gluten-free pasta, as directed on the packaging. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, mix in 1/2 cup of pesto and set it aside.
Tip! If you’re up for multi-tasking, you can prepare your salmon while the pasta water boils and cooks.
To prepare the salmon, heat 1 tablespoon of avocado oil in a large pan (I used a cast iron pan, which gives a fantastic sear) over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with the oil.
Season the salmon filets with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, then add the filets, skin side up, to the hot oil. Cook the filets for four minutes, then flip them and sear the skin side down for another four minutes. If your fish is thick, you can also sear each side of the filets for 1-2 minutes.
Remove the salmon from the pan and place them on a serving dish. In the same pan, reduce the heat to medium and add the grape tomatoes, mixing them often as they brown and blister over the next 5-6 minutes. Season the tomatoes with salt, to taste.
Serve the blistered tomatoes with your pesto pasta and salmon for a quick and easy weeknight meal that will most certainly be enjoyed by your entire family.
Why We Love this Recipe
It’s Simple: Often we overthink dinner when we worry about gluten. But there are many great ways to make your meal gluten-free without having to sacrifice taste.
The Egg Fettuccine Noodles: These Trader Joe’s gluten-free egg fettucine noodles are hands-down the best gluten-free noodles money can buy and the closest pasta I’ve had to wheat-based pasta. The only bad part is that they’re a bit pricey at $3.99 per 9-ounce container, but they taste like a gourmet meal so I don’t mind the splurge.
It’s Family Friendly: My kids gobbled up this meal and were on the prowl for leftovers. Next time I’ll make extra.
It’s Fast: You can make this meal in under 30 minutes with little advance preparation needed. Busy moms and dads rejoice!
FAQ and Substitutions
Topping Your Salmon Pesto Pasta Bowls: If your family eats dairy, you could top the salmon and pasta with shredded parmesan cheese. You could also add extra pesto sauce and even some lemon juice on top to elevate the dish’s overall flavor.
Salmon Options: I prepare about 1/4 lb of salmon per person, but if your family members are big eaters, I recommend preparing 1/3-1/2 lb of salmon per person.
Pasta Options: As mentioned, Trader Joe’s gluten-free egg fettucine is the start of this dish, but you could use any gluten-free pasta alternative of choice. You’ll need about 18 ounces to feed a family of four. And if you’re up for an adventure, you can use my gluten-free egg noodle recipe and make your own egg noodles. Good luck!
Searing Salmon: To get a good sear on the salmon, use a hot pan (preferably cast iron), and don’t fuss with the fish once you place it in the hot pan/oil. Allow the fish to cook for four minutes, undisturbed. This will give you a wonderful brown sear on top.
Don’t Like Pesto? Instead of pesto, you could use a butter-garlic-lemon blend to season the pasta.
Is Pesto Gluten Free? Yes, pesto is gluten-free as it’s primarily made from basil leaves, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese. Of course, manufacturers find ways to hide gluten in innocent products, so read labels carefully or make your own pesto when in doubt.
More Easy Weeknight Dinners
- Hearty Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Asian Meatball Bowls
- Mouthwatering Gluten-Free Lemon Piccata Chicken Bowls
- Sheet Pan Tofu and Broccoli Dinner
Testing Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Products for Hidden Gluten
Salmon Pesto Pasta
For the Salmon
- 1 lb salmon filets cut into four filets
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
For the Pasta
- 18 ounces gluten-free egg fettuccine noodles or alternative gluten-free pasta
- 1/2 cup pesto jarred or homemade
For the Tomatoes
- 2 cups grape tomatoes
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
For the Pasta
- Start by preparing the egg fettuccine, or alternative gluten-free pasta, as directed on the packaging. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, mix in 1/2 cup of jarred pesto and set it aside.
For the Salmon
- Heat 1 tablespoon of avocado oil in a large pan (I used a cast iron pan, which gives a fantastic sear) over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with the oil. Season the salmon filets with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, then add the filets, skin side up, to the hot oil. Cook the salmon for four minutes, then flip the filets and sear the skin side down for another four minutes. If your fish is thick, you can also sear each side of the filet for 1-2 minutes. Remove the salmon from the pan and place the filets on a serving dish.
For the Tomatoes
- In the same pan used to cook the salmon, reduce the heat to medium and add the grape tomatoes, mixing them often as they brown and blister over the next 5-6 minutes. Season the tomatoes with salt, to taste, and serve on top of the pesto pasta and salmon.
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