Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad II


This Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad enhances the subtle smokiness of the salmon with the sharpness of horseradish and the tang of pickled capers.

This Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad recipe is handy for those rare occasions when you have so much smoked salmon that you need ways to use it up. Usually, when I buy smoked salmon, I end up eating it the traditional English way, which is with lemon juice, capers and onions, and thinly cut slices of buttered brown bread. Smoked salmon also goes well with wasabi in sushi and, here, I have capitalized on that using the similar bite of horseradish. This creamy salad combines horseradish, capers, and lemon to enhance the subtle smokiness of the thinly sliced fish.

Packages of Commercially Prepared Smoked Salmon
Packages of Commercially Prepared Smoked Salmon

A word of note … For this dish, you will want to use ‘Cold-Smoked’ salmon. This can be purchased as a whole fillet but is most commonly available frozen and pre-sliced in packages like the ones you see above. The process for ‘cold-smoking’ uses much lower temperatures and the result is much more delicate and subtle.

Hot smoked salmon is a whole different thing… The smoking technique actually cooks the fish during the process, while cold-smoking is just ‘cured’ the salmon by brining and air-drying prior to being lightly smoked. Hot smoked preparations also tend to be heavily sugared and have other flavorings added. If you want to use hot-smoked salmon, or if that is all that is available, I would recommend you choose a product that has a relatively light ‘smoky’ flavor.

Some Cookery Notes

Rinsing the Pasta
Rinsing the Pasta

The recipe below calls for the use of cooked pasta. It should be fully cooled before use and there are two interesting tips I can share:

First… after draining the hot pasta, rinse it in cold water to remove excess starch. This step is a bit unique in that the *ONLY* time you ever rinse pasta is when making a salad such as this.

Secondly… when boiling your pasta, you may wish to replace the salt you would normally use with Garlic Salt instead. This adds another subtle layer of flavor to the finished dish and works well in many other pasta dishes too….

Your Recipe Card

Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad II

This Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad enhances the subtle smokiness of the cured salmon with the sharpness of horseradish and the tang of pickled capers
Course: Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine: Western
Keyword: Capers, Horseradish, Smoked Salmon
Author: John Thompson


  • 2 cups cooked Fusilli or Rotini, or the like;
  • 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil;
  • ½ tsp. ground Pepper;
  • ½ tsp. Salt taste before serving and increase if desired;
  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon juice;
  • ¾ tsp. minced Lemon Zest;
  • 1 Tbsp. Mayonnaise;
  • ½ – 1 tsp. prepared Horseradish;
  • 3 Tbsp. coarsely chopped Capers;
  • 2 -3 ounces Smoked Salmon sliced in to thin strips;
  • ¼ cup thawed frozen Peas;
  • 2 – 3 stalks of Scallion green part only, finely slivered.


  • Blend the cooled pasta with the oil, lemon juice and seasonings, and then fold in the mayonnaise, horseradish, lemon zest and capers.
  • If desired, you can chill what you have for the time being and let the flavors blend a little.
  • When ready to serve, fold in the smoked salmon, peas, and scallion and serve.


I am sure you can probably find lots of ways to play with this little recipe. I have thought that a chiffonade of Basil might be nice stirred in at the last moment, and you could always add a little heat with, say, slivers of Jalapeno, or the like. Enjoy …

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!