Poached Salmon Pasta Salad

Whose body spends the better part of a week trying to get sick and then tricks you into thinking you dodged a winter illness before pummeling you with a massive head cold all within 24 hours? This girl’s. After sneezing and sniffling my way through lab review and chart rounds yesterday, I excused myself at lunch time to go home to be sick. Miserable about sums it up. I haven’t had a head cold like this in a LONG time.

And on my way home from work I stopped by Walgreens. I needed Kleenex and DayQuil. But before venturing in the store, I sat in the parking lot eating the lunch I had packed: Poached Salmon Pasta Salad. I did mention that even when sick I don’t lose my appetite, right? Yep. Not me….I always have an appetite.

I self-medicated with a dose of DayQuil, a hot mug of NeoCitran, a box full of tissues, and a small medium slice of red velvet cake. Not my standard chicken noodle soup and ice cold 7-Up, but it worked and I took a much needed 2-hour nap on the couch.

And Lily enjoyed my being home by treating herself to a healthy dose of vitamin D in the afternoon sun as it poured through the sliding glass doors. Everyone wins, all things considered.


Poached Salmon Pasta Salad slightly adapted from An Edible Mosaic

8 oz (1/2 lb) small whole wheat pasta (I used spiral elbow)
2 1/2 cups fresh broccoli, broken into florets
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh dill, minced (or 1 1/2 tsp dried dill), divided
1 bay leaf
8 oz (1/2 lb) salmon fillets (I used wild sockeye)
1 small red onion, minced
1 Tbsp capers, drained and chopped
1/2 cup 0% Greek yogurt
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste (I used 1/4 tsp salt)


Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, add broccoli to cook along with pasta; drain and cool completely.

Put yellow onion, garlic, 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh dill (or 1/2 tsp dried dill), bay leaf, and a pinch each of salt and pepper (or a few whole peppercorns) in a small skillet with a lid. Add enough water to coat the bottom of the skillet by about 1/2 inch. Bring water up to a gentle boil; add salmon and turn heat down to a gentle simmer. Cover skillet and cook until salmon is opaque and flakes easily with a fork (about 5 minutes), being careful not to overcook. Transfer salmon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain water; cool, then cut into bite-sized pieces.

In a large bowl, combine remaining 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried dill), red onion, capers, mayo, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, parsley, 1/3 tsp salt, and a 1/8 tsp black pepper. Stir in pasta and broccoli, and then fold in salmon. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as desired. Chill. Yield: 10 cups.

Nutrition Information (per cup): 154 calories; 3.9 g. fat; 11 mg. cholesterol; 246 mg. sodium; 21.2 g. carbohydrate; 2.5 g. fiber; 10.2 g. protein

Result: This is the perfect twist on chicken and tuna salad and with the addition of pasta salad, this can easily be made a side dish or entree alike. Coworkers ooo-ed and ahhh-ed at my lunch this week! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Enjoy!


I did drag myself to weigh-in last night. A girl needs motivation to keep from inhaling what’s left of the Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting sitting in her fridge, you know what I mean? I’m not complaining, but it sure isn’t easy! I was down 2.2, which I was very pleased with. Down 9.4 pounds total since the start of 2011! ๐Ÿ˜€

Question: What ingredients do you enjoy in a pasta salad?

My mom always puts broccoli, salad peppers, cheddar cheese cubes, red onion, cherry tomatoes, black olives, and artichoke hearts in hers. Mmmm!

Have a great day,


  1. says

    Oh yuck, sorry you got sick!! I know the feeling, oh too well. I didn’t lose my appetite either. I mean, and not only did I not lose my appetite, but I craved BAD food!! I didn’t want any veggies or fruits, I wanted salt and carbs. haha, so much for my body trying to help me get better by craving healthy foods!

    The salmon pasta salad sounds delicious. When I make pasta salad (which, to be honest, I rarely do, but I do love it) I like to add feta cheese or like your mom, cheddar!! I think cheese makes any salad tasty.

    ps. LOVE the picture of Lily!!!

  2. Holly says

    Yuck – I hope you feel better soon!! Spring better hurry on up. And CONGRATS on the weight loss, too, Nicole….that is so awesome! :-)

  3. says

    This sounds delicious. I haven’t had salmon in awhile, and I love it in pasta salads. I also really like roasted veggies tossed with pasta, like asparagus and portobellos.

    I just got over the flu…Getting sick reminds me how much I HATE getting sick. Truly hope you feel better soon!

  4. says

    Aww feel better! I never lose my appetite with a cold either (unless I really can’t smell or taste or I’m vomiting).

    I love kalamata olives, feta, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, and articchokes!

  5. says

    Oh no, I’m sorry you’re sick, Nicole! I’ve been fighting a nasty bug for about three days now! Yay, I’m so glad you liked this! Your pics are gorgeous, my dear! Happy Wednesday!

  6. says

    Hey Nicole! Just wondering what you do with the onion mixture that is cooked with the salmon? Do you toss that or add it to the salad also? The directions just say to take the salmon out and drain on a paper towel. Thanks! :)


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