Home ยป Poached Salmon Pasta Salad

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! 😉 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! 😀

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,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. Gina (The Candid RD)
    February 16, 2011 / 7:12 am

    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. Marisa @ Loser for Life
    February 16, 2011 / 7:27 am

    Ugh, that same illness got me a couple weeks back! I also thought I dodged it then whammo! Hope you feel better soon!!

    Congrats on your loss, Nicole!! You’re doing awesome!

  3. Holly
    February 16, 2011 / 8:45 am

    Yuck – I hope you feel better soon!! Spring better hurry on up. And CONGRATS on the weight loss, too, Nicole….that is so awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Kristina
    February 16, 2011 / 8:48 am

    ugh-feeling like crap is the worst-yuck!!!!
    That pup pic is hilarious!!!!

  5. FoodFitnessFreshair
    February 16, 2011 / 8:56 am

    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!

  6. Lena
    February 16, 2011 / 10:06 am

    Congrats on the 10lbs!! That is awesome ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. thehealthyapron
    February 16, 2011 / 10:12 am

    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!

  8. Sushma Mallya
    February 16, 2011 / 10:16 am

    it looks colourful and very tasty..

  9. Katie @ Health for the Whole Self
    February 16, 2011 / 10:18 am

    So sorry you’re not feeling well – BLAH!

    Like your mom, I love adding cheddar cheese cubes and artichoke hearts!

  10. Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg
    February 16, 2011 / 10:34 am

    Lol…sweet Lily dog.

  11. Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    February 16, 2011 / 10:54 am

    Vinegar! I hate the traditional, creamy pasta salad, When I make one for myself it’s dressed in oil and vinegar. My husband’s none too happy about that.

  12. Kristen (swanky dietitian)
    February 16, 2011 / 11:55 am

    Down over 9 pounds! Good for you! That is awesome!
    I am sorry that you aren’t feeling well. It is going around my office so I am crossing my fingers I don’t get sick. Hope you get feeling better soon.

  13. Faith
    February 16, 2011 / 12:31 pm

    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!

  14. Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather
    February 16, 2011 / 12:45 pm

    I would want a bite of that if I saw my coworker eating it! I love artichoke hearts in cold pasta salad. Poached salmon sounds wonderful.

    Hope you feel better soon! Great job with your weight loss too ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life
    February 16, 2011 / 2:44 pm

    Feel better!! The pasta salad looks delicious! I love chopped veggies in my pasta salads.

  16. Dana @ Budget Dietitian
    February 16, 2011 / 2:56 pm

    Sorry that you are feeling sick! ๐Ÿ™

  17. Andrea@WellnessNotes
    February 16, 2011 / 4:13 pm

    Sorry you are sick! Get better soon!

    Congrats on the weight loss! You are doing a great job! Oh, and if you don’t want to be tempted by the Red Velvet cake, you can mail it to me! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog)
    February 16, 2011 / 6:52 pm

    I hope you feel better soon!!

    That salmon salad looks amazing. I love peas in pasta salad. The little pop is fantastic.

  19. renee@mykitchenadventures
    February 16, 2011 / 9:50 pm

    awe, sorry you couldn’t dodge that cold! Your salmon salad looks really, really good!! I hope you feel better soon and congrats on the loss!! wow..you are doing amazing!!!!

  20. Leah @ Why Deprive?
    February 17, 2011 / 12:01 am

    Hope you’re feeling better!

    I love that picture of Lily, she’s so adorable.

  21. Roz
    February 17, 2011 / 1:09 am

    AWww! Feel better soon!!!! And congrats on your weight loss!

  22. Pingback: white fish with white wine & lemon sauce | Prevention RD
  23. Erin @ WholesomeRD
    March 5, 2011 / 7:39 pm

    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! ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Pingback: Salmon Pasta Salad « Wholesome RD
  25. Bridget
    February 3, 2012 / 5:20 pm

    I loved this! I couldn’t stop eating it as I was mixing, which is always a good sign.

    • Nicole, RD
      February 3, 2012 / 5:30 pm

      It sounds right up your alley – I’m glad you enjoyed it ๐Ÿ™‚

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