Home ยป Smoked Salmon Kale Carbonara

Smoked Salmon Kale Carbonara


Is there anything better than a spouse admitting that they were wrong?

If you like Prevention RD on Facebook, you might have seen the status I put up about Mr. Prevention thinking this cabonara with kale and salmon would be “gross” (his words, not mine), so he made a triple-decked tortilla pizza instead. Or should I say in addition to…because he certainly enjoyed this pasta that night.

…and as leftovers every night since.

He even subbed out half of his frozen pizza last night for a serving of these leftovers. When he has full rein over the kitchen (or take-out menus) on evenings I teach, I never know what I’ll come home to. Last night, however, I walked in the door as he was pulling the leftovers from the microwave and was scurrying to the table.

“Trading out the pizza for the carbonara, I see.”

“There’s one more serving…you can have it,” he said.

Darn right, honey. I made that dinner.


I also learned about a new ingredient in making this. I had to check with Cara about where to get smoked salmon as it was something I had never purchased before. As it ends up, smoked salmon is available near the seafood counter in pre-packaged, refrigerated pieces. Because it’s pre-cooked it’s very simple to use and as Mr. Prevention was able to admit, a little bit of this salmon goes a long way.

While I did increase the amount of salmon by 2 ounces from the original recipe, this was because the salmon came in 4-ounce pieces and I figured 8 ounces was better than 4. Omega 3’s…gotta have’em. As Mr. P pointed out, the flavor of the salmon really does meld into every bite of the pasta…it’s actually rather amazing. Smoked salmon gets a thumbs up from us (even if it does look a little scary…).

I also enjoyed this dish because it included lots of kale (that is rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin K and iron) in a way that I actually enjoyed. Kale is one of the very few vegetables I’m still on the fence about, but in this dish…divine!



Smoked Salmon Kale Carbonara adapted from Cara’s Cravings, and ever so slightly The Way the Cookie Crumbles

13.25 oz box whole wheat linguine
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 large bunch of kale, thick stems removed, leaves cut into 1-2 inch pieces
2 eggs
2 oz (1 cup) Parmesan cheese, grated
8 oz smoked salmon, torn into small pieces
juice of 1/2 lemon juice


Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil; add a pinch of salt and the pasta. Cook, according to the package instructions, until just tender. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until it just starts to brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the kale; cover the pan and cook until tender, 3-5 minutes, stirring about once a minute.

Beat together the eggs, cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of black pepper.

Transfer the cooked pasta to the kale mixture and stir in salmon. Over low heat, toss pasta and salmon with some of the pasta water (I used about 1/3 cup). Once warmed through, add the egg mixture and stir vigorously to combine. Squeeze lemon juice over the pasta; toss. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings (about 1 1/3 cup each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 387 calories; 11.3 g. fat; 100 mg. cholesterol; 772 mg. sodium; 53.8 g. carbohydrate; 9 g. fiber; 23 g. protein

Result: Bridget wasn’t kidding when she called this the best carbonara. The best ever may be a stretch, but only because Mr. Prevention and I lived in Italy and well…that carbonara is hard to bear. HOWEVER, this carbonara has to be the best healthy rendition — under 400 calories and 9 grams of fiber! This was a doable weeknight meal that is packed with flavor. Mr. Prevention gives it two thumbs up and might shed a tear when the leftovers are gone. Enjoy!


Back to the new unit today. Day #1 was great…mostly paperwork and getting acquainted with the electronic medical records (EMR). Today, I get to meet the patients 😀

Be well,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. Gina (The Candid RD)
    January 18, 2012 / 7:14 am

    YUUUUM!!!! Ok, so a few things, first, way to go Mark for using leftovers for lunch!! I love to hear that. It would be a shame to let something like this go to waste.
    Second, I have seen smoked salmon, but have never purchased it. We have it in our seafood department, right where you said it was, and I’ve always thought it would be great on toast with avocado (I’m going to try that one of these days) but this recipe sounds marvelous!

  2. Erika - The Teenage Taste
    January 18, 2012 / 7:17 am

    Mr. Prevention would have been crazy not to like this! The flavor combination sounds a little different, but the presentation is delectable! Thanks for posting, Nicole! ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Amy B @ Second City Randomness
    January 18, 2012 / 7:44 am

    Guess who is learning how to cook salmon tomorrow??? THIS GIRL! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Grace@ FoodFitnessFreshair
    January 18, 2012 / 9:21 am

    Bookmarking this one too. Love this, and any dish that utilizes kale.

  5. The Home Cook
    January 18, 2012 / 9:38 am

    I have to admit, I’m with Mr. P’s original statement on this one. I’m also not a fan of kale. ๐Ÿ™‚ But your photos make anything look appetizing and I love any kind of carbonara.

  6. Cara
    January 18, 2012 / 9:55 am

    yay! so glad you both liked it ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Kristen (swanky dietitian)
    January 18, 2012 / 10:00 am

    I am on the fence about kale as well! I am really curious to try out this dish. I am thinking I would love it..especially since Mr. Prevention did! ๐Ÿ˜‰ That’s too cute!

  8. Leah @ Why Deprive?
    January 18, 2012 / 1:01 pm

    Smoked salmon is a pretty big staple at my parent’s house. I’ve never liked salmon, so I haven’t had it, but my parents eat it like candy. Apparently it’s delicious.

  9. Renee @ Mykitchenadventures
    January 18, 2012 / 1:45 pm

    Mmmmm..this looks really good. I LOVE smoked salmon. I love the saltiness of it. Which is probably why it would work well in this dish. ( bacon = salty, smoked salmon = salty) but my favorite way to enjoy smoked salmon is in scrambled eggs with cream cheese. OH my! lol

  10. Baltic Maid
    January 18, 2012 / 1:54 pm

    This looks wonderful. I’ll give this a try next time I’ll get some salmon. Thanks for sharing this.

  11. eatingRD
    January 18, 2012 / 2:16 pm

    hehe love that! I haven’t had smoked salmon in ages!! Love that stuff. I need to get my friend from Alaska to send me some. Looks great!

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