As much as I love all Italian food and it’s mixture of rich deep dishes and light simple ones, sometimes serving cold pasta is what hits the spot especially if it’s this salmon pasta salad!

Poached salmon pasta salad in a garlic dressing

As summer starts to beat down on us and the dusty grill covers get lifted off, the temptation to eat al fresco returns. I love eating outdoors including any time we go camping. It doesn’t have to be a fancy pants dinner but It always seems way more relaxed under the stars. My barbecue grill and smoker get their workout for sure and I’m looking into making my own outdoors pizza oven.

Before I became a stay-at-home dad I worked in food service. I remember making huge containers of pasta salads and  always selling out of them first. I recently found a stash of recipes from those days in the store, so you can bet you’ll be seeing a lot more simple summer salads coming at ya! Cold pasta salads are always a hit for back yard parties- easy, fast to make, simple ingredients and you can make a huge bowl that can easily last the whole party.  Pasta salads are also a great pot luck item, just turn up and put the bowl on the table to go back later and see it empty -voila, you’re a hero!

White wine poached salmon pasta saladI poached my salmon but you could just as easily grill it or sear it in a pan. Poaching is low maintenance, just chuck it in the oven set the timer and go skateboarding with your kid (like I did). I brought a new board home from Hawaii and Miranda fell in love with it. Today was her birthday so what to get her was pretty easy to figure out.

Try this salmon pasta salad, you’ll love it…

Fresh and summery salmon pasta salad

Poached Salmon Pasta Salad

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 225kcal
Author: foodnessgracious
Poached salmon with pasta and capers, perfect for summer parties!
Print Recipe


For The Dressing

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 3/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For The salad

  • 12 ounce salmon
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 ounce uncooked penne pasta
  • 3/4 cup peeled and diced cucumber
  • 2 roma tomatoes seeded and diced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp capers
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Add all of the dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisk until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place the salmon on a baking dish and add the water and the wine to it. Season with salt and pepper and place in the oven.
  • Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until slightly firm to the touch.
  • Cook pasta per directions on the pack. Drain and set aside.
  • Once the salmon is cooked let cool and then crumble gently into a separate dish, set aside at least 2 cups of it.
  • Place all of the other ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss together.
  • Add the salmon to the bowl and add the dressing in stages, mixing well until you feel you have enough dressing mixed in.
  • Garnish with some more fresh chopped dill sprinkled on top. Serve at once or store in the fridge.


Calories: 225kcal