Blackened Salmon and Broccoli Alfredo is a creamy fettucini alfredo with tender broccoli florets and sauteed onions, topped with seasoned salmon bites that have been cooked in an air fryer. It’s a satisfying meal for both pasta and seafood lovers alike! If you prefer chicken, I also have a Cajun Chicken and Broccoli Pasta you will enjoy!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Pasta: Fettuccine is a fantastic pick for alfredo sauce because of its wide, flat shape that hugs onto all that creamy goodness and salmon. But, if you’re out of fettuccine, don’t worry! You can use any pasta you have on hand or get creative and make some homemade pasta like Sourdough Pasta for a tasty twist. No matter which pasta use, before you drain the noodles, make sure to scoop out about a cup of pasta water. Some will be added to the sauce.
Broccoli: Look for fresh broccoli florets to quarter and add to the pasta in the final 3-4 minutes of boiling time. If using frozen broccoli, add that in the final minute of boiling the pasta.
Salmon: You will need a pound of salmon, skin removed. Then, pat it dry and cut it into bite-sized pieces.
Blackened Seasoning: Blackened seasoning could be described as a spice that falls in between a Cajun seasoning and a Creole seasoning. For the best results, make homemade blackened seasoning with seasonings you probably have on hand!
Heavy Cream: Some individuals hold strong opinions against incorporating heavy cream, also known as heavy whipping cream, into an authentic Alfredo sauce. However, I love the creaminess it brings, particularly when combined with cream cheese in the sauce!
Parmesan Cheese: For the best results, grate the parmesan cheese yourself. Have some extra grated parmesan for serving, too!
How to Remove Skin from Salmon
Generally, it’s best to leave the skin on salmon when baking. However, we are cutting it into bite-sized pieces for this recipe, so remove the skin first. One way to remove it is to use a sharp knife to carefully slice the skin off one end. Hold onto that flap of skin as you continue to run the knife in the opposite direction to slice off the skin.
Another trick is to use boiling water. It did work if you want to give it a try. Here is the method:
- Boil a couple of cups of water in a saucepan.
- As the water is boiling, get out a bowl and a wire rack.
- Place the salmon filet on top of a wire rack, skin side up.
- Place the salmon (on the rack) over the bowl. The bowl will catch the water.
- Once the water is boiling, pour it over the salmon. The skin will slowly start to lift up.
- Let the salmon cool enough to touch; then, simply peel the skin off.
This boiling water method will cook the salmon slightly, but not enough to affect the recipe.
Why Reserve Pasta Water
Reserving some pasta water isn’t just a neat kitchen hack; it serves a practical purpose. It enhances the flavor and helps bind the sauce and noodles together, ensuring a consistently tasty experience in each bite. When I prepared this dish, I included 1/2 cup of pasta water in the sauce. However, if your sauce’s thickness suits your preference, there’s no need to add the pasta water. Alternatively, if you prefer a thinner sauce, you can adjust by incorporating more pasta water as necessary.
Can I Make This Ahead Of Time?
You can certainly make the Alfredo sauce in advance to save time when ready to put the dish together. Once the sauce has been made, let it cool. Then, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. When ready to add the cooked pasta, broccoli, and salmon, simply heat up the sauce over low heat on the stovetop, stirring occasionally.
How To Store Blackened Salmon and Broccoli Alfredo
To store blackened salmon and broccoli alfredo, first, let it cool completely. Once it has cooled to room temperature, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last up to 3-4 days. Reheat it over low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Blackened Salmon and Broccoli Alfredo
- 8 ounces fettuccini pasta
- 1 pound fresh broccoli, cut into small pieces
- 1 pound salmon, pat dry, skin off, cut into 1-inch bites
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon blackened seasoning
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups (357 g) heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup (100 g) parmesan cheese, shredded, plus extra for garnish
- 4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
- 1 tablespoon blackened seasoning
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- parsley, chopped for garnish
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add pasta and cook al dente, according to package directions (8-10 minutes).
- In the final 3-4 minutes of boiling the pasta, add the broccoli.
- When done, reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain the rest. Set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the salmon. Preheat air fryer to 390°F.*
- To a medium bowl, add salmon bites, olive oil, and blackened seasoning. Toss the salmon bites gently to coat.
- Place the salmon bites in an even layer in the basket of your air fryer. (Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may have to work in batches; do not overcrowd.) Air fry for 8-9 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 140-145°F. Place the cooked salmon in a bowl.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add butter. Once the butter has melted, add onions and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add heavy cream, parmesan, cream cheese, ½ cup of reserved pasta water, blackened seasoning, salt, and pepper. Whisk together until the cream cheese has melted and the mixture is creamy.
- To the sauce, add cooked pasta and broccoli, tossing to coat. (If you want a thinner sauce, add more reserved pasta water until the desired consistency is reached.)
- Top with salmon bites. Serve with additional parmesan cheese and parsley for garnish.
- Follow the recipe up to cooking in the air fryer.
- Place the oven rack into the top position and preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Place the seasoned salmon bites onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Bake the salmon bites for about 16 minutes, flipping them over halfway through at around 7-8 minutes, or until the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.
Did you make this recipe?
You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.
What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:
I could eat this at every meal. The blackened seasoning really brings the salmon to life in this pasta. The broccoli is a delicious complement to the dish as well!
I have grown to love salmon, so I definitely loved the blackened salmon bites. And they do not disappoint in the alfredo sauce with the broccoli! In fact, this might be a way to get someone to like salmon if they are on the fence!
The salmon bites are so tender and flavorful. The broccoli soaks up all that delicious Alfredo sauce! Must try it! I would love this with shrimp, too!
Soooo flavorful! Broccoli works very well in this recipe since it absorbs the creamy alfredo sauce. The salmon is perfectly seasoned and tender. The blackened seasoning really transforms this dish!
I really like this pasta dish! The salmon is super easy to cook in the air fryer and the flavors of the creamy sauce and broccoli are just so delicious together.