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Overhead view of spicy salmon pasta salad in a blue bowl on a dark surface.

Spicy Salmon Pasta Salad (Mayo-Free)

  • Author: Leanne
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 side salads 1x
  • Category: Dinner; Lunch
  • Method: Toss
  • Cuisine: American


Spicy Salmon Pasta Salad will be your new go-to salad for summer holidays, family potlucks and backyard BBQs. Crispy salmon with a spicy coating is tossed with fresh veggies and gluten-free pasta, and covered in a creamy, tangy dill dressing. You can enjoy this one as a side salad or even as your main meal!



For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (or 1 teaspoon dried dill)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • pinch of salt (or more to taste)

For the salmon:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounce salmon fillet, skin on
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chinese 5 spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the salad:

  • 3 cups cooked pasta such as fusilli, macaroni or rotini (I use a gluten-free quinoa fusilli)
  • 3 cups of green leaf lettuce (or greens of your choice), torn
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped or sliced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, whole
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, halved and strings removed


Prepare the dressing:

  1. Add the yogurt, feta, dill, lemon juice, garlic and salt to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a jar with a lid and refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare the salmon:

  1. Divide the tablespoon of oil. Add half to a frying pan and spread the other half on top of the salmon fillet. Turn the frying pan on low to pre-heat. Meanwhile, combine the spices, garlic, salt and pepper and press the spice mixture on top of the salmon.
  2. Lay the fillet face down (skin side up) in the frying pan and cover. Cook on low heat for 15 minutes, or until the salmon is opaque. The time will vary slightly depending on the thickness of the fillet.
  3. Once cooked, let sit for a few minutes and then use a fork to flake apart into large pieces.

Assemble the salad:

  1. In a large bowl, add all of the salad ingredients, including the salmon, and toss with the dressing. Serve immediately.


  1. To keep the salad gluten-free, ensure your quinoa pasta and spices are gluten-free.
  2. To make in advance, prepare and store the salmon, pasta, veggies and dressing separately and assemble the salad when ready to eat. This can be done up to 24 hours in advance.

Keywords: pasta salad, salmon salad