Cheesy comfort food, this salmon pasta bake recipe inspired by my childhood is a brilliant family friendly recipe. It's easy to make ahead and the leftovers taste great too!
Sometimes you want to try and recreate a favourite childhood dish but with a few twists. That is exactly what I did with this cheesy salmon pasta bake. The dish in question is my mum's macaroni fish pie, a dish made with a mixture of fish, pasta and mushrooms, baked in the oven in a cheesy sauce. As a child I used to be so happy when that was on the table for tea.
Even today I love it when my mum makes it for me. Unfortunately that is not very often as I usually have my husband with me, who doesn't share my love of cheesy fish pies. He would say he has more sophisticated tastes. I would say I have an appreciation of a wider range of foods. It's an argument we're never going to win!
Can you adapt this salmon pasta bake?
Even though it's a classic recipe in my mum's house, she does like to vary it occasionally. In my mum's pasta bake, the mushrooms are a more recent addition. An addition I'm happy with. When I'm not there, she likes to use smoked haddock too, but I find it a little strong and so prefer white fish, salmon or a mixture.
This time, I chose to add layer of spinach to the bottom of the dish as the vegetable component. However in retrospect, I think I prefer mushrooms. I'd be happy to miss out the spinach layer. Or maybe have a spinach salad on the side?
You could add a lot more vegetables to this but I think serving them as a side dish is better. If you add too many extras you would need to increase the quantities of the sauce.
I often use nutmeg in the sauce but you can use paprika instead to add a touch of spice.
So, given the choice, would I choose mine or my mum's pie? For now, my mum's. But with a few mushrooms instead of spinach, I'd be spoilt for choice.
Can you freeze this salmon pasta bake?
This salmon pasta bake is a great recipe for batch cooking. You can prepare it in advance and then freeze it for up to 3 months wrapped in cling film ready to defrost and bake later.
If you just have leftovers then they keep well in the fridge for a couple of days and can be microwaved or reheated in the oven until piping hot.
Salmon Pasta Bake Recipe
Salmon Pasta Bake
- 200 g pasta
- 50 g butter
- 2 tablespoon plain flour
- 500 ml milk
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 100 g strong cheddar grated
- Pinch salt
- Pinch black pepper
- 6 tablespoon wilted spinach
- 200 g salmon cut into cubes
- Preheat the oven to 190C
- Cook the pasta for about 5 minutes then drain.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the flour and keep stirring for at least 2 minutes, being careful that it doesn't burn.
- Start adding the milk. Add a little at a time and keep stirring quickly so it makes a smooth sauce. If you add too much at once it will go lumpy.
- Take the sauce off the heat. Add the nutmeg, season and stir in the grated cheese. Then stir in the pasta.
- Spread the wilted spinach on the bottom of the dish. Cut the fish into cubes. Put on top of the spinach. Top with the pasta and sauce.
- Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. The dish should be piping hot and bubbling when it is ready.
- Serve with lots of salad.
More fish recipes
I love cooking with fish and if you're looking for fish bakes then I can definitely recommend this Brazilian fish bake or rosemary roasted garlic salmon. I also like to serve fish with a simple caper butter sauce or with this lemon and garlic samphire.
More pasta recipes
If you're looking for pasta recipes then do check out my easy spicy tomato pasta, my roasted vegetable and harissa pasta or my easy tomato and chorizo pasta.
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If I wanted to use mushrooms instead of spinach what quantity would I need to use and do I need to fry them first?
Hi Sue, you could definitely use mushrooms instead of spinach. I would use about 200g and fry them a little first. I hope you enjoy the recipe.
I love when I can recreate a favorite dish from my childhood....there is nothing like nostalgia to go along with food...it gives such a comforting feeling (sort of like this dish!) Thank you for participating in Presto Pasta Nights
Congratulations! Not on the morning sickness, but on the pregnancy. so happy for you!
This stuffed eggplant looks delicious!
Now this a totally new recipe to me. I have never tried to combine cheese and fish. Very interesting combination. It looks delicious!