Garlicky Lemon Greek Yogurt Pasta with Smoked Salmon and Feta

It was determined after the Saturday night fat bomb late night snack that a lightened up dinner was needed on Sunday. I’ve always shied away from using Greek yogurt in pasta because… Why would I want to eat pasta unless it was full of fat? However, I was persuaded to try Greek yogurt in pasta just this one time if I could find a recipe that looked appealing. And then if I didn’t like it … I wouldn’t have to try it again. I have always said I’ll try anything food or drink-related at least once. So why not give Greek yogurt in pasta a whirl, right?

So of course I went to Pinterest for some immediate inspo and pretty immediately found a recipe that didn’t look half bad (because it happened to have lots of garlic in the recipe). I liked two things about the author of the website: 1) she lives in the state in which I was born and raised and 2) she likes garlic so much that she doubles the amount called for in whatever recipe she’s using (so do I!).

I’m not much on meatless pasta (unless you’re going with a classic fettucine alfredo), so I decided I wanted to add a meat. I happen to have a plethora of homemade smoked salmon on hand (which is a huge rarity), so I thought smoked salmon would be the way to go. Also, what’s pasta without cheese I thought to myself as I was dreaming up this recipe in my head. So in went a small container of crumbled feta and teeny-weeny bit of Parmesan cheese. It just feels wrong to me to eat pasta without Parmesan cheese. Know what I mean? Thus, the below creation was born.


  • 1 lb pasta cooked according to package directions, drained, pasta water reserved
  • 3 T. butter
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large lemon, juiced (or 2 small lemons)
  • 2 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 8 oz smoked salmon, torn into small pieces
  • 4 oz crumbled feta
  • ¼ c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt, to taste


  1. In a large non-stick pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir in garlic for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Whisk in lemon juice.
  2. Remove from heat, and whisk in Greek yogurt, lemon zest, and salt to taste. Place back on low heat to warm.
  3. Poor in pasta and stir to combine. Add some of the reserved pasta if you need to thin out the sauce. (I added A LOT – the sauce was super thick.) Add in the smoked salmon, feta and Parmesan cheese and toss to combine. Garnish with additional smoked salmon and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Serve immediately.

Per Jennifer’s instructions, the pasta gets much drier the next day. I noticed this actually as the pasta started to cool. She suggests that you add extra Greek yogurt or butter when reheating. I think I’m going to go with butter and/or half-and-half

I’m not sure what I think of the combination of flavors in this dish. But I’ll be able to decide after a few more helpings – I have a few containers of leftovers. But I will tell you this: I am sold on Greek yogurt in pasta. When you stir in some of that pasta water it really looks like a nice, thick and creamy Alfredo sauce.

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