Salmon Puttanesca Recipe

Lisa Grant | Jersey Girl Cooks

Salmon Puttanesca is a cheap and easy meal made with pantry staples. It'll definitely become a regular in your house!

Salmon Puttanesca Photo

Puttanesca sauce is something I have been making for years. I started out making it to toss with pasta but realized it’s the perfect sauce to serve on fish. I love having it with pasta on the side. Salmon is a hearty fish and this is a healthy comfort food that is perfect for a fall or winter meal. My family eats salmon frequently. We love it smoky and grilled but today I am going to cook it inside and top it with this delicious sauce.

If you speak any Italian, the name of this dish will probably give you a chuckle. “Puttana” in Italian means “lady of the night”.  Puttanesca is a classic southern Italian sauce consisting of tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, anchovies, and red pepper. It is fragrant and spicy.

So how did the sauce get its name? I’ve heard many stories but this one is my favorite. Back in the day, the Italian women of the evening were only allowed at the grocery stores one day a week. So they stocked up on pantry ingredients and this is what they came up with. It was a cheap, easy meal to make and the ingredients stored in the pantry very well. I am not sure if this is really how the sauce was named but it is the story I go by.

Salmon Puttanesca Picture

Typically I keep some anchovy paste in my kitchen, so instead of using whole anchovies, I can add a few spoons of anchovy paste. It is much easier than chopping anchovies. It is sold in a tube so you can keep the leftovers stored in your refrigerator. It keeps well and there is no need to get anchovies on your hands.

This sauce is very versatile and goes great with fish, chicken, and pork. It is a great way to dress up some plain chicken breasts and any shape of pasta works well. I serve the dish with some homemade rustic bread because no one wants to leave the delicious sauce on their plate.

Try making this dish and it you will want to experiment with different types of fishes. It is easy for a weeknight but the perfect meal to serve to company.  

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Salmon Puttanesca Recipe

    4 Servings


  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning, With salt
  • 4 Salmon Fillets, About 1 1/2 pounds total
  • 1 jalapeños Jalapeño, Cored, seeded, and diced
  • 3 cloves Chopped Garlic
  • 14 ounces Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Capers, Drained
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Kalamata Olives
  • 1/2 cup Dry White Wine
  • 2 tablespoons Anchovy Paste
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Parsley, Chopped
  • Pasta, For serving


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle Italian seasoning on the salmon and put in pan. Cook 3 to 6 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove fish from pan; keep warm.
  2. Add jalapeño and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add tomatoes, capers, olives, wine, and anchovy paste. Sprinkle with parsley. Simmer for 15 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
  3. Return fish to pan and cook until heated through. Serve fish over sauce and with pasta, if desired.


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Related Recipes:
Seafood Recipes, Dinner Recipes, Easy Dinner Recipes, Salmon Recipes, Pasta Recipes
Recipe Yields:
4 servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Related Post:
Author: Lisa Grant
Recipe Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 498
Calories 864

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 62g
  Saturated Fat 9g
Sodium 673mg
Total Carbohydrate 2g
  Dietary Fiber 0g
  Sugars 0g
Protein 79g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Lisa Grant

About Lisa

Like all moms, Lisa needs quick and easy dinners during the week for her busy family. As our Easy Dinners Fanatic, she creates meals that you can make between soccer and band practice that are full of flavor and good for you too. You can see more from Lisa on Jersey Girl Cooks.

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