How to Make 30-minute Salmon alla Vodka for Your Future In-Laws

This is decadent rich dish to serve your in-laws or at a dinner party. The creamy, pink sauce always looks beautiful and inviting.

I served this not for my in-laws (had to make that clear for friends and family reading), but for a man who was meeting his in-laws for the first time. He wanted to surprise them with a private chef, and we decided salmon and chicken would be the best.

It was a hit, he was happy, his daughter was happy, and his future in-laws were surprised and impressed.

So, here is this very simple recipe for salmon alla vodka, which i first learned from one of my favorites, Giada.

Note on the recipe:

The main thing to keep in mind is once you add the cream and Parmesan cheese to the sauce, don’t heat too much or it will break and the sauce will look funky. Also, make sure to boil out all the vodka well. I tapered back the vodka and updated the recipe here because I thought it tasted a little too boozy. It was originally at 1 cup vodka.
I served with with salmon and everyone really enjoyed it. The flavors combine really well. I added some peas in the sauce for a little contrast and color. And, some chopped parsley on top. 
Hope you enjoy this simple recipe!

Salmon Alla Vodka

Serves 4


3 cups (24 oz or 1 jar) Marinara sauce or Homemade Marinara Sauce
½ cup vodka (I used Absolut)
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 ½ lbs. bow tie pasta
4 salmon filets
½ cup peas (can be frozen)


In a medium pot, add the marinara sauce and vodka. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 20 minutes. This boils off the vodka. Taste after 20 minutes and if it’s still bitter/boozy, simmer a little longer. Stir, throughout to prevent tomato sauce from burning. 
Then, add the heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, and peas. Have it on the lowest heat. Just heat until the mixture is hot, and then take it off the heat to avoid the cheese separating. 
Your sauce is done. Now, saute your salmon in a nonstick pan with a little oil. You can do this 20 minutes before you sit down. The point is to get golden brown, but you don’t have to cook it through…yet. 
Meanwhile cook the pasta, and then toss pasta in the sauce.
Then, right before serving, place salmon in 425 F oven for 5 minutes or so to cook it through. It will begin to flake slightly when poked with a fork. This means its done!
To plate, I used the biggest platter I had. I tossed some of the pasta in the sauce, then topped it with the salmon filets. Lastly I garnished with some chopped parsley on top and fresh blooming Rosemary sprig on the side. 
It looked impressive and got the reaction I wanted from the dinner party guests I was serving!

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