Annabel Karmel’s pasta shells with salmon and broccoli recipe

(457 ratings)

This dish of pasta shells with salmon and broccoli is a great healthy choice for young kids and it's quick and easy to prepare.

Annabel Karmel’s pasta shells with salmon and broccoli
(Image credit: Annabel Karmel)
Preparation Time8 mins
Cooking Time15 mins
Total Time23 mins
Cost RangeCheap

Annabel Karmel’s pasta shells with salmon and broccoli is a brilliant dish for introducing fish into your little one's diet.

Fish is good for a baby's brain development, so it’s important to introduce it at an early stage, and salmon - packed with omega-3 - is a great choice. This dish blends the broccoli sauce down to a smooth, creamy texture, but it still contains lots of lovely flavours like Parmesan cheese to widen your child's palette. It's ideal for toddlers, and very popular. The dish is ready in less than 25 minutes and this recipe makes four portions. 


  • 50g (2oz) salmon fillet
  • 150ml (¼pt) unsalted vegetable or chicken stock
  • 40g (1½oz) baby pasta shells
  • Knob of butter
  • ½ small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp plain flour
  • 100ml (3½oz) milk
  • 50g (2oz) broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp crème fraiche
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp fresh dill, chopped
  • ½ tsp fresh chives, chopped




  1. To cook the salmon, either poach the fish in a little of the stock over a low heat for 3-4 minutes, or until it flakes easily with a fork, or cook in a microwave with a couple of tablespoons of stock for about 2 minutes
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain.
  3. To make the sauce, melt the butter in the saucepan. Add the onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes until just soft. Add the flour and mix together, then blend in the remaining stock and milk. Bring to the boil. Add the broccoli and simmer, covered, for 5-6 minutes until soft.
  4. Whiz in a food processor until smooth. Stir in the crème fraiche, Parmesan, lemon juice, herbs and cooked salmon. Simmer for 2 minutes. Serve the drained pasta with the sauce.

Top tip for making Annabel Karmel’s pasta shells with salmon and broccoli

For older kids there's no need to blend the sauce (unless you're trying to disguise the vegetables a little) - you can just chop the onion and broccoli by hand.

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Annabel Karmel

Annabel Karmel MBE is a chef and author of over 40 cookbooks based on nutrition, and cooking for babies, children and families. With her career spanning over 25 years she has pioneered the way families feed their babies and children all the world over.