This crispy pan seared salmon recipe is simple, yet sophisticated! Impress your friends and family by making this healthy meal for dinner tonight. Made with key ingredients like Butcher Box salmon fillets, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice, this salmon is simply irresistible. This post contains affiliate links for products I’m obsessed with.
Crispy Pan Seared Salmon Recipe
Of all the salmon recipes I’ve made, this crispy pan seared salmon might be my favorite. It’s a copy cat of one of my favorite things to order at my favorite local restaurant and I could honestly eat it weekly and not get sick of it. While I love grilling salmon, I am obsessed with the golden crispy top that it gets when cooked in a pan!
I set out to learn how to make salmon in a pan with that drool worthy crispy top, and I learned it’s actually pretty freaking easy!
So, how easy is it really? Well, you only need 6 ingredients (most of which you probably already have,) and about 20 minutes of your time. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
Between the simplicity of the ingredients and easy to follow instructions, there’s nothing I don’t love about making this dish. My mouth is legit watering just thinking about it.
SALMON HEALTH BENEFITS
What makes salmon one of my favorite proteins? Besides being delicious, salmon, especially wild caught salmon, has a TON of benefits for your body. I never feel bad about going back for seconds when I make this pan seared fish!
- It’s super high in protein! The average fillet of salmon has about 40 grams of protein.
- It’s rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which is wonderful for lowering blood pressure.
- It has a lot of different B vitamins!
With a perfectly made piece of crispy salmon on your plate, you can feel free to really dig in with no guilt. It’s insanely good for your body, and totally delectable!
INGREDIENTS FOR THIS HEALTHY SALMON RECIPE
- salmon fillets – look for wild caught salmon whenever possible. I can’t recommend buying from Butcher Box more highly! I don’t buy my salmon anywhere else. It’s the best, because you can always count on them to provide you with the highest quality, wild caught, and sustainably harvested salmon from Alaska.
- olive oil – Usually, I’d say you can substitute this oil with another, but I really recommend using olive oil in this recipe. The way it compliments the other ingredients just can’t be beat! Besides, it’s a healthy fat that your body will love.
- butter – This ingredient can definitely be substituted for ghee or vegan butter. You might not even notice the difference!
- garlic – You want your garlic to be finely minced or grated. If the pieces are too big, they’ll ruin the texture of the dish.
- lemon juice – Use fresh, organic lemons to provide you with the perfect juice. You’ll also need some unsqueezed slices for serving. Lemon juice is what elevates this dish from tasty to mouthwatering!
- salt and pepper – These are just to taste. Try not to use too much salt! No one likes an overly salty fish dish.
- parsley – Freshly chopped parsley is the best way to garnish this amazing meal!
HOW TO COOK SALMON IN A PAN
- Start by preparing your pan, of course! Use a a large stainless steel skillet or ceramic non stick skillet. Spray it with cooking oil spray, then heat your olive oil in over medium high heat.
2. Prepare the salmon for searing by patting the fillets dry with a paper towel. Then, season them to your desire with salt and pepper.
3. When your pan and oil are nice and hot, place the salmon fillets, skin side up and flesh side down, in the pan. Let the meat cook undisturbed for about 5-6 minutes, or until a golden brown crust forms on your salmon.
4. Once that crispy golden brown crust forms, carefully flip the salmon. Cook it for an additional 5-6 minutes, or until the fish is opaque and easily flakes. Then, remove the fish from the pan.
5. With the fish out of the pan, lower the heat to medium low, add the butter to the pan, and melt it.
6. Add the garlic to the melted butter and cook it for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Be very careful not to burn it! Then, stir in the lemon juice and a dash of salt and pepper to taste.
7. Place the salmon back in the pan and spoon the flavorful butter sauce over the top of it.
8. Sprinkle the freshly chopped parsley over the salmon, then serve with lemon slices! Enjoy!
How do I reheat salmon?
Pro tip – do NOT use your microwave to reheat this dish! If you have leftovers, use your oven at a low temperature like 275 to reheat this fish or pop in in your Air Fryer on a low heat setting. You could even reheat it in your pan over low heat. Also, once cooked, this meal will last about 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
What should I serve with this pan seared salmon?
This is an entree that you can pair with some sparkling water, a fun cocktail, or a glass of white wine. When it comes to side dishes, your options are also pretty unlimited! This tasty, healthy salmon recipe pairs with just about everything, making it a staple on my meal plan!Here are a few of my favorite sides:
- Delallo Gluten Free Orzo
- Instant Pot Brown Rice
- Steamed or Roasted Veggies
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes [Dairy Free]
- Zucchini Fritters
- Cucumber Tomato Salad with Avocado + Feta
- Easy Gluten-free Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Three Cheese Zucchini Bake
I also love this over a salad like my Maple Cider Holiday Salad or in place of shrimp in this Lemony Arugula Salad.
Looking for more Healthy Salmon Recipes? Check these out:
Honey Mustard Salmon | The Foodie and The Fix
Pan Seared Salmon
- 4 wild caught salmon fillets about 4-6 ounces each
- Cooking oil spray
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter, vegan butter, or ghee
- 1-2 cloves garlic finely minced or grated
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice plus extra lemon slices for serving
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley for garnish
- Heat a large stainless steel pan or nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Spray with cooking oil spray, then add your olive oil. Pat salmon dry, then season it with salt and pepper to taste.
- When your pan and oil is nice and hot, place the salmon fillets, skin side up and flesh side down, in the pan. Cook undisturbed for 5-6 minutes, or until a golden brown crust forms on your salmon.
- Carefully flip the salmon and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes or until fish is opaque and easily flakes.
- Remove the salmon from the pan. Lower the heat to medium low, add the butter to the pan and melt.
- Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly and being very careful not to burn. Stir in the lemon juice and a dash of salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the salmon back in the pan. Spoon the butter sauce over the top.
- Sprinkle the parsley over the salmon, then serve with lemon slices!
Christina C says
So tasty! Added another recipe to my salmon list. Thanks!
That is awesome, Christina!
Luna Regina says
I love salmon and that crispy char is to die for! Dinner plans are happening now 🙂
Woohoo!! Thanks for commenting and rating the recipe!
Annabella Davis says
This recipe looks amazing and I want to try right away. My question is this. The ingredients say skinless fillets, but the directions day to saute them skin side down first. I prefer skinless, but if the recipe is better with the shin on, I’ll do it that way.
I don’t see skinless in the post – am I missing it? I’d like to fix that!
Definitely give skin on a try!
Rosalie Rogers says
First time having salmon and this was delicious!
That is wonderful! Thank you so much for taking the time to rate and review!