This Pan Seared Salmon recipe is so easy to make at home with a golden crispy skin and moist and juicy flesh. Learn how to cook salmon perfectly every time just like the restaurant for a healthy, low carb, paleo, Whole30 and keto friendly dinner.
Salmon is hands down our favorite fish to make. We make it at least twice a week since it’s healthy, tasty and loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin B and potassium.
Plus, salmon is delicious and perfect if you’re looking to add more meatless protein options to your dinner menu. We especially love salmon during the summer when we’re craving lighter options and bonus that it’s also low carb, keto, paleo or Whole30 compliant.
HOW TO COOK SALMON:
Depending on what you’re craving, there’s no wrong choice when it comes to how to cook salmon since they all taste delicious and it makes the perfect quick lunch or healthy dinner option.
The best part about having salmon on the menu is that there are tons of different ways you can cook it without getting bored.
- Pan Seared Salmon / Pan Fried Salmon
- Oven Baked Salmon
- Grilled Salmon
- Air Fryer Salmon
- Instant Pot Salmon
- Foil Pack Salmon
Cooking crispy salmon on the stove is the quickest and easiest way to prepare salmon. All you need is a hot skillet and your stove to develop that perfectly crispy, crunchy skin. It’s one of my favorite methods when I want dinner on the table quick on those busy weeknights.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO MAKE LEMON BUTTER SALMON:
- 4 salmon fillets (four to six ounces)
- sea salt and pepper
- lemon juice & lemon zest
- avocado oil or olive oil
- grass-fed butter or ghee (for Whole30 / strict Paleo)
- fresh parsley
HOW TO PAN FRY SALMON:
To get that crispy golden skin on your salmon fillet, it’s important to pat the skin down with a paper towel.
Season the salmon with some salt and pepper.
Heat avocado oil, garlic ghee or olive oil in a cast-iron skillet on medium high heat. You want the pan to be hot and the oil to shimmer before laying the fish down.
Place the salmon skin-side down without disturbing it for 4-5 minutes depending on the size of your fillet.
Using a wide spatula, carefully flip the salmon and cook for another 2 minutes. Add butter and lemon and cook for another minute or two until the butter melts. Spoon the sauce over the salmon and garnish with fresh parsley.
BUYING THE RIGHT TYPE OF SALMON:
So what kind of salmon is best? When pan-searing salmon on the stovetop, choose individual fillets that are six- to eight-ounces per person.
If you’re buying one large piece of fish, just ask your fishmonger to portion them out for you.
WHAT PAN SHOULD I USE FOR THE BEST SEARED SALMON?
When pan frying salmon, the most important element is to make sure that the pan is large enough to fit all of the salmon fillets without overcrowding.
In order to get the perfect sear on your salmon, you want to start with a super-hot surface and a cast-iron pan or a stainless steel pan retain heat much faster and longer.
HOW DO YOU NOT OVERCOOK SALMON?
The key to making the best pan seared salmon is not to overcook it and knowing how to tell when salmon is done.
Salmon cooks very quickly so you’ll want to keep an eye on it. When the fish starts to flake easily with a fork and the flesh looks opaque, it mean it’s ready to eat!
TIPS FOR PAN FRYING SALMON
- BRING SALMON TO ROOM TEMPERATURE: If your salmon is cold, allow to sit at room temperature for at least 15-20 minutes.
- PAT SALMON DRY: Make sure the salmon is dry before adding it to the pan to avoid sticking. Pat each fillet down with a paper towel.
- START WITH A HOT PAN: Preheat your pan on medium high heat for a few minutes before adding the oil. Once you add the oil, you want it to be shimmering.
- LAY THE SALMON DOWN SKIN SIDE FIRST: The skin is tough and can withstand a longer cooking time on the pan without turning dry.
- LEAVE THE SALMON UNDISTURBED: Don’t move the salmon once you add it to the pan. You want the skin to have time to get crispy so try not to peak, poke or move the fillet around.
- DO NOT OVERCOOK: Do not leave the salmon on any longer than necessary. Once the salmon changes color to a light pink, with tender and flaky piece of salmon, it means the salmon is done and cooked perfectly to medium, with super-crispy skin.
REASONS WE LOVE THIS LEMON GARLIC SALMON RECIPE:
- it’s delicious and super quick and easy
- less than 20 minutes to make a healthy dinner
- gluten free, low carb, keto, paleo and whole30 compliant
- macro-friendly at just 293 calories, 1 gram Total carbs, 23 grams of protein and 22 grams of fat and per serving
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU SERVE PAN FRIED SALMON WITH?
More delicious salmon recipes you might like:
- 4 (four-to-six) ounce salmon fillets, skin on and descaled
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon avocado oil
- 3 Tablespoons ghee OR grass-fed butter (if not Whole30)
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley chopped finely
- Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
Preheat skillet over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, you want the oil to be shimmering.
Carefully place the fillets, skin side down in the pan.
Cook undisturbed for 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet.
Using a spatula, carefully turn the salmon fillets over and sear the other side for another 2 minutes.
- Place the butter, lemon juice and zest into the pan, along with the lemon slices and half of the parsley, and cook for a further 2 minutes, spooning the sauce over the salmon as it cooks.
- Garnish with parsley and serve.