If you've ever wondered how to cook salmon perfectly every single time, this pan seared salmon recipe is the answer. Not only does the salmon end up perfectly flakey and juicy with just the right amount of crispiness on the skin, but the entire process takes just 10 minutes. Yes, you read that right. In just 10 minutes you can make restaurant-quality salmon at home. And you only need a few simple ingredients to do it.
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My Favorite Way To Cook Salmon
Salmon is one of those things that seem super involved and intimidating to make. And pan seared salmon seems like only something served well at restaurants, and not at home.
Well, I can almost guarantee this tasty and easy salmon recipe will change that thought process for you. I know it did for me, and I think this is by far the best way to cook salmon.
This recipe will show you how to pan sear salmon in only 10 minutes! It's you a delicious, low carb, and healthy meal that's ideal for busy weeknights - or maybe just dinner for your 1 year old daughter. That's what this salmon ends up being at my house. Our 2 year old Stella is obsessed with pan seared salmon, so it's something we make weekly.
And, time and time again, the result is perfectly cooked salmon that's crispy outside and flakey inside.
Seriously, you'd think this salmon came from a high-end restaurant, and anyone who tries it will be impressed, to say the least. Stella is, anyway!
Plus, since it's so easy to make salmon this way - pan-seared, that is - I've got a feeling it'll quickly become one of your go-to dinner recipes like it's become one of ours.
Oh, and if you want to give some more salmon recipes a try, this creamy garlic butter salmon is so good, and you have to make it next. And if you want another cast iron skillet recipe, you have to give this cast iron steak a try.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Quick and easy to make. You can have this salmon ready and on the table for dinner in as fast as 10 minutes! That's another reason I think this is the best recipe for how to cook salmon.
Simple ingredients. All you need is salt, pepper, and lemon juice to make this recipe.
Versatile. The flavor is so subtle yet so delicious, so the salmon goes with pretty much anything and everything.
It turns out perfect. This is the best way to cook salmon and make it turn out perfectly flakey and tender with a crisp skin every single time.
Another I think I love about this recipe is it's made with just 5 ingredients. And if you have the salmon, you might have everything else already.
Here's what you'll need to make pan seared salmon:
- 1 Salmon filet
- 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Fresh lemon juice to taste
Not too shabby, eh?
If you have to go to the store, I highly suggest grabbing a few fresh salmon fillets. After you try this, I have a feeling you'll want to make it again very soon. Also, you can use some of the extra fillets to make this blackened salmon recipe as well.
HOW TO COOK SALMON IN A FRYING PAN
As I mentioned earlier, the process of pan searing salmon is so easy, even if you've never done it before.
I like - and I strongly encourage you - to cook your salmon with the skin on for the best results. Leaving the skin on is the secret to flawlessly cooked salmon because you can get both the inside of the fish and the outside of it to cook perfectly.
So, during the first part of cooking, you'll cook the salmon skin side down so it crisps up and gets crunchy. And then to finish up the fish you'll want to cook it flesh side down - just really quick - so the inside stays super flakey and juicy.
Now, with that said, get out the ingredients, and let's get cooking!
STEP 1: PREPPING THE SALMON
First, take the salmon filet out of the package and pat it dry with paper towels.
Then, coat the flesh side with half a tablespoon of olive oil, and sprinkle it with a tiny bit of salt and pepper.
Next, flip the filet over - so the skin side is up - and coat it in another half a tablespoon of olive oil, followed by a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
STEP 2: COOKING THE SALMON
So, now that the salmon is ready to go, put a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat and coat it with a half a tablespoon - or so - of olive oil.
Then, heat the oil until it's hot.
Next, add the salmon to the pan skin side down, and cook it like this until it's 80% cooked - about 7 minutes, or around an internal temp of 100°F.
Once it's cooked, flip the salmon over and cook it flesh side down until the remaining 20% fully cooks - around 2 or 3 minutes, or around an internal temperature of 145°F. If you have thicker fillets, you may need to cook them a bit longer.
STEP 3: SERVING
After it cooks, remove it from the pan and let it rest skin side up for a couple of minutes before serving. The skin will keep the juices trapped inside the salmon as it cools for an ultra juicy texture.
You can also remove the crispy skin more easily if it rests like this. I typically eat it right off the fish and it's so good like this. However, you can serve it attached as well. I just like to make salads with the flesh of the salmon, and the skin isn't really ideal for a salad.
Having said all of that, when it comes time to serve the salmon, serve it flesh side up and squeeze a little lemon juice - or a drizzle of this dill sauce - on top of it!
My Tips To Make The Best Recipe
- Dry the salmon with paper towels or a kitchen towel before starting the recipe.
- Coat both sides completely with olive oil before cooking.
- Heat the oil in the pan until it's very hot.
- You'll know the salmon is cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 130°F checked at the thickest part with a meat thermometer.
- Let the salmon rest for a few minutes before serving to keep the fish moist.
HOW I RECOMMEND STORING COOKED SALMON
In the fridge: If you have any leftovers, you can store them in the refrigerator in a shallow airtight container or wrapped tightly with tin foil or plastic wrap for 3-4 days.
In the freezer: You can freeze the cooked salmon in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 4 months.
Reheating: I like to put the salmon on a baking sheet in the oven at 275°F (135°C). Heat it for about 10 minutes or until it reaches your desired warmth.
FAQS ABOUT THIS PAN SEARED SALMON RECIPE
What to serve with salmon?
What side of salmon do you sear first?
For the best results, you'll want to sear the skin side of the salmon first. This ensures the skin ends up super crispy, and the meat is flakey and juicy.
Is it better to pan sear or bake salmon?
I think it is better to pan sear salmon. You just can't get the crispy exterior when you bake it, and that is what I think makes this recipe so good.
When pan searing salmon do you flip it?
Yes, I suggest flipping the salmon when you pan searing it. This will allow the flesh side to have a bit of crunchiness to it as well, making for the best textural experience.
More Seafood Recipes
- Mahi mahi recipe
- Grilled tilapia
- Pan seared halibut recipe
- Baked snapper
- Air fryer salmon bites
- Air fryer tilapia
- 1 Salmon filet (6oz - 170g)
- 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
- Fresh lemon juice to taste
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Pat salmon filet dry.
- Coat the flesh side with a ½ tablespoon of olive oil, and then sprinkle on a small amount of salt and pepper.
- Next, flip the filet over so it’s skin side up, and coat in olive oil salt and pepper.
- Set a pan over medium-low heat, and add around a ½ tablespoon of olive oil to it.
- Heat the oil until it’s hot, and then add the salmon to it skin side down. Cook like this until 80% -of the fish has been cooked - around 7 minutes, or around 100°F.
- Flip the fish over and cook it flesh side down until the remaining 20% fully cooks - around 2-3 minutes or 130°F.
- Remove it from the heat, and let it rest skin side up for a couple of minutes before serving. The skin will keep the juices trapped inside the salmon as it cools.
- Serve flesh side up, and top with lemon juice to taste.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 399Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 36g