Wondering how to cook salmon? We’ve got such a simple and easy salmon skillet recipe with a delicious garlic lemon butter glaze. Pan seared salmon is an easy way to get it just right, every time… in fact, a kid can do it!
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How to cook the perfect salmon fillet:
When it comes to weeknight meals, searing salmon in a piping hot cast iron skillet is a favorite. In fact, just about any meal made one pot in my cast iron skillet is a favorite of mine!
For the perfect salmon fillet though, just a few simple ingredients, like a heap of butter, dash of garlic, splash of lemon, and maximum taste through a quick pan sear really allows this salmon skillet to shine. You really can’t go wrong with this recipe, I mean, it was cooked by my ten-year-old! It comes together fast, making it perfect for any night of the week.
When searing a salmon skillet, opt for individual fillets. One fillet per person is a good amount, and for kids it could be even less. This is one of the reasons I love to stock up on our meat, including salmon, from Omaha Steaks! Each salmon fillet is selected, trimmed, and quickly flash-frozen to preserve them at their absolute freshest, and then individually sealed to be ready when you want it. This also means, you only need to open the fillets you intend to cook.
Tips for the best salmon skillet:
- Don’t start cold: No matter what protein you’re cooking, cold meat is never a friend of a piping-hot pan. When a cold fillet is added to your hot pan, they will immediately seize up and are more likely to cook unevenly, and many times creates tougher meat. Instead, remove the fish from the refrigerator with plenty of time to come to room temperature.
- Make sure meat is dry: This is another tip that goes with most protein, use a paper towel or a clean dish towel to pat it dry, just like we did with our Beef Tenderloin – Espresso Crusted Chateaubriand When fillets are moist or wet, they’re more likely to stick to the pan.
- Get that pan hot: The key to cooking with most skillets, and especially searing in a cast iron skillet, get that pan smoking hot, literally. Now, a hot pan doesn’t necessarily mean high heat. Keep the flame at a medium to medium-high, but before you add anything to the pan, let it get hot. Really hot. For a cast iron skillet, you’ll see it start to smoke slightly.
- Gather the goods: To create a one pan salmon skillet that is bursting with all kinds of flavor, gather foods that compliment your salmon. To season the salmon, we just use salt and pepper, and in the skillet, we add butter, lemon, garlic, and even a drizzle of honey. This all goes perfectly with red potatoes and a bit of green. Green beans and asparagus both work great here.
Some of our favorite cast iron options for a great salmon skillet:
How to make one pan seared salmon skillet with garlic lemon butter sauce
Prep your salmon:
If using the tender fillets from Omaha Steaks that we use, make sure to thaw ahead of time. You can thaw safely in the refrigerator overnight. If you forgot to thaw the night before, place the frozen packets that you plan to cook in a bowl of cool water.
Prep your sides:
While your salmon is thawing, go ahead and get the sides that you’ll be adding to the salmon skillet prepped. Wash the vegetables, cut red potatoes into chunks, season with olive oil, salt and pepper.
You’re going to get these sides into the hot skillet before the salmon ever touches the pan since the cooking time is longer. In fact, you can add these to your hot skillet while you prep the salmon.
One Pan Salmon Skillet with Garlic Lemon Butter
- 2 (6-ounce) Omaha Steaks salmon fillets, skin on or off
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Pink Himilayan sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb baby red potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 6 oz fresh green beans
- 1 lemon
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 4 cloves garlic
- Drizzle of honey
- Bring the salmon to room temperature at least 10 minutes before cooking.
- Warm a large nonstick skillet or cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
- Add oil to the pan and let heat.
- Season the red potato with olive oil, salt, and pepper and add to hot skillet. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Season the green beans with olive oil, salt, and pepper and add to skillet with the red potatoes.
- Season the fish with salt and pepper. Place the salmon in the pan with vegetables. Cook until golden brown on 1 side, about 4 minutes.
- Turn the fish over with a spatula, and add butter, sliced lemon and garlic.
- Cook until fish fillet feels firm to the touch and the skin is crisp if desired, about 3-4 minutes more.
- Transfer to a plate and serve as desired.
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Do you have a salmon skillet recipe you love? Let me know in a comment below!