Home > 30-minute meals > Lemon Garlic Pan Seared Salmon

Crispy on the outside, perfectly cooked on the inside, this Lemon Garlic Pan Seared Salmon is easy to make, healthy and pairs perfectly with a lemon garlic sauce! Making restaurant quality salmon at home is really easy. Equipped with my basic tips and tricks, you’ll be on your way to perfectly cooked salmon.

Lemon Garlic Pan seared salmon - side view in a frypan

This Garlic and lemon salmon recipe is simple to make, takes only a few simple ingredients and makes the perfect special occasion meal for that special someone or a great weeknight dinner option.

Lemon Garlic Pan seared salmon - side by side image

If you’re looking for some great easy dinner options to inspire your tastebuds, check out my Healthy Oven Baked Chicken Tenders, Baked Orange Chicken Recipe and my Easy Spaghetti And Meatballs Recipe. All really tasty and simple to make.

Why this will become your fave salmon recipe!

Pan seared salmon is my favorite way to eat salmon. It results in a crispy outside and perfectly cooked on the inside. And by perfectly cooked I mean slightly pink and soft in the middle, not dry. I pride myself on cooking salmon perfectly! And I’m so excited to show you how to get yours cooked perfectly too!

This salmon is packed full of flavor. The garlic and salt heighten the umami flavor and the lemon makes it positively delicious!

Lemon Garlic Pan seared salmon - extreme close up of salmon peice

How to prep salmon for perfect cooking results!

  • Check for bones – run your fingers over your salmon to feel for any bones. Use tweezers to take them out. They’ll be long and slightly translucent.
  • Pat dry your salmon to make sure it gets that nice crispy outside.
  • Season with salt and pepper to get that flavor going right off the bat before you cook it.
  • Rub lightly with olive oil so that you lessen the chances of your salmon from sticking to your pan.

Which Pan to use for searing salmon

I learned this the hard way, so I’m here to share how to prevent your salmon turning into a disaster! Using the right pan will prevent your salmon from sticking and tearing and will help you get a nice golden crisp looking salmon.

  • Non-stick pans are great for searing salmon. In fact, probably the ideal option. if you have a good heavy bottomed non-stick pan, you’ll good a good high heat going for that nice crispy outside.
  • Stainless steal and cast iron – make sure your stainless steal and cast iron pans are seasoned well to prevent the salmon from sticking. There are loads of great videos online on how to do this. This one is my favorite. A good cast iron frypan will give you a nice crispy salmon!

How to cook salmon perfectly!

  • Heat your pan up really hot.
  • Use a high heat point oil like avocado oil or canola oil. I used olive oil, which when combined with butter doesn’t burn as easy.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side only flipping once.
  • Salmon will be cooked when it turns from pink to opaque.
  • The internal temperature of the salmon should reach 60C / 140F when an instant thermometer is inserted into the center.

Lemon Garlic Pan seared salmon - forks tearing salmon apart

Ingredients You Need To Make Lemon Garlic Salmon!

Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

Lemon Garlic Pan seared salmon - salmon ingredient

  • Salmon – opt in for a good quality, fresh salmon. Atlantic and Tasmanian, wild caught salmon is best. You get what you pay for with salmon! Look for salmon fillets that are roughly the same thickness all along the fillet. Before cooking, use your fingers to feel for any bones. The bones should already be taken out, but it’s best to check to be on the safe side. Make sure your salmon is as close to room temperature as possible before starting.

Lemon Garlic Pan seared salmon - ingredients image

  • Salt – I used fine salt.
  • Pepper – I used freshly cracked pepper.
  • Olive oil – opt in for a good quality extra virgin olive oil.
  • Salted butter – Use a good quality butter! It makes all the different flavor wise!
  • Garlic – ALWAYS use freshly minced garlic. Nothing else compares.
  • Lemon – a good squeeze of lemon makes this salmon so tasty!
  • Parsley – Use freshly chopped parsley. Presentation wise it makes this salmon look positively amazing.

How to make Lemon Garlic Pan Seared Salmon!

Lemon Garlic Pan seared salmon - step 1 and 2

  1. Pat dry your salmon and slice into 4 pieces (if using a large belly portion of salmon (aprox 800g)
  2. Drizzle and rub with olive oil. Then season with salt and pepper.

Lemon Garlic Pan seared salmon - step 3 and 4

  1. Add olive oil to a very hot skillet and cook salmon on each side for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add butter and garlic and spoon onto the salmon as it cooks for another 2-3 minutes.

Lemon Garlic Pan seared salmon - step 5 and 6

  1. Add lemon
  2. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Tips and Tricks For Recipe Success!

  • For a healthier salmon (but less sauce) leave the butter out when cooking. Use a non-stick pan and use a little less salmon. A good quality salmon will be really high in healthy Omega 3 fts and they’ll moisten the salmon as it cooks.
  • For an extra special date night option – add a splash of white wine when you add the lemon.
  • Use good quality salmon for a flavorful salmon experience. Buy from a fish market or good fish shop. Vac packed salmon is honestly the worst.

Frequently Asked Questions about Lemon Garlic Pan Seared Salmon!

How do I store this?

Add to an airtight container and store in the fridge until ready to eat. This salmon is delicious cold or heated in the microwave for a couple minutes.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes! And can I just add, this salmon is really nice cold. It would be perfect in your next salad!

Can I make this with skin on?

Yep! Nothing like a good crispy salmon skin. Cook on the skin on side first. Get that nice and crispy in a little oil then cook on the other side as instructed in the recipe card. I would make the lemon, garlic butter sauce separately and drizzle it on right before serving to keep the skin crispy.

Gave this a go? Don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! Hungry for more? Join me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and TikTok for more great recipes!

What to serve with your crispy salmon!

Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @thescranline on Facebook and Instagram!

Lemon Garlic Pan seared salmon - pinterest image

Lemon Garlic Pan seared salmon - thumbnail

Lemon Garlic Pan Seared Salmon

Crispy on the outside, perfectly cooked on the inside, this Garlic Pan Seared Salmon is easy to make, healthy and pairs perfectly with a lemon garlic sauce!

Serves 4

5 from 2 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Calories: 69kcal

Ingredients

Pan Seared Salmon

  • 4 (200 g each) salmon pieces (see notes)
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salted butter
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • Parsley freshly chopped
  • Lemon slices to serve


Instructions

Pan Seared Salmon

  • To prepare the salmon - pat dry the room temperature salmon with a paper towel and check for any bones. Use fish tweezers to take any bones you find out. Although good quality salmon will have no bones.
  • Lightly drizzle each piece of salmon with olive oil and rub all over. Season with salt pepper on both sides.
  • Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil. Place the salmon in the skillet and press down lightly. Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes, undisturbed. It will be crispy and golden.
  • Add the butter and garlic and stir until aromatic, about 1-2 minutes. Spoon the garlic butter on the salmon as it’s cooking to help get that garlic flavor in the salmon.
  • Turn the heat off, drizzle with lemon juice, sprinkle with parsley, serve with thinly sliced lemon on top. I like serving mine with a Garden Green Salad!

Notes

Salmon - opt in for a good quality, fresh salmon. Atlantic and Tasmanian, wild caught salmon is best, although sustainably farmed salmon is a good option too. You get what you pay for with salmon! Look for salmon fillets that are roughly the same thickness all along the fillet. Before cooking, use your fingers to feel for any bones. The bones should already be taken out, but it’s best to check to be on the safe side. Make sure your salmon is as close to room temperature as possible before starting.
Storage - Cooked salmon can be stored in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to two days.
Nutrition - is based on per salmon piece.
A note on measurements - all ingredients in this recipe are offered in Australian cup measurements and weight measurements. Weight measurements are created by me, in my kitchen here in Melbourne Australia. The best way to get recipe success is to measure ingredients by weight, using kitchen scales.

Nutrition

Calories : 69kcal
Carbonhydrates: 4g
Protein: 1g
Fat: 6g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
Monounsaturated Fat : 3g
Trans Fat : 0.1g
Cholesterol: 8mg
Sodium: 24mg
Potassium : 53mg
Fiber: 1g
Sugar : 1g
Vitamin A: 94IU
Vitamin C: 15mg
Calcium: 15mg
Iron: 0.2mg
Nutrition Disclosure
Gave this recipe a go?Mention @thescranline or tag #thescranline!

You may also like

1 comment

Nick Makrides March 15, 2023 - 6:55 am

5 stars
This is a spectacular dinner option and so tasty! N x

Reply

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating