December 2, 2022

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Lemon Garlic Pan Seared Salmon

This quick (20 minute) Lemon Garlic Pan Seared Salmon is perfectly flakey and smothered in a luscious lemon garlic butter sauce.

We love to make this easy salmon recipe with Parmesan Roasted Broccoli or Garlic Herb Rice Pilaf for a complete family meal! 

Cooked sliced of salmon in metal pan with lemon slices.

I’ve brought the classic flavors from my Easy Baked Salmon Recipe and made an even easier version, made on the stove top in just 20 minutes! 

Lemon Garlic Pan Seared Salmon

This recipe is a super quick weeknight dinner using fresh salmon that when pan seared is flaky, tender, juicy, and most importantly, not dry.

Ingredients Needed: 

Here’s the basic list of ingredients you’ll need in order to make this Lemon Garlic Salmon. As always, you can find the full list of ingredients located in the printable recipe card below.

  • Salmon Filets – boneless, skinless, room temperature
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Lemons – fresh juice
  • Olive Oil
  • Butter
  • White Wine – Sauvignon blanc
  • Garlic – fresh minced
  • Parsley – curly leaf

Ingredients for garlic pan seared salmon in bowls and on a white plate.

How To Make Pan Seared Salmon 

With just a few minutes of prep, this easy salmon recipe is on the table ready to serve in a flash! 

PREP SALMON   Make sure salmon filets are close to room temperature and pat dry with plenty of paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the salmon filets with 1 Tbsp lemon juice and rub in gently. 

Raw lemon garlic salmon on white plate.

COOK SALMON   Heat a non-stick, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat and add in olive oil. Swirl pan to evenly distribute the oil and once hot, place salmon filets flesh-side down and press lightly to get good contact. Let the salmon sear for about 3 to 4 minutes undisturbed to get a good crust on them. 

Carefully flip the salmon over and add butter and white wine to the pan. Add in garlic and remaining lemon juice as well as 1 Tbsp parsley. Spoon the butter sauce over the salmon and continue cooking until the salmon is cooked to your liking.

Cooked Lemon Garlic Salmon in black pan.

GARNISH  Before serving, top with lemon slices and spoon extra butter sauce over the top. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley. Enjoy right away!

How To Tell If Salmon Is Cooked

If you haven’t invested in an instant-read meat thermometer yet, here are some visual cues for you to look for.

  • Salmon will be red and transparent looking when raw.
  • As the salmon cooks, the color will change to an opaque, pink color.
  • The perfect salmon will be opaque on the outside while still slightly transparent in the thickest portion.
  • The salmon should flake easily when cooked.

Cooked lemon garlic salmon in black pan with parsley and lemon slices with plates and fork to the side.

Recipe Tips and Variations

  • Before you cook the salmon, make sure your pan is properly preheated! This adds a nice browned color to your salmon and ensures proper cooking time. 
  • Fresh garlic is always best when available, but using the jarred version will work in a pinch.
  • Tilt the pan on it’s side to allow the butter sauce to gather, then spoon it over the top of the salmon when finishing. 

What To Pair With Salmon

Salmon is a light and delicate fish with a delicious fatty texture. I find that salmon pairs well with a nice rice and vegetable side dish. Here are a few of my top choices to pair with salmon…

white plate of cooked pan seared lemon garlic salmon with fork and lemon slice.

More Delicious Salmon Recipes

This salmon is an excellent main dish, but if you’re looking for variety I have a few more ways to cook salmon…

Make this salmon for an easy weeknight dinner, and everyone will love it! 

Cooked sliced of salmon in metal pan with lemon slices.

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20 Minute Lemon Garlic Pan Seared Salmon

This quick-cooking salmon dinner is perfectly pan seared and then smothered in a luscious lemon garlic butter sauce.

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time15 mins

Total Time20 mins

Course: Main Dish

Cuisine: American

Servings: 4 people

Author: Shawn

Ingredients

  • 24 oz salmon filets, boneless and skinless, room temperature
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice, divided
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 splash white wine, Sauvignon blanc
  • 3 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp parsley, curly leaf, chopped, divided
  • 1 medium lemon, cut in slices

Instructions

  • Make sure salmon filets are close to room temperature, and pat dry with plenty of paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the salmon filets with 1 tbsp lemon juice and rub into each.

  • Heat a non-stick, heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat and add in olive oil. Swirl pan to evenly distribute the oil and once hot, place salmon filets flesh-side down and press lightly to get a good contact. Let the salmon sear for about 3 to 4 minutes undisturbed, to get a good crust on them.

  • Carefully flip salmon over and add butter and white wine to pan. Add in garlic and remaining lemon juice as well as 1 tbsp parsley. Spoon the butter sauce over the salmon and continue cooking until salmon is cooked through to your liking.

  • Before serving, top with lemon slices and spoon extra butter sauce over the top. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley. Enjoy right away.

Keywords: One Pan, salmon

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