Delicious and easy-to-make Pan Seared Salmon turns out perfectly every time in just minutes! Season with salt, pepper, and some dill weed then serve with lemon slices or wedges for the perfect salmon dinner any night of the week!
Crispy Skin Pan-Seared Salmon
Salmon is a popular fish that almost everyone enjoys. It is tasty when prepared in a variety of ways, and my pan-seared salmon makes use of a simple cooking technique that highlights the natural flavor of the fish.
Salmon is super healthy, filled with those Omega-3s you are always hearing about. It is a wonderful source of protein too. When you are not in the mood for chicken or steak, salmon is the way to go!
Even if you are not normally a fish eater, this salmon dish will soon become one of your favorites. Not only is it a cinch to prepare, but the results are restaurant quality!
This recipe calls for few ingredients, allowing the salmon to be the star of the show. When you get nice fresh fillets, the salmon speaks for itself, and the other seasonings are there to enhance the flavor.
- Salmon Fillets (two 4 ounce portions) - Select salmon fillets that are about equal in size, so they cook evenly at the same time.
- Coconut Oil (for frying) – Coconut oil adds a subtle sweetness and cooks the salmon just right. You can, of course, use whatever cooking oil you prefer!
- Salt & Pepper – Use as much or as little as you desire. You won’t need much to bring out the best of this pan seared salmon.
- Dill Weed (optional, fresh or dried) – Add dill weed for a fresh flavor as well as some vibrant color to make the plate more appealing.
- Lemon (optional, for serving) – Lemon juice squeezed over seafood adds a brightness to balance out the fish. The citrus aroma is wonderful as well.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredients, amounts & instructions!*
🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions
From start to finish, this delightful dish takes a mere 10 minutes to prepare. For something so delectable, it is a shock it can be cooked to perfection so quickly!
How to Perfectly Pan Sear Salmon
You do not need a special occasion for this pan seared salmon. It is totally doable even on busy weeknights - faster than take-out or a trip through the drive-thru! Let’s get to it!
- Make sure all the scales are removed from the salmon’s skin. You can scrape a sharp knife back and forth over the skin (the scales tend to fly around) until you have a netting appearance on the skin side. You can also ask your fishmonger to handle this process for you.
- Rinse the salmon fillets then dry them well using paper towels. Do this thoroughly, as the best crispy skin results from starting with very dry salmon, so get as much water soaked up as possible.
- Heat your pan to medium-high. Give the pan plenty of time to heat well so the entire pan surface is evenly heated for the best searing results. Add enough coconut oil to coat the bottom of the pan lightly. Add more oil if your food tends to stick to the pan when you cook.
- Pat the salmon dry again with a paper towel just before cooking, then season the skin side with salt and pepper right before placing it into your heated pan. Once the oil is shimmering and slightly smoking, the pan is ready for searing. Don’t let the oil smoke too much; turn down the heat if it gets too smoky.
- Place the salmon fillets in the heated pan with the seasoned skin side down. You can test the edge of the salmon in the pan to be sure it is ready. The fish should sizzle if the pan is sufficiently heated. Cook the fillets on the skin side for 4-5 minutes depending on the thickness of your fillets.
- Once the salmon is almost entirely cooked, season the top with salt and pepper, then flip and just 'kiss' the flesh side in the pan for no more than 30 seconds.
- Remove the salmon from the pan and serve, garnished with dill weed and lemon.
💭 Angela's Tips & Recipe Notes
- Bring your salmon to room temperature (about 30 minutes) before cooking ensures a nice fast, even cook!
- This recipe makes 2 servings, so simply get more salmon and the rest of the ingredients if you need to feed more than 2 people. You can also prep more fish at one time and freeze or refrigerate the rest for another meal.
- The crispy skin and juiciness of the salmon is so delicious, and pan-searing is the best way to get this mouthwatering texture. Remember not to overcook, or else your salmon fillets will wind up being far too dry.
- Plate your salmon with the crispy skin up if you want it to retain that crispy texture best.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
Store cooked salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Reheat in the microwave or eat cold.
You can enjoy the leftovers cold simply flaked over a salad or served the pan-seared salmon on toast with sliced tomato.
Reheating Pan Seared Salmon
To reheat your salmon return the fillets to a pan at medium-high heat and cook the skin side down until warmed through. Squeeze lemon juice onto the fillets to add some moisture back in, if needed.
Here is some of my favorite recipes for what to serve with salmon.
Pan Seared Salmon
- 8 oz salmon fillets (2 4 ounce portions)
- coconut oil (for frying)
- each, salt & pepper (to taste)
- dill weed (optional - fresh or dried)
- lemon (slices or wedges, for serving)
- Prepare your salmon fillets by checking to see if the scales have been removed. Simply scrape a sharp chef's knife back and forth over the skin (the scales tend to fly around) until you have a netting appearance on the skin side. Rinse the fillets then dry them using paper towels. *Do this diligently, as the best crispy skin results from starting with very dry salmon!
- Heat your pan to medium-high. Give the pan plenty of time to heat thoroughly so that the entire pan surface is evenly heated for best searing. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan lightly. *You may need more oil if your pan likes to stick at all.
- Pat the salmon dry again just before cooking, then season the skin side with salt RIGHT before placing it into your heated pan. Once the oil is shimmering and slightly smoking, the pan is ready. *If your oil is smoking a lot reduce the heat slightly.
- Place the salmon in the heated pan with the skin side down. *Test an edge of the salmon in the pan, it should sizzle and hiss if the pan is sufficiently heated. Cook on the skin side for 4-5 minutes depending on the thickness of your fillets.
- Once the salmon is almost entirely cooked, season the top then flip and just 'kiss' the flesh side in the pan. This is only for 15-30 seconds. Remove from the pan and serve.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!