This Easy Lemon Butter Salmon recipe makes an elegant and delicious dinner. Seared in a skillet on the stove top and ready in under 20 minutes!
This easy salmon recipe is just great for busy weeknights when you need to make something quick. Cook some rice while the salmon is searing, and your filling dinner is ready in no time. On top of that, you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry to make this delicious dish.
Salmon is my favorite fish, and even though I don’t eat it very often, I always enjoy salmon recipes. I’ve already shared two of my favorite salmon recipes on Cooktoria (Salmon in Roasted Pepper Sauce and Salmon Burgers), so I thought that today we could go back to basics and talk about how to make classic lemon-butter sauce and how to sear salmon. With a few simple tips, your salmon can be perfectly crispy on the outside, moist and tender and flaky on the inside.
LEMON BUTTER SAUCE INGREDIENTS
- Lemon Juice. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is the best. You can also add a bit of orange juice for extra flavor.
- Butter. You’ll need cold butter, to make sure the sauce is the right consistency.
- Parsley. Fresh finely chopped parsley is the way to go.
- Garlic. This ingredient is optional. If you are not a garlic fan, feel free to skip it.
- Salt & Pepper.
HOW TO MAKE LEMON BUTTER SAUCE
1. In a small skillet or saucepan, bring the lemon juice to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Reduce the heat to very low and add the cold butter to the lemon juice. Keep stirring, allowing the butter to melt slowly. When the butter is melted halfway, add the parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 more minute and remove from the heat.
HOW TO SEAR SALMON
1. Season the salmon fillets with Old Bay Seasoning (or salt and pepper).
2. Heat a large non-stick pan over high with olive oil. Place the fillets in the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Do not move the fillets. Allow them to cook for about 5-6 minutes or until well browned and cooked about halfway through. Turn the fillets and cook for about 5 more minutes, or until they reach the desired doneness.*
* NOTE: Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the salmon fillets. If you are not sure whether the salmon is cooked, you can use an instant-read thermometer. When the inside of the fish is 140-145°F, your fish is properly cooked.
HOW TO SERVE THIS SALMON
Once your salmon fillets are cooked, transfer them onto a plate and pour a generous amount of Lemon-Butter Sauce on top.
Serve this delicious salmon with:
- Your favorite side dish.Creamy Spinach Orzo, Rice & Beans, Easy Angel Hair Pasta, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Spinach,andMushroom Risotto are among my favorites!
- Salad. I absolutely love Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad, Roasted Zucchini Salad, Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, and Simple Kale Salad.
- Vegetables. Oven Roasted Vegetables, Easy Zucchini Noodles, Pan Fried Brussel Sprouts, or Spiralized Fried Potatoes.
WHAT IS THE BEST SEASONING FOR SALMON?
I always suggest using your favorite seasoning when making this easy salmon recipe. You can just season it with salt and pepper, and it will turn out fantastic. I used Old Bay Seasoning because it pairs really well with fish. Some other seasonings you might enjoy are Cajun, Berbere, or All-Purpose Seasoning. I especially like One & Done Seasoning.
HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT THIS SALMON
Once the salmon has been cooked, it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. You can keep the lemon-butter sauce separate, or pour it over the salmon. To reheat, just place the salmon together with the sauce on a skillet, and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes, flipping once.
SKINLESS VS. SKIN-ON SALMON
You can use both skinless and skin-on salmon in this recipe. Some people prefer to cook salmon with the skin on. Cooking the salmon this way helps stop the delicate flesh from drying out. Crispy salmon skin can also add a different texture to the dish.
USEFUL TIPS AND TRICKS
- Salmon is a delicate fish. When cooking salmon, wait until it’s cooked halfway through before flipping it.
- When purchasing fresh salmon, make sure it has a firm texture, moist appearance, and fresh odor. Store it in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to 2 days before cooking.
- If using frozen salmon, make sure you thaw it completely before searing it. Learn how to thaw salmon here: How to Defrost Salmon.
- It’s best to let your salmon fillets rest out on the counter for about 30 minutes, until they have come to room temperature. This will help cook the fish evenly.
- Use a non-stick skillet to make sure your salmon flips easily.