Lemon Butter Pan Seared Salmon

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Make this Lemon Butter Pan Seared Salmon with 7 ingredients and in 30 minutes or less. This salmon is pan seared in a delicious lemon butter sauce leaving it so tender and flavorful.

If you love this pan friend salmon recipe, check out some of our other delicious and salmon recipes: Dill Salmon and Eggs Scramble, Baked Lemon Pepper Salmon, and my favorite, Lemon Dill Salmon Burgers.

seared salmon fillets on plate

Incredible Pan Seared Salmon (best way to cook salmon!)

Salmon has been on the menu in the Fit Foodie kitchen left and right. First, it was our amazing baked salmon in foil, then leftover salmon patties, then salmon burgers, then grilled salmon, and now… pan seared salmon!

This pan seared salmon recipe is the best way to cook salmon. It’s quick, flavorful, and ready in less than 30 minutes. Plus, the lemon butter sauce is so dreamy.

  • 30-minute meal: dinner is ready in less than 30 minutes!
  • Healthy: salmon is high-protein, packed with omega-3 fatty acids, and low-carb making it an excellent healthy meal.
  • Perfectly flakey: pan seared salmon slightly crisps up the outsides of your salmon fillets, while leaving the insides super tender.
uncooked salmon fillets with lemon and dill on plate

What You Need

Can I use a large salmon fillet for this?

If you’re having a hard time finding salmon fillets, feel free to buy one large fillet that is around 1.33 lbs. Cut it into 4 equal fillets using a very sharp knife.

How to Pan Sear Salmon

Wondering how to cook salmon on the stove? Don’t be intimidated about cooking your salmon on stove because it’s super simple. Here’s how to pan sear salmon in 4 simple steps:

  1. Heat: Heat a large, nonstick skillet or cast iron pan (we used a cast iron pan and highly recommend using one) over medium-high heat. Add butter and garlic.
  2. Sear: Once the butter is fragrant and bubbling, place the salmon skin-side up and sear for 4ish minutes. If you have a thick piece of salmon, sear for an extra minute or two.
  3. Flip: Flip salmon and sear for 3-4 minutes or until it’s no longer bright pink in the middle and a meat thermometer reads 145ºF.
  4. Let rest: Remove salmon from the pan and squeeze fresh lemon juice on top. Let it rest for 5 minutes before eating. Serve with fresh dill.

When making pan seared salmon, always have a meat thermometer on hand so that you can measure the internal temperature of your salmon. It should read no less than 145ºF to be considered safe to consume.

meat theremometer

Meat Thermometer

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pan seared salmon with lemon in cast iron pan

We recommend searing the salmon skin-side up first and then flipping it over and searing the skin.

How do you know if your pan fried salmon is done?

The best way to know if your salmon is fully cooked is to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should read at least 145ºF.

The look and feel of your salmon should be firm to touch, light pink in color, and easy to flake.

Neither is better than the other, but we prefer pan seared salmon because it cooks faster and we just love the crispy edges.

What to Serve with Pan Seared Salmon Fillets

What to do with Leftover Pan Seared Salmon

Got leftover pan seared salmon? Here are some ideas to use up that extra flakey fish!

seared salmon on plate

If you have leftover pan seared salmon, let it cool completely. Then, transfer it into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.

Perfect Pan Seared Salmon (with lemon and butter!)

Make pan seared salmon for dinner! The salmon is seared in butter and served with fresh lemon and dill.

Prep: 10 minsCook: 10 minsTotal: 20 minutes

Fat 18

Carbs 3

Protein 28

Yield 2 1x


  • 1.33 lbs. salmon (4 1/3-lb. fillets)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3–4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 medium lemon, juiced
  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh dill
  1. First, prep salmon by patting it dry with a paper towel to remove moisture. Then, season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Place 3-4 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon minced garlic into a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium/high heat.
  3. Place salmon skin-side up in the pan and sear for 4 minutes. Flip salmon and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes or until barely pink in the middle.
  4. Once flakey and cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145ºF, remove the salmon fillets from the heat.
  5. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top of salmon and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh dill.

Serving Size: 1/2
Calories: 292
Sugar: 0
Fat: 18
Carbohydrates: 3
Fiber: 0
Protein: 28

Author: Category: Fish and SeafoodMethod: Stove TopCuisine: American

Keywords: pan seared salmon

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