Pan Seared Salmon

Easy Pan Seared Salmon – Ready in under 10 minutes, for a healthy, effortless weeknight dinner. Simple to make, seasoned with only salt, black pepper, garlic and dill (optional). Serve with your favorite salad or vegetable side dish.

Pan seared salmon fillets in askillet

This pan seared salmon recipe was originally posted back in June 2014. I updated the photos and created a quick video to show you how I make it.

This is by far my favorite and the easiest way to prepare salmon. It works both with skinless or skin on fish.

It produces tender, perfectly cooked with with a crispy outside and wonderful flavor. The flavor that you get from searing does not compare to the one flavor of poached or oven baked salmon.

This Pan Seared Salmon is perfect for people on Keto, Low-Carb Diet, because it contains good fats.

What is pan searing?

Pan searing is cooking technique, where you cook meat, fish or veggies in a very hot pan with or without oil. I recommend different ways of searing different foods. Searing is meant to deliver flavor. When meat touches a hot pan, it quickly starts to caramelize and forms nice crust, while building an intense flavor.

Today I’m sharing my favorite way to sear salmon, that is very quick and easy!

Seared salmon in a Staub pan

What ingredients do I need to make this Easy Pan Seared Salmon?

  • salmon fillet – either skinless or skin on, you can use Atlantic, Sockeye, Coho or even Salmon Trout
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • garlic (powder or pressed fresh garlic)
  • dill – either dried, fresh or frozen
  • oil (olive or vegetable)
  • lemon juice (optional)

How to make Pan Seared Salmon?

What side to cook first, if using skin on salmon fillet? Skin on or the skinless side?

I believe this is a personal preference. I’ve heard that if you cook the skin on side first, the skin shrinks and this is true. This is not an issue for me and it is a lot easier to turn, sliding a spatula under the skin, than if you do the skinless side first.

Heat oil in a skillet to medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes.

Add salmon, skin side down. Season with salt, black pepper, garlic powder. Top with dill. Cook for 2 minutes.

Using a spatula, gently turn the fish. You can now season the skin side with just salt.

Cook for 1-2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat. Let the salmon cool inside for 2 minutes, then transfer to a plate.

Easy pan seared salmon in a cast iron skillet with lemon slices

Tips to make the perfect pan seared salmon:

  • Bring salmon at room temperature, take it out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking.
  • Buy good quality fish, preferably wild with not a lot of fat.
  • Skin on salmon works better that skinless salmon.
  • Use a good pan, that heats up evenly. Make sure the pan and oil are hot. You can use Olive oil, but if you are concerned about the lower smoking point of olive oil, use vegetable oil. I personally love searing meats in a well heated cast iron skillet without oil, but when it comes to fish, we do need the oil.
  • Do not overcook the fish. Cooking is mostly done on the skin side – around 3 minutes and then you finish the skinless side for 2 minutes. If you are concerned about undercooking the fish, you can leave it in the pan, away from the burner and cover the pan with a lid for 5 minutes. This will help cook the fish further.


What to serve seared salmon with?

More Salmon Recipes:

Servings: 2

Pan Seared Salmon

Prep Time:
15 minutes
Cook Time:
10 minutes
Total Time:
25 minutes
Pan Seared Salmon Fillets - easy to make, low-carb, perfect for a quick meal.
Easy pan seared salmon in a cast iron skillet with lemon slices
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  • 2 6 oz salmon fillets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dill chopped — fresh or frozen
  • 1 tsp lemon juice — optional


  1. Preheat a large skillet on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and then add salmon, skin side down, if using skin on salmon. 

  2. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and top with dill. (Note:You can leave the dill out for now and just use it to garnish the cooked salmon.

  3. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip. Cook for 2 minutes on the other side. Remove from heat, let it sit in the pan for 5 minutes, then serve. Salmon should be done, when it flakes easily with a fork.

  4. Transfer to plates. Drizzle lemon juice on top.

Course: Main
Cuisine: American

Nutrition Information

Calories: 305, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 93mg, Sodium: 656mg, Potassium: 833mg, Protein: 33g, Vitamin A: 70%, Vitamin C: 1%, Calcium: 20%, Iron: 1.4%