Easy Pan Seared Salmon

Easy pan seared salmon locks in the natural juices and heart-healthy oils while creating an irresistible golden crust.

Easy pan seared salmon.

Salmon is not only one of the most nutrient-dense foods available, but it also happens to be one of the easiest to prepare. Like anything, the secret to cooking salmon is to start with a high-quality, fresh product. The better the fish, the less time and fuss it requires. And this Easy Pan Seared Salmon is seriously the simplest and quickest way to prepare this popular seafood. Really, it’s only 4 ingredients!


  • Salmon fillets: A large, fatty fish that is rich and almost buttery in flavor. It’s also a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, and antioxidants.
  • Olive oil: A heart-healthy oil that I almost always use when cooking in the kitchen.
  • Kosher salt: The larger, flat flakes make the salt stick easier to the salmon and also helps to enhance the fishes natural flavor.
  • Black pepper: Freshly ground is my favorite, it’s spicy, woody, and warm. It’s all you need to flavor this dish.

How to Make Easy Pan Seared Salmon

Liz seasoning salmon with salt

Start by descaling the skin of your salmon fillets and patting them dry with paper towels. It’s not mandatory, but I find it makes the fish more enjoyable to eat. Once that’s done, season evenly with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

Adding salmon strips to pan

Pre-heat a pan drizzled with olive oil over medium-high heat and bring it up to high heat, then add the salmon skin-side down. The trick to searing is to add the salmon to a super hot pan, and that helps to lock in the moisture and flavor.

Turning salmon in pan

After about 4 minutes, the skin side should be nice and crispy. Then use either a fish spatula or tongs to flip the salmon over and let the other side cook until a nice brown crust has formed. Ands that’s all you’ve got to do! Pan frying fish is super fast and simple.

Forkful of easy pan seared salmon.

Serve your Easy Pan Seared Salmon with lemon juice and garnish with fresh parsley. I’ll serve it with brown rice, alongside asparagus, or broccoli.

Switch It Up

Salmon isn’t the only fish that pan fries well. If you don’t have salmon, or maybe don’t like it, give a different type of seafood a try instead! Bass, perch, flounder, scallops, shrimp, snapper, and rock cod are all great options to try this recipe with.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can you eat salmon skin?

Yes! Especially when pan-seared, it gets crispy and delicious.

Is it better to pan sear or bake salmon?

I enjoy doing both! Depending on the night and what I’m feeling. If you want to try a baked salmon recipe, try my Baked Salmon with Fresh Herbs.

What side of salmon do you sear first?

Start with the skin-side down, as it creates a protective barrier between the hot pan and your salmon as you get started. Wait until the skin is nice and crispy before you flip.

Easy pan seared salmon.

More Seafood

Like It, Eat It, Share It!

Did you try this fish and love it? The next time you make it, snap a picture and share it to your socials! Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share your dish.

Liz eating easy pan seared salmon.

Seafood is not just a dish to be eaten at restaurants. It is totally doable to make fish dishes at home, and this Easy Pan Seared Salmon is a great one to start with. Be sure to let me know how you like it in a comment!

Your fork is waiting.

Easy pan seared salmon

Easy Pan Seared Salmon

5 stars average
Searing salmon at a high temperature locks in the natural juices and heart-healthy oils while creating an irresistible golden crust.
PREP: 2 minutes
COOK: 8 minutes
TOTAL: 10 minutes
Servings: 4



  • Pre-heat a large skillet over high heat then drizzle with olive oil.
  • Sprinkle salmon filets evenly with salt and pepper then place in the pan, skin side down.
  • Cook 4 minutes on the first side or until a nice golden brown crust forms. Flip over and cook additional 3-4 minutes.


Calories: 251kcalCarbohydrates: 0gProtein: 33gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 656mgPotassium: 833mgFiber: 0gSugar: 0gVitamin A: 70IUCalcium: 20mgIron: 1.4mg

24 thoughts on “Easy Pan Seared Salmon”

  1. My family loves salmon so I’m always looking for new unique delicious ways to make it. This recipe was amazing & did not disappoint. It was packed with SO much flavour & was a huge hit. Thanks for this, it’s a keeper!

  2. Kathleen Wabinga

    I can’t wait to try this I looks so GOOD I can taste it already. I come from the Pacific North West British Columbia, Canada. My father was a commercial fisherman so growing up we had a surplus of Salmon! I know Lucky Me!! The other recipe with the lemon garlic sauce looks amazing as well. YUM!!

  3. I love the looks of the heart healthy meal. I’m always looking for a way to add chard to the menu as it comes often in my csa. I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve linked to your recipe on my weekend healthy recipes roundup over at the blog.

  4. Searing salmon makes it SO MUCH better than other cooking methods, right?! And I love the idea of these garlicky greens! Can’t wait to give those a try. Hope you’re feeling well, my friend!

  5. Copper River salmon is the best! My favorite grocery store in Richmond, VA, which unfortunately no longer exists, always carried it when it was in season, and I always looked forward to getting it. I’m not sure I can get my husband to eat salmon, but I’m definitely keeping this recipe, including the chard. My husband is getting better about liking some of the weird stuff (his description) I cook, so there is hope. :-)

    1. You must give it a try!! This is one of my husband’s favorite meals of all time and trust me, he is a burgers and pizza guy!

      1. Finding Copper River salmon here will not happen. El Paso just doesn’t get into stuff like that. But I think any wild salmon should work. At some point I will give give it a try – when I’ve been cooking all stuff he already likes for a while… :-)

  6. I love a good salmon recipe–so healthy and good for you. My son used to eat it but now that he is a whopping 2 years old the picky stage has set in–it makes me sad because I know how good it is for their little developing brains! :) I can’t wait to try this recipe.

    1. It’s funny, Asher is getting a bit more picky by the day as well! Certainly things he used loved he won’t eat and vice versa!

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