Pan Seared Salmon

5 from 23 votes

This Pan Seared Salmon recipe is quick and easy to make with the best golden brown crust and crispy skin. Ready in about 10 minutes, this makes for a delicious weeknight dinner.

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This Pan Seared Salmon is cooked until golden brown with the skin on with a light blend of seasonings. It makes for the perfect weeknight dinner that’s ready in under 10 minutes and is so tender and moist with the best flaky fish and crispy skin.

A large oval serving platter with 4 seared salmon filets ontop of a bed of white rice, garnished with lemon wedges and fresh chopped parsley.
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Looking for an irresistibly delicious and easy seafood dinner to serve during a busy week? This pan seared salmon recipe is so simple to make and has many flavor possibilities. Switch out the seasonings for a different flavor and add a splash of citrus to compliment any meal. This recipe will show you how to cook skin on salmon in a pan with the best sear for maximum flavor!

why you’ll love this Pan Seared Salmon with Skin

  • A delicious golden brown sear. The best part of this crispy pan seared salmon is the beautiful caramelized searing it gets from cooking in a hot oiled pan undisturbed. The high heat creates the most delicious crackling fish skin and tasty seared flesh for a crispy texture on the outside and tender, juicy flakes on the inside.
  • An adaptable and quick weeknight entree. This is a go-to weeknight dinner because it’s done in less than 10 minutes. I switch up the spices and the sides and probably make this at least 2 times a month. Try another seared fish recipe like my pan seared halibut!
  • Healthy and rich in protein. Salmon is such a nutritious food to include in your diet, with a ton of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and even more essential nutrients. Plus, it’s really delicious too.

Ingredients to make this Pan seared Salmon Recipe

  • Salmon: I prefer to buy wild caught frozen salmon because fresh salmon is not something available in Michigan so I find that the frozen kind is better quality. However, you can use any salmon you like.
  • Seasonings: salt, pepper, and garlic powder, but feel free to use whatever seasoning you like. If you like it spicy, try my homemade cajun blend.
  • For serving: I love a fresh squeeze of lemon juice to compliment the flavor of seafood, and it works perfectly with this pan seared salmon recipe, too. Garnish with fresh parsley or another herb like dill for a finishing touch.
Ingredients for recipe: fresh parsley (for serving), lemon, spices, salmon filets, and oil.

How to Cook Salmon In A Pan

  1. Use paper towels to pat dry the salmon fillets.
  2. Sprinkle with seasonings to coat evenly.
  3. In a hot pan with oil, place the fish skin side up until golden brown. There’s no need to move them while cooking, as it creates the perfect sear when undisturbed.
  4. Use a spatula to flip the salmon and continue cooking until your desired doneness.
4 image collage making recipe: 1- pat fish dry, 2- season salmon, 3- place filets flesh side down in oiled pan, 4- flipped filets to show seared flesh.

Tips for making the Best Pan Seared Salmon

  1. Pat the salmon dry. Because I buy frozen salmon, I thaw it in the fridge overnight which releases a lot of excess liquid. It’s important to remove all that liquid with a paper towel in order to get a nice sear.
  2. Don’t overcrowd the pan. If the salmon are too close to each other, you may notice that their moisture starts to affect the searing of the other salmon on the skillet. Allow some space between each fillet.
  3. Sear until the fish releases. When searing fish, you may run into a sticking situation. This usually means it’s not quite ready to be flipped. If you are cooking at a medium-high temperature and the fish isn’t burning, give it another minute before trying to flip, and the fish should release from the pan easily.
  4. Get the right temperatures. For even cooking, allow the salmon to come to room temperature before searing. Another temperature to consider is the pan for cooking. You want a well-heated nonstick skillet with sizzling oil ready before placing the fish inside.
  • Add fresh vegetables. In the same pan after the salmon is cooked, cook up a vegetable like pan-roasted brussels sprouts or green bean almondine.
  • Switch up the seasonings. You can make this a unique dish by switching up the herbs and spices each time you make it.
  • Use skin off salmon fillets. I prefer skin on salmon because it adds that extra layer of crispy skin, but you can also use salmon without skin if preferred.
  • Use frozen or fresh salmon. Either fillet will work great with this recipe. The key is to thaw it completely before cooking and patting it dry to remove any extra moisture for the best sear.

what to serve with your Pan Seared Salmon Fillets

how to store & reheat Pan Seared Salmon

Salmon is best enjoyed freshly cooked, but leftovers are kept well in the fridge. To reheat, place the cooked salmon fillet in a warm skillet and reheat until warmed through. You can add a bit of oil to keep the skin crispy.

how long will Cooked Salmon last in the fridge?

Cooked salmon will last in the fridge for up to three days. Be sure to store it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

can I freeze Salmon after Cooking?

Yes! Cooked salmon will keep in the freezer for up to two months when you store it properly in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic or aluminum foil. When ready to enjoy, thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat as desired.

Frequently asked questions

How long should I sear salmon?

Searing salmon for a golden brown crust takes about 4-5 minutes on each side. You’ll know it’s ready to be flipped when you can easily flip it without sticking to the pan.

Should the pan be hot before adding the salmon?

Yes! You want to pan-sear salmon over medium-high heat with hot oil to ensure that it browns and sears the outside before heating all the way through. A cold pan will result in a soft and likely overcooked piece of fish.

Should I use oil or butter to sear salmon?

Oil has a higher smoke point making it better for searing meat and creating a golden brown crust. Butter has too much moisture and lower heat tolerance that is best reserved for adding at the end for flavoring rather than searing.

One salmon served over rice on a small serving plate with platter nearby ganished with lemon and parsley.

Pan-seared salmon is rich and flavorful with its golden brown crust, crispy skin, and tender, flaky meat. With just a few ingredients and 10 minutes, you can have a weeknight dinner on the table in no time! Cook up a few extra fillets for meal prep through the week for a healthy lunch.

More Salmon recipes:

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Pan Seared Salmon

This Pan Seared Salmon recipe is quick and easy to make with the best golden brown crust and crispy skin. Ready in about 10 minutes, this makes for a delicious weeknight dinner.
5 from 23 votes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 274
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
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  • Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel. Season each fillet with garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Place the salmon on the hot oil skin side up, and cook without touching until golden, about 4 minutes. Carefully flip the salmon and continue cooking until you reach your desired doneness, 3 to 4 more minutes.
  • Transfer to a platter, squeeze lemon juice on top and scatter with fresh chopped parsley.


Calories: 274kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.4g, Protein: 34g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 94mg, Sodium: 366mg, Potassium: 841mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 0.01g, Vitamin A: 69IU, Vitamin C: 0.01mg, Calcium: 22mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Entree, Main Dish
5 from 23 votes (21 ratings without comment)

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  1. Nazia says:

    Made this salmon for my family and it was a huge hit! Everyone from my parents to my daughter enjoyed the flavors. My daughter is a very picky eater and her liking it made my night! Also love how quick and easy it is to prepare!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Thank you so much!

  2. Kate Caranta says:

    I had the salmon ready for dinner when I saw this post. Very timely. Pan seared salmon is our go to! We also like to season it with salt, pepper and garlic powder then put some lemon juice and its zest towards the end of searing. We sometimes eat it with rice and steam veggies but tonight, we had it with sautéed garlic green beans and mashed potato. Sooo good!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      That’s perfect! That sounds delicious. So many amazing ways to enjoy it!