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Garlic Butter Salmon

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This garlic butter salmon is a quick and easy recipe that gets done in just 20 minutes and uses 6 ingredients. Flavored with aromatic garlic, butter, and dill, this is a perfect meal with potatoes, rice, a side dish, or salad.

A plate with rice pilaf and salmon.
Pan Fried Salmon with Garlic and Butter

Tuna and salmon are our family favorites. Whether it’s raw in a poke bowl, sautéed in honey garlic salmon, or balsamic glaze. My kids will enjoy every last piece.

Why make this salmon recipe?

  • This recipe is quick and easy with ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
  • And the garlic and butter add a rich taste and ton of flavor.
  • We do not bake thsi on a foil or baking sheet but rather this salmon cooks on the stovetop so it is quicker and easier.
  • Also, it makes for a delicious and healthy meal with basmati rice pilaf or turmeric rice with a side of veggies such as roasted carrots, broccoli, baby potatoes, or squash. And my personal favorite is a cherry tomato or avocado salad or cauliflower rice.
  • Leftovers are perfect to serve on its own or in sandwiches and wraps.
Saute pan with salmon in garlic and butter.
Pan Fried Salmon with Garlic and Butter

Ingredients and substitutes

  • Salmon – Always make sure to buy your fish from a trusted shop. I recommend Alaskan or Pacific salmon. You want the flesh to be moist, shiny, and bright in color. In addition, the skin will usually be silvery bright. And most important, it should not have a fish smell. In fact, a fishy smell is a good indication that it has been sitting out for a long time.
    Also, leave the skin on when you pan sear it like this, as the skin prevents it from falling apart.
  • Butter – It’s all about that butter flavor infused with the garlic. So, you can add up to 4 tbsp in this recipe.
  • Garlic – Adds a wonderful flavor. And yet, a little bit goes a long way. So, don’t put too much.
  • Dill – This is a great combination with salmon but you can also use parsley or cilantro.
  • Broth/ stock – It helps take the butter to the next level. It prevents the butter from burning and increases the volume of the sauce so you have enough to baste! This way, you don’t have to add excess butter.
  • Optional ingredinets
    • today I am using dill for flavor but you can also use rosemary, thyme, oregano.
    • You can add a little sweetnees with a teaspoon of brown sugar or a drizzle of honey.
Ingredients shot collage for garlic butter salmon.
Pan Fried Salmon with Garlic and Butter

Garlic butter salmon recipe

  • First, take the salmon out of the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Cut it to size if necessary, and pat dry with a paper towel.
    Pro tip – Soaking fish in milk for 15 minutes helps reduce the fishy smell (optional).
  • In a skillet, add the olive oil, and place the salmon skin-side down. Season with salt and pepper.
    Pro tip – Ensure the salmon is dry so the skin will crisp when added to the pan.
Progress pictures collage for garlic butter salmon.
Pan Fried Salmon with Garlic and Butter
  • Cook for 3 minutes. Then, flip the salmon and cook for 2 minutes on the second side.
    Pro tip – Keep the heat on medium-high for the first 2 minutes this will give a nice crisp skin.
  • Next, move the salmon to the side of the pan. Add the butter and garlic to the other side of the pan and saute for a minute until fragrant.
    Pro tip – Keep the heat to medium-low to prevent the butter from burning.
Progress pictures collage for garlic butter salmon.
Pan Fried Salmon with Garlic and Butter
  • Next, add the lemon juice, broth, and chopped fresh dill. Baste the salmon with the butter mixture and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more or until cooked through.
    Pro tip – The broth will prevent the butter from burning. Salmon usually takes about 6 to 8 minutes. And the internal temperature for medium-rare should be about 122 to 127°F or 50 to 53°C (this is what I served my salmon today).
  • Then, remove from heat and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes before you serve.
    Pro tip – Resting will continue to cook the salmon further to about medium of 145 F to 147 F or 60 to 63°C.
A saute pan with sautéed salmon.
Pan Fried Salmon with Garlic and Butter
  • Salmon Cooking Temperature
    • The salmon is done when the fish flaked with a fork and the flesh becomes pale and opaque.
    • It is recommended that salmon be fully cooked at mediumwhich is an internal temperature on the thermometer of about 145 F to 147 F or 60 to 63°C (measure at the thickest part of the fish).
    • But, salmon can be eaten medium-rare if you buy from a trusted source. The internal temperature for medium-rare should be about 122 to 127°F or 50 to 53°C (this is what I like to serve my salmon)

Salmon serving suggestions

A white plate with basmati rice and salmon fillet.
Pan Fried Salmon with Garlic and Butter

More fish recipes

Frequently asked questions

How long will this salmon dish keep?

This cooked garlic butter salmon will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. You can reheat it in the microwave at 30-second intervals until warm for serving again.

How do I take the fishy smell out of fish?

There are a few things you can do.
1. Soak the fish in milk for 20 minutes.
2. Give the fish a squeeze of lemon which can give a fish a lemon flavor. Then, you can omit lemon in the recipe of course.
Personally, I prefer the first method.

Can I remove the salmon skin?

You can remove the salmon skin but you run the risk of it falling apart. Since the skin helps to keep the fish in place. So, even if you don’t plan to eat the skin at least cook it with the skin on. Then, to remove the skin, just peel it off or lift the fish off. It does peel off very easily.

Can I make baked lemon garlic butter salmon?

Line a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper for easy clean-up. Thaw the salmon and bring it to room temperature. Place it on the baking pan. Combine the garlic butter sauce in a small bowl with a whisk and pour over the salmon. Then bake at 200C/400F for 15 minutes or until the fish is baked until it is done.

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Saute pan with salmon in garlic and butter.

Garlic Butter Salmon

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Calories: 358kcal
Adjust Servings Here: 2 servings

Description

This garlic butter salmon is a quick and easy recipe in just 20 minutes using just six ingredients. Flavored with aromatic garlic, butter, and dill this is perfect with potatoes, rice, side dish, or salad.

Video

Ingredients 

  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 2 (340 g) Salmon fillets
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper
  • 2 large Garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp (30 g) Butter ((up to 4 tbsp))
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) Broth / Stock (vegetable or fish )
  • 2 tbsp Dill (Fresh, chopped finely)
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Instructions

  • Take the salmon out of the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Cut it to size if necessary, pat dry with a paper towel.
    Pro tip – Soaking fish in milk for 15 minutes helps reduce the fishy smell. (optional)
  • In a skillet, add the oil, and place the salmon skin-side down. Season with salt and pepper.
    Pro tip – Ensure the salmon is dry so the skin will crisp when added to the pan.
    1 tbsp Oil, ¼ tsp Salt, ¼ tsp Pepper, 2 Salmon fillets
  • Cook for 3 minutes. Then, flip the salmon and cook for 2 minutes on the second side.
    Pro tip – Keep the heat on medium-high for the first 2 minutes this will give a nice crisp skin.
  • Next, move the salmon to the side of the pan. Add the butter and garlic to the other side of the pan and saute for a minute until fragrant.
    Pro tip – Keep the heat to medium-low to prevent the butter from burning.
    2 large Garlic cloves, 2 tbsp Butter
  • Next, add the lemon juice, broth, and chopped fresh dill. Coat the salmon in the sauce and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more or until cooked through.
    Pro tip – The broth will prevent the butter from burning. Salmon usually takes about 6 to 8 minutes. The internal temperature for medium-rare should be about 122 to 127°F or 50 to 53°C (this is what I served my salmon today).
    1 tbsp Lemon juice, ¼ cup Broth / Stock, 2 tbsp Dill
  • Remove from heat and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes before you serve.
    Pro tip – Resting will continue to cook the salmon further to about medium of 145 F to 147 F or 60 to 63°C.

Recipe Notes & Tips

  • Ask the fishmonger/ butcher to clean the fish for you. Make sure he removes the pin bones. If not, use a pair of tweezers to remove them before you cook it. These small pin bones can be very unpleasant when swallowed. 
  • Keep the skin on as it prevents the salmon from falling apart during cooking. 
  • Score a few lines on the skin before cooking. This will prevent it from shrinking during cooking. 
  • Pat dry the fish well before you season it. The seasoning will stick better and the water won’t create a big messy splatter as soon as it hits the oil. 
  • Heat the oil /butter in the pan well before you add the salmon or the skin will stick to the pan. I always prefer using a non-stick frying pan for cooking fish
  • Always start by cooking the fish skin side down. This will give you crispy skin,  keeps the fish moist, and also prevent you from overcooking it when you flip it 
  • Use high heat at the beginning when cooking the skin. This will prevent it from sticking. But, lower the heat a minute later so the fish does not dry out. 
  • Use a flexible spatula to hold the fish down when you just add it to the pan. This will prevent the skin from shrinking too much
  • Do not make haste to flip the fish fillet as it will cause the skin to separate from the skin. 
  • The fish will take a lot less time to cook on the other side. This is before most of the cooking happens when it is on the skin side down. 
  • Note that the salmon will continue to cook even after it has been taken out of the pan

Salmon cooking temperature

  • It is recommended that salmon be fully cooked at medium which is an internal temperature of about 145 F to 147 F or 60 to 63°C (measure at the thickest part of the fish).
  • But, salmon can be eaten medium-rare if you buy from a trusted source. The internal temperature for medium-rare should be about 122 to 127°F or 50 to 53°C (this is what I like to serve my salmon)

Conversions Used

1 lb = 453 grams, 1 cup = 240 ml, 1 stick = 113g, 1 tbsp= 15 ml, 1 tsp= 5 ml,

Nutrition Information

Calories: 358kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 34gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 534mgPotassium: 833mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 367IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg

The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you

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15 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Just how we fix it too, but in your recipe Venna you forgot the garlic, very very important, lol .if you like garlic , times we take the salmon out before adding the butter and garlic ,, and keep the heat up, but shorter time, gets little crisp edges on the salmon, then pour the sauce over it when you serve. Getting hard to find fresh cought salmon here at stores, unless I catch my own in the summer, on the big lake.

  2. 5 stars
    Yum! This is such a simple and delicious recipe. Love the flavors of butter and garlic with salmon.

  3. What an easy and quick salmon dinner!

  4. Kristina Tipps says:

    5 stars
    I’ve had salmon in the freezer for a while now, not knowing what to do with it. This sounds delicious-dill and lemon are 2 of my favorites.

    1. 5 stars
      Try not to freeze salmon, so much better fresh, but know the problem with trying to find it sometimes

  5. 5 stars
    This looks amazing and so delicious! My daughter and I are going to absolutely love this recipe! Definitely making this soon!

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