Simple 15 minute Pan Seared Salmon is flaky, juicy, and absolutely delicious! It is extremely easy to make. Just lightly dust each fillet in seasoned flour, and then pan-fry it to crispy perfection. With only 5 ingredients, this healthy fish recipe is perfect for a no-fuss weeknight meal, or on the weekend when you’re in a hurry but still want to eat well!
If you love salmon, you won’t be able to get enough of our Hot Smoked Salmon, Grilled Soy Brown Sugar Salmon in Foil, and our ultra-comforting Smoked Salmon Chowder.
Pan Seared Salmon is one of my absolute favorite meals to make! Throwing it together takes no time at all, which is crucial if you’re a busy mom like me. The sides will probably take longer than the fish! Salmon is known for being a fatty fish, but don’t worry - it’s the good kind! Omega 3s are an essential part of everyone’s diet, and salmon is one of the best sources of it that you can find!
This pan seared salmon with skin is ridiculously easy to throw together. I kept this recipe really simple by using just 5 ingredients: salmon, flour, salt, pepper, and oil. I love to use simple ingredients when I cook great cuts of meat like salmon, so that the natural meat flavors can really shine through. Nothing beats it!
To cook the skin on pan seared salmon, I pat the salmon down to dry it a little, season it and dust one side with flour, and then toss the filets in the pan (skin side down), and dust the other side with flour. After a few minutes, all I have to do is flip it, let the fish cook on the other side, and just like that, it’s ready. Healthy, juicy, fall-apart tender pan seared salmon that only takes 13 minutes from start to finish!
Ingredients to make this easy Pan Seared Salmon recipe
- Salmon fillets: either fresh-caught or store-bought, even frozen is fine! If you’re buying from a store, ideally you’d want to buy wild-caught salmon, as they are generally healthier than farmed salmon. Often in fish farms, the farmers allow waste and feed to flow freely which can contaminate the fish. Wild salmon is also leaner.
- Salt: a touch of saltiness brings out the natural flavors of the salmon, and takes away any blandness from the fish,
- Black pepper: adds a little flavor with a peppery kick.
- All-purpose flour: flour helps the pan-seared salmon to really crisp up on the outside, leaving the juicy tenderness on the inside. Perfection!
- Olive oil: To fry the salmon! Although salmon is one of the fattier fishes we tend to eat, it still needs a little help to keep from sticking in a pan. I chose olive oil as it’s a healthier oil, as opposed to an oil like canola.
How to pan fry salmon
- Prep the salmon. Thaw salmon thoroughly, if using frozen. Pat dry on both sides with paper towels.
2. Heat the oil. Secondly, heat the oil in a cast iron or another heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat.
3. Add seasoning to the fish. Thirdly, season the salmon on both sides with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle with half of the flour on one side. Lay the salmon floured side down in the pan, skin side up if your fillets have skin on them, then sprinkle remaining flour on top.
4. Cook and flip. Cook for 4 minutes on each side without moving. Once seared, the salmon should easily release from the pan to be flipped.
Can I add anything else to this dish?
Sure! If you like a little heat, feel free to add about ½ to 1 teaspoon of cayenne or chili powder to your flour before sprinkling it over the fish. After the salmon is cooked, I love a squeeze of fresh lime, lemon, or even orange for a change!
What can I serve with this Pan Seared Salmon recipe?
There are plenty of options! I usually like to serve it with a vegetable and a carb like rice or sweet potato. Sometimes we even put this pan fried salmon in tacos with all the toppings! They are SO good! Here are a few more side dishes you can try:
- Corn Fritters
- Oven Roasted Broccoli with Garlic, Parmesan & Lemon
- Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Oven Roasted Asparagus with Garlic, Parmesan & Lemon
- Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples
- Fall Panzanella Salad
- Easy Rice Pilaf with Orzo Pasta
- Cafe Rio Black Beans & Cilantro Rice
- Classic Potluck Broccoli Salad
- Chopped Kale Salad
- Persimmon, Pomegranate & Spinach Salad
Is salmon healthy for you?
It sure is! Although it's known for its fattiness, salmon is one of the most healthy fish you can eat! It’s loaded with healthy fatty acids called Omega 3s which are an essential fat to add to your diet, as your body doesn’t naturally produce them. Omega 3s have been proven to decrease inflammation, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cancer. Salmon is a super food!
What kind of salmon should I cook with?
The best kind of salmon is wild-caught salmon. It can be a little pricier than farmed or frozen salmon, but the difference in quality is pretty substantial. The meat will be leaner but still packed with those essential omega 3s! However, in a pinch, frozen or farmed salmon will work well in this recipe too. Try to buy filets with the skin on for extra flavor if you can!
More seafood recipes that you will love
- Easy Pan Fried Trout
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas in 30 Minutes
- San Francisco Cioppino Seafood Stew
- Oven Baked Rainbow Trout
- Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp, Tomatoes & Fresh Basil
- Tuna Noodle Casserole
- Crispy Coconut Shrimp
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Pan Seared Salmon
- 4 6-ounce salmon fillets
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Thaw salmon thoroughly, if using frozen. Pat dry on both sides with paper towels.
- Heat the oil in a cast iron or other heavy duty skillet over medium-high heat. Season salmon on both sides with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle with half of the flour on one side. Lay the salmon floured side down in the pan, skin side up if your fillets have skin on them, then sprinkle remaining flour on top.
- Cook for 4 minutes on each side without moving. Once seared, the salmon should easily release from the pan to be flipped.