One-Pan Creamy Lemon-Dill Salmon

published Apr 25, 2024
Creamy Lemon-Dill Salmon Recipe

Seared salmon fillets take on maximum flavor with this delicious sauce.

Serves4

Prep10 minutes to 15 minutes

Cook10 minutes to 15 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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overhead shot of four pieces of salmon in a creamy lemon dill sauce, in a cast iron pan, topped with lemon wheels
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Brett Regot

If you’re looking for a quick and easy one-skillet dinner, this creamy lemon-dill salmon recipe fits the bill perfectly. Salmon fillets are pan-seared on the stove until golden-brown, then served with a creamy sauce (made in the same pan!) that’s brightened up with lemon and fresh dill.

The best part is that it’s ready in under 30 minutes, making it a great fit for busy weeknights. It’s also fancy enough to serve guests on those special occasions when you need something delicious, but not too complicated. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • It comes together entirely in one pan. One skillet is all you need to make tender, flaky seared salmon fillets in a super-flavorful creamy lemon-dill sauce.
  • The sauce is creamy, but not too rich. Using half-and-half tastes decadent without being too heavy. Lemon and dill balance out the sauce, giving it a bright, fresh flavor.

Key Ingredients in Creamy Lemon-Dill Salmon

  • Salmon fillets: You can use skinless or skin-on salmon fillets (for crispy skin!)
  • Shallot and garlic: These aromatics are the base of the pan sauce.
  • Half-and-half: It’s richer than milk, but not quite as heavy as cream, providing the perfect balance for this dish.
  • Lemon: Lemon juice and lemon zest brighten up the sauce.
  • Fresh dill: Chopped fresh dill amps up the flavor.

How to Make Creamy Lemon-Dill Salmon

  1. Pan-sear the salmon. Sear the salmon fillets in a hot skillet until golden-brown, then flip and continue cooking on the other side. Transfer the salmon to a plate.
  2. Add the shallot and garlic. Reduce the heat to low, add the butter, and cook the shallot and garlic until softened. Add the flour and cook for a minute more.
  3. Make the sauce. Whisk in the half-and-half and broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the sauce is thickened enough that it coats the back of a spoon. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and dill.
  4. Finish the dish. Return the salmon to the pan and simmer for a minute for the flavors to meld. Garnish with the lemon slices and serve.

What to Serve with Creamy Lemon-Dill Salmon

This tasty salmon recipe pairs well with a number of side dishes (make sure to enjoy every bit of the creamy lemon-dill sauce!). Here are a few of my favorites.

Creamy Lemon-Dill Salmon Recipe

Seared salmon fillets take on maximum flavor with this delicious sauce.

Prep time 10 minutes to 15 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes to 15 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    small shallot

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 1

    large lemon

  • 1/4 small bunch

    fresh dill

  • 4

    (6-ounce) skinless or skin-on salmon fillets

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup

    half-and-half

  • 1/2 cup

    low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

Instructions

  1. Finely chop 1 small shallot (about 2 tablespoons) and mince 2 garlic cloves. Finely grate the zest of 1 large lemon (about 1 tablespoon). Halve the lemon and cut 4 thin slices from one half; set the slices aside for garnish. Juice the remaining lemon half (about 3 tablespoons). Pick the fronds from 1/4 small bunch fresh dill and finely chop until you have 2 tablespoons.

  2. Pat 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets dry with paper towels. Season all over with 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the salmon skin-side down and sear undisturbed until golden-brown on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the thickest fillet registers 120°F to 130°F for medium-rare, or 135°F to 145°F if you prefer it more well-done, 2 to 4 minutes more. Transfer skin-side up to a plate.

  4. Reduce the heat to low and add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. When melted, add the shallot, garlic, remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just starting to soften, about 30 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, stir to evenly coat the shallots and garlic, and cook for 1 minute more.

  5. Add 1 cup half-and-half and 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, and whisk until smooth. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer until the sauce is thickened enough that it coats the back of a spoon, about 1 minute. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and dill, and stir to combine. Return the salmon to the pan skin-side up, nestling the pieces in the sauce. Simmer for 1 minute to meld the flavors. Garnish each piece with a reserved lemon slice and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.