Recipe: Simple Pan-Seared Salmon

updated Feb 3, 2020
Simple Pan Seared Salmon
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(Image credit: Sarah E Crowder)

This easy dish is on the short list for weeknight meals that hit all my criteria: fast, healthy, filling, and killer good. Simply seasoned, the salmon is pan fried until the exterior is super crispy while the interior remains buttery soft.

(Image credit: Sarah E Crowder)

Its simplicity lends it to pairing with any number of sides, although I’m partial to serving it with a carb and something green; for example, whipped sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli. Replace the sweet potatoes with chickpea tomato sauce or throw the sauce in as a fourth component to the meal. Either way, the salmon easily elevates the meal, so almost any side dish will do.

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Simple Pan Seared Salmon

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 4

    (6-ounce) salmon fillets

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Smoked or sweet paprika

  • Olive oil

  • Butter


  1. Sprinkle the salmon fillets generously with salt and pepper, and dust with a little paprika.

  2. Coat the bottom of a large, heavy-bottomed pan with oil, add a couple tablespoons butter and place over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot and the butter is melted, add the salmon fillets, skin side down. Cook, without moving, until the sides are cooked just past halfway up the fillets. Flip and cook, without moving, until the sides are fully cooked, then remove from the heat for medium-rare. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

This recipe lends itself to many kinds of spices. Try dusting the fillets with chili powder, Chinese 5-Spice, Garam Masala, Ras el Hanout, or any other favorite spice blend.