Plated pan seared salmon fillet with citrusy butter sauce drizzled over it.
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Pan Seared Salmon

Pan seared salmon cooked to perfection, including a crispy skin. Serve with one of the many delicious sauces for salmon referenced - creamy, mustard, dill and more. 
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 269kcal
Author: CraftBeering


  • 1 lb fresh salmon fillet (a bit more is fine)
  • salt and pepper as needed to season fillet(s)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (optional) for seasoning
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil


  • Bring the salmon to room temperature and turn the oven on to 450 F (if you're planning on finishing the salmon in the oven).
  • If your salmon fillet is a whole piece, slice it in 4 equal portions. Check for any small bones remaining and remove them if present. Pat dry the salmon fillets with a paper towel - no moisture should remain on the surface.
  • Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper, optional garlic powder or other appropriate seasoning of your choice (liberally but not excessively). 
  • Heat an appropriately sized stainless steel pan or cast iron skillet (10 or 12 inch diameter) over medium-high heat and add the oil. 
  • When the oil is shimmering and just about to begin to smoke gently place the salmon fillets in the pan with the skin side down. Gently press onto the fillets with the back of a fish spatula to prevent the skin from curling up.
  • After about 30 seconds transfer the pan to the pre-heated 450 F oven to allow the salmon to finish cooking evenly. Cook until the internal temp in the thickest part of the fillets reaches 140-145 F or until the salmon turns opaque on all sides, all the way to the top. About 8 minutes. 
    Alternatively, after 30 seconds lower the heat to medium-low and allow the salmon to finish cooking on the stove. 
  • Remove the salmon from the oven or stove top and using a fish spatula and a fork to assist you gently flip the fillets onto their tops (skin side up). The residual heat from the pan will crisp up and lend color to the top of the fillets. About 60 to 90 seconds. 
  • Serve and drizzle with sauce or apply glaze with a brush. 
    If you'd like to remove the crispy skin before serving the salmon consult the relevant section above this recipe showing you how to do it.



Cooking times will vary depending on the size and thickness of the salmon fillets as well as the strength of your stove/calibration of your oven. 
For best results prepare sides and sauces for salmon in advance and if needed keep them warm on the stove top near a heat source (not over direct heat) until you are ready to serve.
Nutritional info based on portions of 4 oz per person of Atlantic salmon and noted without the addition of sauce or glaze.


Serving: 4oz | Calories: 269kcal | Protein: 29g | Fat: 16.2g | Saturated Fat: 2.4g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 645mg | Potassium: 723mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1.3mg