Skillet Seared Salmon with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce


You can never have too many salmon recipes right? Well this Skillet Seared Salmon with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce is most definitely going to a be a new go-to recipe for my family! Salmon is one of my favorite foods and I love that the flavor combinations in preparing it are endless. Lately I’ve been obsessed with just searing the salmon in a pan, I think it may actually be my choice method of cooking it – with grilling in a close second. I just love the way it gets this perfectly seared crisp crust on the exterior while the interior stays perfectly tender and doesn’t dry out. I also love the pan searing method because it’s one of the quickest. No preheating an oven or grill and it’s ready in about 7 minutes (with that said letting it rest at room temperature, as listed in the recipe, is optional I just feel it gives a better crust and helps it cook more evenly, but if you don’t have the 10 minutes no big deal).

Skillet Seared Salmon with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce

Skillet Seared Salmon with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce

This salmon is packed to the max with flavor thanks to a simple light rub, which consists of cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper, then it’s topped with the simplest fresh sauce, which consists of sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, green onions and garlic. All good things right? I knew this was going to be good but it was even better than I was expecting. When measuring out the cilantro just be sure to pack it into the measuring cup otherwise you won’t get as much flavor – the cilantro really is the crowing flavor it. Also be sure to let the skillet get hot before you add the salmon so you get a good sear on it.


If you like salmon and easy, quick recipes then please try this salmon recipe! I’m really just obsessed with how delicious it is! On a side note if you have a bigger family than me and need more servings, you should have enough sauce for about 5 – 6 fillets just be sure to increase the amount on the spice rub and use two skillets.

Skillet Seared Salmon with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce Skillet Seared Salmon with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce Skillet Seared Salmon with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce


Skillet Seared Salmon with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce

5 from 7 votes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 4 (6 oz) skinless salmon fillets (about 1-inch thick)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/8 - 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1/2 cup natural sour cream
  • 2 green onions , end trimmed, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro (mostly leaves, some stem)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic , sliced


  1. Remove salmon fillets from refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature 10 minutes. Meanwhile prepare sauce.
  2. For the sauce, add sour cream, green onions, cilantro, lime juice, garlic and season with salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp). Process until cilantro has been very finely minced. Set aside at room temperature while preparing salmon.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, 1/2 - 3/4 tsp salt (depending on how salty you like things) and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Dab both sides of salmon dry with paper towels, season both sides evenly with cumin mixture and lightly rub over salmon. Heat a (heavy) 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and once oil is shimmering add salmon (top side down first. Also leave space between fillets) and cook about 4 minutes, without moving, on the first side until golden brown on bottom then flip and cook salmon on opposite side until salmon has cooked through, about 2 - 3 minutes longer. Serve warm with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce.
  4. Recipe source: Cooking Classy

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  • Suzanne R.: I just made this tonight and it is so delicious! I love the texture of grilling it giving it a crispy skin and top. The sauce was well balanced with creaminess, acidity and cilantro/garlic punch. The spice rub on top was not over powering at all and complimented the sauce. Great job and thanks for sharing! I will definately make this again which I rarely do with most new recipes I try! August 12, 2018 at 8:54pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your review! August 13, 2018 at 12:36pm Reply

  • Leah: Delicious and easy! Thank you for the terrific recipe. June 16, 2018 at 12:20am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the 5 star feedback! June 18, 2018 at 2:42pm Reply

  • LeeAnne: Hi, silly question, but do you heat the sauce? May 14, 2018 at 12:16pm Reply

  • Janelle: This was amazing! Love your photos too:) thanks for sharing! May 7, 2018 at 9:00pm Reply

  • ellen: How much oil do you use? March 21, 2018 at 6:44am Reply

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