Skillet Seared Salmon with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce


Salmon with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce is such an exciting way to make salmon! It’s boasting with so much fresh flavor and who could resist that sauce! Not to mention you can have this ready in 20 minutes, can’t beat that.

Skillet Seared Salmon with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce

Pan Seared Salmon with an Irresistible Creamy Sauce!

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.

Skillet Seared Salmon with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce

Includes a Simple Spice Rub for More Flavor

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.

Tips for This Recipe

  • 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.
  • Don’t move the salmon as it cooks. Also key in getting it to brown nicely.

Skillet Seared Salmon with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce

Use Up the Extra Sauce

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.

More Salmon Recipes You’ll Love

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Skillet Seared Salmon with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce

5 from 8 votes

This is such an exciting way to make salmon! It's boasting with so much fresh flavor and who could resist that sauce! Not to mention you can have this ready in 20 minutes so it's perfect for a quick dinner.

Servings: 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes


  • 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 Tbsp olive oil


  • 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. For the sauce: add sour cream, green onions, cilantro, lime juice, garlic and season with salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp). 

  2. 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. 
  4. 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. 
  5. 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, until golden brown on bottom.

  6. Flip and cook salmon on opposite side until salmon has cooked through, about 2 - 3 minutes longer. Serve warm with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce.

Nutrition Facts
Skillet Seared Salmon with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 370 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 25%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 108mg 36%
Sodium 101mg 4%
Potassium 910mg 26%
Total Carbohydrates 2g 1%
Sugars 1g
Protein 34g 68%
Vitamin A 8.9%
Vitamin C 5.2%
Calcium 6.1%
Iron 10.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cilantro Lime Sauce, Salmon
Calories: 370 kcal
Author: Jaclyn


  • Sarah E Lauck: I made this last night. A total keeper. Absolutely delicious!!! February 18, 2019 at 8:30am Reply

  • Anna: I really want to make this salmon recipe, it sounds wonderful. I noticed two other people asked the same question I have, but there was no answer: how much oil? And what kind of oil? I guess that’s probably common knowledge for most people, but I have zero creativity or know-how in the kitchen and follow recipes exactly for the most part. I’m guessing it’s probably vegetable or olive oil? No clue how much to use….help! January 27, 2019 at 4:01pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So sorry I updated that in the recipe. It’s olive oil. Hope you enjoy! February 7, 2019 at 3:13pm Reply

  • Eve: Hello can I use heavy cream instead of sour cream? January 16, 2019 at 7:47am Reply

    • Jaclyn: The sauce would be a lot runnier but it would still taste good. January 30, 2019 at 11:54pm Reply

    • Mary: Greek yogurt is also a great substitute February 6, 2019 at 3:58pm Reply

  • 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

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Janelle! May 8, 2018 at 11:09am Reply

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

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