Skillet Seared Salmon with Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce


That saying, secrets in the sauce, definitely holds true here! This easy Skillet Seared Salmon with Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce is one of the easiest tastiest dinners you can make! It requires minimal ingredients and it comes together in no time.

Skillet Seared Salmon with Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce | Cooking Classy

I love to sear salmon in a skillet because it yields a perfectly crisp seared exterior while the interior stays nice and tender. When you think there’s just no time for dinner, there’s always time to sear a salmon fillet and add a bright squeeze of lemon juice. But here we’ve got 5 extra minutes so I made this seriously delicious garlic butter lemon sauce. It’s made up of 4 basic ingredients (garlic, butter, fresh lemon juice and chicken broth) and once you try it you’ll want to add it to everything!

Want to see how easy this salmon recipe is? Watch the video!

Skillet Seared Salmon with Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce | Cooking Classy

If you want an even richer sauce you can add an extra tablespoon or two of butter here but I like to keep it on the healthier side so I kept it at a minimal 3 tablespoons (oh plus the teaspoon to saute the garlic) and it’s just enough.

This salmon is a restaurant worthy dish that you can make in the comfort of your own home in 20 minutes! It easily is one of my favorite salmon recipes I’ve made! I just served this with brown rice and steamed asparagus and it all came together perfectly (couscous or quinoa would be good too). But oh just look at that sauce…

Skillet Seared Salmon with Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce | Cooking Classy Skillet Seared Salmon with Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce | Cooking Classy Skillet Seared Salmon with Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce | Cooking Classy


Skillet Seared Salmon with Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce

4.81 from 21 votes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 4 (6 oz) skinless salmon fillets (about 1-inch thick)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp + 1 tsp unsalted butter , diced into 1 Tbsp pieces
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • Lemon slices for garnish (optional)


  1. Remove salmon fillets from refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature 10 minutes. Meanwhile prepared garlic lemon butter sauce. In a small saucepan melt 1 tsp butter over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until lightly golden brown, about 1 - 2 minutes. Pour in chicken broth and lemon juice. Let sauce simmer until it has reduced by half (to about 3 Tbsp), about 3 minutes. Stir in butter and honey and whisk until combined. Set sauce aside.
  2. Dab both sides of salmon dry with paper towels, season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a (heavy) 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is shimmering add salmon and cook about 4 minutes 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.
  3. Plate salmon (leaving oil in pan) and drizzle each serving generously with butter sauce, sprinkle with parsley and garnish with lemon slices if desired. Serve immediately.
  4. Recipe source: Cooking Classy


  • Jill: How many minutes a side if you like your salmon well done? February 21, 2017 at 12:26am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It will just vary based on the thickness off the salmon – probably an extra minute per side. February 22, 2017 at 5:31pm Reply

  • Annabelle: Ah this looks divine! I love salmon, and this looks so good!

    x Annabelle February 21, 2017 at 7:19am Reply

    • Amalia: I agree!! About to make mine, and thanks for asking about it being well done, that’s how I prefer mine as well. March 20, 2017 at 7:18pm Reply

  • Paige: This looks amazing! Totally eating this next week!

    Paige February 21, 2017 at 1:05pm Reply

  • Sheca: This looks delicious. I recently cooked salmon and bacon asparagus. I think your sauce would have been an excellent addition! Thank you for sharing February 21, 2017 at 1:54pm Reply

  • Sara @ Last Night’s Feast: This looks mouthwatering! February 21, 2017 at 2:25pm Reply

  • Karie: Was the skin left on the salmon fillets or removed? February 23, 2017 at 4:38am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes but you can leave it on if you prefer it that way. February 28, 2017 at 9:57am Reply

  • Mike Marshall: This may be a dumb question but do you leave the skin on when searing the salmon? February 25, 2017 at 11:46am Reply

    • Jaclyn: No I used skinless but you can use either or. February 28, 2017 at 9:56am Reply

  • Mardean: Can’t wait to try this February 26, 2017 at 8:49pm Reply

    • Marion: Mardean, I just had to write you–and it has nothing to do with this recipe. My mother’s name was Mardean, and never in my life have I heard of anyone else with that name until now. Her parents (my grandparents) named her using a combination of their own names: Marion and Dean. My mother is no longer living (she died at 91 about 2 1/2 years ago), but seeing your name has brought back a flood of memories of her. March 11, 2017 at 7:22pm Reply

  • Vanessa: I tried this and it was soooo delicious! March 12, 2017 at 8:36pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Vanessa! Thanks for your review! March 13, 2017 at 12:38pm Reply

  • April: What are the nutrition facts for this recipe? March 16, 2017 at 8:35am Reply

  • Mary: Omg, I just made this and it is to die for. I’m ready to go to heaven March 16, 2017 at 12:42pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you loved it Mary! March 27, 2017 at 11:32am Reply

  • Janet: We made this tonight and it was fabulous! Much better than any method I’ve tried. I thought it wouldn’t be enough oil,but it was more than enough to create a wonderful golden exterior. Our new favorite! March 16, 2017 at 8:55pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you loved it – thanks Janet! March 27, 2017 at 11:28am Reply

  • Caren: This came out amazing. My husband said it was the best salmon he’s had and my kids both devoured it. Thank you! March 20, 2017 at 6:11pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad it was enjoyed – thanks Caren! March 27, 2017 at 11:23am Reply

  • Vickie: This is excellent.. Looked so delicious, the first time Salmon looked good to me. This will be a recipe we will continue to enjoy. March 21, 2017 at 3:13pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you enjoyed it Vickie! March 21, 2017 at 9:39pm Reply

      • Vickie: Thank you. I saw a post where skin off or on? My brother likes the flavor of skin. I made his with skin on, for eveyone else removed the skin. Browned beautifully on or off. March 21, 2017 at 9:47pm Reply

  • Millet: I tried last Sunday it was a big hit
    I paired with sauteed Pak Choi with homemade going​ sin sauce March 22, 2017 at 1:42am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you loved it! March 27, 2017 at 11:19am Reply

  • Celeste: How would you cook asparagus on the side? Like to go with this dish? March 22, 2017 at 3:52pm Reply

  • Dawn: I had salmon as a kid, but too fishy for me then. Is there anything I can do to make it taste less fishy? I’m making it tonight with asparagus, carrots with butter and brown sugar glaze and roasted potatoes. I want my experience to be memorable one. Help… March 24, 2017 at 8:51am Reply

    • Shelley: To remove fishy smell, soak raw salmon in milk for about 15 minutes, drain well, then cook as instructed. March 28, 2017 at 7:41pm Reply

    • Cat Hogan: I marinate my salmon in a balsamic bath. It’s water that covers salmon, 1/8 cup of balsamic, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I only keep it in there for 30 minutes to an hour. It might take on the color of balsamic but it helps with the fishy taste and smell.

      Hope this helps :) April 20, 2017 at 8:05am Reply

  • TeriCakes: Just tried it tonight. Dinner was amazin!!! Thanks for the recipe. The sauce killed😄 March 28, 2017 at 7:46pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad you liked it! Thanks for leaving a comment! March 28, 2017 at 8:43pm Reply

  • Ruthie: This turned out amazing. I served it on top of a mixed rice blend with roasted asparagus on the side, I made extra lemon garlic sauce for the asparagus. We are having out of town guests next week and hubby said this is restaurant quality and we should make it for them.
    Thanks for a fantastic recipe.. April 5, 2017 at 11:32pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad you loved it Ruthie! I hope you’re guests do as well! April 18, 2017 at 1:11pm Reply

  • Barbara: Can I buy the salmon and freeze it will it be still good for next Friday. And will the flava be as good as the day I bought it. April 7, 2017 at 3:33pm Reply

  • Randy Garrison: Tried it and it was great! I strained the sauce to remove the garlic, but maybe not necessary. There was still plenty of garlic flavor, but chucks of garlic can be a little bitter, so…I have been looking for a good sauce for fish and this was great. Strongly recommend to keep the skin on because the thin layer of fat adds some flavor and it is easy to remove the skin after cooking even when served. Great job! April 22, 2017 at 12:46am Reply

  • Tina: Yummy! Served it with lime cilantro quinoa and it was perfect :) May 20, 2017 at 4:16pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad you enjoyed it, sounds like a delicious side dish! May 20, 2017 at 7:49pm Reply

  • DNN: I’m absolutely loving your photos and this beautiful garlic lemon butter sauce Salmon recipe while putting this thing together perfectly to a T. Do you add the Oiive oil before the Salmon going in the oven? I’m curious because I heard Olive oil is better out of the bottle instead of in it to the food before going in the oven. Lastly, how can I get my photos to look as crispy as yours and what type of program do I need to use? :-) May 31, 2017 at 8:58pm Reply

  • Kate: Delicious, thanks for sharing June 5, 2017 at 5:39am Reply

  • amanda: My family really enjoyed this recipe so much that I had to reblog <3 Thank you!
    Recipe Credits included. June 6, 2017 at 12:58am Reply

  • Charlene: made this last night , it was delicious !!! I felt like it was a dish in a restaurant. Thanks for sharing !! June 10, 2017 at 6:40am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great review Charlene! June 13, 2017 at 12:05pm Reply

  • Rose: In your description, you state the sauce has 4 ingredients (butter, lemon juice, chicken broth and garlic) but in the recipe itself you also add honey so I’m a bit confused. Does the honey also go into the sauce? It sounds delicious and I want to make sure I make it correctly. June 11, 2017 at 12:39pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It’s there near the end of the first paragraph. June 13, 2017 at 6:21pm Reply

      • Daniel: You still don’t answer her question. You say its four ingredients at the beginning of the recipe and then you contradict it when at the end it becomes five with the honey. December 27, 2017 at 3:23pm Reply

  • Kezia Bohanon: AMAZING!!! I just made this and it was perfect!!! My kids devoured it! Thank you! June 29, 2017 at 7:55pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad they liked it Kezia! July 11, 2017 at 2:12pm Reply

  • Shanta: First time about to do salmon and just seeing this recipe. I have no lemon but will be using lime instead. Wish me luck. I’ll be back in another couple hours!!! July 24, 2017 at 2:55pm Reply

  • Sandra: Do you have to use an actual lemon or can you just use lemon juice from the bottle? August 2, 2017 at 6:05pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: The fresh lemon juice will give you much better tasting end result so I’d definitely recommend it. August 3, 2017 at 4:37pm Reply

  • Jessica: Thank you so much for this recipe! My hubby said it was the BEST salmon he’s ever had!!😀I did ours with the skin on and it was FANTASTIC!! August 8, 2017 at 11:05am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you and yours loved it Jessica! August 11, 2017 at 12:05pm Reply

  • Christine @ myblissfulmess: Oh man, that is just heaven! Salmon is my favorite fish. I can’t wait to try this. I am salivating in a serious way over here LOL. August 13, 2017 at 7:54am Reply

  • Amy: I tried it. It was delicious! August 17, 2017 at 4:03pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad you liked it! August 18, 2017 at 12:43pm Reply

  • Lydia: Soooo good! Family loved it. Used lime juice instead of lemon. August 17, 2017 at 7:42pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad it was loved! August 18, 2017 at 12:42pm Reply

  • Kathy: I loved it and so did my family. My fish was pretty thick, so cooking time was longer. My hubby caught the Chinook so it was nice and fresh. The recipe is a keeper! August 20, 2017 at 8:40pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Great to hear! August 23, 2017 at 11:35am Reply

  • Greg: Happened across this recipe….AmAAAAzing!!
    Very quick and very easy.
    Happen to have a good Cod recipe?

    Thanks August 21, 2017 at 4:20pm Reply

  • Maria: This was absolutely fantastic, easy and quick! Made this exactly as written. I served it over a bed of sautéed spinach, such a filling yet light dinner. Thank you! September 1, 2017 at 5:38pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked it Maria! September 5, 2017 at 12:39pm Reply

  • Malu: Delicioso… A mi familia le encanto… Y fácil de preparar… Gracias September 4, 2017 at 6:43pm Reply

  • Marge: I normally grill my salmon because i never sear anythinh right. Well i followed your instructions and it came out great! Thanks for a great recipe September 17, 2017 at 5:05pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad you liked it Marge! September 18, 2017 at 12:33pm Reply

  • Kathy: Very very good. By chance do you have the jeto break down? September 17, 2017 at 6:54pm Reply

  • PML: Can the lemon sauce be made a day ahead and warmed when ready to serve?

    If you place the salmon skin side down in a hot skillet (without oil), it cooks in its own oil. Turn it over when the skin is crisp and you can easily remove it (or leave it for those who like it). September 26, 2017 at 5:39am Reply

  • Kim: I’m doing the Keto diet right now and can’t eat honey. Think I could follow these exact instructions but just omit the honey? It looks delicious and the reviews are raving! October 3, 2017 at 1:39pm Reply

    • Ooni: I didn’t use honey and it still turned out amazing! November 12, 2017 at 7:35pm Reply

      • Vickie: This was and is a great recipe! We love it. I wasn’t a salmon lover untill I tried this one. WOW! November 13, 2017 at 1:27pm Reply

  • Arnold Polikoff: When I buy salmon from the supermarket one edge is thick but the other edge is very thin. How can I cook it so that it cooks evenly. October 14, 2017 at 7:14pm Reply

  • Jennifer: Made this sauce and poured it over grilled pollock, it was amazing!!! Going to make this a weekly dish. October 19, 2017 at 6:28pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad to hear it! Thanks Jennifer! October 20, 2017 at 12:45pm Reply

      • Sara: Can this salmon dish be reheated? What about the sauce?
        Sara October 29, 2017 at 6:48am Reply

  • Ruth: I added capers and white wine. Omitted the honey. October 21, 2017 at 8:46pm Reply

  • Chana’la: Like to make my dinner in advance before my kids get home from school. Is this salmon recipie only good fresh or then warm it up together at supper time? October 25, 2017 at 11:14am Reply

  • Virna: Just finish cooking and eating this recipe, and very satisfied! My husband requested this every week.. November 3, 2017 at 8:44pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad to hear you both enjoy the salmon Virna – thanks for commenting! November 6, 2017 at 12:06pm Reply

  • Ana: A out to cook this for my fiancé! Trying to decide what carb I should pair it with! Any suggestions? November 14, 2017 at 6:39pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I like it with orzo. November 14, 2017 at 8:29pm Reply

  • Edna: Just tried this for dinner and it was delicious! Thank you! November 14, 2017 at 6:49pm Reply

  • Talea: I cooked this tonight for dinner and my mother in law actually liked it! Easy to follow instructions and had made in no time! I will make this again! November 16, 2017 at 7:07pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Talea! November 21, 2017 at 11:44am Reply

  • Lynne: From all the comments, this sounds like something I want to make! I would love to include this as one of my dishes for a dinner party. As it is a large group I’m trying to prepare/cook everything ahead of time. What are your suggestions for cooking this ahead of time? November 21, 2017 at 8:59pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I don’t really like reheated salmon so I guess I’m maybe not the person to ask :). If doing so though I’d undercook it just a little. November 21, 2017 at 10:48pm Reply

  • Betsy Dewhurst: This is sooo good! The sauce is delicious. Will definitely make again. Yum! November 27, 2017 at 3:40pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked it Betsy! November 28, 2017 at 10:20am Reply

  • Marie: Great recipe, and the flavors were fantastic, but my one complaint is that it called for 2 tsp of olive oil. After I made it and then looked at the photo there is clearly MUCH more than that in the pan… I think I would have gotten a nicer crust had I used more. Perhaps the recipe is supposed to say TBS and not tsp. And if not, perhaps you could help me understand how to get that nicer crust. Thank you! November 29, 2017 at 2:08pm Reply

  • Jay: Can the chicken broth be substituted with anything else? December 8, 2017 at 1:17pm Reply

  • AnneMarie: I made this exactly as directed and was rewarded with perfectly seared salmon done to medium. It was moist and very flavorful. The Garlic lemon butter sauce makes this dish sinfully delicious! No more broiling for me! December 10, 2017 at 4:54pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks AnnMarie! December 11, 2017 at 11:39am Reply

  • Yvonne: Great recipe…restaurant quality. Made it tonight and it was soooo good. I added some capers and paired it with mashed potatoes and string beans. My husband and I loved it. It’s a winner, December 15, 2017 at 7:50pm Reply

  • P: Amazing! Simple to make , better than at a restaurant. Delicious!! December 17, 2017 at 4:04pm Reply

  • Betina: This was great, fast and easy to make!! December 22, 2017 at 9:24pm Reply

  • Rhonda: Simple and so delicious! Is now my favorite to make salmon. January 3, 2018 at 11:12am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad to hear it! Thanks Rhonda! January 4, 2018 at 12:47pm Reply

  • Jonna: Oh all things holy and good in life. I tried this on a whim and i am SO glad that i did. I normally only like grilled Salmon, but since it is too cold to be outside right now….. served with bacon wrapped asparagus and BAM! The perfect meal! Thank you so much for sharing. LOVE LOVE LOVE! January 3, 2018 at 5:12pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Jonna! Glad you loved it! January 4, 2018 at 12:59pm Reply

  • Farrel: This recipe was amazing; light, easy to make, and flavorful. I am a 4th generation Alaskan, so I have cooked a lot of salmon over the years. I followed the recipe exactly, and it was so delicious. This will definitely be a recipe I will make again and again. January 3, 2018 at 7:08pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I love this comment! Thanks Farrel! January 4, 2018 at 12:59pm Reply

  • SARA Elizabeth FERNANDEZ: I absolutely loved this recipe and I am not a fish eater. My daughter loved it as well. Thanks for sharing! January 4, 2018 at 10:09pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you both loved it Sara! January 8, 2018 at 12:23pm Reply

  • Stephanie: One of my favourite recipes of yours! January 5, 2018 at 10:02am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Stephanie! Mine too. :) January 5, 2018 at 11:23am Reply

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