Pan Seared Salmon

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This creamy Pan Seared Salmon recipe makes a restaurant-quality dinner right at home! It features a flaky salmon smothered in a flavor-packed creamy sauce, and it’s all ready in only 30 minutes!

Overhead image of a skillet with salmon fillets in a creamy sauce with spinach and cherry tomatoes.


Discover the ease of making a delicious pan-seared salmon at home. With this simple recipe, you can whip up a fantastic meal in just 30 minutes. It’s perfect for any day of the week, whether you’re looking for something special or just a quick but very tasty dinner.

Why You Should Make This Salmon Recipe

  • Easy Yet Elegant: Anyone can make this simple recipe, turning a few ingredients into a chef-level masterpiece.
  • Quick Gourmet: Enjoy restaurant-quality taste at home, all made in 30 minutes.
  • Flavorful: This recipe combines the rich taste of salmon with a creamy tomato and spinach sauce. It’s a fabulous dish that will be loved by all.
Pan seared Salmon fillets in a creamy sauce with Tomatoes and Spinach.

Ingredients For Pan Seared Salmon

  • Vegetable Oil: You could also use any other high smoke point oil.
  • Skin-On Salmon Fillets: For skillet-cooked fish, it is recommended to buy skin-on fish fillets.
  • Salt & Pepper: Simple seasonings to elevate the natural flavors.
  • Butter: Brings richness and depth to the sauce.
  • Garlic: Infuses the dish with flavor.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: Adds a sweet, tangy contrast to the creamy sauce.
  • Baby Spinach: Adds color and a visual appeal.
  • Low-Fat Evaporated Milk: Creates a creamy texture without the heaviness of cream.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Offers a salty depth.
  • Fresh Basil and Parsley

How To Make Pan Seared Salmon

This salmon recipe is especially easy because everything is prepared in just one skillet. And the amazing sauce of tomatoes, spinach, and evaporated milk adds a flavor beyond any other.

  1. Prep: Season the fillets with salt and pepper, and place the fish skin side up in a pan with heated olive oil.
  2. Cook: The salmon fillets will need to cook for about 7 to 8 minutes, depending on the thickness, but should not be moved around until they are cooked about three-quarters of the way through. Then, flip, and continue to cook for 3 more minutes; remove from skillet and set aside.
  3. Make the Sauce: Wipe down the skillet, melt some butter, and add cherry tomatoes to the skillet; cook for a few minutes before adding in the spinach. Stir in the evaporated milk, some grated parmesan cheese, and herbs.
  4. Finish: Place salmon fillets back in the skillet and let them cook for about 3 minutes, or until everything is heated through.
Pan seared salmon fillets in a cream sauce with tomatoes and baby spinach.

Recipe Tips And Variations

  • Fish: Look for fresh salmon fillets with a bright color, firm texture, and moist appearance. Skin-on fillets are great for getting that crispy skin.
  • Pat Dry: Pat the salmon dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  • Use a Non-Stick or Cast Iron Skillet: These types of pans are best for achieving a good sear without sticking.
  • Cooking Oil: Use an oil with a high smoke point, like canola or vegetable oil.
  • Skin Side Down First: Start by placing the salmon skin side down. Press down gently with a spatula for a few seconds to prevent curling and to ensure the skin crisps up evenly.
  • Don’t Move It: Let the salmon cook undisturbed for about 5 to 8 minutes. Once the salmon releases easily from the pan, flip it over. Cook for another 3 minutes, or until done. Cooking time depends on the size of the fillets.
  • Doneness: Salmon is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). It should flake easily with a fork when done.
  • Leafy Greens: Substitute spinach with kale for a heartier green.
  • Sauce: For a creamier sauce, use heavy cream. You could also add a splash of white wine to the sauce for extra depth.

Serving Suggestions

This is a great salmon recipe fit for a queen! It’s a flavorful meal that you can pair with light sides like my quinoa zucchini fritters, roasted green beans with squash and tomatoes, and a crisp broccoli cauliflower salad. For a heartier meal, consider these vesuvio potatoes or my favorite mashed sweet potatoes.

Storing Leftovers

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Easy Salmon Recipes


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4.91 from 22 votes

Pan Seared Salmon

This creamy Pan Seared Salmon recipe makes a restaurant-quality dinner featuring flaky salmon smothered in a creamy sauce, and it's all ready in 30 minutes!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 Serves


  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 (4 to 5 ounces each) skin-on salmon fillets
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper,, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cloves garlic,, minced
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 6 ounces baby spinach
  • ½ cup evaporated milk,, you can also use half & half or heavy cream
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
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  • Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.
  • Pat dry the salmon fillets with paper towels, then season them with salt and pepper and transfer them to the skillet, skin-side down.
  • Cook for about 5 to 8 minutes or until browned and cooked about three-quarters of the way through. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the salmon.
  • Flip over and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes or until cooked through; remove from skillet and set aside. Add more oil as needed.
  • Add butter to skillet and melt over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook for 20 seconds, stirring very frequently.
  • Stir in the cherry tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until tomatoes begin to soften.
  • Add in the spinach and cook for 1 minute or until the spinach is beginning to wilt.
  • Whisk in the evaporated milk, parmesan cheese, basil, and parsley; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the salmon fillets back to the skillet and continue to cook for 3 minutes or until the salmon is heated through.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Spoon sauce over each fillet and serve.


  • Dry the Fillets: Pat the salmon dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  • Use a Non-Stick or Cast Iron Skillet: These pans best achieve a good sear without sticking.
  • Oil: Use an oil with a high smoke point, like canola or vegetable oil. Don’t use olive oil.
  • Doneness: Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check for doneness. Salmon is cooked through when its internal temperature registers at 145˚F. 


Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 250mg | Potassium: 964mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 4675IU | Vitamin C: 30.9mg | Calcium: 146mg | Iron: 2.7mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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  1. Fonda K. says:

    My family and I enjoy this recipe every time I make it. It’s never leftovers!! Thanks for posting.