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close-up of skillet garlic butter salmon

Garlic Butter Salmon

This garlic butter salmon is pan-seared to perfection in a lemony garlic butter sauce. It's fast and uses simple everyday ingredients. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword garlic butter pan seared salmon, garlic butter salmon recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 297kcal


  • 1 pound salmon cut into 4 pieces
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice or more, to taste
  • 4-5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley optional


  • Take the salmon out of the fridge 15-20 minutes before starting the recipe if you can. Cut the salmon into 4 equal pieces and pat it dry with paper towel. Season each piece generously with salt & pepper.
  • Add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter to a skillet over medium-high heat. Allow the pan to heat up for a few minutes.
  • Cook the salmon (skin-side down) for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium and flip the fish over and cook for another 2-4 minutes (should be cooked through). Transfer the salmon to a plate.
  • Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the remaining butter to the pan and let it melt. Stir in the garlic and lemon juice. Continue stirring for a minute or so until the garlic is just cooked (do not let it burn or it'll taste bitter). Take the skillet off the heat once it's done.
  • Add the salmon back to the skillet and spoon some sauce over top and sprinkle parsley on if using. Serve immediately. I like to add more fresh lemon juice to mine, so you may want to serve it with lemon wedges so everyone can add more as needed. The salmon skin is nice and crispy (and tasty) if you eat it right away, but you can easily peel it off once it's cooked if you prefer.


  • I used Atlantic salmon that was about 1" thick for this recipe. If your salmon is thicker or thinner, you may need to adjust cooking time a bit. 
  • It's ok if you've got a bit over a pound of salmon, just make sure it's not too much over or the salmon pieces will be crowded in the pan and not cook properly.
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.


Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 150mg | Potassium: 573mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 396IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg