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Pan Seared Salmon Recipe

  • Author: Samantha Shue
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


An easy weeknight meal that can be made in 25 minutes or less. This pan-seared salmon recipe is drenched in a white wine lemon butter sauce. It’s restaurant quality at home!



For the Salmon

  • 4 (6 oz) salmon filets
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the Lemon Butter Tarragon Sauce

  • 1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 4 tbsp cold salted butter, cut into cubes
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 3 tsp fresh tarragon, chopped


  1. Pat dry the salmon filets with a paper towel.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the Kosher salt, black pepper, and paprika. Sprinkle the mixture on both sides of the salmon.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add salmon to the skillet and cook for 4 minutes on each side (depending on thickness). You might need to cook the salmon in batches depending on how big your skillet is.
  5. While the salmon rests, make the sauce: In a small saucepan, bring white wine (or chicken broth) and shallots to a boil. Boil until the wine reduces to approximately 2 tablespoons (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from heat and whisk in butter until incorporated. Stir in the lemon juice and fresh tarragon. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
  6. Spoon the sauce over the salmon before serving.


  1. I recommend using stainless steel or a cast iron pan for searing the salmon.
  2. This recipe did not have the skin on the salmon, however, by keeping the skin on it will be easier to flip the fish as it cooks.
  3. Try adding the sauce to chicken, steak, shrimp, and other fish.
  4. Take the salmon out of the refrigerator 10-15 minutes before you plan to cook it.
  5. Chef tip: do not try to flip the salmon early, if it’s still sticking to the pan that means it’s not ready to be flipped yet. Be patient as it cooks.
  6. Adding cold butter to the sauce at the end will prevent the sauce from breaking. Add the butter one cube at a time until it incorporates together into a smooth sauce.
  7. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: fish, lent, pan seared, pan seared salmon, salmon, seafood