Pan Fried Salmon Fillets


Perfectly pan-fried salmon

Salmon is one of my absolute favorite foods. Whether it's in salmon salad, salmon patties or quick pan-fried salmon, it goes with just about anything. Learn how to cook it perfectly here. 

Why Salmon?

Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of cancer. Salmon is also a wonderful source of protein, which can help keep you from overeating. It has a whole array of B vitamins, which helps your brain function well, maintains good energy and protects your heart. 

Salmon is also an excellent source of vitamin D. I don't know about you, but sometimes in the winter I get SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder. The lack of strong sunlight and time spent outside gives me the blues. But over the years I have learned how to counteract this: go outside every day without exception and eat salmon regularly. There are other good food sources of vitamin D, but that's a topic for another day. 

In addition to all of the nutrient benefits of salmon, I just love how it tastes. It is filling in a way that doesn't feel heavy. It goes perfectly with olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs and a squeeze of lemon. One of my absolute favorite meals in Spain was buying fresh salmon steaks, searing them with the skin on, and serving them with asparagus dripping with butter. I felt giddy with happiness eating such delicious food that made me feel good too.  

Real, wild caught salmon is naturally coral colored

How to Buy Salmon

You can buy fresh salmon in grocery stores or from fish markets. I usually avoid farmed salmon, since it's not as healthy as wild caught. It also matters where your wild caught salmon comes from. I usually buy wild caught Alaskan salmon in the frozen section at Aldi. Three fillets come in a package for around $11. This is pricey, but it is worth it to me to be getting the most nutrient dense food. Buying farmed salmon, in my opinion, would be a waste of food to my body.

Look carefully at the salmon options. On the back of the bag it will say where the salmon was caught. If it's not wild caught, it will give you that information. If it is farmed, it will say where it is farmed. 

How to Cook Salmon

Salmon is a fatty fish, so it doesn't need much oil or butter added. Just enough so it doesn't stick to the pan. You can cook it in the oven or fry it in a pan. You can dredge it and bread it or just keep it simple with olive oil, salt and pepper. 

One of the keys to pan frying salmon is to make sure the pan and oil are hot before you add it. Otherwise, if the pan is continuing to heat when the salmon is added, the salmon will stick and be hard to flip. 

Dry your salmon with a paper towel. Add your seasonings: I usually just use salt, pepper and thyme. Sometimes cumin and paprika. After the pan and oil are hot, add the salmon, flesh side down (skin side up). Let it cook for about two minutes, then flip and cook another two minutes. The salmon continues to cook after it's removed from the pan, so avoid overcooking. 

And that's it! Join me to learn how to perfectly pan fry salmon. 

I love to add salt, pepper and a variety of herbs and seasonings

Pan Fried Salmon Fillets

Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 3-4


3-4 salmon fillets, thawed
2 tablespoons avocado oil (or olive oil)
salt, pepper and herbs (I like thyme or Italian blends)


1. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Pat the salmon dry and place on a plate. Evenly sprinkle salt, pepper and herbs over the salmon, flesh side up. 

2. Pour avocado oil in the pan, tilt to evenly coat. When the oil starts to shimmer you will know it's hot enough. Place the salmon flesh side down and pan fry for 2-3 minutes (depending on how thick it is). Flip, then pan fry for 2 minutes longer.

Other Delicious Salmon Recipes