Pan Seared Salmon & Parmesan Garlic Cream Sauce

What’s better for a  busy week night meal than a one pot, under 20 minutes meal, that is great as a leftover? Hmm, can’t think of anything, me neither. Salmon is one of my favorite types of seafood, it’s flavorful, but not too fishy, packed full of nutrients, and if you’re smart with it, it can be economical as well. Culinary school taught me well how to buy whole cuts of beef, chicken or seafood and break them down myself. Not a bad thing to know!

On average you can buy a whole half of a salmon for around $40, buying it like that is a little less intimidating than buying the whole fish. You can choose whether you want to leave the skin on or remove it, removing it isn’t too challenging either! It scared me at first but quickly became my favorite thing to do! Typically I buy half of a salmon, skin it and filet it into even sized filet’s, place them in freezer bags and freeze until I’m ready to use them. They thaw out very quickly, so no need to plan days in advanced.


For this recipe you’ll need to start by pan-searing your salmon filet’s. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat , you want your pan to be very hot for this to ensure the fish doesn’t stick. Once your pan is hot add olive oil, salt your filet’s and place them in skin side down, if you removed the skin than place them presentation side down, meaning whichever side you’ll want to be seen on the plate. We do this because the first side gets the best color. Cook the first side 3-6 minutes, depending on size and thickness, than when the fish releases from the pan, flip it using a fish spatula. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, than set aside.


Using the same pan we are going to make our cream sauce, you should have some leftover oil in your pan, use that to saute your garlic until fragrant, than stir in your cream, careful that it doesn’t curdle, once heated add in the flour, cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, dill, thyme, salt and pepper, mix until thoroughly combined


Mix until the sauce is smooth and creamy, adjust the flavor with salt and pepper, add the salmon filet’s back into the sauce and heat until warmed through. Spoon the cream sauce over the filet’s and serve, garnish with parsley and lemon if wanted.




Pan Seared Salmon & Parmesan Garlic Cream Sauce
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 6 skin-on salmon fillets, room temperature
  3. salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  4. 1 tablespoon butter
  5. 1 cup fat free half & half
  6. 1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
  7. 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  8. zest and juice from 1 whole lemon
  9. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  10. 1 teaspoon dried dill
  11. 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  12. salt and fresh pepper to taste
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper and transfer to the skillet, skin-side down,cook for 6 minutes, don't flip the filet's until they easily move on their own.
  3. Using a spatula, flip the salmon fillets over and cook for 2 more minutes; remove from skillet and set aside.
  4. In the meantime, combine half & half, flour, cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, dill, thyme, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl; whisk until thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Add butter to skillet and melt over medium heat.
  6. Add the prepared sauce to the skillet and bring to a boil; lower heat to a simmer.
  7. Place salmon fillets back in the skillet, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until salmon is heated through.
  8. Remove skillet from heat, spoon sauce over salmon.
  9. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley.

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