Experience a citrusy delight with this delectable lemon butter salmon. The buttery sauce transforms a simple seared fish fillet into a gourmet masterpiece.
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Picture a perfectly seared salmon, flaky and tender, with a burst of tangy lemon and the richness of butter in each bite. If you love salmon as much as I do, then you know that finding the perfect sauce to complement its natural flavors is essential. The best part is that making this recipe is super simple and doesn't take much time in the kitchen.
Reasons to Love
- A refreshing citrus twist. The sauce is the perfect way to add a refreshing citrus flavor to the savory taste of salmon.
- Enhances the flavor. The combination of lemon and butter enhances the natural flavor of salmon making each bite even more enjoyable.
- Easy to make. The lemon garlic salmon recipe is simple to prepare, even for those not experienced in the kitchen.
To create a delicious lemon butter sauce salmon dish, you only need a few simple ingredients. You likely already have most, if not all, of the items needed.
Here are the ingredients used in the recipe:
- skinned or skinless salmon slab (skinned salmon fillet is preferred)
- lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- minced garlic
- unsalted butter
- fresh dill
- oil for frying
Scroll down to the recipe card for quantities used.
Read to make salmon with lemon and butter? In addition to the required ingredients, you'll need two skillets. One is used for searing the salmon, and the other is used to make the lemon garlic butter sauce.
In a heated pan with oil, pan sear salmon, skin side up. Sprinkle on salt and pepper. Do not move the salmon until the bottom part starts to turn golden in color
Turn salmon and season with salt and pepper. Spoon hot oil over salmon as the salmon skin cooks from below, creating a crispier outer layer. Cook until golden and flaky. Transfer salmon into a paper-lined plate.
In another skillet, pour lemon juice then add garlic. Slowly simmer until lemon juice reduces by half.
Melt butter and stir occasionally. Turn off heat then sprinkle some fresh dill.
Transfer salmon to a serving plate. Pour butter sauce over the salmon slab. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and the remaining fresh dill.
Hint: Ensure that the skin of the salmon is dry before you begin. Use a paper towel to pat it completely dry. Moisture on the skin can prevent it from crisping up effectively.
While a classic lemon butter sauce is a delicious addition to salmon, why not explore some variations to give your dish new taste sensations? Here are some ideas to try:
- Herbs - fresh herbs add a burst of freshness and complementary flavors. Try parsley, chives, tarragon, basil, or thyme if you don't like dill.
- Flavor infusion - add a tablespoon of capers or a splash of white wine to enhance the taste of the salmon with lemon even further.
- Creamy - incorporating heavy cream or crème fraîche into the sauce for extra creaminess and depth of flavor.
- Customize - squeeze more fresh lemon juice into the sauce if you want a tangier sauce. For a richer and creamier texture, increase the amount of butter.
- Vegetables - incorporate your favorite veggies into the dish. Salmon and broccoli is a delicious combination.
- Cooking salmon - you can bake salmon or grill it instead of searing but I think searing is the best way to cook salmon.
Check out our sheet pan salmon and asparagus recipe for an example of how easy it is to bake your fish.
Top tip: Take the salmon out of the refrigerator about 15-20 minutes before cooking. Allowing it to come to room temperature helps it cook more evenly and prevents the center from being undercooked while the outside becomes overcooked.
- Use fresh lemon juice. Squeeze the juice straight from the fruit rather than relying on store-bought bottled lemon juice.
- Use unsalted butter. It gives you better control over seasoning. Choose a high-quality brand of butter for the best taste.
To serve your perfectly cooked garlic butter salmon, take a moment to plate it beautifully. Start by spooning a generous amount of the sauce onto each plate. Carefully place one piece of salmon on the sauce, ensuring its crispy skin faces up.
Sprinkle some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley or dill over the fish for added flavor. For an elegant touch, garnish each plate with thin lemon slices or curls of zest.
The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, but it's best to consume the cooked salmon within 3 days.
When ready to consume, reheat the dish gently in a pan on low heat or in the oven at a low temperature until warmed through.
While margarine can be used as a substitute for butter in many recipes, we recommend using real butter for the best flavor and texture in your sauce.
Lemon butter complements various types of fish, such as halibut, trout, or tilapia beautifully. Feel free to explore and find your favorite combination!
Yes, you can! Substitute the butter with a vegan butter alternative or coconut oil, and use plant-based milk instead of cream. The result will be a delicious vegan-friendly lemon sauce for your plant-based protein or veggies.
Looking for more delicious seafood dinner ideas for one or two? Here are more recipes you can check out:
- Shrimp tomato pasta is a go-to recipe.
- Butter fish is loaded with buttery flavor.
- Salmon Alfredo is sure to satisfy your cravings.
- Shrimp and broccoli stir fry is perfect for busy weeknights.
- Panko fish is a quick and easy meal idea.
Lemon Butter Sauce Salmon
- 1 piece salmon slab 200 grams
- 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice from one lemon
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 5 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill reserve some for garnish
- oil for frying salmon
- 1 to 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- lemon zest from one lemon
- Pat dry all sides of salmon.
- In a heated pan with oil, pan sear salmon, skin side up. Sprinkle kosher salt and ground black pepper. Do not move salmon until bottom part starts to turn golden in color, about 3 to 4 minutes upon touching the pan.
- Gently turn salmon to cook the side with skin. Season with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Spoon hot oil over salmon as the salmon skin cooks from below, creating a crispier outer layer. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes or until salmon is golden and flaky. Do not overcook.
- Transfer salmon into a paper-lined plate. Set aside.
- In another skillet, pour lemon juice then add garlic. Slowly simmer until lemon juice reduces by half.
- Melt butter and stir occasionally. Turn off heat then sprinkle some fresh dill.
- Transfer salmon in a serving plate. Pour lemon butter sauce over salmon slab. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and the remaining fresh dill. Enjoy.