This Garlic Butter Salmon recipe is a quick weeknight dinner that comes together in one pan and in less than 15 minutes! Pair it with your favorite sides for a full meal that everyone will love!

Why You’ll Love This Garlic Butter Salmon

  • Easy to make – if you’ve never made salmon before this a great first recipe to start your journey. It’s an easy one to put together and the end product is a sophisticated one pan dish.
  • Quick – not only is it easy, but this salmon recipe is quick cooking which makes it perfect for a 15-minute weeknight dinner.
  • Delicious – butter, lemon juice, and fresh herbs all come together to create a delicious and flavorful sauce that pairs perfectly with the salmon.
garlic butter salmon ingredients in bowls


Salmon: you’ll need four 6-ounce pieces of salmon for this recipe. You can use skin on or off, whatever you prefer will work.

Avocado Oil or Olive Oil: these are my two favorite oils for searing. 

Butter: this forms the base of the sauce. I highly recommend using a unsalted butter with a high-fat percentage like Kerrygold, because it will have more flavor. 

Garlic: this recipe is called garlic butter salmon for a reason. Cloves of fresh garlic give the fish so much flavor!

Lemon Juice: go with freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor.

Parsley: another time when fresh is best. If you’re really in a pinch you can use dried parsley instead.

How to Make This Garlic Butter Salmon Recipe

Step One: Pat the salmon dry with paper towels, and season the filets liberally with salt and pepper. 

Step Two: Next, heat a large pan over medium-high heat, and add the oil. 

Step Three: Cook the salmon for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until the filets are golden brown and crisp. 

Step Four: Remove the salmon from the pan, and reduce the heat to low. Then, add the butter, and swirl it around until it is melted. Add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until fragrant. Be careful not to let it burn! 

Step Five: Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Spoon the garlic butter sauce over the cooked salmon, and serve warm. 

butter sauce being spooned over salmon in cast iron skillet with lemon

How Do You Know When Salmon Is Fully Cooked?

The easiest way to know when your salmon is done is by using an instant-read thermometer. Salmon is considered well done when the internal temperature of the thickest part reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit. 

However, if you like your salmon more medium-rare, cook it to a temperature between 125 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Or, if you prefer your salmon medium (my personal preference!), shoot for a range between 135 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is fresh salmon better than frozen? 

Either will work for this recipe. If you use frozen salmon, make sure it is completely thawed and patted dry before you begin. 

Should I cook salmon with or without the skin on? 

I typically prefer to cook salmon with the skin as it gets nice and crispy but it’s really up to you! It will taste great either way. 

salmon on serving platter with fresh lemons

Serving Suggestions

I love to serve the salmon with smashed potatoes or cilantro lime rice and steamed veggies but feel free to mix and match your favorite sides. For example, more great pairings include:  

How to Store and Reheat

Store leftover salmon in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days. 

Reheat in a hot skillet with a bit of oil, or on a baking sheet in the oven at 275 degrees just until warmed through. You could also use the microwave if you’re short on time.

More Delicious Salmon Recipes

Get all of the best healthy salmon recipes, HERE!

I hope you give this Garlic Butter Salmon recipe a try! It’s an easy protein option that comes together fast. If you do give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on INSTAGRAM. Your reviews and ratings help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you trust and love.

salmon in cast iron skillet with sliced lemons

Garlic Butter Salmon

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


  • 46oz pieces of salmon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley


  1. Pat the salmon dry with paper towels and then season liberally with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the avocado or olive oil.
  3. Cook the salmon 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown, crisp, and the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
  4. Remove the salmon from the pan and turn the heat to low. Next, add the butter to the pan and swirl until melted. Next, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant being careful not to burn.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Spoon the garlic butter sauce over the salmon and serve.
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ecipe by: Ashlea Carver / All the Healthy Things | Photography by: THE MINDFUL HAPA

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