January 15, 2020

Crispy Pan Seared Salmon with Avocado Salsa

This easy salmon recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. Salmon is pan seared until crispy with plenty of spices and then served with a fresh avocado salsa that will take you just minutes to make. This recipe is absolutely delicious as well as Whole30 compliant, Paleo-friendly, and Keto-friendly. 

Crispy Pan Seared Salmon with Avocado Salsa

Crispy Salmon and Avocado Salsa

If you committed to eating healthier this year, you may be feeling a little bored with the same old meals. That is where this delicious (and easy!) salmon recipe comes in to save the day!

Crispy flavorful salmon and a fresh lime-y, avocado salsa that you’ll want to put on everything? What could be better?!

This easy recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner and will take you less than twenty minutes to make. Not only is it delicious, it is also Whole30 compliant, Paleo-friendly, naturally gluten-free, and even Keto-friendly. It is perfect on it’s own or try serving it with a side of cauliflower rice or a fresh salad. 

Keep reading to learn how to make perfectly crispy pan seared salmon with avocado salsa!

The Best Salmon to Use for Crispy Pan Seared Salmon

Crispy Pan Seared Salmon with Avocado Salsa

My favorite salmon to use is wild caught sockeye salmon. It is relatively easy to find and has a beautiful deep red color. 

When it comes to seafood, I prefer to use wild caught seafood over farm raised. I find that the taste is much better and wild caught fish usually has a higher level of vitamins and nutrients than farm raised. 

Because wild caught salmon is often more on the expensive side, I like to either buy it frozen and in bulk from a store like Costco or Sam’s Club, or buy it when it is on sale at my local grocery store. 

When it does go on sale at my local store, I stock up! That usually means buying at least a pound or more. This helps me save a lot of money while also allowing me to fit high quality seafood in my diet on a regular basis. 

I really prefer to use skin on salmon for this recipe and I highly recommend it. However, if you cannot find skin on salmon feel free to use salmon fillets that have the skin removed.


How to Make Crispy Pan Seared Salmon

Crispy Pan Seared Salmon with Avocado Salsa

Making perfectly crispy salmon at home is really quite easy once you know the method. I promise after making it once, you’ll want to make this salmon recipe all of the time. 

Step 1: The trick to really crispy salmon skin is to first pat it dry with a paper towel before cooking. This helps to remove any extra moisture from the skin which enables it to get as crispy as possible. 

Step 2: Once the salmon skin is dry, liberally season it with a generous pinch of salt. I prefer to use pink Himalayan sea salt or sea salt. To ensure that the salt sticks to the skin, you can use your fingers to press the salt into the skin. 

Step 3: Next, it’s time to cook your salmon and get that perfectly crispy skin. I prefer to cook my salmon in coconut oil in a cast iron skillet. The trick to ensuring that your skin gets crispy is to make sure that your pan is hot enough before adding the salmon to the pan. Heat your skillet over medium-high heat and make sure it is thoroughly heated before adding in your fish. 

When the skillet is hot, add the salmon to the pan skin side down. Let the salmon cook for around five to six minutes, without moving it, to ensure you get that crispy skin. While the skin side of the salmon is cooking, sprinkle the fish with your spice mixture. Next flip the salmon and allow it to finish cooking for two to three more minutes or until it is done to your liking. 

Crispy Pan Seared Salmon with Avocado Salsa

An Easy Avocado Side Dish for Salmon: Avocado Salsa

This avocado salsa is fresh, full of flavor, and pairs perfectly with the crispy salmon. Avocados and salmon are really a match made in heaven. 

Not only is this salsa delicious, it’s also incredibly easy and you can use it in multiple ways. Use it on top of salads, avocados, or add a spoonful to your next burrito bowl. 

Crispy Pan Seared Salmon with Avocado Salsa

Here is What You Need to Make the Avocado Salsa:

  • Ripe avocados

  • Red onion (finely diced)

  • Cilantro leaves

  • Lime juice

Crispy Pan Seared Salmon with Avocado Salsa

How to Serve the Salmon 

My favorite way to serve this salmon is with a generous serving of cauliflower rice that has been seasoned with fresh cilantro, lime juice, salt, and garlic powder. You could also serve this salmon and avocado salsa with a fresh salad or white rice if you prefer. 

Another option is to flake the salmon into pieces and then serve in tacos with the salsa as a topping. Corn tortilla shells would work really well or, if you are trying to avoid grains, using butter lettuce leaves as in place of tortillas would be great, too!

Crispy Pan Seared Salmon with Avocado Salsa

More Delicious Recipes to Love


Crispy Pan Seared Salmon with Avocado Salsa

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


For the Crispy Salmon 

  • 1 tbsp avocado or coconut oil

  • 24 oz pieces of salmon

  • ½ tsp chipotle powder

  • ½ tsp garlic powder

  • ½ tsp onion powder

  • ½ tsp dried oregano

  • ¼ tsp cumin

  • ¾ tsp salt

For the Avocado Salsa

  • 3 avocados, peeled and diced

  • ¼ cup red onion, finely diced

  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, diced

  • ¼ cup lime juice

  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Make the salsa by adding all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl and stirring until well combined. Cover and set aside.
  2. Combine all of the salmon spices, minus the salt, in a small bowl. Pat the salmon skin dry with a paper towel and then sprinkle the salmon skin with salt.

  3. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the oil. Next place the salmon in the skillet, skin side down. While the salmon is cooking, sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over both pieces of fish. You can also sprinkle a little extra salt on top as well. Cook the salmon skin side down for roughly 5-6 minutes, then flip and let the salmon finish cooking for 3-4 minutes depending on thickness. Remove the fish from the skillet and transfer to a plate.

  4. Finish the salmon by topping it with the avocado salsa and serve immediately. Enjoy!



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  1. I had a salmon recipe I liked, but I’m so glad I tried something new! This is absolutely delicious and the avocado salad sends it over the top. I have found my new favorite way to serve salmon.

  2. This was SO good!! I’ve never had the skin of my salmon crispy before and it was a game changer! The seasoning was perfect and the avocado salad went so well. We served it over cauliflower rice. Definitely adding this to our rotation!

  3. Made this tonight and my husband couldn’t stop exclaiming how tasty it was the whole time he ate it!!

  4. So easy and absolutely delicious! My fiance said it was his favorite salmon recipe I’ve ever made. The spices in the salmon and the acidity in the avocado salsa are the perfect combo. I made extra so I can eat it for lunch throughout the week and I’m so glad I did!

  5. The is sooo good and so easy and simple. I’ve never thought to cook salmom so it crisps up the skin like that. Loved it! And the avocado salsa brought the perfect balance. All I added was a bed of greens. It was the perfect light and healthy summer meal. 👏

  6. Just made this tonight and it was SO GOOD. I had a few cherry tomatoes that were on their last leg and I threw them into the salsa for a little extra acidity. Thank you for the recipe!!

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