two salmon filets cooking in a pan filled with lemons

Busy Day 1-Pan Lemon Salmon Skillet

Lemony salmon filets bursting with flavors like smoked paprika and garlic ready in only 30 minutes.

Coming home these days from work, I need fast protein that I can all together in a flash. This bright summery salmon dish is ready in minutes While the salmon is searing in a skillet, toss fresh greens with olive oil and lemon juice and serve with freshly sliced summer berries and stone fruit. Healthy and ready fast. This is my kind of summer supper.


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a glass bowl filled with spices next to a piece of salmon
Smoked paprika leads the flavor profile on the spice rub.

Busy Day Lemon Salmon Skillet

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Recipe by Meggen Wilson Course: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


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A quick and nutritious lemon and garlic salmon dish that is ready in minutes.


  • Two- 6-8 oz Wild Salmon Filets, skin on

  • 2 lemons

  • 3 TBSP olive oil, divided

  • 1 tsp light brown sugar

  • 1 TBSP Panko bread crumbs

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt

  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter


  • Juice one of the lemons, set juice aside. Slice the other lemon into thin slices, set aside.
  • Place the salmon filets on a board and pat dry. In a small bowl, combine 1 TBSP of the olive oil, smoked paprika, brown sugar, garlic salt, pepper, Panko. Spread the spice rub all over the skinless side of the salmon.
  • Heat a large skillet on high heat. After one minute, add the remaining 2 TBSP olive oil to the hot pan. Place the salmon, skin side down into the pan and sear until the skin is crispy. The fish will release easily once the skin is cooked through. DO not force the salmon to release. Remove the fish after well seared. Cover and keep warm. With the heat OFF, add the butter, lemon juice and garlic to the hot pan. Stirring constantly, sauté the garlic until fragrant. Turn the heat up to low, add the lemon slices and let cook until softened- about 1-2 minutes. Add the fish back to the pan and spoon the garlicky butter sauce over the top of the fish and continue cooking until the fish is just cooked through- about 3 minutes more. Remove the fish to dinner plates and spoon sauce over the fish and top with cooked lemon slices.
  • Serve immediately.


  • Turn your exhaust fan on HIGH while the fish is searing.

Kitchen tools for success:

a large piece of uncooked salmon on a wooden board next to a bowl of spices
Choose salmon filets with skin on for a great sear

Other Salmon Dishes to try:

a blue and white plate filled with fresh summer fruit, salmon and greens
Serve with fresh greens and summer stone fruits and berries

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