Busy Day 1-Pan Lemon Salmon Skillet

This busy day lemon salmon skillet bursting with flavor is ready in only 30 minutes.

a skillet with two salmon filets topped with lemon slices

Why you’ll love Busy Day Lemon Salmon Skillet:

  • This recipe is on your table in 30 minutes.
  • Super easy prep- almost no chopping- just measure out a few spices and slice one lemon.
  • Everything is made in one pan.
  • Pantry staple centric. Most of the ingredients you probably have in your pantry- like garlic salt, smoke paprika, panko and brown sugar.
a glass bowl filled with spices next to a piece of salmon

Ingredients in this busy day lemon salmon skillet:

  • salmon filets
  • lemons
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • light brown sugar
  • smoked paprika, garlic salt, pepper
  • garlic cloves
a large piece of uncooked salmon on a wooden board next to a bowl of spices

7 Top Tips for Cooking with Salmon Filets:

  1. Salmon cooks very quickly. Do not overcook or it will be tough.
  2. The skin will crisp up nicely- do not force it from the pan. Once it has rendered its fat, it will release cleanly.
  3. Serve this dish on a warm plate to keep the sauce from seizing.
  4. If you do not have smoke paprika or garlic salt, use regular parks and kosher salt.
  5. King salmon or Sockeye are best for this recipe. Coho salmon is lighter in color, but acceptable. Always buy wild salmon. My least favorite is Atlantic farmed salmon.
  6. To reheat- warm salmon on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Do not microwave the salmon.
  7. Read more about the health benefits of salmon in another recipe of mine HERE.

Kitchen tools for success:

a blue and white plate filled with fresh summer fruit, salmon and greens

Other Salmon Dishes to try:

two salmon filets cooking in a pan filled with lemons

Busy Day Lemon Salmon Skillet

A quick and nutritious lemon and garlic salmon dish that is ready in minutes.
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Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: salmon
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 771kcal
Cost: $16


  • 1 non stick skillet


  • 6-8 oz Wild Salmon Filets, skin on
  • 2 large lemons
  • 2 TBSP olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ 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 1 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.
  • Nutrition

    Serving: 6oz | Calories: 771kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 81.5g | Fat: 36.1g | Saturated Fat: 11.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9.9g | Cholesterol: 210mg | Sodium: 1332.9mg | Potassium: 662.2mg | Fiber: 13.3g | Sugar: 11.6g | Vitamin A: 64.5IU | Vitamin C: 268.4mg | Calcium: 9.7mg | Iron: 31.8mg

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