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Cream/ Fish/ Hearty Dinners

Creamy Lemon Salmon

May 7, 2023 (Last Updated: April 20, 2024) by Chris Collins

This creamy lemon salmon is super delicious yet unbelievably easy to make!

For how simple this recipe is, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how tasty it is. Follow me…

overhead shot of 4 salmon fillet sin lemon cream sauce in pan

Pan Fried Salmon

Salmon makes an awesome dinner, mainly because it takes on a range of delicious flavours, but also because it’s quick & easy to prepare.

What kind of salmon to use?

For this recipe, we’re going to be using skinless salmon fillets. I tend to head to the fresh fish section at the shops because you can usually get it skinned and sliced to size. However, you’ll find fillets pre-packaged too. Just make sure they’re not smoked!

Top tips for pan-frying salmon

  • Prep – Ensure you bring the salmon up to room temp before you fry. This will help the salmon cook through evenly.
  • Pat Dry – I like to pat the salmon dry to remove excess moisture. This will help the salmon build up a nice crust.
  • Season – Like any meat or fish, generously season with salt and pepper before it hits the pan.
  • Pan – Using a non-stick pan will prevent the salmon from falling apart when you flip it.
  • Heat – Keep the heat medium/high to get a nice golden crust.
  • Rest – Allowing the salmon to rest will ensure it fully cooks through without sacrificing juiciness.

Process shots: pat salmon dry (photo 1), season (photo 2), add to pan (photo 3), fry (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to prepare salmon fillets

Creamy Lemon Sauce for Salmon

This is a really simple sauce that pairs so beautifully with the salmon. It’s got a base of butter, chicken stock and cream, then flavoured with Dijon mustard, lemon zest and lemon juice.

How lemony is the sauce?

It’s really in your control. I recommend the zest of a whole lemon, which adds a subtle lemon flavour. From there I typically add in the juice of half the lemon, but I recommend working to taste.

Process shots: melt butter (photo 1), fry shallots, garlic & lemon zest (photo 2), stir in stock and cream (photo 3), stir in Dijon and lemon juice (photo 4), simmer then add salmon (photo 5), garnish with parsley (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make creamy lemon salmon

Creamy Lemon Salmon FAQ

Won’t the lemon juice curdle the sauce?

So long as you’re using heavy (US) or double (UK) cream, the sauce won’t curdle. As such, I don’t recommend using anything lighter (half & half/single cream).

How do I thicken the sauce?

Just gently simmer away and it’ll naturally thicken. The lemon juice and Dijon will both also help thicken the sauce.

Do I have to garnish with parsley?

Parsley goes beautifully with lemon, cream AND salmon, so I highly recommend using it if you can.

overhead shot of salmon fillet in creamy lemon sauce in pan

Serving Creamy Lemon Salmon

Here I’ve served with Roast Potatoes and Asparagus. I used my Roasted Baby Potatoes Recipe and chucked in some asparagus for the last 10 mins or so of cooking.

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this creamy lemon salmon shall we?!

overhead shot of creamy lemon salmon on small white plate with roast potatoes and asparagus

How to make Creamy Lemon Salmon (Full Recipe & Video)

overhead shot of 4 salmon fillet sin lemon cream sauce in pan

Creamy Lemon Salmon

This creamy lemon salmon is super delicious yet unbelievably easy to make!
5 from 3 votes
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Servings (click & slide): 4
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Western
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Calories per serving: 382kcal
Cost per serving: £3 / $3.50

Equipment:

  • Large Non-Stick Pan & Tongs
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Jug (for stock)
  • Fine Grater or Zester (for lemon)
  • Paper Towels

Ingredients (check list):

  • 4x boneless skinless Salmon Fillets, take out the fridge 15-30 mins before needed (approx 4-5oz / 120-150g each)
  • 3/4 cup / 180ml Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 cup / 120ml Heavy/Double Cream, at room temp
  • 4 tbsp / 2oz / 60g Unsalted Butter,
  • 1 Lemon, zested and halved
  • 2 small Shallots, very finely diced
  • 2 large cloves of Garlic, very finely diced
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp Salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 tbsp finely diced Fresh Parsley, to serve

Instructions:

  • Pat the salmon dry with paper towels then season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Add olive oil to a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the salmon and fry for a few mins on each side, or until they build up a golden crust and are just about cooked through the centre. Remove them from the pan and lower the heat to medium.
  • Melt in the butter then fry the shallots for a couple of mins, or until they just about start to take on colour. Add in the garlic & lemon zest and fry for another 30 seconds (careful the garlic doesn't burn).
  • Pour in the chicken stock then stir in the cream. Stir in the Dijon mustard and your preferred amount of lemon juice. I usually go for 1 tbsp lemon juice (~ half a lemon), but start with less and work up if you'd prefer.
  • Give it all a good stir and simmer until the sauce thickens, around 5 mins. Season to taste, then add the salmon back in (alongside any resting juices) and baste in the sauce.
  • Serve with fresh parsley then tuck in and enjoy!

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Salmon - You can use slightly larger fillets if you'd prefer, you'll just need to adjust the timings slightly. You want the salmon to be only just cooked through as you fry it. It should easily flake and the centre should turn from a deep pink to a light pink similar in colour to the outside. Bear in mind they'll carry on cooking slightly as they rest and when added back to the pan.
b) Lemon - I find the zest of the whole lemon and the juice of half of it gives a pretty good punch of lemony flavour, without it being too overbearing. If you're at all weary just start off with less juice and work your way up. 
c) Sauce - Ensure you're using heavy (US) or double (UK) cream, otherwise you risk the lemon juice curdling the cream. 
d) Serving - Here I've served with Roast Potatoes and Asparagus. I used my Roasted Baby Potatoes Recipe and chucked in some asparagus for the last 10 mins or so of cooking.
e) Calories - Just the salmon and sauce divided by 4 (no sides).

Your Private Notes:

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Lemon Salmon
Amount Per Serving
Calories 382 Calories from Fat 266
% Daily Value*
Fat 29.6g46%
Saturated Fat 15.368g77%
Trans Fat 0.507g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.015g
Monounsaturated Fat 9.054g
Cholesterol 126mg42%
Sodium 341mg14%
Potassium 507mg14%
Carbohydrates 3.32g1%
Fiber 0.4g2%
Sugar 1.56g2%
Protein 25.68g51%
Vitamin A 937IU19%
Vitamin C 5.7mg7%
Calcium 39mg4%
Iron 0.63mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart
Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

For the sister recipe to this dish check out my Creamy Lemon Pork Chops!

For more similar recipes check out these beauties:

Easy Salmon Recipes


 

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Amanda S
    May 9, 2024 at 11:43 pm

    5 stars
    So delicious!!! I also followed a previous comment about baking the salmon instead just because I am not as confident with cooking fish. Turned out so good, I am making it again tonight!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      May 10, 2024 at 10:15 am

      So pleased it went down well! Thanks so much for the review 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Angi
    July 5, 2023 at 10:45 pm

    5 stars
    I am so sorry…five stars!

  • Reply
    Angi
    July 5, 2023 at 10:44 pm

    I LOVED the lemon cream sauce…I followed everything, including the juice of half a lemon. Now, I did change the cooking of the salmon. I have found that I get perfect results each and every time I bake the salmon at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. I drizzle some olive oil and salt and pepper on it before baking. I am just suggesting this alternate method for people who are timid cooking salmon.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      July 7, 2023 at 3:42 pm

      Thanks so much for the baking advice! And thanks for coming back for a review 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Mary
    May 15, 2023 at 9:45 am

    5 stars
    This was so delicious and came together so easy. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      May 15, 2023 at 10:15 am

      Thanks so much for the review, Mary! C.

    5 KNOCKOUT

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