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Fish/ Garlic/ Hearty Dinners

Garlic Butter Salmon

August 14, 2023 (Last Updated: April 29, 2024) by Chris Collins

Salmon fillets drenched in the easiest and most irresistible garlic butter sauce!

If you were ever on the fence about salmon, this will be the recipe to get you off (and land on the good side, of course). Also, when I say ‘easy’ I truly mean it! Follow me…

close up shot of garlic butter salmon fillets in pan

Preparing Garlic Butter Salmon

What kind of salmon should I 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!

Dredging through flour

Dredging the fillets through seasoned flour is important for a couple of different reasons:

  • Crust – The flour will help build up a crispy golden crust as you fry the salmon.
  • Sauce – The crust will absorb the sauce and help it cling to the salmon.

Pan frying the salmon

The main goal with frying the salmon is to build up a golden crust on both sides. Don’t worry too much about getting it perfectly cooked through, because you’ll be adding it back into the pan with the sauce to heat it back through. Another thing to focus on when frying is basting the fillets in butter, just to wrap them in some gorgeous buttery goodness. This butter will also lightly brown, which adds a nice nutty flavour to the sauce.

Process shots: mix seasoning and flour (photo 1), dredge salmon (photo 2), fry in oil (photo 3), flip then baste in butter (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to prepare garlic butter salmon

Garlic Butter Sauce for Salmon

The sauce is really simple and only requires 4 main ingredients:

  • Butter – I recommend using unsalted butter, just so you’ve got more control over the saltiness of the sauce.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic is a must! Jarred/pickled garlic will throw off the flavour.
  • Stock – Adding some stock will help create the sauce and offer some more depth of flavour.
  • Parsley – Adds an extra burst of flavour that pairs nicely with both the butter and garlic.

Sauce consistency

The sauce starts off quite thin, but as the stock evaporates and reduces, the sauce will thicken. It also thickens a little more when you add the salmon back in due to the flour.

Process shots: fry garlic (photo 1), pour in stock (photo 2), whisk in butter (photo 3), add parsley (photo 4), simmer (photo 5), baste salmon in sauce (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make garlic butter sauce for salmon

Garlic Butter Salmon FAQ

How garlicky is the sauce?

It does end up fairly garlicky, which may be surprising as you’re only using 2 garlic cloves and some garlic powder in the batter. Even if you absolutely love garlic, I’d stick with the measurements provided, at least for the first time.

Can I use a different meat instead?

The sister recipes to this is my Garlic Butter Pork Chops and Garlic Butter Chicken so do give them a go if you fancy!

What kind of stock should I use?

Vegetable stock works best here. I originally gave it a go with chicken stock, which came out well, but I know some people can be off put by the chicken/salmon combo (although the chicken flavour is very subtle!).

close up shot of garlic butter salmon fillets in frying pan

Serving Garlic Butter Salmon

When it comes to serving the salmon, you’ll want to add a lemon wedge to each plate. A squeeze of lemon juice will cut through the richness of the sauce and finish everything off nicely.

Here I’ve served with some Parmesan Smashed Potatoes and asparagus that I threw in towards the end of cooking. You could serve with regular Roasted Baby Potatoes, or even Mashed Potatoes or Rice! Anything to mop up that yummy sauce.

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

close up shot of garlic butter salmon on white plate with parmesan smashed potatoes and asparagus

How to make Garlic Butter Salmon (Full Recipe & Video)

close up shot of garlic butter salmon fillets in pan

Garlic Butter Salmon

Salmon fillets drenched in the easiest and most irresistible garlic butter sauce!
5 from 2 votes
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Servings (click & slide): 4
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Universal
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Calories per serving: 343kcal
Cost per serving: £2.50 / $3

Equipment:

  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Large Shallow Dish & Fork (for dredging salmon)
  • Large Non-Stick Pan & Tongs
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Jug (for stock)

Ingredients (check list):

  • 4x boneless skinless Salmon Fillets, take out the fridge 15-30 mins before needed (approx 4-5oz / 120-150g each)
  • 40g / 1/4 cup Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp EACH: Garlic Powder, Salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 6 tbsp / 90g / 3.2oz Unsalted Butter, divided into tbsp chunks (see notes)
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, finely diced (see notes)
  • 120ml / 1/2 cup Vegetable Stock
  • 1 tbsp finely diced Fresh Parsley
  • 1 Lemon, divided into 4 wedges (to serve)

Instructions:

  • In a large shallow dish combine flour, garlic powder, salt and black pepper. Coat each salmon fillet, giving them a shake before placing to one side.
  • Add the olive oil to a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the fillets and fry for around 3 mins, or until they build up a golden crust on the bottom. Carefully flip them over and fry for another 2 mins, or until golden on the other side. Add in 1 tbsp butter and baste the fillets for a minute or so, or until they're just about cooked through. Remove from pan and lower heat to medium.
  • Add the garlic and fry until it just begins to take on colour (careful it doesn't burn or it'll turn bitter!). Pour in the stock and scrape any flavour off the pan. Add the remaining butter and whisk until it binds with the stock and turns it cloudy. Add parsley and a pinch of salt & pepper if desired.
  • Simmer for a few mins, stirring as you go, until the sauce begins to thicken. Turn heat to low and add the salmon back in. Baste in the sauce to warm it through, then serve with more sauce and a squeeze of lemon juice. The sauce will thicken more as you baste the salmon.

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Garlic - Really important you're using fresh garlic (not the jarred stuff). Jarred/pickled garlic will throw off the flavour. Just be vigilant as it fries that it doesn't burn.
b) Butter - I like using unsalted butter because you get so much more control over how salty the sauce ends up. If you've only got salted just go easy when you season to taste and preferably use low-sodium stock if you've got it. Important to measure correctly (i.e not heaping tbsps) otherwise you'll end up with way too much butter.
c) 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.
d) Consistency - The will be quite thin at first, but when you add the salmon in, the floured exterior helps thicken the sauce. If it thickens quite a bit, you might notice it starting to split. In which case I'd add 1 tbsp stock and give it a good whisk to bring it back together.
e) Lemon - This is important to balance the richness of the sauce. Don't squeeze it straight into the pan or it'll break up the sauce, just serve a wedge with each piece and let people squeeze their own to taste.
f) Serving - Here I've served with some Parmesan Smashed Potatoes and asparagus that I threw in towards the end of cooking. You could serve with regular Roasted Baby Potatoes, or even Mashed Potatoes or Rice! Anything to mop up that yummy sauce.
g) Calories - Just the salmon and sauce divided by 4. Assuming 120g salmon fillets and half of the seasoned flour.

Your Private Notes:

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Garlic Butter Salmon
Amount Per Serving
Calories 343 Calories from Fat 219
% Daily Value*
Fat 24.33g37%
Saturated Fat 12.162g61%
Trans Fat 0.74g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.828g
Monounsaturated Fat 7.344g
Cholesterol 101mg34%
Sodium 384mg16%
Potassium 468mg13%
Carbohydrates 4.79g2%
Fiber 0.3g1%
Sugar 0.06g0%
Protein 25.51g51%
Vitamin A 754IU15%
Vitamin C 1.7mg2%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 0.83mg5%
* 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 another garlic butter salmon recipe check out my Garlic Herb Baked Salmon!

For more similar recipes check out these beauties:

Easy Salmon Recipes


 

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Carole Jardine
    March 15, 2024 at 10:22 am

    5 stars
    Who would have thought something so simple to make would taste so delicious!!! This was amazing and the family loved it xx

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      March 16, 2024 at 1:06 pm

      Thanks so much for the review, Carole! 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Tracey
    August 18, 2023 at 11:20 pm

    5 stars
    I loved this so much!! I’m a huge fan of your garlic butter chicken so thought I’d try this. Can’t make out my mind which one I love more!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      August 19, 2023 at 10:03 am

      So great to hear, Tracey! Thanks so much for the review! C.

    5 KNOCKOUT

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