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…
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).
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.
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).
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 chicken instead?
The sister recipe to this is my Garlic Butter Chicken so do give that 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!).
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?!
How to make Garlic Butter Salmon (Full Recipe & Video)
Garlic Butter Salmon
- 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)
- 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!
Your Private Notes:
For another garlic butter salmon recipe check out my Garlic Herb Baked Salmon!
For more similar recipes check out these beauties:
Easy Salmon Recipes
- Hot Honey Butter Salmon
- Honey Sriracha Salmon
- Creamy Cajun Salmon
- Creamy Salmon Pasta
- Creamy Lemon Salmon