Seared Salmon in Lemon Dill Cream Sauce

This delicious salmon recipe cooks all in one pan and is destined to be a regular in your dinner rotation!

Cast iron skillet with Seared Salmon in Lemon Dill Cream Sauce
Cast iron skillet with Seared Salmon in Lemon Dill Cream Sauce

There’s something so satisfying about making a one pan meal.  As I think about it, I realize a lot of my meals are made in one pan; my chicken piccata, chicken pot pie, beef stroganoff, and this amazing salmon dish all come together without using all the pots and pans I own.

A quick note about some of the ingredients I used: I recommend half and half for the sauce.  I used heavy cream originally, and the sauce was a little thick for my liking, so I thinned it with milk.  Half and half is a great compromise.  I also call for using mascarpone cheese.  I like the texture and flavor, but not everyone has it in the fridge or wants to buy it special for such a small amount.  Use cream cheese.  In the words of the great Ina Garten, ”It’s fine.”

Finally, although I almost always cook salmon with the skin on (that crunch!), I recommend removing the skin in this recipe.  The sauce will get rid of that crisp and that’s just sad, and food should make you happy.  Leave the skin off here and, trust me, you will be ECSTATIC!!

Looking for more fish and seafood recipes?

Cast iron skillet with Seared Salmon in Lemon Dill Cream Sauce

Seared Salmon in Lemon Dill Cream Sauce

This delicious salmon recipe cooks all in one pan and is destined to be a regular in your dinner rotation!
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Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 Skin-off salmon filets, about 4-6 ounces each
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 3 cloves grated garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half or cream
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone (or cream cheese, if that’s what you have/can find)
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped dill, plus some full fronds for garnish

Instructions

  • Dry your salmon filets thoroughly with paper towels. I cannot stress enough the importance of drying your salmon filets before cooking them. It can make the difference between a really good sear and fish that looks kinda drab and steamed. Pat, pat, pat. Then rub a bit of olive oil all over them and season all sides with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a cast iron pan heated to medium-high heat. Add salmon to the pan and don’t touch it for 3-4 minutes, or until you look at the side of a filet and see the cooked portion seeping up the sides almost halfway. Flip your filets over (they should easily release from the pan when they’re ready to turn) and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the two cooked halves almost meet on the sides. You don’t want the fish to look completely cooked, or it will be dry after you rest it. It will sit in the sauce for a few minutes at the end. Give it some cooking space, okay? Remove your salmon from the pan and place on a plate to rest while you work on your sauce.
  • In the same pan, add another tablespoon of olive oil. Add your shallots to the pan and cook for a few minutes, or until they start to look translucent (you know, not raw-ish). Add the garlic and stir for literally just a few seconds (garlic burns quickly). Pour in the half and half and add your mascarpone and stir until all the cheese has melted and incorporated. Add the chopped sun dried tomatoes and continue stirring. Turn the heat to low and add the lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and the herbs. Stir well. Take a taste and adjust for any salt you may want. If the sauce is a bit thick, you can add more half and half.
  • Nestle your salmon filets in the pan and allow to sit for a few minutes. This will let the salmon finish cooking and absorb some of the amazing flavor you developed in the sauce. Serve the salmon with sauce drizzled over the top and garnish with the remaining herbs. This fish would be great with a simple side of vegetables (I made my favorite roasted brussels sprouts) or even with pasta tossed with olive oil. You might even be tempted to put it in a bowl and eat it like a salmon soup, it’s that good 😋
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