Skip to Content

How to Sear Salmon

By the time you reach the end of this article, you’ll know how to sear salmon – and once you put the technique into practice, you’ll discover it’s one of the BEST ways to cook this flavorsome fish!

The contrast of the crispy, golden crust with the tender, moist salmon is simply divine. Best of all, pan seared salmon is ridiculously simple to make and it’s on the table in under 20 minutes.

3-Ingredient Blackened Salmon Image

How to sear salmon

First, you need to choose your fish. You can buy boneless fillets with or without skin. We like to use skin-on fillets – the skin crisps up perfectly and it also brings some extra nutrients to the dish.

To prepare it for cooking, allow it to come to room temperature. Whilst this isn’t essential, it makes it much easier to cook it evenly. Then, pat the fillets dry with paper towel and season them with salt and pepper.

3-Ingredient Blackened Salmon Picture

The secret to perfect seared salmon is to start it in the pan and finish it in the oven – so preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Meanwhile, heat an ovenproof skillet over a medium heat for a few minutes, then add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and swirl them around. Once the oil is hot, carefully add your salmon fillets (skin side down if you bought the skin-on variety).

3-Ingredient Blackened Salmon Photo

Sear for about 5 minutes, by which time the skin should be golden and crispy (although it’s best to avoid lifting it to check – it will continue to sear in the oven and is best left undisturbed). 

Move the pan to the oven (without turning the fish) and cook for around 5 minutes for medium-rare salmon, or about 9 minutes to fully cook it through. Remove it from the oven carefully – remember, the skillet will be red hot.

Remove the fillets from the pan carefully with a spatula and serve them with the seared side facing upwards.

Top with a bat of butter.

3-Ingredient Blackened Salmon Pic

Seasonings for salmon

Salmon is one of those foods that tastes amazing with very little seasoning – a little salt and pepper is really all that’s needed!

Nevertheless, it’s good to change things up at times, so here are some ideas for some seasoning blends.

Italian seasoning: Try a blend of dried basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary and garlic powder

Garlic butter: Just add minced fresh garlic, salt and pepper to 2 tablepoons of melted butter

Sweet ‘n salty: Chop some fresh parsley and thyme and mix with minced fresh garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, salt and pepper

Roasted Salmon with Everything Bagel Spice Image

What to serve with seared salmon

Salmon is wonderful with Parmesan Smashed Potatoes or even Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes. Creamy Asparagus Pasta has a fresh, delicious flavor that pairs perfectly with salmon, or why not try Green Beans or Glazed Carrots instead?