Easy 30-Minute Creamy Garlic Salmon
Do you need a quick and delicious idea for dinner tonight? With this recipe for salmon with creamy garlic sauce, you will have a healthy dinner on the table in a flash.
Salmon filets that are perfectly seasoned, pan-seared until they are juicy and melt in your mouth tender on the inside and slightly crispy on the edges, and then nestled into a deliciously creamy garlic sauce. This salmon takes only minutes to cook, making it the perfect weeknight meal, yet it’s elegant enough to serve at your next dinner party.
Fresh salmon is also very healthy. It’s full of nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids making it nutritious AND delicious!
There are a lot of salmon recipes out there, but I think that the best recipes are the ones that are easy to make, using ingredients that won’t overpower the natural flavors of the fish. The entire family is going to love this flaky salmon with creamy garlic herb sauce so let’s get cooking!
Let’s Gather Up The Ingredients
- Salmon filets– I like to use fresh skin-on filets for this recipe, but you could use frozen. Just be sure to defrost completely and pat dry before cooking.
- Garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh garlic –finely diced
- Dry white wine– wine adds depth, but you can substitute chicken broth. The garlic and herbs will still shine through.
- Heavy cream– heavy cream is the classic choice for a rich sauce, but you can lighten it up with half-and-half or even full-fat coconut milk for a dairy-free option.
- Parmesan cheese– for a truly silky and flavorful cream sauce, grating your own cheese is always the best option.
- Fresh herbs– I love the combination of parsley and dill, but use what you have.
- Lemon– juice and zest
When selecting your salmon filets, look for a bright color and a fresh sea smell. Fresh salmon should be firm to the touch and the skin should appear shiny.
- Remove the salmon filets from the refrigerator about 15 minutes prior to cooking to bring them as close to room temperature as possible. This will keep the flesh from seizing up when it hits the pan.
- Pat dry with a paper towel to allow the edges to crisp evenly while cooking.
- Heat oil in a large skillet before adding your fillets and make sure your pan is piping hot.
- Season just before cooking to prevent drawing out moisture and drying out your fish.
- Sear your fillets skin side down first cooking most of the way through on that side and then flipping for the last few minutes to get a nice golden brown color on the flesh side.
Sear the salmon
When cooking salmon, notice the color along the sides of the fillets slowly begin to change from the initial bright color to an opaque color. Once the color has moved up to the center of the fish, it is time to flip.
Cook on the flesh side for two more minutes or until the entire side of the filet is opaque and the flesh is golden brown. The filets should be cooked to a medium-rare to medium doneness.
Make the creamy garlic sauce
Don’t discard the juices in the pan after searing your fillets…that’s where all of the flavor is! Melt the butter in all of that goodness, and then add your garlic and cook until fragrant. Be sure not to let the garlic burn. It will make your sauce bitter. About 30 seconds to a minute should do the trick.
If using wine, use a dry white wine to cook with. Nothing sweet. Some good options would be Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Simmer the wine down slightly while scraping any bits off of the bottom of the pan.
You could also use a good quality chicken broth.
Once the wine (or broth) has been reduced to half, reduce heat to medium-low, add the cream and bring to a gentle simmer, while stirring occasionally.
Add the parmesan cheese, taste, and season with salt and pepper, if needed.
What to serve with this delicious salmon
Rice Pilaf, pasta, or roasted potatoes would all be excellent options. You could also just serve it next to a side of fresh vegetables or over a bed of spinach.
Don’t forget a slice of your favorite bread to soak up the creamy garlic sauce!
Fish is an excellent option for busy weeknight dinners because it cooks so quickly. Salmon is my favorite, but sometimes when I’m craving something just a bit different, I like to make recipes like this Potato Crusted Cod. It has a light batter that is made by using instant potato flakes!
Frequently Asked Questions
Rare – 110°F
Medium rare (recommended) – 120°F
Medium – 130°F
Cooked salmon can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat gently on low heat in the microwave. Be careful to ensure the salmon doesn’t cook too much further and become rubbery.
Fresh, skin-on or skin-off fillets are ideal. Frozen salmon can work, but thaw it completely and pat it dry before cooking.
Consider the thickness: thicker cuts hold up better in pan-searing.
No worries! Dried herbs work just fine, though fresh will have a brighter flavor. Try a blend of parsley, dill, or tarragon.
More easy weeknight meals to try
If you decide to make this Salmon with Creamy Garlic Sauce or any of my other recipes, please be sure to give it a rating and let me know how yours turned out. I love hearing your feedback and I will do my best to answer any questions you have as quickly as I can.
As always, I will be back next week with more delicious recipes from my RV kitchen to yours!
Salmon with Creamy Garlic Sauce
- 4 6 oz salmon filets
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large cloves of garlic, finely diced
- ½ cup dry white wine or chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons each of freshly chopped parsley and dill
- juice and zest of half a lemon or to taste
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the salmon with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Sear in the hot pan, skin-side down, for the first 5 minutes and then flip. Cook flesh side down until golden brown. Salmon should be cooked to medium-rare to medium. Once cooked, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Melt the butter in the same skillet that you cooked the filets. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Pour in the white wine or broth and then allow to reduce to about half while scraping any bits off of the bottom of the pan.
- Reduce heat to medium-low heat, add the cream and bring to a gentle simmer, while stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the parmesan cheese and allow sauce to gently simmer until the cheese melts and sauce thickens.
- Add the salmon back into the pan, sprinkle with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper, if needed.
- Serve over pasta, rice, roasted potatoes or fresh vegetables.
- Use a white wine that isn’t too sweet. Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio are both excellent choices.
- Grate your own Parmesan Cheese. Pre-shredded cheese often contains cellulose (wood pulp) or potato starch to prevent it from clumping. These additives can make the cheese melt unevenly and leave a grainy texture in your smooth sauce.