Creamy Spring Lemon Seared Salmon is the perfect mix of healthy and indulgent, and great for these warmer summer days! Crispy seared salmon is smothered with an easy lemon and white wine cream sauce and topped with roasted cherry tomatoes and asparagus. Hearty and light at the same time, which we love.
We have some sort of salmon recipe at least once a week, and you should too! Be sure to check out our Baked BBQ Salmon with Brussels Sprout Slaw, this Tomato Butter Salmon with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes, and this refreshing Blackened Salmon with Corn Salsa.
Creamy Spring Lemon Seared Salmon
Let’s skip the antics and dig right into what’s happening in this killer weeknight salmon dinner, shall we?
- Irresistibly crispy center-cut salmon that’s (as mentioned) crispy on the outside, soft-as-butter on the inside. Oh, and perfectly salty.
- Salty, sweet burst cherry tomatoes.
- Slightly wilted, but still crisp spring asparagus.
- The easiest lemon-infused cream sauce you’ll want to slather on everything. And possibly slurp up with a spoon.
I LOVE dinners like these. Almost everything is made in one pan or skillet and it’s basically a full meal when it’s finished. If you’re in to carbs, you can easily add in a side pasta or rice, and if you’re not, just throw together your favorite easy side salad. Dinner done.
How to Sear Salmon
Ok, so here’s where things get a little dicey. To correctly sear salmon that’s skin-on, most experts will say to sear the fish skin-side down. You then cook the salmon almost all the way through, flip and finish cooking. This leaves a super crispy skin, which a lot of people love. I do also love this, but unfortunately my family doesn’t. And I’m guessing a lot of your picky eaters don’t as well.
So, here’s my method for searing salmon that works for a home cook:
- Keep the skin on. This ensures the salmon stays nice and moist. You can remove it later, or just eat the meat and leave the skin.
- Season the salmon LIBERALLY with salt. Not only does this flavor the salmon, but it also helps to achieve that ultra-crispy crust we’re going for.
- Use a cast-iron skillet. Leave the regular skillets to the professionals. A cast-iron skillet is basically non-stick, sears wonderfully, and cooks evenly. I can’t live without mine.
- Heat the skillet to a medium-high heat. Add just enough oil to lightly coat the pan. Typically two teaspoons works for me. Sometimes I’ll even use a paper towel or pastry brush to evenly distribute the oil.
- Add the salmon skin-side up, and don’t move!
- Once the salmon is super crispy, flip, and finish cooking in the oven for 3-4 minutes. A little trick I learned down the road is to squeeze the sides of the salmon. If it starts to flake, it’s done.
This method works for just about any preparation of salmon, and it’s something you’ll want to keep in your back pocket. You’re family will thank you.
You can use whatever combination of veggies your like. Since it’s spring/summer, I’m going with cherry tomatoes and asparagus. Plus, they both have a similar cooking time, which is key. The first thing I do, before I even season the salmon, is toss the veggies with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. I then throw it in the oven while the salmon cooks. By the time the salmon is done searing and the sauce is made, the veggies are ready to be added in.
The Lemon Cream Sauce
Oh my gosh. This sauce. So simple, so delicious. And again, a sauce you’ll want to slather on everything.
So once the salmon sears, I take it out of the pan, set it aside and then add in a little bit (or a lot) of dry white wine. Once the wine reduces, lemon juice goes in along with heavy cream, some salt, and pepper. It reduces for a little bit, the salmon gets nestled in, and the veggies are sprinkled around. It all goes back in the oven until the salmon is finished cooking, about three more minutes.
At this point, it’s ready to be served. I like to serve the salmon on top of some orzo, rice, pasta, or other grain, scatter the veggies around, and then generously spoon the sauce on top.
Can I use half and half or milk?
Sorry, no. Because lemon juice is a main ingredient, you risk the sauce curdling if you use anything but heavy cream. A little cream never hurt anyone!
Do I have to use asparagus and cherry tomatoes?
No! Use whatever you want! Zucchini, squash, eggplant, corn, really anything, will work.
What to serve with Creamy Spring Lemon Seared Salmon
- Creamy One Pot Spinach and Parmesan Orzo
- Everyday Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
- Chopped Tuscan Salad (From the salad bar!)
- 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped asparagus (cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 3/4 tsp. salt, divided
- 1/8 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 center-cut filets of salmon
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Add asparagus and tomatoes to a large sheet pan. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a 1/8 tsp. black pepper. Toss to combine. Spread on the baking sheet and pop in the oven. Roast until asparagus are bright green, slightly softened, but still crispy and tomatoes are starting to burst, about 12-15 minutes.
- While the veggies cook. Season the salmon liberally with salt and just a little bit of freshly cracked black pepper. Heat a cast-iron skillet to a medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add remaining two teaspoons of olive oil. Place the salmon skin-side up and sear until crispy, about 3-4 minutes. The salmon will release easily with a spatula when it's crispy. Remove from pan and set aside, skin-side down, crispy-side up on a plate or platter.
- Add wine to the pan. Simmer until reduce by half, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, cream and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Simmer until thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
- Once the veggies are done cooking, add the salmon back to the pan and sprinkle the veggies on top. Place in the oven until the salmon is cooking cooking, about 3-4 minutes.
- Spoon cream sauce on top. Serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 579 Total Fat: 41g Saturated Fat: 18g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 19g Cholesterol: 169mg Sodium: 544mg Carbohydrates: 8g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 4g Protein: 39g