Salmon is well loved at my house and I’m always trying to get my kids to try new vegetables. Artichokes are a hit and a miss sometimes, but this one they loved! In 20 minutes, not even 30 minutes, you’ll have a yummy dish on the table. Best of all it also has veggies in it.
Sometimes salt and peppered salmon may still be a bit strong for some selective palates. The addition of cream helps with that and really brings this dish home!
Why This Recipe Works
- Nutritious – pan seared salmon is a great addition to your diet. It has a great amount of omegas and is a very lean protein.
- Fast and Easy – this creamy salmon recipe cooks in 20 minutes from start to finish.
Ingredients For Creamy Pan Fried Salmon
- Salmon fillets – you’ll want to get 4 oz. filets. Wild caught or responsibly farmed are great options.
- Olive oil – use this to brown your salmon. You may also use vegetable oil.
- Salt and Pepper – both are basic seasonings to flavor the fish
- Onion – are commonly used in many dishes including this one because of its luscious flavor.
- Garlic – it adds depth and a little bit of sweetness to the dish.
- Artichoke hearts – canned artichokes are most convenient to use for this dish.
- Half and half – Half and half is simply half whole milk and half heavy cream.
- Parmesan Cheese – has a hard gritty texture and it’s fruity and nutty at the same time. It adds a little saltiness to your dish as well.
- Spinach – is low in calories but high in vitamins and nutrients.
- Sage Leaves – this herb has a strong earthy aroma that goes perfectly with salmon.
- Lemon – this yellow fruit not only adds flavor to the dish but it also helps get rid of the fish smell and taste.
How to Make Creamy Pan Fried Salmon
- Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper.
- Heat in olive oil over medium high heat, skin down, set aside.
- Using the same skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, cook onions and garlic until they are fragrant and translucent.
- Add artichokes and cook until soft.
- Add half and half and Parmesan Cheese
- Add spinach and sage. Then add salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the salmon back in the sauce and simmer for 3 minutes on low.
Step by Step Instructions
First, you’ll want to gather your ingredients and make sure your salmon is at room temperature. Dry it by dabbing with a paper towel. Next sprinkle and season with salt and pepper. You’ll also want to leave out the half and half to room temperature so it will cook better.
How to Pan Fry Salmon
Next, it’s time to cook up the filets. Cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of your filets. Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure the oil is hot, but not smoking. Add salmon skin side down and cook the seasoned salmon breasts, about 3-4 minutes on each side, until bright pink and flaky. You don’t want to cook it until golden brown at this point because you’ll return it to the sauce later. (Tip: try not to over flip the fish to prevent sticking and breaking) Remove fish and set aside.
In the same skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook onions and garlic until they are fragrant and translucent. You can also use melted butter if you wish, for added flavor.
Next, you’ll want to add the artichokes and cook for about 2 minutes or until artichokes are softened. Lower heat to low-medium. Then gently drizzle in the half and half cream over the artichoke.
Add the parmesan cheese, then simmer for 3-4 minutes gently stirring to help melt cheese.
After this, add the spinach leaves and fresh sage until they are thoroughly wilted, about 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper if needed.
Lastly, place the salmon back in the sauce and reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes on low. Serve warm, garnish with a squeeze of lemon juice and parsley if desired. I like to also use the extra cream for sauce for salmon. Enjoy!
- Allow your salmon fish to get to room temperature before pan frying. If you cook cold fish in a hot pan, the salmon will seize up and cook unevenly. Just remove the fish from the refrigerator and let it sit for about 15 minutes on the counter. Don’t leave it out any longer though for food safety concerns.
- Keep that skin on! – Even though it’s tempting, keep the salmon skin on. It acts a protective layer and also makes it more flavorful. You can easily remove it with a fork when cooked.
- Don’t over cook your fish. We all have tasted the overcooked cafeteria tasting salmon right? You know the ones that sit under a heating lamp? That’s the texture you’ll get if you over cook it.
- If you can afford it I would definitely try to buy wild caught salmon. It will make a huge flavor difference in this creamy pan fried salmon dish. Some responsibly farmed salmon tastes good as well.
- Want to make this a lower carb dish? Pair it with some cauliflower rice to make it a complete meal.
- Spinach does tend to shrink a lot. If you want to add more greens you’re more than welcome to make a separate batch and top it with the cream sauce.
Baking has its benefits, but sometimes you might have no time to preheat your oven. If the weather is hot, oven baking might also not be ideal. I find pan frying the easiest way to cook up salmon and it’s so so good.
Keep the skin on and use it for your advantage. It acts as an extra layer between the fish’s flesh and the heat. It’s also much easier to flip if you have the skin on.
Yes, season it right before cooking.
The easiest way to see if your salmon is cooked is to use a fork. Just press down and if the flesh of the salmon separates easily. It’s done. You can also use a meat thermometer. It’s done if the thickest part reaches 145F.
Looking for more easy dinner ideas? Try these:
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Creamy Pan Fried Salmon Recipe
- 3 4oz salmon filets
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 8 oz canned artichoke hearts
- 1 cup half n half
- 1/3 cup shredded parmesan
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves chopped
- 1 lemon
- salt & pepper to taste
- Optional Garnish- parsley sage & lemons
- Start by sprinkling salmon with salt and pepper. (Tip: bring salmon to room temperature and dab dry with paper towel.)
- Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the seasoned salmon breasts, about 3-4 minutes on each side, until bright pink and flaky. (Tip: try not to over flip the fish to prevent sticking and breaking) Remove fish and set aside.
- In the same skillet, with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, cook onions and garlic until they are fragrant and translucent.
- Add artichokes and cook for about 2 minutes or until artichokes are softened. Lower heat to low-medium.
- Gently drizzle in the half n half and parmesan, then simmer for 3-4 minutes gently stirring to help melt cheese. (Tip: bringing cream to room temp before adding to pan will prevent it from splitting)
- Add spinach leaves and fresh sage until they are thoroughly wilted, about 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper if needed.
- Place the salmon back in the sauce and simmer for 3 minutes on low. Serve warm, garnish with a squeeze of lemon juice and parsley if desired and enjoy.