Pan Fried Salmon with Quick Lemon Cream

This tender, pan fried salmon with lemon cream is simple and fast, savory, and rich- lightened up by the crisp freshness of the lemon cream.

pan fried salmon with lemon cream

Pan Fried Salmon with Quick Lemon Cream

I am trying to cook through everything in our freezer since we are moving and it is getting pretty bare! So last night was Brandon’s birthday and we gave him fishing gear since our temporary residence has a pond stocked with catfish, so when I found this fish in the freezer from Sam’s Club, I thought serving it would be the perfect way to stick with the theme! Not to mention, I needed something quick and easy since we have stuff everywhere and half of my cooking supplies are three hours away. I was able to whip up this pan fried salmon with quick lemon cream in just a few minutes with no hassle. Plus, clean up was a breeze.

I always buy Sockeye Salmon because of the rich, full flavor. But really, this recipe could work with any fish of your choice. Brandon and I have agree that the four magic seasonings are salt, pepper, garlic, and onion. With just those four, you can make nearly anything taste five star!

pan fried salmon with quick lemon cream

Quick Lemon Cream

The salmon is delicious on it’s own, but the quick lemon cream is really what takes it up a notch. Too simple to even be called a “recipe”, this cream is only two ingredients. But it is so fresh and crisp you’ll want to put it on everything! Just whip up the sour cream with the fresh lemon and let it sit out on the counter until you’re ready to serve it up. It should be soft and creamy, but able to hold together once served.

The trick with pan frying really good salmon is not to overcook it and thus dry it out. A lot of people are afraid of undercooking fish, but it actually is hard to do since it cooks up SO fast. I find that 7- 8 minutes is just perfect to get it completely cooked through. I would suggest giving it the fork test right at 7 minutes to check for doneness. It the fish flakes, it’s done! Remember that most meats continue to cook after removed from the heat, and salmon is no different. So place it to the side on a dish and let it rest for one minute before serving.

Once you’ve plated up your fish, top it with a generous dollop of lemon cream and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Your taste buds will be delighted!

pan fried sockeye salmon
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pan fried sockeye salmon with lemon cream

Pan Fried Salmon with Quick Lemon Cream

Callie Morgan
This tender, pan fried salmon with lemon cream is simple and fast, savory, and rich- lightened up by the crisp freshness of the lemon cream.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 filets


  • 6 oz sockeye salmon filet or your fish of choice
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Salted Butter
  • 3 Tbsp Fresh Parsley

Quick Lemon Cream

  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 lemon seeded & squeezed or 4 tbsp bottled lemon juice


  • Rinse Salmon in cool water and pat dry.
    6 oz sockeye salmon filet
  • Mix together all the dry seasonings and sprinkle liberally over both sides of the the salmon filets.
    1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, 1/4 tsp pepper
  • Heat oil and butter over medium-high heat in your skillet until the butter is melted. Carefully place salmon skin side down into the hot skillet and let cook for 4 minutes.
    2 Tbsp Olive Oil, 2 Tbsp Salted Butter
  • Flip each filet and let them cook for 3-4 more minutes. To test for doneness, take a fork and carefully fork one corner of a filet. If the fish "flakes", it is done. Continue cooking in batches until it is all done.
  • Spoon out any remaining juices from the pan and drizzle over the salmon.

Quick Lemon Cream

  • Mix together the sour cream and lemon juice in a bowl. Place a dollop on top of each salmon filet.
    1/2 Cup Sour Cream, 1/2 lemon seeded & squeezed
  • Chop the parsley and sprinkle on top. Enjoy!
    3 Tbsp Fresh Parsley


  • You can substitute the salmon for any fish of choice.
Keyword pan fried salmon, quick lemon cream, salmon

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