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pan seared cast iron salmon on a white plate with greens

Easy, Pan Seared Cast Iron Salmon

Easy, Pan Seared Cast Iron Salmon is a quick and crispy recipe with the perfect seasoning! This pan-fried meal is made using a Lodge cast iron skillet and is perfect for weeknight dinners. Drizzle this tender and flaky salmon in lemon butter sauce if you wish!
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword cast iron skillet salmon, crispy pan seared salmon, pan seared salmon
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
bring salmon to room temperature 15 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 3 salmon fillets
Calories 249kcal


  • 2-3 salmon fillets (skin-on, 6-8oz each) I like to use wild-caught salmon and used 3 fillets
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil Use you judgment, and add more if necessary. Both sides of the fish should be fully coated in oil, and the skillet will be coated as well.
  • 1 tablespoon seafood seasoning I like to use Primal Palate.
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lemon


  • If the salmon has been refrigerated, allow it to come to room temperature for 15 minutes and dry the salmon completely using paper towels. If the salmon is added to the skillet cold, it is more likely to stick to the skillet.
  • Rub olive oil onto both sides of the fish. Season both sides of the fish with seafood seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  • Place a cast iron grill pan or cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. I like to use a cast iron grill pan, but any pan will work.
  • Spray or drizzle the skillet with olive oil. Be sure the skillet is nicely coated. This will prevent the salmon from sticking to the pan.
  • When the pan is hot, add the salmon to the pan with the skin side up. I like to add lemon halves lemon to the pan, too. This will add a ton of flavor to the lemon. (See recipe video)
  • Allow the salmon to cook for 4 minutes. Do not move the salmon after you have placed it in the skillet.
    Monitor the sides of the salmon to determine the perfect time to flip. When the color of the side of the salmon has lightened about 3/4ths of the way up, it's time to flip. This usually only takes 3-4 minutes.
  • Flip the salmon. I find a silicone spatula works best. Remove the lemon and set aside.
  • Cook skin side down for 4 minutes.
  • Remove the salmon from the pan. Serve with lemon juice from the lemon.
  • I like to serve or garnish with fresh dill or parsley.



Pan Seared Salmon Recipe Tips

  • You can also combine 2 tablespoons of butter with the fresh lemon to create a lemon butter sauce for the salmon.
  • A cast iron skillet will work best for this recipe, but it is not required. You can also use a stainless steel skillet, but avoid non-stick pans. You want a pan that will retain a lot of heat.
  • Dry the salmon thoroughly before coating it in oil. Wet salmon is more likely to stick to the pan.
  • Avoid using salmon cold and straight from the fridge. I like to pull the salmon from the fridge and coat it in olive oil and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
  • The pan will need to get really hot. Cast iron usually smokes. This is normal. You can use a fan over the stove or open up a window as well.
  • Don't move the salmon after you have placed it down on the skillet. It's more likely to crumble, break, and not turn out pretty! Allow it to cook and get ready for flipping.
  • The color of the salmon will become lighter as it cooks. You can monitor the color of the sides to determine doneness. When the color of the side of the salmon has lightened about 3/4ths of the way up, it's time to flip.
  • Use a timer while cooking the salmon if you are easily distracted. This will help ensure you don't overcook the salmon.


Serving: 1fillet | Calories: 249kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 13g