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Garlic Lemon Salmon

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This Garlic Lemon Salmon recipe makes the perfect salmon meal with tender asparagus sautéed in the same pan. With only a few ingredients, it’s quick and easy to make this healthy pan seared salmon – and it’s perfect for Whole30, paleo, and keto diets!

Check out The Ultimate List of Whole30 Recipes for more healthy and delicious recipes.

Pan seared salmon filet topped with garlic lemon sauce and a lemon wheel on a bed of asparagus spears.

Salmon, especially sockeye salmon, is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and a gorgeous red-orange color. It is one of the “healthy” fishes that we should all be consuming at least once per week, and this flavorful recipe makes that job a little bit easier.

📋 What you will need

Ingredients needed to make Garlic Lemon Salmon with Asparagus.
  • Wild-caught Salmon filets – you can purchase one large filet and cut it into 4 pieces, or buy them individually. My personal favorites are from Scotland or the Pacific Northwest.
  • Ghee/butter and olive oil to pan sear this meal.
  • Sea salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, dried thyme leaves all add flavor to this dish, and chopped Italian parsley garnish gives it a pop of color.
  • Fresh, minced garlic and the juice and zest of fresh lemons are the stars of this dish and give it it’s pop of flavor.
  • Asparagus spears are a natural choice to serve with salmon, they go really well together.

Be sure to check out the detailed printable recipe card below

🍽️ What to serve with Garlic Lemon Salmon and Asparagus

Some of our favorite side dishes that compliment this recipe include:

👩🏻‍🍳 How to make lemon garlic butter salmon

Season the salmon filets with salt, pepper, and thyme leaves.

Four salmon filets topped with thyme leaves, salt and pepper.

Melt one tablespoon of butter/ghee and one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Butter and olive oil in a skillet.

Place the salmon filets in the skillet flesh side down.

Four salmon filets skin-side up in a skillet with butter and oil.

Cook until golden, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Pan seared salmon filets in a skillet.

Add the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil to the same skillet. Add the asparagus spears and cook until tender, about 2 to 4 minutes tossing occasionally.

Asparagus spears in a skillet.

Season with sea salt and black pepper, and transfer to a serving bowl.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the same skillet. Once melted, add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for one minute until fragrant.

Minced garlic, red pepper flakes and butter in a skillet.

Next, stir in the lemon zest, juice, and chopped parsley.

Garlic Lemon Butter sauce reduced in a skillet.

Divide the asparagus between four serving plates and top with salmon filet. Spoon the lemon garlic sauce over the top, garnish with additional parsley and a slice of lemon. Serve immediately.

Looking down on two garlic lemon topped salmon filets on a stack of asparagus spears served on blue plates.

🌡️ How do you know when the salmon is cooked?

The salmon will flake easily with a fork when it’s ready. You can also insert an instant read thermometer in the thickest part of the filet. The minimum internal temperature should read 145 degrees.

🔷 Recipe Notes & Tips

  • The sauce will reduce down very quickly so be prepared (and don’t attempt to take pictures while you are cooking).
  • If fresh salmon is not available, frozen is a great substitute.
  • Zucchini noodles would be a good substitute if you are not a fan of asparagus.
  • Rosemary or Herbs de Provence would both be delicious as a substitute for the thyme.

🥣 Tools used to create this recipe

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🍴More delicious salmon recipes

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Enjoy!!

Garlic Lemon Salmon with Asparagus recipe.

Garlic Lemon Salmon

This pan seared Garlic Lemon Salmon recipe makes the perfect salmon meal with tender asparagus sautéed in the same pan. Whole30, paleo, keto.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: one pan salmon and asparagus
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 343kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson

Equipment

  • Skillet

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 pound salmon filets 4) four-ounce
  • 0.5 teaspoon sea salt
  • 0.5 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  • 3 large cloves garlic minced
  • .25 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley plus more to garnish

Instructions

  • Season the salmon filets with salt, pepper, and thyme leaves.
  • Melt one tablespoon of butter/ghee and one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Place the salmon filets in the skillet flesh side down (skin side up). Cook until golden, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
  • Add the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil to the same skillet. Add the asparagus spears and cook until tender, about 2 to 4 minutes tossing occasionally.
  • Season with sea salt and black pepper (to taste), and transfer to a serving bowl.
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the same skillet. Once melted, add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for one minute until fragrant.
  • Next, stir in the lemon zest, juice, and chopped parsley.
  • Divide the asparagus between four serving plates and top with salmon filet. Spoon the lemon garlic sauce over the top, garnish with additional parsley and a slice of lemon. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • The sauce will reduce down very quickly so be prepared (and don’t attempt to take pictures while you are cooking).
  • If fresh salmon is not available, frozen is a great substitute.
  • Zucchini noodles would be a good substitute if you are not a fan of asparagus.
  • Rosemary or Herbs de Provence would both be delicious as a substitute for the thyme.
  • Cook salmon until it flakes easily with a fork, and/or an instant read thermometer reads 145 degrees.
  • If the skin sticks to the skillet, simply scrape it off with your spatula.

Nutrition

Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 345mg | Potassium: 655mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 199IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2mg

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