Lemon Butter Pan Seared Salmon and Quinoa

A plate of food with meat and vegetables.

Pan Seared Lemon Butter Salmon and Quinoa

Servings 2 Servings


  • 2 (4-6 oz) skin-on salmon fillets (about 1-inch thick)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ fresh lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • lemon slices for garnish, optional
  • Quinoa:
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed (not soaked)
  • 2 cups chicken or veggie broth or water
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, if using water


  • Salmon:
  • Remove salmon fillets from refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature 10 minutes. Pat salmon filets down with paper-towel to dry excess moisture. Season with salt and black pepper.
  • Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, place the salmon fillets (presentation side down- skin side up) in the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes on the first side until golden brown on the bottom, then turn and cook on the opposite side until salmon has cooked through, about 2 – 3 minutes longer. Once the salmon is ready to be taken out of the pan, slide the fish spatula between the skin and the flesh. Slowly slide the fish spatula along the length of the fillet pressing down on the skin and keeping the pressure consistent. Gently lift the fish up from the skin until the skin is completely detached. Remove the skin from the pan and discard.
  • Wipe the pan used to cook the fish with paper-towel. Melt butter over medium-low heat. Add garlic and lemon juice and whisk until combined. Place salmon back in the pan, spoon sauce all over the fillets. Garnish with fresh parsley.
  • Quinoa:
  • Add quinoa, broth or water, and salt (if not making it with broth) to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked. You’ll know it is done when the grain pops open (add 1-2 tablespoons more water if the quinoa is not cooked by the time all the liquid is absorbed.) Transfer to a flat dish and spread out to cool. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Serve quinoa with salmon, and lemon butter sauce. Enjoy!