Pan Seared Salmon Fillets

Restaurant-Style Pan-Seared Salmon Fillets Recipe

Stop what you’re doing! 

Oh, wait… you’re reading this.  Please continue what you’re doing then.  But consider with me a moment what life will be like for you three years from now. 

If you’re in school, maybe you’ll be done and moving on to a new job.  If you have kids... they’ll be three years older.  (That can be a scary thought in itself, I’m sure.)  Maybe you’ll have a book published or have won the Nobel Peace Prize.  A lot can happen in three years.

Restaurant-Style   Pan-Seared Salmon Fillets Recipe

Good moment we had, there. 

Now I can segue into this other crazy fact about three years.  Today my husband and I are celebrating our third wedding anniversary.  Whoaaa… mind blown.  Three years seems like a long time!  Even longer when you consider we’ve actually been a couple for FIVE years now.

You know… it seems so long because we still feel like newlyweds.  (See what I did, there?)

Luckily for us, we don’t cook like the brand-new couple we used to be.  A more sensitive palate would have thought we were aiming for mace-stew with one particular chili.  (It was our first rodeo with chipotle chilies in adobo sauce.  We used like five whole chilies.  We could only eat the Bisquick biscuits we also made.)  And, on our first Valentine ’s Day, we made boxed spaghetti topped with a jar of sauce.  Voila!  

But all that was before I discovered how easy a homemade, better-than-restaurant style meal could actually be! 

Restaurant-Style   Pan-Seared Salmon Fillets Recipe

Yes, three years of being married has given me the time and incentive to learn to make better food in the kitchen.  Because, one – I now have someone else to praise my culinary accomplishments than myself; and two – I would prefer to not kill someone I love by way of dinner.

This may just be the best dang way to make salmon, and I actually just tried this for the first time very recently.  Of course, I had to share it with you because it is one of the easiest kitchen revelations out there!  If you, like me, have only ever baked salmon in the oven, this is an excellent way to make them juicier and more flavorful.  Ie., very fancy and romantic-like.

Notes: The purpose of the extra oil is just to get a good sear and add a bit of moisture to the salmon before baking.  Even though the recipe calls for 2 T. of oil per fillet, not all of the oil will be used.  Also, because the oil is going to be quite hot, it will really just sear the fish – not soaking into it and making it “oily.”

Restaurant-Style   Pan-Seared Salmon Fillets Recipe

Pan Seared Salmon Fillets

Gluten-free friendly {serves 4-6}


  • 4 (5-6 oz) salmon fillets, skinless and de-boned (I try to always get wild-caught)
  • 8 T. extra virgin olive oil OR extra virgin coconut oil (divided)
  • 4 T. agave nectar (divided)
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder, divided
  • 1 tsp. onion powder, divided
  • ½ tsp. salt, divided
  • ½ tsp. pepper, divided
  • 4 T. whole wheat (or gluten-free) flour, divided


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Rub both sides of each salmon fillet with 1 T. agave nectar.  On each one, sprinkle on ¼ tsp. garlic powder, ¼ tsp. onion powder, 1/8 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper.  Sift 1 T. whole wheat flour onto both sides to lightly coat.

Heat 1 T. oil in a cast-iron or non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  Test to make sure it is heated with a drop of water – if it sizzles in the pan, it is hot enough.  (You don’t want to overheat and burn the oil.)

Gently lay one salmon fillet in the middle of the pan.  Sear in the oil 1-2 minutes per side, making sure each side is browned.  Add the next 2 T. oil and heat for a few minutes.  Repeat with the remaining fillets one at a time. 

Place the fillets on a baking pan covered with aluminum foil or cooking spray.

Bake the fillets all the way through, about 8 minutes longer.

Serve immediately, with your favorite sides!

Makes 4 – 6 servings.

Nutrition for 6 servings (about 3-4 oz per serving): 341 calories; 22 g fat (5 g saturated); 14 g carbs; 1 g fiber; 23 g protein