Pan-Seared Salmon with Dill Sauce Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
Pan-seared salmon is an elegant, wholesome entree that requires little time or effort. Add a side salad or simple green, and dinner is served.

Updated: Feb. 02, 2024

A few simple ingredients and about 20 minutes is all it takes to create delicious pan-seared salmon. In this recipe, plump fillets of fresh salmon are cooked to perfection in a hot skillet. The salmon is served alongside an easy yogurt sauce kissed with dill and cucumber. The sauce cuts through the salmon’s richness and adds a bit of cool, garden-fresh flavor to every bite.

Pan-searing salmon gives the outside of each fillet a light golden crust while keeping the inside juicy and supple. This cooking method works great for many types of fish like snapper, halibut and cod when done correctly. But if delicate, buttery salmon is your absolute favorite fish, be sure to give these easy salmon recipes a try next!

Pan-Seared Salmon Ingredients

  • Salmon: This nutritious fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. It’s easy to find in supermarkets, and it boasts a mild, crowd-pleasing flavor. A highly versatile fish, salmon can be seared, poached, grilled and more. Achieve restaurant-quality results with these helpful tips for buying salmon.
  • Canola oil: Canola oil has a high-smoke point. It’s is key in creating a crusty exterior when you’re pan-searing.
  • Yogurt: With its creamy texture and slightly tangy flavor, yogurt is at the heart of the super-simple sauce that acts as a refreshing counterpoint to the richness of salmon. We used reduced-fat, but feel free to swap in full-fat yogurt for more richness.
  • Fresh dill: The feathery fronds of this popular garden herb provide a sweet, almost citrusy flavor with slight anise notes.


Step 1: Season the salmon

A person sprinkling salt on SalmonTMB Studio

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. At the same time, while waiting for the skillet to come to temperature, blot the salmon with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Sprinkle the fillets with Italian seasoning and salt.

Editor’s Tip: Before cooking, always check your salmon for freshness. From the sniff test to how it looks, here’s how to tell if salmon is bad.

Step 2: Sear the salmon

Cooking salmon fillets in a skilletTMB Studio

Transfer the salmon fillets to the hot skillet, carefully placing skin side down.

Cooking salmon fillets in a skilletTMB Studio

Reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the fish begins to flake easily with a fork, about five minutes per side.

Editor’s Tip: Pan-searing helps lock in moisture and prevent your salmon from drying out. For that coveted crispy crust, do not disturb the salmon as it cooks. Yep, that means no peeking!

Step 3: Make the sauce, and serve

Yogurt, mayonnaise, cucumber mixed in a bowl

In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, cucumber and dill. Plate up your perfectly pan-seared salmon, and drizzle it with a few teaspoons of that creamy, dreamy sauce.

Fully prepared Pan Seared Salmon With Dill Sauce served in a plate

Recipe Variations

  • Try new flavors: Experiment with different seasoning blends on your salmon. Try zesty lemon-pepper, floral-forward herbes de Provence or earthy za’atar.
  • Add fruits: Skip the dill sauce, and serve pan-seared salmon with fruit salsa instead.

How long does pan-seared salmon last?

Store pan-seared salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. Gently reheat the leftovers in a skillet over low heat until just warmed through.

Pan-Seared Salmon Tips

Pan Seared Salmon With Dill Sauce on a white tableTMB Studio

Can you make pan-seared salmon with skinless fillets?

Absolutely! But since skinless fillets are more prone to falling apart when flipped, ensure picture-perfect results by using a fish spatula when flipping. A fish spatula is a thin, flexible kitchen tool with a wide surface area that helps keep delicate fish flesh intact. These slotted spatulas are great for pancakes, cookies and eggs, too!

How do you keep the salmon from sticking to the pan?

Properly heating your cooking oil is the best way to prevent fish from sticking to the pan. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan on medium-high heat before adding oil. Once the oil is shimmering, the pan is hot enough to add your salmon.

What do you serve with pan-seared salmon?

With its mild flavor, pan-seared salmon goes with a variety of side dishes. Try it alongside a hearty baked potato, lemon-roasted potatoes or a brown rice pilaf. A fresh green salad and a medley of grilled vegetables would also be fitting sidekicks to this light and flavorful dish.

Watch how to Make Pan-Seared Salmon with Dill Sauce

Pan-Seared Salmon with Dill Sauce

Prep Time 25 min
Yield 4 servings.


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cucumber
  • 1 teaspoon snipped fresh dill


  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle salmon with Italian seasoning and salt. Place in skillet, skin side down. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until fish just begins to flake easily with a fork, about 5 minutes on each side.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine yogurt, mayonnaise, cucumber and dill. Serve with salmon.

Nutrition Facts

1 salmon fillet with 1/4 cup sauce: 366 calories, 25g fat (4g saturated fat), 92mg cholesterol, 349mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 0 fiber), 31g protein. Diabetic exchanges: 4 lean meat, 2-1/2 fat.

This is one of my husband's favorite recipes. Salmon is a go-to for busy nights because it cooks so quickly and goes with so many different flavors. The creamy dill sauce with cucumber tastes light and fresh. —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida