Pan Fried Salmon with Cream Cheese Pesto

So, before I get started with my normal post, for the last couple months of this last year I have been pondering something. I had been thinking what would it be like to do a blog post once a week on a particular ingredient. Sure, thoughts of garlic, butter, chocolate, and more came to mind. I really thought about an ingredient that could be a little more transformational, and for me, this was cream cheese.

grilled salmon with pesto cream cheese sauce

Are you looking for a new way to prepare salmon? Salmon is such a wonderful protein to prepare. It can be cooked quickly. I often buy it frozen at Costco, I keep it in my freezer, and quickly defrost it when I want to make a quick meal at home. I love the individually frozen pieces of salmon at home. I defrost them by placing them in a sink of warm water submerged under a plate. This will generally defrost my salmon in about 20 minutes. Then it takes another 10 to 15 minutes to pan sear, and you will have dinner in no time.

This recipe features a simple sauce made of cream cheese. This sauce is flavorful and quick and easy to make. You can turn ordinary salmon into something special in no time.

Why cream cheese? For me, cream cheese is an ingredient you can pull out of your fridge and it helps to transform a dish. I think of ways I have used cream cheese in the past, it is a dessert with cheesecake, I have used it to thicken sauce with such as Alfredo sauce, and I have used it in one of my favorite dishes – cream cheese chicken. So I thought what if I forced myself to cook with a particular ingredient each week. So come take a journey with me, the journey of cream cheese, one of my favorite ingredients.You can try this pesto recipe if you want to make you own homemade pesto.

Looking for another way to prepare salmon? Try my Baked Salmon, the marinade has just three ingredients.

Grilled salmon is served with a wonderful savory cream cheese sauce.

Pan Fried Salmon with Cream Cheese Pesto

Enjoy pan-fried salmon with a savory cream cheese sauce. 
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cream Cheese, Salmon
Servings: 4
Calories: 455kcal


  • 1 pound salmon cut into 4 pieces
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons half and half
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Bring salmon to room temperature about 15 minutes before cooking. Heat a large skillet with oil over medium-low heat. Season fish with salt and pepper, and place salmon skin side up in the pan. 
  • Cook until golden brown on one side, and flip over on the other side, this should take about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. In a small pot add half and half, pesto, and cream cheese, stir together well over low heat until the cream cheese sauce is combined well. Spoon about two tablespoons of the pesto cream cheese sauce over the salmon. You may want to serve with a lemon slice along with the fish.


Calories: 455kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 595mg | Potassium: 643mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 985IU | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CopyKatRecipes or tag #CopyKatRecipes!

About Stephanie

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Tina McIntosh

    This sounds wonderful, I love this idea and cream cheese is one of my favorite foods…Im gonna try this one this weekend since salmon is my favorite fish….I eat cream cheese and smoked salmon on sourdough bread all the time as a snack…

  2. Kay Perepchuk

    5 stars
    thank you and love the idea of a featured product ingredient….I’ve been trying get a handle on garlic. Here’s the thing..Macaroni Grill serves the best ever spinach salad with roasted garlic or pan fried? I’ve debated whether to learn to make this salad myself. I’ve already tackled the incrusted goat cheese part. Why debate you ask? My hubby “King” will announce; now I won’t need to take you there again. So sad!

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