Pan Fried Salmon with Pesto Cream Cheese Sauce is a delicious and healthy meal. Flaky salmon with a rich and flavorful cream sauce is sure to be a favorite.
Salmon is one heck of a fish. Its mild flavor and meaty texture give creative cooks lots of options when it comes to cooking. Pan-frying salmon is always a popular choice because the technique allows excellent results in a minimal amount of time. Pan Fried Salmon with Pesto Cream Sauce is a restaurant-worthy dish that you can get on your table in less than 20 minutes!
The Skinny on Salmon Skin
Most people know that salmon is chockfull of Omega-3, but most of that healthy fat your body craves comes from the salmon’s skin. To get the most from your salmon, you need to eat it with the skin. While it is true that there are some concerns about mercury accumulating in the skin, this is a bigger concern for farmed salmon. A study by Indiana University shows that wild-caught salmon is healthier generally contains fewer toxins than raised salmon.
How to Cook Salmon With the Skin On
Take the salmon filets out of the fridge about ten minutes before cooking to let them come up to room temperature. Dry the fillets and make three or four light cuts diagonally across the skin with a sharp knife in both directions. Scoring the skin like this helps the fat to render and the skin to crisp up.
Heat a saute pan on a medium-high burner. While waiting for the pan to come to temperature, season the flesh side of the salmon liberally with salt and pepper. When the pan is warm, pour enough of neutral oil, like canola, into the pan to cover the bottom. When the oil is shimmering, use tongs to place the salmon fillets skin-side down in the pan.
Don’t touch the fish too much while cooking
Don’t play with the fish, but you can help ensure even cooking and extra crispy skin by pushing down evenly on the top of the fish with a spatula. Let the fish cook for about five minutes or until the skin releases from the bottom of the pan. Flip the fish onto the other side for about 3 minutes or until it develops a slight golden color.
Remove the salmon fillets and place them on a paper towel with the skin-side up. Dab any extra oil from the fish and then transfer them to the serving plates skin-side up. Place a dollop of the pesto cream sauce on top of each fillet and serve while warm.
Tips for Serving and Storing This Pan Fried Salmon Recipe
- Don’t overcook your salmon. The fillets are cooked when the fish comes apart easily at the thin white lines. When in doubt, take the salmon off the heat. Slightly undercooked salmon is a lot tastier than when it overcooks.
- Reheat in the oven. Place salmon into a baking dish along with a little water. Cover and heat on low for about 10 minutes or until warm. Since the skin won’t be crispy, it is better to remove it before serving.
- Serve the pan fried salmon with a vegetable. Sautéed spinach or grilled asparagus are perfect side dishes. Stay away from anything too starchy, like potatoes.
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Salmon with Cream 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 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 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 cream sauce made of cream cheese and pesto. This sauce is flavorful and quick and easy to make. You can turn ordinary salmon into something special in no time.
You can try this pesto recipe if you want to make your own homemade pesto.
Here’s a list of what you need:
- Cream cheese
- Half and half
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
How to Make Salmon with Pesto Cream Cheese Sauce
- Bring salmon to room temperature before cooking.
- Heat a large skillet with oil over medium-low heat.
- Season fish with salt and pepper
- Place salmon skin side up in the skillet.
- Cook until golden brown and flip over to the other side, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
- In a small pot, add half and half, pesto, and cream cheese.
- Stir and cook over low heat until the cream cheese sauce is heated and well-combined.
- Spoon the pesto cream cheese sauce over the salmon.
Pan-fried salmon with pesto cream cheese sauce is low carb and keto-friendly.
Popular Salmon and Seafood Recipes
- Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp
- Bacon Wrapped Scallops
- Baked White Fish
- Batter Fried Fish
- Easy Baked Salmon
- Fried Salmon Patties
Favorite Low Carb Recipes
- Air Fryer Broccoli
- Fried Lamb Chops
- Cajun Shrimp
- Oven Roasted Asparagus
- Poached Fish
- Sour Cream Pork Chops
- Turkey Legs
Check out more of my easy seafood recipes and healthy low carb recipes here on CopyKat!
Pan Fried Salmon with Pesto Cream Cheese Sauce
- 1 pound salmon cut into 4 pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons half and half
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- 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 down 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.
I love quick and easy dinners and this recipe would definitely qualify. Will have to try it now!
What would you serve with this?
Could maybe use a good quality plain Greek yogurt instead of the cream sheese?
Royce, I didn’t try making the recipe this way, but I bet it could work.
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…
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!