Salmon Skillet with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce is the ultimate 30 minute weeknight dinner. Serve over your grain of choice for a restaurant-quality meal the whole family will love.
Why You'll Love this Salmon Skillet Meal:
Crispy salmon, sun-dried tomatoes, and a garlicky cream sauce = the holy trinity. This single skillet recipe tastes like something out of swanky seafood restaurant, yet you won't believe how simple it is. Plus, it comes together in just 30 minutes, which means it's 100% weeknight-approved. Or even date-night-in approved, if that's on your agenda this week.
The sun-dried tomatoes add bright umami flavor to cut through the richness of the creamy sauce. Shallots and garlic add a layer of aromatic goodness, while sautéed spinach effortlessly ups the nutrient ante.
One trick to infuse the salmon with extra flavor is to cook it in the oil from the sun-dried tomato jar. Most often, this is olive oil that has been infused for months with that bright, tomato flavor. And, sadly, it's often discarded once the sun-dried tomatoes have been used up. In this recipe, however, it's pure liquid gold!
What is the Best Salmon to Buy?
When it comes to seeking the right salmon, I recommend talking to your local fishmonger—or the person behind the fish counter at your local grocery store—to find out what’s best. Most often, this will depend on where you live and the time of year. Salmon is in season from May to October, so this is when you can expect to find the best selection.
However, during summer and winter months, frozen wild salmon is usually the next best thing. My personal favorite is King salmon, also known as Chinook. This variety has a high fat content, which makes the flesh super buttery and rich. Coho salmon is also a good choice, which will have a more delicate texture than King, but similar flavor.
If you purchase farm-raised as opposed to wild, look for the phrase “sustainably-farmed” on the label. This is generally a more responsible and environmentally-sound way to control overfishing.
And thankfully, there are plenty of sustainable Atlantic salmon varieties available, but it can take some research to identify them. You can seek up-to-date information on sustainability by checking the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program.
How to Pan Fry Salmon:
There are a couple tricks to cooking salmon that's moist and flaky on the inside with a crisp exterior. One of which is to only cook it on ONE side for most of the time. Start the salmon skin-side down over medium-high heat and don’t flip it until it’s cooked about halfway through. (The skin should naturally release from the pan... if it sticks, it may need another minute or two.)
After the salmon is flipped, let the residual heat help cook the remainder of the fish without aggressively cooking the tender flesh.
Since King salmon and most farm-raised varieties have a higher fat content, they may take about 8 to 9 minutes total. Leaner varieties like sockeye may only take 6 minutes for medium-rare.
What to Serve with Crispy Salmon:
I love to serve this salmon with orzo (small rice-shaped pasta), pearl couscous, or farro. Or, if you prefer a lower-carb option, zucchini noodles are always a good option. Since the skillet already contains spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, I usually forego the additional veggie side (unless it's a simple side salad). You also can't go wrong with some crusty bread to sop up any remaining sauce.
To finish the skillet, scatter fresh parsley overtop and an extra crack of black pepper!
Give this 30 minute recipe a try this week for a guaranteed weeknight win. And, as always, be sure to snap a pic and tag @dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations! Also follow along on Pinterest and Facebook for the latest recipes, plus what I'm loving lately.
More Easy Fish Dinner Recipes:
Turmeric-Glazed Salmon and Bulgur Skillet
One Skillet Lemon Pepper Shrimp and Orzo
One Pot Harissa Shrimp and Feta and Orzo
Salmon Skillet with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce
- 4 6-oz. skin-on salmon fillets
- 1 tsp. kosher salt divided
- ¾ tsp. black pepper divided
- ½ cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes plus 2 Tbsp. oil from jar
- ½ cup finely chopped shallots
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 4 cups packed fresh spinach
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- Cooked orzo for serving
- Thoroughly dry salmon fillets with a paper towel. Season flesh with ½ tsp. of the salt and ¼ tsp. black pepper.
- Heat sun-dried tomato oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook salmon, skin-side down, until skin is crispy and easily pulls away from pan, about 5 to 6 minutes. Flip, and cook until flesh is golden, about 2 to 3 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- Reduce heat to medium and add shallots. Cook 3 minutes, until softened. Add sun-dried tomatoes and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring often. Add spinach; cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until wilted. Season with remaining ½ tsp. salt and ½ tsp. black pepper.
- Add wine and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until most of the alcohol has evaporated. Stir in cream, and add salmon fillets back to skillet. Spoon sauce over fish, and garnish with fresh parsley. serve over grain of choice.
My husband couldn’t stop saying “mmmm” this is amazing! It’s delicious!!
This tastes restaurant-worthy! We have made it twice already.
So good! Literally restaurant style. If you have a date you want to impress make this dish 🙂
I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Sarah! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
This one is a hit in our house! So quick and easy to put together, and delicious too! We served over orzo as suggested and will definitely be making again soon.
I'm so glad the recipe was a hit! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
This was phenomenal! We lapped up the entire dish
Served over a quinoa salad
I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a rating & review.
Do you think the homemade cashew cream would work okay in this one, as opposed to heavy cream?
Yes, definitely!! Enjoy!
Yea definitely!! Enjoy!
Delicious! This has become one of our favorite ways to enjoy salmon.
Yay! I'm so glad you enjoy this one! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!
This was amazing! I made it with ling cod and it was perfect. Next time I might double the sauce since it was so delicious. Thanks for the recipe!
Simple and delicious recipe. Leftovers heated up well too. So comforting. I will be making this again FOR SURE!
*For the orzo, I heated it in a skillet over low-medium heat, with some butter for a few minutes then whisked in chicken stock (you can use other broth) and brought to a low boil until cooked through. Just added a bit of flavour instead of using water.
Delicious and easy! Had it for lunch with orzo pasta and will definitely make it again!
I’m so glad to hear, Nathalie! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
Love it! I added kale instead of spinach, worked out great. Served it over bulgur and had roasted pesto veggies on the side. Will definitely make again!
Sounds wonderful! Thank you for taking time to leave a review!
This was so good! Both my kids gobbled it up and it truly was ready in 30 minutes... definitely a keeper! Thank you!!
Can coconut milk be used in place of the heavy cream?
So easy and tasty!! Used broth instead of wine, which worked fine!
Hi Jamie - Jeff and I make this at least once a month, if not more. I have shared it with friends and family and they love it! Sometimes if I want to be less indulgent, I won't add cream or I will use a splash of coconut cream - it still tastes amazing. I also didn't have shallots one night, so I cut up some green onions and presto. It still was awesome. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. It's definitely a staple in our house.
Hi Jamie, I’m so glad to hear you enjoy the recipe!! Thank you so much for sharing it with friends and family—I appreciate the support! Cheers
So delicious and easy!!! We served over angel hair pasta!