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This one-pan salmon and asparagus meal is equal parts nourishing and delicious. It’s one of my very favorite ways to feed my family really well, even on the busiest of nights!
Pan Seared Salmon and Asparagus Recipe
I love incorporating salmon into my weekly dinner plan for a couple of reasons. First, I really, truly love perfectly-cooked salmon — a salmon filet that’s nice and crispy on the outside and flaky on the inside is just hard to beat. Secondly, salmon is incredibly nutritious — it’s a protein that I love feeding to my family simply because I know how nourishing it is.
If you’re new to seafood (or you’ve only ever baked salmon in the oven), this recipe may feel slightly intimidating to you. I get that! I (Brandi) actually felt the exact same way until I watched Cassy cook it in the FF kitchen — once I saw how easy the process was, I knew I could do it, and guess what? …I know you can too!
What is the difference between pan fried salmon and pan seared salmon?
The way we distinguish the two terms in the Fed and Fit kitchen is, essentially, based on how much oil is used during the cooking process. Our “pan fried” recipes will almost always call for a larger pool of fat/oil in the pan to help achieve a fried texture, while our “pan seared” recipes tend to require far less oil, and instead, use the dry heat of the skillet to crisp the protein (salmon, in this case).
Pan Seared Salmon and Asparagus Ingredients
The ingredients list is incredibly simple — here’s everything you’ll need:
- Asparagus – to start, you’ll need 2 bunches of asparagus.
- EVOO – to sear both the salmon and asparagus, you’ll need 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.
- Salmon – the most obvious ingredient here is salmon! For this recipe, you’ll need 1 whole salmon filet, de-boned and cut into four filets (about 1-1¼ pounds total).
- Seasoning – grab 1 tablespoon of your favorite seasoning (Cassy used Balanced Bites Trifecta Blend) and a ½-1 teaspoon of fine sea salt (use less if your spice blend has salt in it already).
This recipe is incredibly simple, so there isn’t a ton of swapping to be done, but you could absolutely make a couple modifications if needed.
- Use a different veggie: if asparagus isn’t your thing, green beans are an excellent swap here.
- Use any seasoning you love: keep things simple with a garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper combo or jazz things up with your favorite blend — any seasoning you love will work really well here.
Do you season salmon before cooking?
You’ll actually season your salmon while it’s searing (skin side-down) on the pan!
Supplies Needed to Make this Recipe
- Large Skillet
How to Pan Sear Salmon
From start to finish, the entire process is done in 15 minutes. The prep is almost nonexistent, and the cooking process is incredibly simple.
- Cook the asparagus – add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the asparagus. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until bright green.
- Add the salmon – move the asparagus to the side of the skillet, and add another tablespoon of olive oil to the now-bare side. Add the salmon to the pan skin side-down, then cook for 3-4 minutes over high heat, until the skin is crisp.
- Season – season the salmon with your seasoning of choice, then sprinkle the salt over both the asparagus and salmon.
- Flip and continue cooking – flip the salmon, then season the skin with additional salt, and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the salmon is semi-firm to the touch or easily flakes with a fork.
- Serve and enjoy!
What side of salmon do you sear first?
I prefer searing the salmon skin side-down first. I’ve found that putting the skin on the hot, oiled skillet helps it to get extra crispy!
Do you sear both sides of salmon?
Yes! Searing both sides of the salmon filet creates an irresistible crust-like finish — it’s as close to restaurant-quality (or even better, in my opinion!) as you can get!
How do you make seared salmon without burning it?
The key here is to sear the salmon for just long enough to cook it, but not long enough to overcook it (hello, dry salmon!) or burn it. This should take no longer than about 7 minutes total (3-4 with the skin side-down and 2-3 once you flip).
How Long to Cook Salmon in Pan
As mentioned above, the salmon shouldn’t take any longer than 7 minutes to get to crispy-on-the-outside, flaky-on-the-inside perfection.
How to Know When Salmon is Done
You’ll know your salmon is ready to be pulled off the heat and served when it’s semi-firm and easily flakes with a fork.
Do you eat the skin on pan seared salmon?
That’s totally up to you! I used to be really nervous about eating salmon skin (for no other reason than because it was just bizarre to me that you *could* even eat it!), but I’ve found that when salmon skin is nice and crispy (major bonus if it’s salty too), I actually really love it. The skin of the salmon actually contains the highest concentration of omega-3 fatty acids (among many other benefits), so it’s not something to skip if you can wrap your mind around eating it!
Is it safe to eat seared salmon?
It is! Though “searing” sometimes refers to a partial cooking method (think: pan-sear a pork chop and then stick it in the oven to finish cooking), the salmon actually fully cooks during the searing process in this recipe, so yes, it is definitely safe to eat.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 2 bunches asparagus
- 1 whole salmon filet de-boned and cut into 4 filets (about 1-1¼ pounds total)
- 1 tablespoon seasoning blend of choice Balanced Bites Trifecta Blend pictured here
- ½-1 teaspoon of fine sea salt
- Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the asparagus. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until bright green.
- Move the asparagus to the side of the skillet, and add another tablespoon of olive oil to the now-bare side. Add the salmon to the pan skin side-down, then cook for 3-4 minutes over high heat, until the skin is crisp.
- Season the salmon with your seasoning of choice, then sprinkle the salt over both the asparagus and salmon.
- Flip the salmon, then season the skin with additional salt, and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the salmon is semi-firm to the touch or easily flakes with a fork.
- Serve and enjoy!
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