Can we all agree that sometimes we deserve a little treat in our lives? We have those nights where you want something a little bit more special for dinner, but not the time to make it? Well, this is the recipe you need. Pan fried salmon with lemon and rosemary is simple, yet incredibly satisfying and somehow just feels a little bit special.

Pan fried salmon is probably my favourite weeknight wonder recipe and I’m not entirely sure why it’s never featured on the blog before. It takes some great ingredients, beautiful flavours and turns them into something that is both a joy to look at and to eat.

It also has the added benefit of being really quick to make. So if we’re talking about meals you can make on weeknight without too much preparation and cooking time, then pan fried salmon is definitely on the table. You can count the ingredients you need to make this on one hand – salmon, lemon, rosemary and garlic – and with a cooking time of under ten minutes it’s really hard to say you don’t have time in your life to cook this. As an added bonus it also looks really impressive, so definitely one to have up your sleeve, whether as a treat for yourself or someone else.

Pan fried salmon

I would tend to serve this with some brown rice and steamed vegetables in the winter, and often with some kind of peppery salad with a citrus vinaigrette when it’s warmer out. There really is no need to over complicate this; the core flavours are all you need.

For me it tends to be a quick dinner, when I want a little treat mid-week but know I don’t want to eat that late, but I’ve also used it on a summery weekend if I’ve a friend coming over for lunch and we want something tasty to eat whilst having a glass or three of wine and putting the world to rights.

The key to this recipe is not to over think it – simple is beautiful.

Pan fried salmon

Pan fried salmon

Pan fried salmon with lemon and rosemary

  • Author: Craig
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Category: Dinner


This is a really good way to cook salmon, but works for many other kinds of fish as well. Remember to only buy fish if you know it comes from a sustainable source – there’s lots more about how to do this and why it’s so incredibly important on the Marine Conservation Society’s website.


  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or rapeseed oil
  • Salt and pepper


Put a medium-sized frying pan (or skillet) on a medium-high heat, add in the oil and let it heat up.

On the side, slice your lemon thinly and season your salmon with some salt and pepper.

When the oil is hot, put the salmon into the pan – skin should be facing upwards – and cook for about 2 minutes. Add in the lemon slices, garlic and rosemary. Continue to cook, basting the skin-side with a little oil from the pan.

After another 2 to 3 minutes, the fish will loosen from the pan and you will be able to move it around easily. Use a fish slice to turn the salmon over and cook skin-side down for another 3 minutes.

Take the fish from the pan and serve straight away.