This Keto Salmon Recipe is perfectly seasoned pan seared filets smothered in an unbelievably delicious creamy lemon garlic sauce. Feel Top Chef worthy while preparing this less than 30 minute, low carb gourmet dinner recipe in the comfort of your own kitchen.
I'm all about keeping things simple! So when I came up with this delicious Keto Salmon Recipe, I just had to share it! Perfectly seared salmon filets smothered with a creamy lemon garlic sauce...use frozen salmon filets for an even more economical approach.
Is salmon good on a keto diet?
For starters, salmon is full of healthy fats.
A 3 ounce portion is 177 calories, 11g fat, and zero carbs. So that would be very keto friendly.
Combine the salmon with our delicious cream sauce that is purely cream, lemon juice, garlic, and parsley. That is definitely a great keto salmon recipe.
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for this keto salmon recipe, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For the printable recipe, see the recipe card below.
- 16 ounces of salmon filets (1.25 kg), cut into 4 portions - I like to look for frozen salmon filets that are at least 1 inch thick. You can choose skin on or skinless salmon for this recipe and I will give instructions for both.
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil (30 mL) - We need a good coating of avocado oil in our skillet so the salmon skin doesn't stick to the pan.
- 1 ¼ cup heavy cream (300 mL) - This is essential for making our creamy sauce. For a dairy free option, you could use coconut cream with great results.
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (30 mL)
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
How to make this keto salmon recipe
This section explains how to make this creamy salmon recipe step by step. For a full printable recipe, see the recipe card below.
Step 1 (Cooking salmon with the skin on) - Season the flesh side of the salmon filets with salt and pepper.
Step 2 - Heat the avocado oil in a skillet until it is shimmering, then add the salmon to the pan, skin side up. When the salmon develops a crust and releases from the pan, it is ready to flip. Continue cooking the salmon, skin side down, until the salmon skin is nice and crispy. Remove the salmon from the pan and set aside to rest while we make the sauce.
If you buy skinless salmon, you could still cook it as above, but you can also season with salt and pepper and then bake it in the oven at 400F for about 12 minutes.
💡Tip: Resist the urge to flip the salmon too early. If it is sticking to the pan, it is not ready to flip.
Step 3 - Make the creamy lemon garlic sauce. With the pan over medium heat, whisk together the heavy cream, lemon juice, and garlic. Let simmer until thickened and then season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with chopped parsley.
Step 4 - Serve the creamy sauce over the salmon to complete this keto salmon recipe. If you want to keep your crispy skin, serve the salmon with the sauce on the side so your salmon skin doesn't go soft in the sauce.
Can I use frozen salmon?
I love to use frozen salmon anytime I want to make a keto salmon recipe. Frozen salmon is economical and it is frozen as soon as it is caught, so most times, it is better than fresh! In fact, all salmon is immediately frozen after it is caught for food safety reasons.
Defrosting salmon is super easy and can be done in less than an hour.
If your frozen salmon come wrapped in plastic, simply fill a bowl or the sink with cold water and submerge the salmon. Check it after 30 minutes and see how it is progressing. Once they are thawed, remove them from the plastic and pat dry with towels.
Skin on or off for this keto salmon recipe?
I can never find skinless salmon in the grocery store...probably because it is a pain to remove the skin while the salmon is raw.
How do I know when my salmon is done?
💡Tip: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the salmon. The FDA recommends an internal temperature of 145F.
You know when your salmon is done by seeing if it flakes easily with a fork.
If the salmon is starting to ooze white liquid on top (this is the proteins boiling out), it is overcooking and you remove it from the pan.
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Keto Creamy Lemon Garlic Salmon Recipe
- 1 pound Salmon filets (skin on or skinless), cut into 4 portions
- kosher salt and pepper
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil (Click here for my favorite brand on Amazon)
- 1 ¼ Cup Heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon juice
- 3 Cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
- Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
- Add in the salmon filets skin side up. Cook until the salmon is browned and the fish easily releases from the pan. Try not to flip early or the salmon will stick.
- Flip to the other side (skin side if your salmon has skin) and cook until the salmon skin is crispy and releases from the pan.
- Remove the salmon from the pan and set aside.
- Turn the heat of the skillet down to medium and whisk together the heavy cream, garlic, parsley and lemon juice. Let simmer for a few minutes to thicken.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the salmon with cream sauce and chopped parsley. If you want your salmon skin to stay crispy, serve the sauce on the side.
- Defrost frozen salmon: If your frozen salmon come wrapped in plastic, simply fill a bowl or the sink with cold water and submerge the salmon. Check it after 30 minutes and see how it is progressing. Once they are thawed, remove them from the plastic and pat dry with towels.
- When is the salmon done?: check with a meat thermometer probe. 130F is my desired internal temperature for salmon that isn't dried out and over cooked. White juices oozing out of the salmon means it is overcooked.
- Skin on or skinless: I buy skin on salmon because it is easier to find. When the salmon is cooked, the salmon skin peels off very easily. You can also eat the crispy skin!
- Salmon Baking Instructions: If you buy skinless salmon, you could still cook it as above, but you can also season with salt and pepper and then cook it in the oven at 400F for about 12 minutes. This would remove the need for the avocado oil.
Nutrition per serving
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy only. Please re-calculate on your own with the ingredients and amounts you used for the most accurate data.