Probably the best seared salmon you will ever taste, and the easiest to cook! Make this for a fast but healthy dinner and watch everyone ask for it again and again!

seared salmon in a cast iron pan

 This must be one of the easiest recipes I’ve made in a long time, and that’s okay because seared salmon or any seafood should never be complicated. Another great way to cook it is on the grill, so easy and loaded with flavor.

I added some cherry tomatoes and fresh tarragon to my cast iron skillet.

So delicious!

How to cook perfect seared salmon

Salmon is a fish that only needs a little bit of seasoning and maybe a few other simple ingredients to make it stand out. The key part to proudly putting salmon on your dinner table is in the cooking. Whichever method you decide to end up going with, make sure to cook it fast and with a high heat and a cast iron skillet is perfect for this!

What’s the best way to cook salmon?

Using my skillet is my favorite way to cook seared salmon. I heat my pan up until it’s really hot and then gently lay the salmon into the pan, skin side up first, to capture that crusty top. This seals in all of the healthy oils that the salmon has. Then, turn the salmon over onto its skin side and finish the cooking in a hot oven.

You’ll know the salmon is ready by lightly pressing down on it with your finger. If it feels tight and not spongy, then it should be ready to serve. Let it rest for a few minutes just as you would a steak. This ensures that the juice and flavor stay inside the seared salmon.

seared salmon on a plate with cherry tomatoes

Which oil should I use to cook my salmon?

I mentioned having the pan really hot so using the proper oil is important, otherwise, you’ll be jumping up and frantically waving a towel at your kitchen smoke detector. As an ambassador and Pantry Insider for Pompeian Oils and Vinegars, I was allowed to try the brand new Avocado Oil Non-Stick Cooking Spray.

With a smoke point of 500 degrees, it was perfect for searing my salmon. It’s 100% avocado oil and packed with monounsaturated fats, not to mention being super eco-friendly.

It doesn’t use any propellants or CFC’s to produce the fine mist that covers your pan easily, and without the foam build up that you often get from other spray oils.

I also loved using it to lightly spray the salmon before I seasoned it – I’d never have done this with any other spray oil. Remember, don’t be scared to crank up the heat, get that pan hot, and cook some of the juiciest salmon ever!

Another oil that can be used is canola or vegetable oil, these will work just fine if you don’t have the avocado oil.

I know you’ll love this seared salmon recipe, but be sure to try my other salmon recipes like Grilled Salmon Kebabs with Orange or maybe an easy One Pan Mustard Glazed Salmon is perfect for a quick and mess-free dinner!

Enjoy friends!

seared salmon on a fork with hand holding a plate

As a #pantryinsider for Pompeian Oils and Vinegars, compensation was provided, but recipe ideas and thoughts are my own. 

This blog post was recently updated.

This post may contain affiliate links which help with the costs of this blog, and also to bring you lots of amazing recipes! 

Salmon with tarragon and tomatoes

Cast Iron Skillet Seared Salmon

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 250kcal
Author: foodnessgracious
Probably the best seared salmon you might ever taste, and the easiest to cook! Make this for a fast but healthy dinner and watch everyone ask for it again and again!
Print Recipe


  • 16 ounces fresh salmon cut into two pieces
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup small cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped tarragon
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Lightly spray the salmon with the avocado oil spray.
  • Season with salt and black pepper.
  • Heat a cast-iron pan, large enough to fit both pieces of salmon over a high heat for about 1 minute.
  • Generously spray the pan with the avocado oil spray.
  • Place the salmon into the pan, skin side up and sear for about 1 minute.
  • Using a spatula, carefully turn the salmon over onto the skin side.
  • Add the tomatoes around the fish and sprinkle with the chopped tarragon.
  • Finally add the butter in two pieces to each side of the pan.
  • Place the pan into the oven and roast for 8-10 minutes.
  • Serve at once with your choice of side and garnish with more chopped tarragon



The salmon I used was about 2 inches wide and 1½ inches tall. If your salmon is thinner, it will cook faster. Try and buy center pieces and not from the tail end. You can usually tell it's ready by gently pressing the thickest part with a finger - it should feel slightly firm. It will cook fast and keep cooking even after you take it out of the oven. It's always better to take it out early and not overcook it.


Calories: 250kcal