How to Cook Salmon Fillets on the Stove Top

by Sommer Leigh

Cooking salmon fillets on the stove top produces fillets with a crisp outside and a moist, succulent flesh. Salmon, mild-tasting and rich in omega-3s, can be cooked with heart-healthy olive oil; the olive oil has a browning effect and when used on medium heat sears the outside of the salmon flesh. Searing keeps the juices from escaping from the fish so the fillets remain moist inside. Salmon fillets need little seasoning -- just a little salt and pepper -- or experiment with adding the seasonings you enjoy to the outside of the fish.

Place a skillet on a stove-top burner set to medium heat.

Pour enough olive oil into the skillet to lightly coat the bottom. Lift the skillet off the burner and tilt the pan just enough to distribute the oil evenly.

Sprinkle salt and pepper, to taste, on both sides of the salmon fillets.

Place the salmon fillets in the skillet, and cook until the bottom side until it turns golden brown..

Flip the fillets over on the other side with a spatula.

Cover the skillet with its lid.

Cook the fillets for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until they flake easily if you press on the flesh with a fork.


  • For more flavor, dredge the salmon fillets in a mixture of herbs, or make a sauce from white wine, garlic and other seasonings to serve over the salmon.

Photo Credits

  • Diane Shear/Demand Media

About the Author

Sommer Leigh has produced home, garden, family and health content since 1997 for such nationally known publications as "Better Homes and Gardens," "Ladies' Home Journal," "Midwest Living," "Healthy Kids" and "American Baby." Leigh also owns a Web-consulting business and writes for several Internet publications. She has a Bachelor of Science in information technology and Web management from the University of Phoenix.