Easy Skillet Salmon with Avocado and Basil
This Easy Skillet Salmon with Avocado and Basil mash comes together in 15 minutes for a healthy restaurant-quality dinner in minutes!
I originally shared this recipe on February 12th, 2016. I have updated some of the text today.
Table of contents
Why We Love This Easy Skillet Salmon with Avocado and Basil
I used to make this crispy skillet-seared salmon with avocado mash at least once a week for a client I had when I was a personal chef and my clients always loved it! This recipe makes a fast and delicious main course for busy nights because it is ready in only 15 minutes!
The fish is golden and crispy, and is tender, flaky, and cooked to a medium-well temp inside. Then, it’s topped with a refreshing and zesty avocado and basil topping.
In the years since I first created this recipe, I make salmon all the time. From Easy Baked Salmon in Foil to Maple Glazed Salmon, my salmon expertise runs the gamut. One thing is consistent though – I’ve returned to skillet salmon over and over (and over) again. My family and I never grow tired of this classic, and I hope you love it just as much as we do!
- This recipe is naturally gluten-free, low-carb, and grain-free!
- The trick to perfecting the crispy, tender, flakiness is very simple! Just remove the salmon skin and sprinkle on some salt, pepper, herbs, and spices. I used Italian Seasoning herb mix plus some crushed red pepper.
- It’s on the table in only 15 minutes!
- Serve it over a bed of cauliflower rice, on a garden salad, or alongside green beans!
Key Ingredients For This Recipe
- Salmon Filet: Choose a boneless filet with the skin removed. The filet should be glossy, and it should never smell “fishy.” I also recommend looking at the Seafood Watch app or website to see if there are sustainable options in your area.
- Coconut Oil: I used coconut oil today, but avocado oil or organic grapeseed oil would work great too.
- Seasonings: I used crushed red pepper, ground black pepper, salt, and Italian seasonings.
How To Make Crispy Salmon and Avocado
Step 1: Cook Salmon
Heat your oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle salt, Italian seasonings, crushed red pepper and black pepper all over the salmon. Lay the salmon filet skinned side up in the hot oil and let it cook undisturbed. The fish is done when it’s browned and crispy along the bottom edge, and the flesh is opaque about half way up the side of the filet. This should take about 4 to 6 minutes, depending on thickness.
Then, flip the salmon over and remove the skillet from heat. Allow the salmon to remain in the hot skillet to allow the carry-over heat to continue cooking the other side to desired doneness. This should take about 4 minutes more.
Step 2: Make Avocado Basil Mixture
While your salmon is cooking in the skillet, peel, pit, and mash the avocado with the basil, lime juice and the remaining salt.
Step 3: Serve and Enjoy
Serve your salmon topped with avocado mash and sprinkled with scallions if desired. Enjoy!
FAQs and Expert Tips
They’re both great options, it just depends what you’re looking for! The skillet tends to be quicker, so if you’re looking to get your meal on the table in about 15 minutes – go for the skillet. If you’re looking to set it and forget it, just throw it in the oven.
The best way to tell if the salmon is done is to test the internal temperature of the salmon with a digital instant-read thermometer. It should be 125 degrees in the center. You can also flake it apart with a knife to check if the center is still undercooked.
You can prep this ahead by making the avocado mash and storing it in an air-tight container with a layer of plastic wrap pressed down against the surface to prevent it from browning. You can also skin the salmon and portion it. Keep refrigerated until ready to cook it.
For leftovers, note that it doesn’t reheat super well the next day. If you do have leftovers, either heat the salmon up in a pan or enjoy it cold (microwaving salmon tends to dry it out).
Tips on How to Cook Salmon in a Skillet Without Sticking
When it comes to cooking salmon, you may be afraid that it will stick to the pan, but it won’t if you just keep a couple of things in mind.
- The major thing to remember is to let your skillet heat up well before you add the salmon.
- Once the salmon is in the hot pan, don’t try moving it.
- If it is ready to be flipped it will release from the pan without sticking at all.
- If you have a fish spatula, you’ll want to use that. If not, choose a thin metal spatula.
- Once you flip the salmon over, take the pan off the heat and allow the salmon to remain in the hot pan to cook the other side. The technical term for this is “carry over” heat. The end result is that the inside of the salmon will be ever so slightly translucent, aka medium-well, but the top will have a beautiful sear on it.
What To Serve With This Salmon and Avocado
You can serve your pan-seared salmon atop a salad like this cucumber noodle and napa cabbage coleslaw. Or mashed roasted garlic potatoes and these roasted Brussels sprouts.
Additional Healthy Salmon Recipes
- This Sheet Pan Salmon Dinner with Moroccan Spice is going to change your weeknight dinners for the better. Just throw everything on the pan and you’ll wind up with a wildly flavorful meal with minimal effort in just 40 minutes!
- Meal Prep Wasabi Glazed Salmon Power Salad is so satisfying as a simple lunch!
- Do you have more of a sweet or spicy tooth? Try Maple Tahini Roasted Salmon and Simple Sriracha Marmalade Glazed Salmon to find out!
- This 20-minute Baked Salmon Recipe with Mayonnaise dish is so fresh and fast for weeknight cooking, and if you have any leftover salmon, whip up some Lemon Caper Salmon Cakes for a meal prep lunch!
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
Easy Skillet Salmon with Avocado and Basil
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
This skillet salmon with avocado and basil mash comes together in 15 minutes for a healthy restaurant-quality dinner in minutes!
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1 ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 ½ pounds boneless salmon filet, skin removed
- 1 avocado
- ¼ cup chopped basil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- chopped scallions, for garnish
- Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle ¾ teaspoon salt, Italian seasonings, crushed red pepper and black pepper all over the salmon. Lay salmon filet skinned side up in the hot oil. Let cook, undisturbed until browned and crispy along the bottom edge, and the flesh is opaque about half way up the side of the filet, 4 to 6 minutes, depending on thickness. Flip salmon over and remove skillet from heat. Allow salmon to remain in hot skillet to allow the carry-over heat to continue cooking the other side to desired doneness, about 4 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, peel pit and mash avocado with basil, lime juice and the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt.
- Serve salmon topped with avocado mash sprinkled with scallions if desired.
Ingredient Note: I used crushed red pepper, ground black pepper, salt, and Italian seasonings. Teeny Tiny Spice Co makes Hot Italian Spice that is perfect to use if you have that on hand. I love that stuff! I use it all the time.
- Prep Time: 7 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 5 ounces salmon, 2 1/2 tablespoons avocado
- Calories: 232
- Sugar: 0
- Sodium: 525
- Fat: 9
- Saturated Fat: 4
- Carbohydrates: 7
- Fiber: 3
- Protein: 32
Keywords: skillet salmon, Salmon and Avocado
Another easy meal for a weekday. We usually go all out and make your homemade guac recipe to accompany the fish. Always a hit!