This Salmon and Asparagus post is sponsored by Danish Creamery Butter. All opinions are my own.
Salmon and Asparagus bathed in Lemon Piccata Sauce is irresistibly delicious and on your table in 25 minutes!
How to make Salmon Recipe Video
This Salmon and Asparagus recipe is outrageously delicious, gloriously flavorful and deeply satisfying. Best of all, it looks impressive but is SO easy to make all in one skillet for easy prep and cleanup, perfect for all those busy nights! The salmon gets dredged in in flour and seasonings, is lightly pan fried until golden, then drenched in an intoxicating lemon, butter caper sauce. The resulting Lemon Butter Salmon truly tastes better than the finest restaurant at a fraction of the price and did I say ready in 25 minutes already? You can cook just the salmon and sauce or swap out the asparagus for whatever veggies you love or have on hand. Serve this one pot Salmon and Asparagus plain or over pasta, potatoes or rice or low carb zoodles, cauliflower rice etc. for a simple salmon recipe that will have everyone singing your praises and licking their plates.
Lemon Butter Salmon
This Lemon Butter Salmon and Asparagus recipe is about to become a repeat favorite because it isn’t often a recipe tastes delightfully gourmet, is made with minimal ingredients, in one skillet with both a protein and veggie (no double work!), and on your table in minutes AKA winning at life! Here’s why you’ll love the Salmon and Asparagus:
- Quick and Easy. This Lemon Butter Salmon and Asparagus is all about quick and easy prep with maximum flavor AKA your new “what should I make for dinner?” ace. With minimal ingredients and less than 30 minutes to chow time, this is the easy one-pot dinner recipe of your dreams. Life just got easier and more delicious with Salmon and Asparagus.
- The Salmon. The salmon is dredged in a mixture of flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, lemon pepper, and paprika which elevates it to stand-alone delicious and then absolutely hypnotic with the signature briny sauce. To elevate the salmon further, it gets pan fried in Danish Creamery’s Organic Spreadable Butter®. If you’ve never added butter to your pan frying, you will never go back! The enveloping, golden crust is deeply flavorful and the salmon emerges juicy, rich, and buttery tender.
- The Asparagus. Asparagus is added the last few minutes of cooking to soak up all the buttery bright, citrus glory. You seriously will be AMAZED at how flavorful the asparagus are! You will be making this buttery lemon sauce just for your asparagus and all your veggies thanks to Danish Creamery’s Organic Spreadable Butter.
- The Piccata Sauce. When sunny lemon juice, briny capers, zippy garlic, salty chicken broth and luscious Danish Creamery’s Organic Spreadable Butter combine with the golden salmon pan drippings, we get a mesmerizing sauce that’s silky, zesty and tangy. The sauce is proud and punchy but not overwhelmingly tart as the lemon is balanced by the decadence of butter.
- Family friendly. Golden, juicy salmon swimming in a lemony butter and caper sauce served over pasta or potatoes is a winner with the entire family! And a weeknight dinner winner for YOU because it’s not only delicious, but quick and easy to make with pantry friendly ingredients. This easy Lemon Salmon recipe is bound to become a family favorite!
- Impressive. Even though this Lemon Butter Salmon and Asparagus recipe is simple and easy to throw together, it’s out of this world flavorful, elegant and will impress family and dinner guests alike.
- Minimal Ingredients. If you need a dinner that’s unabashedly flavorful but made with minimal pantry friendly ingredients, Salmon and Asparagus is the answer! You will be blown away at how just a few ingredients can transform into something truly spectacular. Lemon Butter Salmon is essentially salmon fillets, flour, seasonings, asparagus, Danish Creamery’s Spreadable Butter, olive oil, lemon juice, capers, garlic, shallots and chicken broth. It all combines to create a light, bright, fresh, addicting spectacular restaurant worthy entree.
- Versatile. Salmon and Asparagus can be served with buttery noodles, mashed potatoes or rice or low carb cauliflower rice or zoodles; you can prepare it with or without the asparagus or swap the asparagus for zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, etc. and make the sauce as pucker lemony as your heart desires!
WHAT SALMON IS BEST FOR THIS SALMON recipe?
Salmon and Asparagus is a little pricier than chicken dinners, but it breaks up the mundane chicken routine and you can serve your entire family for a fraction of the cost of dining out – and it tastes 10X better! If you’re going to the expense of making salmon, I believe it is better to spend a few extra dollars on quality salmon because you can literally TASTE the difference.
- So, what is quality salmon? Always look for wild caught salmon (preferably Alaskan) and avoid farm-raised Atlantic salmon. Wild caught salmon includes king, coho and sockeye salmon. King salmon is the richest tasting, but it is also the most expensive, so don’t feel like you have to buy it – the other varieties will also taste delicious.
- What size salmon is best? You can use either 4 6-8 oz. skinless salmon fillets OR one wild Alaskan salmon fillet that you slice into fillets (which tends to be less expensive). My fresh seafood counter was closed during this crazy time, but I was able to purchase one large fillet, remove the skin and slice into smaller fillets. I had extra salmon so I used the rest in my salmon pasta – winning!
- Can I use frozen salmon? Absolutely! Frozen salmon fillets are a fabulous option, especially right now. Look for wild caught fillets and defrost them before cooking. Wild caught salmon is always better than farmed salmon – fresh OR frozen.
- What Salmon should I avoid? Avoid farm-raised Atlantic salmon as it is fatty, less nutritious (due to its artificial diet), waterier and can bake up mushy.
WHAT Ingredients for LEMON PICCATA SAUCE?
While this Salmon and Asparagus recipe might appear to be about the tender salmon, it would be nothing without the buttery piccata sauce. The sauce is spiked with minced garlic, minced shallots, lemon juice, capers and Danish Creamery’s Organic Spreadable Butter. These simple ingredients deliver an explosive mouthful of tangy, sultry, intoxicating flavors. You will need:
- Butter: Danish Creamery’s Organic Spreadable Butter is made with organic cream and organic virgin coconut oil that also meets non-GMO standards to produce a smooth, spreadable finish perfect for cooking and sautéing at higher temperatures like in this recipe or to use for breakfast on waffles, pancakes, crepes, toast, muffins, etc. or to melt with spaghetti squash, veggies, or pasta or as a starter for creamy pasta sauces, or stir fries.
- Lemon juice: use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor but you may use bottled lemon juice as well. I use two tablespoons but you can start with one and add more to taste.
- Capers: If you aren’t familiar with capers, they are another key ingredient in authentic piccata sauce and should be easy to find by the olives at your grocery store. They are actually flower buds imported from Italy that have been brined to mellow their bitterness. The resulting brined capers are tangy, salty, lemony doses of flavOR. They add both acid and salt which intensify the flavor of the sauce and elevate it to new heights. As always, you can add more or less to taste.
- Shallots: you will need three tablespoons shallots. Please don’t substitute with any other onion as shallots are milder and sweeter in flavor with a hint of garlic and won’t overwhelm the sauce, but just enhance it.
- Garlic: use 3-4 garlic cloves depending on your garlic love.
- Chicken broth: low sodium please so we can control the salt.
- Cornstarch: thickens the sauce without making it too thick, giving it body so it’s not watery.
- Salt and pepper: awaken the flavors of the sauce.
DO I HAVE TO ADD CORNSTARCH TO THE PICCATA SAUCE?
Yes, I highly recommend adding the cornstarch to the in the Piccata Sauce. Even with the cornstarch, the sauce does not get very thick, but it does help add some body. Without the cornstarch, the sauce is runny like water and runs right off of the Salmon and Asparagus. If you don’t have or want to use cornstarch, you can add double the amount of flour after the shallots have cooked for 1 minute then continue with the recipe.
HOW DO I TRIM ASPARAGUS?
The asparagus is one of the starts in this Salmon and Asparagus recipe because asparagus + butter + lemon + garlic = heaven! Before we cook the asparagus, we need to eliminate the chewy, woody stems. To easily do this, hold one piece of asparagus and bend it until it snaps in two. The asparagus will naturally snap where the tough end begins.
Instead of breaking the ends off of every individual piece of asparagus this way, save time by snapping one asparagus, then line the rest up with it and chop off all the ends at this same point. So, with one snap and one chop – you’re all set.
CAN I MAKE THIS RECIPE GLUTEN FREE?
Yes! Simply swap the flour for gluten free flour; the rest of the ingredients are gluten free.
Why use Danish Creamery Butter?
Butter is all about flavor and luxurious creaminess and no one does that better than Danish Creamery – you can literally taste the difference! Danish Creamery is celebrating its 125th birthday this year with its commitment to sustainability, open California pastures, and pasture raised cows – unlike the cows you see smashed together in corrals.
Danish Creamery’s commitment to velvety, rich butter lies in the health of its cows and land. The cows are humanely raised in wide open spaces and happy, healthy cows produce tasty, nutritious milk – the key ingredient to perfect Danish Creamery butters. Now you can enjoy the flavor of fresh-churned butter as a spreadable topping on all your favorite foods- and in this Salmon and Asparagus recipe!
DO I HAVE TO USE BUTTER AND OLIVE OIL?
Yes, please do! I almost always use a combination of butter and oil whether it’s for making a roux or for pan frying salmon, chicken or shrimp. The Danish Creamery Spreadable Butter adds the undeniably scrumptious buttery flavor and the olive oil prevents the butter from burning.
HOW TO MAKE SALMON AND ASPARAGUS
How to Dredge Salmon
- Dredging the salmon is creates a crust to carry flavor; it also insulates the salmon against high heat to keep it juicy and tender. To dredge the salmon, mix the flour in a shallow dish with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, lemon pepper and paprika.
- Add salmon and press the flour into the top and bottom of the fillets as well as the two sides.
- Transfer salmon to a clean, dry surface. You don’t want to return the salmon to the same surface (unless you wipe it with paper towels) because the moisture left behind will make the coating wet and fall off.
How to Cook salmon
- Cooking salmon in a skillet is one of my favorite ways to prepare salmon because it is so quick and convenient and it allows you to add other vegetables to the mix for a one-pot dinner.
- To cook the salmon, melt one tablespoon olive oil with one tablespoon Danish Creamery Spreadable Butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. The Danish Creamery Spreadable Butter infuses the salmon with buttery goodness through and through as the salmon drinks it up as it cooks.
- Cook the salmon for 3 minutes, or until it’s golden brown on the bottom. Flip the salmon over and cook for 2-3 minutes, remove to a plate. Don’t wipe out the skillet.
How to Make Piccata Sauce
- Now for the Piccata Sauce dripping with tangy lemon flavor seasoned with shallots, garlic, capers and of course tantalizing Danish Creamery’s Spreadable Butter. Here’s how to make the EASY piccata sauce:
- To the remaining butter and juices in the skillet, melt tablespoons Danish Creamery’s Spreadable Butter. Add shallots and sauté while scraping up the drippings for 2 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, sauté 30 seconds.
- Whisk chicken broth with cornstarch and add to skillet along with lemon juice, capers, salt and pepper. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- You can stop here if you like and devour your salmon bathed in buttery lemon garlic sauce or you can proceed to cook the asparagus – I vote asparagus.
How to Cook Asparagus
- The asparagus is cooked directly in the sauce to drink up all of the buttery, lemony glory.
- Once you remove the salmon from the skillet, sauté the asparagus in the sauce just until crisp tender about 3-4 minutes – they take less time than you think, so make sure you don’t overcook them.
- If you have thin asparagus, they will require even less time, extra thick asparagus will require more time. I like to check for doneness by stealing a piece of asparagus at 3 minutes – and then try not to steal more.
- Add salmon back to pan and warm through, spooning sauce over salmon. Serve with rice, potatoes, pasta, etc.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN SALMON IS DONE
As salmon bakes, it changes from bright pink (raw) to opaque pink. The outside of the salmon should be completely opaque but the center should still be a bit translucent, but not raw. Cooked salmon will also easily flake with a fork along the muscle fibers. The most accurate way to test your salmon, however, is with a meat thermometer.
The FDA advises salmon should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, HOWEVER, if you cook your salmon to this temperature it will be overdone because the temperature will continue to rise after you remove salmon from the skillet.
Instead, America’s Test kitchen suggests cooking your salmon to about 125 degrees F (52 degrees C) to avoid dry, overcooked salmon. I usually cook my salmon to just 130 degrees F and the results are always perfect after a 5-minute rest.
Take care not to overcook your salmon because it will only remain buttery, juicy and tender as long as it isn’t overcooked. It is better for salmon to be under-cooked than overcooked in my opinion.
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR SALMON RECIPE:
This Salmon and Asparagus recipe is quick and easy to make but here are a few tips and tricks to guarantee a runaway success:
- Remove salmon from the fridge: Never cook salmon cold straight from the refrigerator otherwise it will cook unevenly. Instead, remove the fish from the refrigerator about 15 to 20 minutes before you’re ready to start cooking.
- Do NOT rinse and dry fillets. You should NOT rinse your fish before baking! The USDA cautions: “do not rinse raw fish, seafood, meat, and poultry. Bacteria in these raw juices can splash and spread to other foods and surfaces. Cooking foods thoroughly will kill harmful bacteria.”
- Dry fillets: Pat salmon dry with paper towels before seasoning to help the flour and seasonings stick – and since we are not rinsing the salmon, we are just drying any moisture from the packaging.
- Use a large enough skillet. Use a skillet that is large enough to comfortably hold all of the salmon without touching so each side can sear and not just steam
- Thin sauce if needed. If the sauce becomes thicker than you like, then stir in additional chicken broth a little at a time. You can also add additional Danish Creamery Spreadable Butter – yum!
- Microwave lemons. Ever since I learned this tip years ago, I use it all the time! Microwave your lemons for 15 seconds and be amazed at how much easier they are to juice (and how much more juice you get)!
- Amp up the lemon. If you like more lemon flavor, sprinkle your portion with fresh lemon zest.
- Amp up the butter. If you like a more buttery sauce (and who doesn’t?!), add additional Danish Creamery Spreadable Butter.
HOW LONG IS SALMON AND ASPARAGUS GOOD FOR?
Lemon Butter Salmon and Asparagus should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Leftovers can be reheated and served for lunch or dinner the next day and even be chopped up and served in salads, wraps or sandwiches.
HOW DO YOU KEEP SALMON WARM AFTER COOKING?
If your Salmon and Asparagus is all cooked but you aren’t quite ready to eat, you can keep it warm it in the oven. Transfer salmon (make sure you are using an oven safe skillet) to the oven and heat at 200-degrees F for up to 30 minutes.
WHAT SHOULD I SERVE WITH LEMON BUTTER SALMON?
This Lemon Butter Salmon and Asparagus is practically a meal-in-itself with the juicy salmon and outrageously flavorful asparagus but we also love serving it with rice, pasta or potatoes to soak up the delectable lemon butter sauce. Here are a few serving side ideas:
- PASTA: buttery pastas such as linguine or orzo – just melt Danish Creamery Spreadable Butter directly into the hot pasta and season with salt and pepper. It is also amazing with my Greek lemon orzo, fettuccine Alfredo and cacio e pepe.
- OTHER STARHES: plain rice, Greek lemon rice, Parmesan risotto or mashed potatoes.
- LOW CARB: you can also go low carb and serve it with cauliflower rice, cauliflower mashed “potatoes,” zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.
- SALAD: a fresh salad is a wonderful compliment to the zippy sauce. Salmon and Asparagus is delicious with a big green salad, Caesar salad, Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Ranch, Cucumber Tomato Salad, Apple Salad, Roasted Butternut Squash Salad, Cranberry Apple Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad, or Green Bean Salad.
- BREAD: Of course, every saucy entrée (or arguably any entre) needs a side of bread to ensure no sauce is left behind. You can serve Lemon Butter Salmon with a side of crusty bread or we’re obsessed with my Garlic Bread recipe, Dinner Rolls, or Garlic Parmesan Butter Breadsticks.
- FRUIT: Every entree is enhanced by mother nature’s candy. Go simple with a side of grapes, melon or apples or enjoy Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette, Winter Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Poppy Seed Vinaigrette, Berry Salad in Honey Mascarpone or Pina Colada Fruit Salad.
SALMON AND ASPARAGUS VARIATIONS
This Lemon Butter Salmon and Asparagus recipe with its scrumptious sauce can serve as a springboard for all sorts of variations. Here are just a few ideas:
- Add heavy cream: swap ¾ cup chicken broth with ¾ cup heavy creamy for a creamy version.
- Swap vegetables: swap the asparagus for other vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, corn, peas, broccoli, etc. You can also add roasted vegetables directly to the sauce at the end of cooking.
- Make it spicy: sauté a pinch of red pepper flakes with the garlic for a pop of heat.
- Sun-dried tomatoes: replace the olive oil with oil from the sun-dried tomato jar and sauté chopped sun-dried tomatoes in the butter/olive oil for a minute or so before adding the garlic.
- Add Artichokes: sauté chopped artichoke hearts with the butter/olive oil before adding the garlic.
CAN I MAKE LEMON BUTTER SALMON AHEAD OF TIME?
Lemon Butter Salmon and Asparagus is the best fresh as the salmon is juiciest if only cooked once. In order to prep ahead, you can dredge the salmon and store it in a single layer covered in the refrigerator. You can also squeeze your lemon juice, chop the shallots and mince the garlic and store them in separate containers in the refrigerator.
HOW DO I REHEAT LEMON BUTTER SALMON?
This Salmon and Asparagus can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop:
- Microwave: Microwave for one minute, then continue to heat at 20 second intervals until warmed through.
- Stove: Sizzle a little Danish Creamery Spreadable Butter in a skillet, add Salmon and Asparagus and heat over medium low until warmed through. You may need to add a splash of chicken broth to thin the sauce.
CAN YOU FREEZE LEMON BUTTER SALMON?
Yes, you can freeze Lemon Butter Salmon and Asparagus but the asparagus has the tendency to get mushy if initially fully cooked. If you know you’re going to freeze, then only cook your asparagus for one minute instead of cooking completely.
To freeze, cool Salmon and Asparagus before adding to an airtight container or separate containers for individual servings. If adding to a bag, squeeze out any excess air to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before reheating in the microwave or skillet.
HELPFUL TOOLS TO MAKE SALMON AND ASPARAGUS
- Nonstick Skillet: This skillet is my favorite pan in the WORLD! I have both the 10 and 12-inh and use them for practically everything. I’ve had this pan for forever and they’re still as good as new. I love giving this nonstick skillet for wedding gifts because it sets you up for cooking success! It is on the pricier side but it’s practically the only pan you’ll ever need! If you’re looking for a more economical nonstick skillet, this one also has good reviews – but I can’t guarantee it will last as long!
- Metal Fish Spatula: allows you to seamlessly flip fish without it breaking! This spatula is commercial grade brushed stainless steel and also has an edged-end for cutting during cooking.
- Garlic press: I use this every single day! It is the ultimate garlic press- it is easy-to-use, easy-to-clean and minces garlic with one squeeze.
- Quality Knives: a chef’s knife will be your most used kitchen tool by far! Quality knives make prep time much quicker and are important for safety as well. If you’re concerned about moola, please remember that your best chef knives, depending on how hard you use them and how well you take care of them, can easily last 25 years or more. I love my Wusthof but there are hundreds of less expensive knives with great reviews such as this one.
- Cutting Board: I use my big solid cutting board daily so it’s worth the investment. This extra-large cutting board allows you to prep all your veggies on one surface and the bamboo is easier on knives than plastic.
LOOKING FOR MORE SALMON RECIPES?
- vBlackened Salmon with Creamy Cajun Sauce
- Chipotle Salmon with Mango Salsa
- Baked Greek Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce
- Sheet Pan Fajita Salmon with Cilantro Lime Butter
- Asian Barbecue Salmon
- Cajun Salmon with Pineapple, Mango Avocado Salsa
- Sheet Pan Asian Chimichurri Salmon with Pineapple and Snap Peas
- Lemon Garlic Butter Salmon with Crispy Panko and Broccoli
- Sheet Pan Cashew Honey Soy Salmon
- Sweet and Spicy Asian Salmon with Blueberry Pineapple Salsa
Want to try this Salmon RECIPE?
Pin it to your Dinner, Seafood or 30 Minute Meals Board to SAVE for later!
Find me on Pinterest for more great recipes! I am always pinning :)!
©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com
Carlsbad Cravings© Original