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Salmon Piccata is a salmon lover’s twist on classic piccata. Crispy seared salmon is adorned with a lemon butter caper sauce, a simple recipe that takes this buttery fish to new flavor heights. A delectable dish that's dinner party special and weeknight easy, made in less than 30 minutes.
There's something special about salmon. That pink flesh and silvery skin are just noble. There are few other types of fish with so much character. And the best part? Salmon is incredibly easy to cook.
Ingredients You Need to Make Salmon Piccata
- Salmon Fillets: Skin removed and of even thickness. Or skin-on, directions for crisping it up in the recipe notes.
- Butter: Salted or unsalted.
- Chicken Broth: Or chicken stock. You could also use fish stock to make this a Pescetarian friendly dish.
- Lemons: One for the recipe and an optional second one for garnish.
- Capers: Brined or salt cured, rinsed and drained.
- Avocado Oil: Or other high heat vegetable oil to give you that great sear!
- Parsley: Optional for garnish.
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
It all starts with a couple of thick, skinless salmon filets (or skin-on if you prefer to crisp up the skin). Though piccata recipes typically call for coating with flour or cornstarch (like my Pork Piccata and Shrimp Piccata), with salmon piccata just searing them works best. The salmon fillets end up lighter in calories, but still enticingly crispy. An ideal main course for a dinner party where some of your guests may follow a gluten-free or keto / low-carb diet.
Once we sear the salmon (don’t overcook it!) we’ll let the fillets rest and use the same skillet to put together our luscious, silky lemon butter caper sauce. You’ll just need a splash of broth, fresh lemon juice, a few spoonfuls of capers and butter. Drizzled over the steamy salmon, you'll end up with a restaurant-quality meal that no one will believe you prepared in minutes.
What to Serve with Salmon Piccata
- Roasted Italian Potatoes or Fondant Potatoes and Arugula Salad or Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower
- Mashed Red Potatoes and Rapini with Raisins and Hazelnuts
- For dessert: Chocolate Panna Cotta or Affogato
How to Make Salmon Piccata
Step 1: In a large non-stick skillet, sear seasoned salmon fillets flesh side down in hot oil until crispy. Gently flip and cook 1 minute more; transfer to plate.
Step 2 : Pour out and discard oil. Return skillet to heat and add broth, lemon juice, and capers; bring to boil and reduce slightly. Stir in butter. Return salmon fillets to skillet and spoon sauce over until salmon is warm and just cooked through.
Step 3: Transfer salmon to platter and spoon sauce over. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley if desired; serve.
- 4 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets (see recipe note for crispy skin lovers)
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or other high heat oil
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 large lemon juiced, ~3 tablespoons
- ¼ cup capers drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish, optional
- 1 small lemon thinly sliced for garnish, optional
- Season salmon fillets with kosher salt and pepper.
- Heat avocado oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Add salmon fillets in a single layer and cook undisturbed until golden and crisp on one side, 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and, with a thin spatula, flip each fillet and cook 1-2 minutes more until nearly done (they'll continue to cook on the plate and be returned to the pan for one minute, so take care not to overcook). Transfer salmon fillets to clean plate.
- Add broth, lemon juice, and capers to skillet and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits; boil until reduced slightly, 1-2 minutes. Add butter and stir to melt. Return salmon fillets to skillet and spoon sauce over until coated and heated through, about 1 minute (or until salmon is cooked to your liking). Remove from heat and transfer salmon and sauce to platter. Garnish with parsley and lemon slices if desired and serve.
- If you prefer to leave the skin on your salmon fillets, sear them skin side down until the skin is crispy, 6 to 7 minutes then flip and cook flesh side down for just 1 to 2 minutes more before transferring to plate.