Simple, delicious recipes and helpful tips.

Salmon with Brown Butter Lemon Sauce

Be prepared for restaurant worthy salmon. This brown butter lemon sauce is as simple as can be. It takes just a few minutes to make and it’s a gorgeous accent to some moist salmon.

salmon with browned butter lemon sauce and a salad

I adore seafood. I think a true lover of seafood appreciates the flavor of the fish without having to cover it up with strong seasonings and sauces. Sometimes it fits the dish, but it doesn’t always have to be complicated.

This brown butter lemon sauce is as simple as can be. It takes just a few minutes to make and it’s a gorgeous accent to some moist salmon.

Perfect for Lunch or Dinner

My husband doesn’t like fish so most of the time, I make it for lunch while he’s at work. I’m always looking for quick ways to prepare it, because let’s be honest. No one wants to spend as long making lunch as they would dinner. Who has time for that? If you’re making it for dinner, though, check out some of our yummy cocktail recipes! Since it’s so easy and quick to make, you’ll have a little extra time for a special drink.

*Heads up. This post may contain affiliate links. If you click one and make a purchase, I might make a small commission at no extra charge to you.

browned butter lemon sauce



I buy frozen salmon. I know, I can hear you chastising me now. But hey, like I mentioned already, I usually only cook fish for myself for a quick lunch so buying fresh fish doesn’t make as much sense. I don’t always plan my lunches ahead of time that much. One filet of salmon thaws pretty quickly. Obviously fresh is always better, but I don’t mind frozen. 

I always buy salmon with the skin on. I like the way it holds in some of the fat while the fish cooks. Once the fish is cooked, the skin peels right off. 

Tip: If you want to make your salmon look extra pretty, gently scrape off the globs of white fat in the pan right before you plate it. 

Note: It takes a little practice to not over cook fish. I’ve been doing it for years and I still don’t nail it every single time. So if you err on the side of well done, don’t sweat it. It will still be good! It’s just even better when the fish isn’t too dry. The more you practice, the more you’ll hone your instincts for knowing when it’s done.


When you brown butter in a pan, it really doesn’t take long at all. What happens is, the solids are browning while the fat just melts and stays the same. So you’ll notice browned butter can sort of separate and settle. That’s totally okay. Just stir it up before drizzling it over your salmon.

Dairy Free

I haven’t tried this recipe since going 100% dairy free. I’d love to try it with plant based butter and see how it tastes. So far, Earth Balance has been a great replacement and does everything I need it to do. If you make this with dairy free butter and it turns out well, please let me know in the comments! 

salmon with browned butter lemons sauce and a salad on a white plate

Salmon with Browned Butter Lemon Sauce

Jen Tiffany
This delicious salmon with a super simple browned butter lemon sauce is restaurant worthy.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 4


For the Browned Butter Lemon Sauce

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • dash salt and pepper

For the Salmon

  • 4 samon filets - skin on
  • 1 tbsp butter


For the Browned Butter Lemon Sauce

  • Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat.
  • In 2-3 minutes, the butter should start to turn a golden color. The solids are browning while the fat stays its normal color.
  • Whisk it every few seconds. Once the aroma changes to slightly nutty and sweet, it's done.
  • Poor the butter into a small bowl and whisk in the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Taste it and add more lemon juice if desired. Set aside.

For the Salmon

  • Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat.
  • Add a little butter to the skillet and place salmon filets skin side down. Leave them alone for 3-5 minutes.
  • Watch the side of the filets and you should start to see them cooking. As the visibly cooked part rises closer to the center, flip the filets over.
  • Let them cook another 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove salmon from skillet and let it rest on a plate for about 2 minutes, then peel the skin off. It should come off easily.
  • Serve right away with sauce.

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Jen Tiffany, Oklahoma girl, mom, creator of Tasty Sunrise recipes.

Hey, I’m Jen.

I’m a photographer and food blogger from Oklahoma. I love to cook and share great food with family and friends. Oh, and I do love to eat, too!