Sweet, spicy, and delicious, cast iron salmon is paired with fresh veggies for an easy dinner that is made in one dish and ready in minutes. Serve it on its own or with your favorite sides for a healthy recipe perfect for weeknight dinners, date nights, and more!
If like me, you’re always looking for simple ways to make meal prep easier without sacrificing flavor, you’re going to love this salmon in a cast iron skillet. Complete with veggies, it’s an ultra-nutritious dinner that cooks in less than 15 minutes. Even better, it can be prepared ahead of time and served with all your favorite sides, meaning it tastes like a completely new meal every single time. Recipes don’t get better than that!
If you’re looking for more tasty salmon recipes the whole family will enjoy, check out my cast iron salmon with mango salsa and cauliflower rice and this air fried teriyaki salmon bites rice bowl!
- Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Ingredients & Notes
- Wild-caught salmon vs farm raised
- How do you cook salmon in a cast iron skillet without it sticking?
- Step-by-Step Instructions
- Expert Tips
- How to Serve
- How to Store
- Can I Make This Salmon In Cast Iron Skillet Ahead of Time?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Cooks in one cast iron skillet in less than 15 minutes
- A good source of protein, nutrients, and healthy fats
- Gluten free and dairy free
- Pairs well with all your favorite sides and appetizers
- Great to make ahead of time and enjoy throughout the week
Ingredients & Notes
- Salmon - This cast iron salmon recipe can be made with fresh or frozen salmon. Wild-caught varieties are best.
- Seasonings - Sea salt, black pepper, and paprika add a savory flavor with just a hint of spice.
- Honey - A natural sweetener that enhances the sugars in the vegetables without the need for refined sugar.
- Olive oil - Helps caramelize the veggies and cook the salmon in the cast iron skillet while adding a boost of healthy fats. I prefer the strong flavor of olive oil to balance out the rest of the ingredients, but coconut oil or avocado oil would work, too.
- Vegetables - Garlic, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes add extra nutrients and flavor to this cast iron salmon, making it a complete meal.
Wild-caught salmon vs farm raised
Salmon is one of the many fishes that are best to buy wild-caught instead of farm-raised. This is because wild-caught salmon has more omega-3 and an overall better flavor. You can usually find wild-caught salmon at the seafood counter at your local grocery store or in the freezer section. If buying it frozen, be sure to let it thaw before cooking it.
How do you cook salmon in a cast iron skillet without it sticking?
To cook the salmon in a cast iron skillet without it sticking to the pan, you need to coat the cast iron well with oil. If there isn’t enough oil, the skin will stick to the pan right away and will be hard to remove.
You also want to cook the salmon skin side down for a long enough period that the skin gets nice and crispy. This makes it easier to slide a spatula under the skin to remove it from the pan. A good salmon filet has been cooked skin side down for most of its cooking time!
One of my favorite things about cast iron salmon is how quick it is to make! All you’ll need is a cast iron skillet and a spatula, and it is ready in minutes.
Step 1: Prepare the salmon. Use a paper towel to pat the salmon filets dry, and gently rub the spices on top of each filet. Then, drizzle the honey on top, and use the back of a spoon to spread it out evenly over the fish. Set the salmon aside.
Step 2: Cook the veggies. Add the olive oil and garlic to the cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Once the garlic has softened and the oil is sizzling, add the asparagus and tomatoes. Toss the vegetables in the oil, and cook for a few minutes.
Step 3: Cook the salmon. Move the vegetables to the side of the pan, and add the salmon skin side down. Cook until the skin becomes crisp, stirring the vegetables as the salmon cooks.
Use a spatula to flip the salmon filets over, and continue to cook until the sides of the fish are fully opaque and the top can easily be flaked with a fork. Sprinkle extra salt and pepper on top. Divide the salmon and vegetables onto plates, and serve warm!
- Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel before rubbing the seasonings on top.
- Make sure your pan is hot enough that the olive oil is slightly simmering but not so hot that the oil is popping. If it’s too hot, you may want to reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Don’t move the salmon filets around once they are on the cast iron skillet. This will remove the skins from the filets and make it hard to flip them over.
- If you find the filets and vegetables are soaking up too much of the olive oil, don’t be afraid to add another drizzle while they’re cooking. Sometimes if the heat is set too high, the oil will cook down too quickly, causing the ingredients to stick to the pan and burn.
How to Serve
You can serve this cast iron salmon with almost anything! Here are a few side options:
- Honey Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
- Mandarin Orange Salad
- Smashed Fingerling Potatoes
- Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini
- Pumpkin Quinoa Salad
- Homemade Sweet Potato Fries
How to Store
Let the cast iron salmon cool completely before storing it in an airtight container. It will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. When ready to enjoy, heat it up on a plate in the microwave in 15-second increments until your desired temperature has been reached.
Can I Make This Salmon In Cast Iron Skillet Ahead of Time?
If you want to prepare the salmon ahead of time you can! Simply go ahead and coat the filets in the seasoning and honey, and store them in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to cook. Then, let the filets come to room temperature before cooking on the cast iron. Drizzle any extra honey mixture left in the container over the salmon while it’s cooking, and follow the recipe card as normal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Usually anywhere from 5 - 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon filets. The best way to tell your salmon is done is to look at the sides of the filets. You want the fish to be an opaque pink color all the way up the sides. If only ½ of the side is a light pink, the fish needs more time to cook. You can also check the internal temperature of the cast iron salmon. When its internal temperature reads between 120 - 130° F, it’s medium-rare. When it reaches a temperature between 135 - 145° F, it’s cooked to medium, which is where I prefer it!
If the heat is too high or the pan isn’t greased well enough, the fish will stick. Make sure to cook the filets over medium heat with a well-oiled pan!
No, it’s actually better if you cook it with the skin on. Once the salmon is cooked, the skin is much easier to remove.
For more quick dinner ideas, check out my:
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Cast Iron Salmon
- 2 6 oz salmon filets
- ½ teaspoon sea salt - plus more for veggies
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper - plus more for veggies
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes - halved
- Pat the salmon filets dry with a paper towel. In a small bowl, mix together the sea salt, black pepper, and paprika. Gently rub the spices on top of each filet of salmon. Drizzle the honey over top and spread over the salmon with the back of a spoon. Set the salmon filets aside.
- In a cast iron skillet, add the olive oil and chopped garlic. Heat over medium heat while stirring to prevent burning. Once the garlic has become soft and the oil is slightly sizzling, add the asparagus and tomatoes to the pan and gently toss in the oil. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Move the asparagus and tomatoes to the edges of the pan and add the salmon filets, skin side down. Cook for 3 - 4 minutes, depending on the filet’s thickness, until the skin becomes crispy. Don’t move the filets around in the skillet. If you find the edges of the salmon curling up, press each filet down firmly with the back of a spatula to press it back down. The salmon is ready to be flipped over when the sides of the salmon are ⅔ of the way opaque pink. As the salmon is cooking, gently stir the vegetables a little.
- Slide a spatula under the salmon filet, releasing the skin from the pan, and flip the salmon over. Cook for another 1 - 2 minutes until the sides of the salmon are fully opaque pink. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt and a few cracks of black pepper over the vegetables.
- Serve the salmon alongside the asparagus and tomatoes and enjoy!