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Pan-Seared Salmon with Sautéed Fennel

By The GreenPan Kitchen Team

A welcome addition to the Feast of the Seven Fishes or the perfect holiday entrée for your pescatarian friends. Pairing the mild anise flavor of fresh fennel with the tartness of sliced lemons, our easy recipe makes pan-seared salmon shine.

Pan-Seared Salmon with Sautéed Fennel

Yields: 2 to 3 servings

Time: 10 minutes prep, 30 minutes cooking, 40 minutes total



  • 1 large fennel bulb, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 2 to 3 salmon filets
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, sliced thinly into rounds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water



  1. Prep the fennel—Trim away stalks and slice fennel into thin pieces. Remove fronds from stalk and set aside for garnish.


  1. Prepare the pan—Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When a drop of water sizzles on pan, it’s good to go.


  1. Sauté the fennel—Add sliced fennel to skillet and stir to coat with oil. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and continue sautéing until fennel begins to caramelize—another 10 minutes or so. If the pan starts to look dry, add a tablespoon or two of water. Push fennel over to one side of the skillet.


  1. Sear the salmon—Increase heat to medium high. Pat salmon dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on the flesh side (if skin on). Place salmon in skillet, flesh side down and let it cook undisturbed until it looks cooked 3/4 of the way—about 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, flip salmon, and continue cooking till skin is crisp, another 2 to 3 minutes. When salmon flakes easily with a fork, it’s done.


  1. Garnish and serve—Top salmon with lemon slices and fennel fronds and serve hot.



The Skinny on Skin

Crisp salmon skin delivers added layers of texture and flavor, so keep it on. Or not—you do you.


Layaway Plan

When adding salmon fillets to the pan, be sure to lower them down away from you to avoid being splattered by lava-hot (almost) oil.

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