Quick and Easy/ Seafood

Creamy Garlic Butter Salmon

Try this restaurant-worthy, 20-minute creamy garlic butter salmon with pan-seared salmon smothered in a rich and smooth cream sauce. Pair it with mashed potatoes, white rice, or crusty bread to soak up of all that creamy garlic butter sauce.

A black plate with creamy garlic butter salmon and broccolini and mashed potatoes on the side.

Today we’re making some creamy garlic butter salmon that’s great for date nights or when you just feel like indulging a little. The salmon is pan-seared to get a nice, golden crust and then basted generously with melted butter to get it into every crack and crevice for maximum buttery flavor. Then we make the garlic white wine cream sauce that’s infused with Parmesan cheese and topped with fresh parsley.

Since there’s a ton of good sauce to go around, your sides should be something that can soak it all up like mashed potatoes, white rice, or some crusty bread. It’s a nice change from light, lemony salmon recipes like light lemon garlic pasta with salmon, lemon and Parmesan-crusted salmon or salmon piccata. If you’re craving more creamy salmon recipes instead, try out this creamy salmon pasta with spinach next! Let’s start cooking.

A close up shot of sauce drizzled over creamy garlic butter salmon.


Salt – I like to use coarse sea salt for my cooking as it’s more forgiving than regular table salt.

Wine – The white wine is optional. If you’re skipping it, you don’t have to substitute the liquid with anything else.

Chicken broth – Since only half a cup of broth is needed, it feels like a waste to buy canned broth or broth in a carton unless you plan to use it up soon. I like to use Better than Bouillon chicken and mix it with water as needed. One teaspoon is about one bouillon cube which is about one cup of broth.

Heavy cream – You can substitute heavy cream with half and half instead, but you’ll need to simmer it over low heat so the sauce doesn’t curdle. Some people have reported success substituting heavy cream with evaporated milk.

Parmesan cheese – Try to use freshly grated Parmesan cheese so it will melt smoothly into the sauce. If you’re short on time or don’t like grating, the grated Parmesan brand I use that melts pretty well is BelGioioso natural freshly grated Parmesan.

Creamy garlic butter salmon in a cast iron pan smothered in sauce and topped with fresh parsley.

Herbs – Feel free to switch up the parsley with some thyme or dill.

Add more flavor – Saute some diced shallots or onions with the garlic for more flavor, or season the salmon fillets with garlic and onion powder before searing.

Zest it up – Add some capers for some zest or you can add lemon slices directly to the cream sauce while it simmers. You can also marinate the salmon in lemon juice for 15-30 minutes, or just drizzle lemon juice over the salmon before serving.

Add some heat – Add a few dashes of red pepper flakes or some cayenne for heat.

Spinach – You can also add some baby spinach to the cream sauce for more substance.

A black plate with creamy garlic butter salmon and broccolini and mashed potatoes on the side.

Serve with – Serve with something to soak up all that creamy sauce, like mashed potatoes, rice, pasta, or even crusty bread. Add some greens like green beans, broccoli, or asparagus for a balanced meal.

And that’s about it! Enjoy your creamy salmon and happy eating 🙂


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A black plate with creamy garlic butter salmon and broccolini and mashed potatoes on the side.

Creamy Garlic Butter Salmon

  • Author: The Cooking Jar
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Try this restaurant-worthy, 20-minute creamy garlic butter salmon with pan-seared salmon smothered in a rich and smooth cream sauce.


Units Scale
  • 4 salmon fillets (58 oz. each)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 34 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Season both sides of the salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
  2. Over medium-high heat in a skillet, pan-fry the salmon in olive oil until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your salmon. Drain some of the excess oil from the pan, leaving a little to saute the garlic.
  3. Melt butter in the pan, tilt the pan towards you and spoon the butter generously over the salmon fillets.
  4. Remove salmon from the pan. Sauté the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. [Optional step] Add wine and simmer for 2 minutes or until the wine evaporates.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in chicken stock and heavy cream.
  7. Add Parmesan cheese and stir to melt the cheese into the sauce.  Season with parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add salmon back to the pan and top with more parsley.
  9. Spoon the sauce over the salmon then dish and serve hot.
  10. Enjoy!


Scroll up for useful recipe tips, suggestions and substitutions.

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins

♡ Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. You can learn more about it here.

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