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This easy Seared Salmon is completely cooked in a skillet then topped with a flavorful chipotle salsa. It's the perfect summertime salmon recipe that's ready in under 20 minutes!
I adore all salmon recipes, but I especially appreciate this seared salmon because it's completely cooked in a skillet, which is why I know you're going to love it too.
It's similar to my honey soy salmon and this sun-dried tomato salmon skillet, but it's seasoned with chipotle powder and topped with a simple chipotle-avocado salsa. ....basically the perfect summertime salmon!
- A quick and easy weeknight salmon recipe
- The salmon is completely cooked in a skillet, so there's no need to turn on the oven!
- Topped with a fresh and flavorful chipotle salsa, along with avocado
This list is simply to provide further clarification on a few of the ingredients; the full ingredient list is provided below in the recipe card.
- Salmon: Fresh or frozen; if using frozen salmon, be sure to thaw it ahead of time according to the package instructions.
- Chipotle seasoning: As you might imagine, the chipotle seasoning pairs very well with the chipotle salsa. However, if you can't find any or the grocery store is all out, you could substitute smoked paprika instead.
- Chipotle pepper: Canned; chipotle peppers in adobo are found in the Mexican food aisle at the grocery store.
- Avocado: Avocado basically goes with everything, but in this recipe it works extra well because it cuts some of the spiciness from the chipotle salsa
First: Make the salsa. First, add all of the salsa ingredients to a food processor and PULSE 10 times. Don't run the processor continuously or the salsa will become too watery. Instead, hit "pulse" 5-10 times until the tomatoes are broken down.
Second: Season the salmon. Next, pat the salmon dry, then season it with lime juice and chipotle seasoning.
Third: Pan-sear. Last, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the salmon flesh side-down, place a lid on the skillet and cook it for 4 minutes. Then, flip it over and cook for an additional 4 minutes or so.
Tips and FAQs
- Make sure to pat the salmon dry before seasoning it so the skin gets nice and crispy when it cooks.
- The chipotle seasoning pairs well with the chipotle salsa; however, if you need a substitution, try smoked paprika instead.
How do I know when the salmon is cooked?
You'll know the salmon is done with it easily flakes with a fork. Bon Appétit wrote an article about how to tell if salmon is cooked.
What should I do with the leftover salsa?
The chipotle salsa will keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks. TIP: be sure to store it WITHOUT the avocado!
More salmon recipes:
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Seared Salmon with Chipotle Salsa
for the salmon:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 salmon fillets
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp chipotle seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt
for the salsa:
- 3 vine ripe tomatoes
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 3 chipotle peppers in adobo
- 3 tbsp red onion chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 avocado diced
- Make the salsa: add all ingredients EXCEPT the avocado to your food processor and pulse for 5-10 seconds. You want everything to be combined but you still want it to be a little chunky. To do so, hit the "pulse" button instead of letting the motor run continuously.
- Next, season the salmon. Juice the lime over the salmon, then sprinkle with the chipotle seasoning and salt, using your hands to press the seasoning into the salmon. Heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil in a cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium-high.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high, then add the salmon skin side up into the skillet. Place a lid over top, and cook the salmon for 4 minutes, then flip it over and cook for 4 more minutes.
- To check if the salmon is is cooked, use a fork to cut down the middle. It should cut very easily and be flakey. If it's not, cook for an extra 1 minute on each side.
- Remove salmon from the skillet and add the salsa. Top it off with diced avocado. Enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally posted in May 2019. It was updated with new text and photos in June 2021.