Pan-Fried Salmon with Lentils

This delightful pan-fried salmon recipe is inspired by a popular dish that was on the menu at a Los Angeles restaurant I worked at during my pastry chef days.

Hearty green lentils are cooked in a flavorful broth, then fried with browned butter. The salmon gets a quick fry in a saute pan and is topped with a flavorful medley of cherry tomatoes, basil and garlic.

It’s a quick and delicious recipe that’s perfect for your weeknight dinners.

If you enjoy this recipe and want more like it, check out my cookbook Beach House Dinners. 🙂

Pan Fried Salmon
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5 from 3 votes

Pan-Fried Salmon with Lentils

Prep Time40 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: lentils, pan-fried salmon recipe, salmon recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 518kcal



  • 3 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 4 tablespoons butter unsalted


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound salmon fillets cut into four (¼-pound) servings, skin removed
  • salt for seasoning
  • pepper for seasoning
  • 10½ ounces cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup basil leaves packed
  • 6 cloves garlic minced


Make lentils:

  • Combine the water, bay leaf and bouillon cube in a small pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a low boil and stir in the lentils. Cover and cook until lentils are just tender, about 24 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Brown the butter over low heat in a large sauté pan. Add the lentils, stir until incorporated and transfer to serving platter.

Make salmon:

  • Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the sauté pan over medium heat. Add the salmon, season with salt and pepper, and cook 2 minutes per side. Lay the cooked fillets over the lentils.
  • Add the tomatoes, basil and garlic to the sauté pan and cook until tomatoes are heated through, about 1 minute. Season with salt. Shake pan frequently to prevent garlic from burning. Cover salmon with the tomato-basil mixture and serve immediately.


Calories: 518kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 331mg | Potassium: 1216mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1096IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 5mg