Pan-Roasted Salmon With Arugula and Avocado Salad Recipe

Salmon paired with creamy avocado and a light refreshing salad takes only 10 minutes to cook.

pan-roasted salmon on bed of arugula salad with avocado chunks
Creamy, buttery avocado, nutty shavings of Parmesan, and a bright, tangy dressing set the stage for a delicious piece of salmon. .

Serious Eats / Yasmin Fahr

Why This Recipe Works

  • Cooking the salmon longer on the skin side makes the skin crispy and cooks the salmon from the bottom up.
  • Dressing the arugula while the salmon is cooking is an efficient way to whip this meal up in no time.

Even after plating this recipe, I had to stop for a minute to check the timer and make sure I was right—did this really only take 10 minutes? It was the same kind of shock I get when someone tells me an item costs a quarter; how often does that happen anymore? But the surprise was quickly replaced with other thoughts as I started to dig into the dish, patting myself on the back for hitting both avocado and salmon in one fell swoop.

Salmon is a fish that I rarely cook at home. After reading a Food Lab post on an easy way to cook filets (read: in less than 10 minutes), I was sold. Serving it with a light and refreshing arugula salad only helps to remind me that simple ingredients and preparations should be taken seriously.

The avocado isn't a necessary addition, but I love how its mild flavor works well with the nutty cheese and acidic dressing while adding its own creamy, buttery texture—a great match for the similarly rich salmon. I may not have thought of myself as a big salmon person before, but I definitely do now.

July 2014

Recipe Details

Pan-Roasted Salmon With Arugula and Avocado Salad Recipe

Active 10 mins
Total 10 mins
Serves 4 servings

Salmon paired with creamy avocado and a light refreshing salad takes only 10 minutes to cook.


  • 4 (5- to 6-ounce) salmon filets, preferably wild

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 4 cups baby arugula

  • 2 tablespoons fresh juice from 1 lemon

  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

  • 1 ripe Hass avocado, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch cubes


  1. Press salmon filets between paper towels to dry surfaces thoroughly. Season on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1/3 cup oil in a large stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add salmon filets skin side down. Immediately reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, pressing gently on back of filets to ensure good contact with skin, until skin is rendered and crisp, about 6 minutes. If skin shows resistance when attempting to lift with a spatula, allow it to continue to cook until it lifts easily.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine arugula, lemon juice, remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, and avocado. Season with salt and pepper and toss in grated cheese.

  3. Flip salmon and cook on second side until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 120°F (49°C) for medium-rare or 130°F (54°C) for medium, about 1 minute longer. Transfer salmon to a paper towel-lined plate. Spoon salad onto plates, top with salmon, and serve.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
591 Calories
47g Fat
11g Carbs
32g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 591
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 47g 60%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 84mg 28%
Sodium 535mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 33mg 163%
Calcium 117mg 9%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 872mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)