One-Skillet Salmon With Curried Leeks and Yogurt-Herb Sauce Recipe

Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • Searing the salmon first ensures browned, crispy skin.
  • Sautéing the leeks guarantees they cook through fully.
  • Finishing in the oven in one skillet brings it all together.

This easy recipe for one-skillet salmon with curried leeks delivers perfectly cooked fish with a crispy seared skin. A tangy, refreshing yogurt sauce adds a bright kick.

Recipe Facts

Active: 35 mins
Total: 35 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 4 (6-ounce; 170g) skin-on, center-cut salmon fillets

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 tablespoons (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 3 pounds leeks (1.4kg; about 4 medium leeks), white and light green parts only, cut into long, thin strips (about 4 inches by 1/4 inch)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

  • 3/4 cup (180ml) yogurt

  • 1 (4-ounce; 115g) piece English cucumber (from one 10-ounce cucumber), peeled and very finely minced or grated

  • 1 small clove garlic, minced

  • 1 packed tablespoon minced fresh herbs, such as mint, dill, and/or parsley

  • Juice of 1 lemon, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Dry salmon very well with paper towels, then season all over with salt and pepper. In a large cast iron, carbon steel, or stainless steel skillet, heat 2 tablespoons (30ml) oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Reduce heat to medium-low, then add a salmon fillet, skin side down. Press firmly in place for 10 seconds, using the back of a flexible fish spatula, to prevent skin from buckling. Add remaining fillets one at a time, pressing each with spatula for 10 seconds, until all fillets are in the pan.

  2. Cook, pressing gently on back of fillets occasionally to ensure skin makes good contact with pan, until skin releases easily from pan and is crispy, about 6 minutes. Transfer salmon, skin side up, to a platter and set aside.

  3. Add remaining 2 tablespoons (30ml) oil to skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add leeks and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften and compress (tongs can help move them around more efficiently), about 3 minutes. Add curry powder and stir well to combine. Continue cooking until leeks are very tender, about 6 to 8 minutes longer. Lower heat at any point to prevent scorching. Season with salt and pepper (be careful, as some curry powders contain salt).

  4. Arrange salmon on top of leeks, skin side up, and transfer to oven. Cook salmon until an instant-read thermometer registers 110°F (43°C) in the very center for rare, 120°F (49°C) for medium-rare, or 130°F (54°C) for medium, 5 to 7 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper, then add lemon juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, to taste. (Yogurt sauce can also be made in advance and refrigerated up to 5 hours before serving.)

  6. Transfer salmon and curried leeks to plates and spoon cold yogurt sauce alongside. Serve.

Special equipment

Large (12-inch) cast iron, stainless steel, or carbon steel skillet; offset slotted spatula (fish spatula); instant-read thermometer.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
585 Calories
38g Fat
24g Carbs
39g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 585
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38g 49%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 96mg 32%
Sodium 547mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 39g
Vitamin C 33mg 165%
Calcium 178mg 14%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 1004mg 21%
*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.)