Creamy Lemon Dill Salmon ~ an easy dinner that never fails to please. The salmon is succulent because it’s bathed in a creamy wine sauce perked up with lots of lemon juice and fresh dill. It almost doesn’t matter what you serve with it, all attention will be riveted right here.
the secret to succulent lemon dill salmon
This quick and easy salmon recipe relies on some old culinary tricks to give it restaurant quality deliciousness with little effort:
- shallots ~ they have a subtle but distinctive flavor.
- wine ~ when wine is reduced down it lends a sophisticated complexity to the sauce.
- heavy cream ~ because…you know.
- capers* ~ you get a little lemony tang in every bite.
- fresh herbs ~ fresh herbs are an affordable luxury that makes a huge difference in the overall experience of so many dishes.
*what the heck are capers, anyway?
Did you think they were fish eggs? I used to think that too, until I learned that they’re the little unopened flower buds of a Mediterranean bush that have been dried and pickled. They have a tangy lemon-like flavor and work really well in salads, and with fish and chicken. So next time you see a little bottle of capers at the supermarket, pick it up, it will last months in the refrigerator, and they’ll perk up your cooking.
Shallots are part of my weekly shopping, I always pickup a few, and keep them with the onions and garlic in a hanging wire basket in my kitchen. They come in handy for everything from scrambled eggs to this salmon dinner.
tip: I use shallots in place of onions and garlic in lots of recipes…they have a more pronounced flavor than onions, but aren’t as sharp as garlic. They’re the Goldilocks of the allium family.
what to serve with salmon
I like to serve this salmon on a big bed of wilted spinach to offset the richness of the cream sauce. In any event it makes me feel a little less guilty for enjoying all that cream. Other side dish ideas:
Reader Rave ~
“Hi Sue, I am back again on this great recipe which I did again today but this time I used 15% fat UHT cream and lowered the temperature of the pan to low. It worked very well, same as with the full fat, and no curdling at all! I will have this dish again and again! Tx!” ~Alexandra
Creamy Lemon Dill Salmon
- 1 1/3 lb salmon filet (or 4 individual slices)
- olive oil
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 large shallot
- 1/4 cup white wine
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 3 Tbsp capers
- thin lemon slices
- more fresh chopped dill
- Set oven to 400F
- Lightly coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil and heat on medium high heat until hot but not smoking.
- Season the salmon on all sides with salt and pepper, and then sear it on both sides. Remove the salmon to a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until just done through.
- Meanwhile make the sauce by adding the shallot to the browning pan and saute for a minute or two to soften. Add the wine and let the wine bubble away to reduce for a couple of minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and cream to the pan and bring up to a simmer. Add the fresh dill and the capers. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- When the salmon is done, add it to the pan, nestling it down into the sauce. Spoon some of the sauce over the fish, and garnish with lemon and more fresh dill.
- Serve right away on a bed of wilted spinach, with couscous or a rice pilaf on the side.
- Make a lighter lemon sauce using the Greek egg thickening method, you can see it in my recipe for CHICKEN IN LEMON SAUCE WITH OLIVES. The sauce will be silky, thick, and lemony, without any cream at all.
- If you aren't a dill fan, you might try tarragon.
Questions and Reviews
Made this for dinner and the sauce was AMAZING!!! Delicious!!!!
Please add the metric conversion widget to all your recipes. Thanks.
You had me at “creamy wine sauce.” I don’t care what you put it on!
Haha, I toyed with the idea of leaving out the word ‘wine’ so I wouldn’t lose the non drinkers…glad I didn’t 😉
Adding wine to a recipe doesn’t make it alcoholic. The alcohol burns off and dissipates. The wine adds a little extra something to the recipe it’s used in and gives it a better flavor to sauces.
Actually research shows that all alcohol does not burn off during cooking, as commonly assumed. I point this out for people who need to avoid alcohol for personal. medical, or religious reasons.
SAME! LOL! I just made the Tuscan Creamy Chicken last night…wine included.. This is definitely on my list to try next!
Hello, what would you recommend as a substitute for wine and in what quantity? Also would this work well for a white fish like tilapia?
You can leave the wine out with no problem, and yes, tilapia would work well.
My family and I LOVED this dish!! So easy.
My daughter made this tonight and it was fabulous. So easy and delicious. Served with au gratin potatoes, green salad and cucumbers to off set the richness. Perfect!!!
So happy you enjoyed it, there’s nothing better than salmon for dinner 🙂
Super tasty, lovely creamy, dill-y and lemony flavours all over delicious salmon. But following our Swedish friends’ cooking style, I always throw a few thin slices of lemon underneath a skinless or skin-on fillet of fish, which adds further flavour and ensures the fish doesn’t stick to the pan. As previously mentioned (my comments on your Mediterranean Roasted Sheet Pan Salmon recipe) the Bride doesn’t like fish, her loss! So I made up four meals worth of this recipe and I can tell you that the recipe survives long-term refrigeration over the week and matures pleasantly too. Also I had a serving of this Creamy Dill Salmon on each of your other recipes such as the Tabouleh and Rainbow Bean Salad. All of this served cold from the fridge as it was 102F in Oztraylia last week. Importantly though the cold servings I think added even greater taste and the ability to delineate between flavours of the different recipes! Loving all of your fresh and healthy recipes… now onto the next project Chimichurri Sauce and the 7-Bean Salad! 🙂
Hi Sue, i wanted to know, can you make the sauce a few days before and keep in the fridge? I have a big party coming up and too many things to cook on the same day so I wasn’t sure if this can sit for a few hours if made ahead or just heat up the sauce the day of if made a day earlier. Thanks
I don’t see why you couldn’t make this ahead, but you would need to gently reheat both the salmon and the sauce so the salmon doesn’t get overcooked and the sauce stays nice and creamy.
Hi Sue, I am back again on this great recipe which i did again today but this time I used 15% fat UHT cream and lowered the temperature of the pan to low. It worked very well, same as with the full fat, and no curdling at all! I will have this dish again and again! Tx
That is really great to know, Alexandra, I’m always looking for ways to make creamy lemon sauces lower in fat. I’ll try it next time!
This looks so stunning! I love salmon but usually go with a lemon / pepper / alfredo type of dish when I make it. I definitely want to try your recipe! Thank you for sharing!