Sautéed Salmon with Chive Butter: A Delectable Recipe for Flavorful Delights

Sabrina Dawson

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Salmon is a beloved fish, prized for its rich flavor and high nutritional value. In this blog post, we’ll explore a delicious and simple recipe for Sautéed Salmon with Chive Butter. This dish brings out the best in salmon, combining its natural taste with a buttery, herby sauce that enhances the overall experience. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner, this recipe is sure to impress.

Pan-fried Chive Butter Salmon with roast potatoes and broccoli

Salmon is a staple in many kitchens, especially in regions close to the Pacific Northwest, where fresh, wild-caught salmon is readily available. This recipe for Sautéed Salmon with Chive Butter leverages the natural flavors of the fish, enhanced by a simple yet flavorful chive butter sauce. The result is a dish that’s both elegant and easy to prepare, making it perfect for weeknight dinners or special occasions.


Salmon With Asparagus and Chive Butter Sauce

To make this delightful dish, you’ll need the following ingredients:


  • 1 lb salmon fillet (preferably wild-caught), skin on
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Chive Butter Sauce

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice (plus more as needed to taste)


Preparing the Salmon

  1. Remove Pin Bones: Start by removing all pin bones from the salmon fillet. You can use your fingers, tweezers, or needle-nose pliers for this task. Carefully run your fingers along the flesh to find any remaining bones and extract them.
  2. Seasoning: Season the salmon generously with sea salt and ground black pepper on both sides. This step ensures that the fish is well-flavored before it even hits the pan.

Making the Chive Butter Sauce

  1. Melt the Butter: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the unsalted butter. Be careful not to let the butter boil, as this can cause it to burn or separate.
  2. Add Herbs and Seasoning: Once the butter is melted, add the chopped chives, parsley, sea salt, and lemon juice. Stir the mixture frequently to ensure even distribution of the herbs and seasoning.
  3. Blend the Sauce: Transfer the sauce to a blender or use an immersion blender to mix until smooth. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and lemon juice if needed.

Cooking Instructions

Salmon and Chive Butter Sauce with Roasted Potatoes and Tenderstem® Broccoli

Sautéing the Salmon

  1. Heat the Pan: Heat the olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully place the salmon fillet skin-side down in the pan. Make sure the fillet lies flat, pressing it down gently if necessary.
  2. Cooking Time: Lower the heat to medium and cook the salmon until it turns opaque about three-quarters of the way up from the bottom. This should take about 4-6 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet and whether it’s wild or farmed. Wild salmon typically cooks faster.
  3. Check Doneness: Ideally, aim for a medium-rare doneness, but feel free to cook the salmon to your preferred level. The fish should be firm to the touch and easily flake with a fork.
  4. Rest the Salmon: Transfer the cooked salmon to a plate and let it cool slightly. Tent it with tin foil to keep it warm while you finish preparing the sauce.

Finishing Touches

  1. Final Sauce Prep: If needed, reheat the chive butter sauce gently over low heat.
  2. Plate the Dish: Pour a generous amount of the warm chive butter sauce onto a serving plate. Place the sautéed salmon fillet on top of the sauce, skin-side down.
  3. Garnish and Serve: Garnish with additional fresh chives or parsley if desired. Serve immediately and enjoy the vibrant flavors of this dish.

Serving Suggestions

Salmon and Asparagus with Salad Potatoes and Chive Butter Sauce

Sautéed Salmon with Chive Butter pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Here are a few suggestions to complete your meal:

  • Steamed Vegetables: Asparagus, green beans, or broccoli complement the richness of the salmon and sauce.
  • Rice or Quinoa: These grains provide a nice, neutral base that soaks up the flavorful sauce.
  • Roasted Potatoes: Crispy roasted potatoes add a satisfying crunch to the meal.
  • Salad: A light, fresh salad with a citrus vinaigrette can balance the buttery sauce and provide a refreshing contrast.

Nutritional Benefits

Salmon is not only delicious but also packed with nutritional benefits:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for heart health and reducing inflammation.
  • High Protein: A great source of high-quality protein, salmon helps build and repair tissues.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Salmon is loaded with vitamins B12, D, and selenium, all of which are vital for overall health.

Tips and Tricks

  • Choosing Salmon: Always opt for wild-caught salmon when possible, as it tends to have a better flavor and more nutritional benefits compared to farmed salmon.
  • Don’t Overcook: Salmon can become dry if overcooked. Keep an eye on it and aim for a medium-rare finish unless you prefer it more well-done.
  • Use Fresh Herbs: Fresh chives and parsley make a significant difference in the flavor of the sauce. Avoid using dried herbs if possible.
  • Adjust Seasoning: Taste the chive butter sauce before serving and adjust the seasoning as needed. A little extra salt or lemon juice can make a big difference.


This recipe is versatile and can be adapted in several ways:

  • Garlic Chive Butter: Add minced garlic to the butter for an extra layer of flavor.
  • Spicy Kick: Incorporate a pinch of red pepper flakes into the chive butter sauce for a spicy twist.
  • Citrus Twist: Substitute the lemon juice with lime or orange juice for a different citrus flavor.
  • Herb Variations: Experiment with different herbs like dill, tarragon, or basil in the butter sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use a different type of fish for this recipe?

A: Yes, this recipe works well with other types of fish such as trout, cod, or halibut. Adjust the cooking time based on the thickness and type of fish.

Q: How do I store leftovers?

A: Store leftover salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently in a skillet over low heat or enjoy it cold.

Q: Can I make the chive butter sauce ahead of time?

A: Yes, you can prepare the sauce in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat gently over low heat before serving.

Q: Is there a dairy-free version of the chive butter sauce?

A: For a dairy-free version, substitute the butter with a vegan butter alternative or use olive oil. The flavor will be different, but still delicious.


Sautéed Salmon with Chive Butter is a delightful dish that brings together the rich flavors of salmon and a simple, yet elegant, chive butter sauce. With easy-to-follow steps and a quick preparation time, this recipe is perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or entertaining guests, this dish is sure to be a hit.

Remember, the key to this recipe is quality ingredients and attention to detail. Fresh, wild-caught salmon and vibrant, fresh herbs will make all the difference in the final dish. Enjoy your cooking, and most importantly, savor every bite of this delicious meal!