Salmon Piccata is a deceptively easy yet super tasty dish that’s bursting with fresh lemon flavor. To make, simply dip salmon in seasoned flour, pan fry the fish, make a creamy lemon-garlic-butter sauce and then top with capers! This Olive Garden favorite comes together in under 30 minutes and is great served over rice or pasta for a quick weeknight dinner.

Healthy and easy salmon piccatta is ready in less than 30 minutes.

Creamy Salmon Piccata

Capers were never even on my radar until I had my first bite of Chicken Piccata.

After that, it was game over. I was captivated by capers.

So when I saw that Olive Garden makes a Salmon Piccata I knew I had to give it a try. After all, they’re literally combining my favorite FISH with my new favorite FLAVOR and then topping it all with a delectable lemony-buttery sauce. What could go wrong?!

Absolutely NOTHING. Because it is so. very. good.

And so. very. simple to make.

Like pop everything into a skillet and have it ready to eat in less than 30 minutes kinda easy.

But the best part? This dish is so full of flavor and looks pretty fancy that you can easily serve it up on busy weeknights, to dinner guests, or even for a romantic date night in!

Salmon, lemon, broth, flour, capers, and lemon are the ingredients for this dish.

Ingredients

To make this easy salmon piccata recipe you need:

  • Salmon. You can go healthier and opt for wild caught. I usually choose a variety called Verlasso, which is sustainably farm raised so it still has a good bit of fat while being a healthier option for you. Avoid previously frozen, if possible, for the best flavor. Grocery stores usually have a variety available. Sockeye salmon is a great option, too.
  • Lemons. Avoid the bottled juice and choose fresh lemons. You definitely want that lemon zest at the end for a pop of lemon flavor.
  • Flour. All-purpose flour or a gluten-free 1-to-1 blend work interchangeably. Avoid whole wheat or a grainier texture as it won’t stick to the fish.
  • Butter. Salted butter is key. If you only have unsalted, be sure to hit the fish with a bit of extra kosher salt at the end.
  • Garlic. Fresh, minced garlic is essential for the sauce. If you don’t have any, you can use garlic powder, but the sauce won’t be as flavorful.
  • Broth. While chicken broth was used, you can opt for vegetable broth. Avoid beef broth as the rich flavor will definitely come through in the dish.
  • Capers. These edible flower buds add a salty topping and perfectly complement the sauce.

How to Make Salmon Piccata

The basic steps for making homemade salmon piccatta are simple to follow:

Prep the Salmon

The first step is to cut and coat the fresh salmon fillets. Remove everything from the packaging and pat salmon with a paper towel until it’s dried.

Use a sharp knife and a cutting board to slice the filet into four evenly sized pieces. They should each be around 5-6 ounces.

Be sure to leave the skin on!

Next, add the flour, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper to a large, shallow dish. Use a whisk to stir it well.

Dip each fillet into the flour, being sure to coat all of the sides of the salmon, including the skin. Gently tap the pieces to remove any excess flour. Don’t discard the remaining flour, though. You’ll use it later.

Pan Fry the Fillets

Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a large skillet or cast-iron pan. Turn it to medium heat and allow the butter to melt.

Carefully place each filet in the melted butter flesh side down in the hot pan. Be sure none of them are touching and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.

Flip them over and continue cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes, depending on how fat the pieces are. Pay attention, because different types and sized salmon cook at various rates.

Remove the fillets from the skillet and set them on a plate to the side.

Make the Lemon Butter Sauce

Add the remaining butter to the frying pan along with the minced garlic. Sauté the mixture for 30 seconds, just until it’s fragrant.

Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the leftover flour. Stir well until there are no clumps remaining.

Quickly stir in the fresh lemon juice. Then pour in the broth ¼ cup at a time. Don’t add too much all at once, and be sure to mix it well after each addition. This ensures the sauce consistency is smooth, creamy, and thickens up between each amount added.

Put It All Together

Finally, return the salmon to the skillet with the sauce. Use a spoon to scoop some of the delicious piccata sauce over the fillets.

Top with the capers and heat everything up for 2 to 3 minutes.

Right before you serve the salmon piccata up, top with a bit of lemon zest and lemon slices if desired.

It is delicious with Instant Pot White Rice, Instant Pot Quinoa, pasta, or crusty bread, too!

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep Ahead: The salmon can be cut up to 24 hours before serving.
  • To Store: Leftover salmon piccata can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • To Freeze: This dish can be frozen in an airtight container or sealed freezer bag for up to 3-4 months.
  • To Reheat: The best way to reheat this salmon is to pop it back into a 300°F oven for 5-7 minutes. It can also be heated up in a skillet over medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes.

Is salmon piccata complicated?

While it might sound a bit complicated, salmon piccata is actually quite simple to make! All you need is a good fillet of salmon along with some pantry staples and you’ll have a luxurious dinner in less than 30 minutes.

What can I use instead of butter for the salmon piccata?

Butter is the best option for a creamy and flavorful sauce. However, if you can’t use butter for dietary reasons and a vegan buttery stick isn’t an option, you can choose olive oil if necessary. However, the outcome will not be quite the same.

What is piccata?

Piccata most often refers to meat or fish that is sliced, dredged in flour, seared, then served with a creamy butter sauce with lemon and garlic and topped with capers. The creamy lemon sauce makes the dish, though.

An up close shot at salmon piccatta on a white plate.

Dietary Modifications

The recipe you’ll find below is already low-fat as written. Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:

  • Gluten-free: Opt for a gluten-free 1-to-1 blend.
  • Dairy-free: Stick with a vegan buttery stick for the best flavor, or go with olive oil if necessary.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Keep it even. Slice the salmon fillets as similarly as possible so they cook up at the same time.
  • Inside and out. Both the lemon juice and zest are needed to really take this dish up a notch.
  • Go fresh. Stay away from frozen salmon if at all possible.
  • Just enough. Pay attention not to overcook the salmon.
  • Top it off. Don’t forget the capers! They add so much flavor to this dish.
Salmon piccatta is easy and healthy to make.

What to Serve with Salmon Piccata

To round out the meal, pair this salmon with any of these healthy side dishes.

Opt for heartier sides like Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes or Melting Potatoes.

These Crockpot Glazed Carrots and Green Beans Almondine are both absolutely delicious.

You can’t go wrong with a classic like Sautéed Spinach, either.

More Salmon Recipes

There’s so much you can do with salmon—piccata is just the beginning!

Air Fryer Salmon and Blackened Salmon are quick and healthy.

Salmon Burgers and Honey Sriracha Glazed Salmon are super flavorful.

For a fun recipe sure to please everyone at the table, go for Lemon and Dill Salmon or Teriyaki Salmon.

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5 from 1 vote

Salmon Piccata Recipe

Salmon Piccata is a deceptively easy yet super tasty dish. To make, simply dip salmon in seasoned flour, pan fry the fish, then make a creamy lemon-garlic-butter sauce to top it off, but don't forget the capers.
Yield 4 servings
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 25 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 ¼-1 ½ lbs. salmon Verlasso
  • ¼ cup flour gluten-free 1-to-1 blend, if needed
  • ¼-½ tsp. salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. butter salted
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • ¼ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 cup chicken broth reduced sodium
  • ¼ cup capers drained
  • Lemon zest optional

Instructions 

  • Leaving the skin intact, cut the salmon into four 5-6 ounce filets.
  • Add the flour, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper to a large, shallow bowl. Whisk together until combined. Dip each salmon filet into the flour and coat all sides. Shake off any excess. Reserve the remaining flour.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the salmon filets, flesh-side down, and cook for 4-5 minutes. Flip them over and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes, or until cooked through.
  • Remove the salmon from the skillet and place on a separate plate.
  • Add 2 additional tablespoons of butter to the skillet along with the garlic. Saute for 30 seconds, or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the reserved flour and then quickly pour in the lemon juice. Pour in the broth, ¼ cup at a time, whisking well after each addition.
  • Add the salmon back into the skillet along with the capers and heat it back up for 2-3 minutes. Just before serving, top with lemon zest, if desired. Enjoy!

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5 from 1 vote

Video

Notes

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep Ahead: The salmon can be cut down up to 24 hours before serving.
  • To Store: Leftover salmon picatta can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • To Freeze: This dish can be frozen in an airtight container or sealed freezer bag for up to 3-4 months.
  • To Reheat: The best way to reheat this salmon is to pop it back into a 300 °F oven for 5-7 minutes. It can also be heated up in a skillet over medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 345kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 111mg, Sodium: 798mg, Potassium: 739mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 445IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 37mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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