Creamy Garlic Butter Salmon (Keto Recipe)

This Creamy Garlic Butter Salmon recipe is a delicious keto dinner of pan-seared salmon fillets in a creamy, herby sauce for a low-carb, high-flavor meal. And it takes just 20 minutes to make.

skillet with three salmon fillets in cream sauce

Why This Recipe Works

This easy creamy garlic butter salmon recipe is an impressive 20-minute meal that’s full of rich, herby flavor. If you’re a fan of my Seared Salmon Avocado Salad, you’ll love this new recipe.

What Goes Into This Recipe

ingredient for the creamy garlic butter salmon recipe
  • Raw salmon. Choose pre-portioned salmon fillets with the skin on or off.
  • Olive oil. This will help crisp up the salmon and cook the aromatics.
  • Butter. For added fats to this keto salmon recipe and rich flavor.
  • Garlic. If you’re out of fresh garlic, you can use 1 teaspoon of powdered garlic.
  • Fish stock. You can make your own or use store-bought. Chicken or vegetable stock will also work.
  • Heavy cream. For the rich and creamy sauce.
  • Fresh dill. Another herb like basil, oregano or parsley will also be delicious with this easy low carb salmon recipe.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes. Use as much spice as you like!
pouring sauce over salmon fillets in a skillet with lemon slices

Ingredient Swaps

If you don’t have everything listed above, here are a few simple swaps to make this recipe:

  • Salmon: Use any fish fillet like sea bass, tilapia, or cod. Make sure you cook it according to its thickness. Sea bass, for example, is thinner than salmon, so it will cook faster.
  • Butter: Use ghee or clarified butter if you prefer. Or vegan butter for a dairy-free keto salmon recipe.
  • Heavy cream: Use vegan cream or coconut cream for a dairy free version.
  • Dill: Use any herbs of choice like parsley, cilantro, oregano or thyme.

How to Make This Easy Keto Salmon Recipe

Follow these steps to make this easy pan-seared salmon recipe:

collage of the first four steps to make this easy keto salmon recipe

First, season the salmon fillets on all sides with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. When the oil is hot, carefully place the salmon fillet into the skillet. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes per side, until cooked through.

Remove the salmon from the skillet and cover it to keep warm. Add the butter to the skillet. Crush the garlic cloves with your knife. When the butter is melted, add the crushed garlic to the skillet and cook for one minute. Then add the stock and cream and bring the sauce to a simmer.

Finally, stir in the fresh dill and red pepper flakes. Add the salmon back to the skillet and heat it through for a couple of minutes.

collage of the next 4 steps needed to make the low carb salmon recipe


What to serve with Creamy Garlic Butter Salmon?

This easy pan seared salmon recipe pairs great with pasta. You can serve it with spaghetti, linguine or angel hair. For a keto-friendly side, use Spaghetti Squash.
For added greens, serve it with a fresh salad with lemony dressing.
And for some extra heft, I like to serve it with keto bread to mop up the sauce. You could also make roasted cauliflower steaks at the same time as the keto salmon. Put the cauliflower in the oven to roast while you make the dish, and you’ll have everything ready almost at about the same time.

Can I grill or bake the salmon?

You can grill the salmon for even more flavor. We all love the charcoal marks that boost the flavor of any dish. Use this easy Healthy Grilled Salmon recipe as guidance for grilling.
If you go the grilling route, make the sauce in a pan while the salmon grills, then add the salmon to the sauce and serve. You can do the same thing if you prefer to bake the salmon in the oven.  

Salmon cooking in a pan

Expert Tips

  • Make sure the stock and cream are at room temperature when you add them to the skillet. Otherwise, the dairy may curdle.
  • Wait until the butter is bubbling over medium-high heat before you add the stock and cream. Then use a whisk or a wooden spoon to continuously stir until the sauce has emulsified. It should come together into a creamy sauce in less than 2 minutes.
  • I recommend having all of the ingredients prepped and on hand before you start cooking. Smash the garlic, chop the dill, measure out your chili flakes. I’m pretty quick in the kitchen and just go with the flow, but for this type of sauce, too much cooking will make the fats separate.
  • When you add the salmon into the sauce, keep a close eye on it to avoid overcooking. It just needs to simmer in the sauce for 1 minute to heat through before serving.
cooked salmon in creamy sauce

If you made this easy low carb Salmon recipe, let me know how you like it in the Comments below, Rate It, and make sure you Share It with your friends and family. And if you want to see more recipe videos like it, follow me on YouTubePinterestInstagram and Facebook. For weekly updates be sure to Sign Up for my Email List.

pouring sauce over salmon fillets in a skillet with lemon slices
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5 from 3 votes

Creamy Garlic Butter Salmon

This easy low carb salmon recipe is a super delicious keto dish for lunch or dinner and takes just 20 minutes to make
Course dinner, lunch, Main Course, Seafood
Cuisine American
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 430kcal
Author Mihaela


  • 4 6-oz (680g) salmon fillets - skinned if desired
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper - to taste
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp (28g) butter
  • 4-6 cloves garlic - peeled
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) fish stock
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp (6g) fresh dill - chopped
  • Crushed red pepper flakes - to taste
  • lemon wedges - to serve


  • Season your salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Carefully lay the salmon fillets into the hot pan and cook for about 5-6 minutes per side, or until nicely browned and flaky.
  • Transfer the cooked salmon to a plate and cover to keep warm.
  • Melt the butter into the same pan over medium heat.
  • Meanwhile, crush the garlic cloves with a knife.
  • Add the smashed garlic to the pan and cook for no more than 1 minute.
  • Add in the stock and cream, and stir well to combine.
  • Once the sauce starts to simmer, stir in the dill and the crushed pepper flakes.
  • Return the salmon into the sauce, and continue to cook for a couple of minutes more.
  • Garnish with freshly ground black pepper and lemon wedges

Recipe Notes

  1. Make sure you’re using room-temperature stock and cream when you add them to the sauce. 
  2. It’s best to have every ingredient prepped and at hand before you start cooking, as this keto salmon recipe comes together quickly. 
  3. Pat the salmon dry before adding it to the pan to get a nice crispy exterior. 
  4. The pan seared salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork. 


Calories: 430kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 144mg | Sodium: 232mg | Potassium: 907mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 654IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2mg
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