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Last updated on April 18th, 2024 at 06:38 pm

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Sauce For Salmon [Video]

This Homemade Sauce for salmon is one of the easiest and quickest recipes you can prepare. It is delicious and comes together fast and effortlessly. It has just a few ingredients, but tastes rich, creamy, and delicious, making an ordinary fish dinner taste fancy. The butter and cream are what make this sauce so rich and creamy so it sticks to your salmon for a fabulous burst of flavors in every bite.

Creamy lemon garlic salmon sauce

I first tried making this sauce after having it on my salmon in a quaint restaurant in France. After dozens of adjustments in the herbs, spices, and amounts to use, I found the perfect recipe that tastes even better than the one I had in France! All in all, this is my favorite sauce to use when cooking salmon recipes because it is buttery, creamy, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

This dish is not only rich and creamy, but it is easily made in less than 15 minutes. I love creamy sauces, and my all-time favorite is the creamy alfredo sauce which I pretty much use on any dish! Just like the Alfredo sauce, this one is made with minimal ingredients. Once you give it a try, you will never cook your salmon with any other sauces.

I have tried making this recipe in many variations over the years, and we have perfected it over and over again. The flavors are out of this world, with butter, cream, fresh herbs, and garlic mix, you will smell the aromas filling your kitchen right away. When using it for cooking salmon, it truly boosts the flavors of the fish to a new level. 

Also, I have added some lemon juice and zest to it, which adds a nice citrusy kick and a great overall balance. You can also use a bit of white wine if desired. It adds a nice boost of aromas to it. It is simple to make with just a few ingredients, but it is not just for salmon; this sauce is good on all kinds of things from seafood to pasta, chicken, and veggies.

This homemade recipe is truly easy to follow and yields a delicious and hearty sauce that can be mixed in lots of other recipes. I love it so much that we use it as a dip once in a while. Give it a try, we are confident you will enjoy it just as much!

I love using it over creamy pan-seared salmon and when you serve it, make sure you have some fresh bread on the table to mop up the extra sauce from your plate. Try my easy recipe for Amish white bread.

What you need to make sauce for salmon

There are no uncommon ingredients to have to search for in this easy recipe. All you need are the basic kitchen items.


  • Butter – I use unsalted butter so I can control how much saltiness is in the sauce.
  • Cream – The cream along with the butter makes this sauce super creamy and rich.
  • Parmesan cheese – Use freshly grated for a salty and rich flavor.


  • Flour – All-purpose flour is what I use just to thicken the sauce.

Herbs, Seasonings and Spices:

  • Dried basil – For a blend of anise, pepper licorice, and mint with a slight taste of sweetness.
  • Dried parsley – This herb offers a mild herbal flavor with a slight taste of citrus and a grassy earthy background.
  • Red pepper flakes: Adds a kick of spiciness.
  • Lemon juice and zest – To give your sauce a fresh and tangy kick.
  • Minced garlic – Better than garlic powder because it is richer with a slightly sweet taste.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper – To taste.

How to make a sauce for salmon?

  • Heat the skillet: First, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add flour: Then, add flour and whisk while cooking for about one minute.
  • Add the cream: Now, slowly add the cream while stirring. Add it just a little at a time.
  • Add the rest: Last, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, herbs, salt, and pepper and stir.
  • Simmer: Once it simmers, reduce the heat to low and add the cheese. Stir for a few seconds until the cheese is fully melted.

Expert tip

Remove the bones

One of the most important things when making salmon for this delicious salmon sauce is to remember to remove the bones. They have pin bones, which are not bones but cartilage, that are tiny and sharp like little rubbery needles. They may seem harmless but they do not feel good if you swallow one.

But you do not have to panic or stop eating salmon. Even if you do not remove them, the chance of them causing a problem is very slim. But since they are easy to remove, you can eat salmon without worry from now on.

Just lay the salmon on a cutting board and run your fingers down the side of the fillet. When you feel a pin bone, use pliers or a good pair of tweezers to pull it out. Continue to do this until you remove all the bones. Then, wash your pliers or tweezers with soap and hot water.

Recipe variations and add-ins:

  • Make it spicier: If you love spicy food, add some extra red pepper flakes or some cayenne pepper.
  • No heat: Those who do not like hot food can leave out the red pepper flakes.
  • Add some wine: A good white wine mixed into the sauce would add an incredible flavor.
  • Lemony sauce: For more of a lemony flavor, add the lemon wedges to the sauce while it is bubbling.
  • Fresh herbs: For a milder taste, use fresh herbs instead of dried ones.
  • Extra creamy: An extra tablespoon of butter and cream will make your sauce even richer and creamier.
  • Substitute the parmesan cheese: I love using grated Parmesan cheese in this recipe since it gives it a nice and rich aroma. However, you can use any of your favorite cheeses. They will work just fine. Some of my other favorites are Romano cheese, Gruyere cheese, Asiago, and Grana Padano.

Serving suggestions:

I love this salmon sauce on salmon but it is also a scrumptious addition to beef, pork, chicken, and other seafood.

  • Spread this sauce on a bun for my McDonald’s fish sandwich copycat instead of tartar sauce for a different taste.
  • Use it as a dipping sauce for veggies like broccoli florets, carrot sticks, and cauliflower.
  • Make some Shrimp Cakes, or homemade crabcakes and simmer them in this delicious sauce.
  • Salmon sauce is perfect for salmon patties served with garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus.

Frequently asked questions

What are some other sauces for salmon?

Being such a mild fish, salmon goes with just about anything. From garlic to dill, you can add whatever you like to your sauce. Creamy horseradish dill is a great choice with shallots, herbs, and lemons. Spicy maple mustard sauce is another good choice with maple syrup mixed in. Or you can try honey miso sauce, buttery caper sauce, brown sugar teriyaki sauce, or hot honey butter.

How to make Dill Sauce for Salmon?

The dill version of it is also delicious and super fast to prepare, the difference is that it’s a cold sauce, that requires no cooking. You can use it mainly over any fish, especially if it’s grilled.

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (optional) or whole Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon-style prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons chopped dill
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to make it:

Then, simply whisk together all the ingredients above until well blended. Chill for a few hours before serving. Once used, make sure to refrigerate it since it contains dairy, you want to make sure it does not go bad.

Also, you can make this recipe dairy-free. It is also great for those who are lactose intolerant or people who wish to serve this fish entree alongside a kosher meat meal. Just replace the sour cream with dairy-free vegan sour cream and vegan yogurt.

Why is my salmon sauce too runny?

This can happen if you accidentally put too much liquid in your sauce. But it is easy to fix. Just cook it a bit longer to let it reduce. If it is still too runny, make a roux with a tablespoon of softened butter and 1/2 tablespoon of flour and whisk it in. 

On the other hand, if it is too thick, you can add some liquid to it. Use 1-2 tablespoons of broth, white wine, water, or cream. This will thin it out. Just remember to add the ingredients gradually. 

Why do people put lemon on their salmon?

The acid in the juice of lemons is a great flavor enhancer for the flavors in your sauce. It has citric acid, which also reacts with the trimethylamine (the fishy-smelling chemical) to make it less fishy-smelling. When the acid reacts with the chemical, it causes a salty flavor too.

What brings out the flavor in salmon?

Garlic is one of the most common ingredients in any good salmon sauce, especially when I make it! Some of the other great choices are ground ginger for a bit of sweetness, onion powder for a bit of tang, cumin for a sweet spiciness, or smoked paprika to give it a smokey flavor. Or if you want, you can add all of these.

How to store:

  • Refrigerate: Keep unused sauce in a glass jar with a lid in your fridge for up to five days.
  • Freezing: To freeze, put it into a freezer bag or freezer-safe container and it will stay good for up to three months.
  • Defrost: Defrost overnight in the fridge.
  • Reheating: You can reheat it on the stove while whisking for several minutes. 

More salmon recipes:

Recipe tips:

  • Looking for a vegan sauce? Use vegan butter and cream.
  • Any kind of butter will work, but if you use salted butter, you will not need to add as much salt.
  • Although you can use it right away, the longer you let it chill, the more flavor it will have as the herbs and seasonings meld with the sauce.
  • Don’t overheat and don’t overcook, the cream may start to separate.


Sauce for Salmon

This Homemade Sauce for salmon is one of the easiest and quickest recipes you can prepare. So delicious and comes together in 15 minutes. It has just a few ingredients, but tastes rich, creamy, and delicious, making an ordinary fish dinner taste fancy.

Sauce for Salmon
  • Prep Time5 MIN
  • Cook Time5 MIN
  • Servings 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups light cream
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated


  • Over medium heat, place a large skillet and add butter.
  • Once the butter is melted and sizzling, add the flour, and whisk well to combine while cooking. Let it cook for about 1 minute while stirring.
  • Next, add slowly the light cream and continue to stir. Make sure not to pour the cream all at once, instead do it slowly.
  • Then, add garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, dried herbs, salt, and pepper.
  • Once the sauce simmers, reduce heat to low and add shredded Parmesan cheese to the mixture. Stir for a few seconds until the cheese fully melts.
  • Serve the sauce.

Nutrition Facts

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I made this sauce for my wife and I and we enjoyed it very much on our salmon so much that I am making it again tonight



Didn't the recipe call for light cream?

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet



This is the best sauce we have tried yet. I was looking for a balanced fish sauce, especially for salmon, and this was right on spot. Balance and flavorful. I have squeezed more lemon juicy, and it is perfect!!!

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

Thank you for your feedback. I am happy you loved it, it is truly an amazing and quick sauce to use on fish and meats! Definitely one of our favorites!

Susan J

Susan J

This was such a nice surprise. I didn't have lemon juice so I used lime juice and used milk instead of cream. My first thought was it's curdled the milk and it's ruined. Thankfully I persevered because the sauce was fantastic on salmon AND the rice AND brussel sprouts! I have since used the leftover sauce in pasta and it was delicious.

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