French Salmon Meunière

4.7 of 18 votes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
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Zoom on two fillets of salmon meunière with capers and lemon zest

French Salmon Meunière is a delicious and flavorful dish that is definitely worth trying if you are fan of fish and French cuisine or if you want to step up your salmon game!

It’s a simple pan-cooked salmon recipe with a bright, amazing butter-lemon-caper sauce that’ll make you feel like you’re dining at the nicest restaurant in town.

What does Meunière mean?

Meunière is French word that usually describe a classic French dish called sole meunière. It consists of lightly pan-fried sole fish served with a buttery sauce with lemon juice and parsley. 

The word meunière refers to the cooking method of dredging the fish in flour before frying, which creates a crispy coating and helps the sauce adhere to the fish.  

Zoom on two fillets of salmon meunière with capers and lemon zest

Why Should You Try This Recipe?

Here are a few reasons why I recommend this recipe:

  1. Easy to make: Salmon Meunière is a relatively simple dish to make, requiring only a few ingredients and minimal cooking time. This makes it a great option for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
  2. Healthy: Salmon is an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for maintaining good health and decreasing the risk of certain diseases.
  3. Rich in flavors: Salmon fillets after frying are coated in a lemon juice sauce giving them a rich and tangy flavor that complements the natural taste of the salmon.  
  4. Versatile: Salmon Meunière can be served with a variety of side dishes, such as roasted vegetables, rice, or a fresh green salad, making it a versatile meal option that can be customized to your tastes.
List of ingredients to make a salmon meunière

List of ingredients

  • Salmon fillets: Look for fresh or frozen wild-caught salmon fillets that weigh about six ounces each when you are buying them. I advise staying away from farm-raised salmon because it tends to be fattier and can turn soggy when cooked due to the excessive liquid it releases. Personally, I prefer it with the skin on, but if you don’t like the skin you may ask the seafood counter to remove it.
  • Butter: Butter is the base of the meunière sauce. You can use unsalted butter or salted butter for this recipe.
  • Flour: Flour dredge gives the fish a nice golden-brown crust and helps to thicken the butter sauce.
  • Lemon: For the perfect citrusy touch, I used fresh lemon juice and zest of a full lemon.
  • Fresh Parsley: Its freshness enlivens the sauce and cuts through the butter and salmon’s richness.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: A basic seasoning to enhance the flavor of any dish.
  • Olive oil: I’m a big fan of olive oil and use it to sauté the salmon. You may use any other vegetable oil.
  • Capers: Although not a traditional ingredient of this recipe, I love the salty, tangy, briny flavor they impart. You can serve the capers aside so that everyone can decide to add some or not.

How To Make French Salmon Meunière?

This salmon recipe is an easy recipe that won’t take you more than 10-15 minutes to cook.

  1. Step one: Chop the parsley finely. Grate the lemon zest and cut it in two and press the juice.
  2. Step two: Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Coat in flour.

Géraldine’s tip: To prevent too much flour from sticking to the salmon’s flesh, pat it dry with paper towels.

  1. Step three: In a pan, add a drizzle of olive oil. Place the salmon fillets on the pan skin side for 3 minutes on medium-high heat. Flip over and cook on the other side for 2 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon fillets. Flip the filets one more time.
  1. Step four: Reduce the heat on low. Add butter to the pan and cook on medium heat, stirring continuously for about 2 minutes until it turns into brown butter, meaning that the color of the butter start to become golden brown. Add the lemon juice, parsley, and the lemon zest. 

Note: I like add some capers and lemon zest even if it is not the traditional French Meunière recipe.

Zoom on two fillets of salmon meunière with capers and lemon zest
  1. Step five: Serve the salmon fillets on a plate or serving plate, pour the lemon sauce on top. You can add a few lemon slices for decoration and more parsley. Bon appétit!

How To Serve French Salmon Meunière?

You can serve this French Salmon Meunière with many different sides. Here are some ideas:

  • Carbs: rice, mash potatoes, French lentils or you can try my parsnip puree.
  • Vegetables: this salmon is delicious served with roasted vegetables or simply with a couple of grilled green asparagus.
  • Pasta: this salmon meunière is delicious served with a side pasta such as tagliatelle or spaghetti.
  • Salads: You can serve this salmon with a green salad or a more nutritious salad such as bulgur salad.  

If you serve this French salmon meunière for a dinner party, I recommend a white wine such as a nice Chablis or Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley. You can also try a French-inspired cocktail, such as this my Cocktail with Crème de Cassis.

Zoom on one fillet of salmon meunière served with green asparagus

Variation Ideas

You can adapt this recipe to your taste. I have listed a few variation ideas. 

  • Fish: The sauce meunière is delicious with white fish such as cod, sole, sea bass, sander, haddock or seam bream. Thinner fillets require less cooking time.
  • Fresh Herbs: Many herbs pair well with fish; try to replace parsley with freshly chopped oregano, tarragon, dill, or basil.
  • Creamy: For a richer and creamy sauce, add 1-2 tablespoons of crème fraîche or heavy cream at the end of the cooking and cook for 2 minutes on low heat as you don’t want the cream to overcook. 

Geraldine’s Tips

  • Before dusting with flour, pat the skin dry with a paper towel for crispier skin.
  • Salmon should not be overcooked. If salmon is cooked too much, it might become dry and fishy, but if it’s cooked medium, it becomes juicy and soft.
  • Keeping the skin on the salmon fillets is another helpful way to keep the fish from drying out and overcooking. The skin can either be eaten or removed before serving.
  • I advise preparing all of your other sides before the salmon meuniere is finished because it should be served right away. Don’t leave it out for too long or the pan-fried flour coating’s crispness will start to lose part of its crispness.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does French Salmon Meunière Keep?

The cooked salmon meunière may keep well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Just make sure to let it cool down thoroughly before storing it in an airtight container.

Can I Freeze French Salmon Meunière? How To Reheat It?

Salmon meuniere, in my opinion, tastes best the day it is prepared, however, leftovers can be frozen for later use. Salmon meuniere can be frozen for up to two months if stored in an airtight container. 

Can I Make This Recipe Vegan?

Although I haven’t tried it I think you can make this recipe vegan by substituting tofu for salmon and it’ll taste delicious too.

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Print Recipe

French Salmon Meunière

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4.7 of 18 votes
This classic French Salmon Meunière recipe is one of my favorite way to cook fresh salmon. With its bright and tangy lemon flavor, this salmon dish is a great option for a busy weeknight dinner or for a special occasion when you have guests over.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Main course
Cuisine French
Servings 2
Calories 338 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 30 g butter
  • 3 tbps flour
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp capers optional

Instructions
 

  • Chop the parsley finely. Grate the lemon zest and cut it in two and press the juice.
  • Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Coat in flour.
  • In a pan, add a drizzle of olive oil. Place the salmon fillets on the pan skin side for 3 minutes on medium-high heat. Flip over and cook on the other side for 2 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon fillets. Flip the filets one more time.
  • Reduce the heat on low. Add butter to the pan and cook on medium heat, stirring continuously for about 2 minutes until it turns into brown butter, meaning that the color of the butter start to become golden brown. Add the lemon juice, parsley, and the lemon zest.
  • I like add some capers and lemon zest even if it is not the traditional French Meunière recipe.
  • Step five: Serve the salmon fillets on a plate or serving plate, pour the lemon sauce on top. You can add a few lemon slices for decoration and more parsley. Bon appétit!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 338kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 31gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 385mgPotassium: 819mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 500IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 2mg
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5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Wow! This was excellent. Will definitely make again. I had an extra juicy lemon so just added 2 tbsp of lemon juice and it was the perfect amount. Merci!

  2. 5 stars
    I love wild salmon, thank you for a delicious recipe. I am Coeliac so will substitute flour with gf flour.