Any meal that comes together in only 20 minutes in only one pan is a huge win in my book. This One Pan Garlic Butter Salmon and Swiss Chard is the PERFECT healthy meal for busy people. It’s simple, uses only 5 ingredients, and is gluten-free, paleo, and whole30 compliant.
I was extra excited about this recipe because I GREW THE SWISS CHARD. In my garden! With my own two hands! This was the first proper “meal” I’ve made out of my garden harvest- I had a few radishes come up, and of course some herbs… but I was so excited to plan an entire recipe around this yummy vegetable.
That, coupled with the fact that the wild caught salmon was on sale for only $10/lb. at my grocery store, made me a VERY happy girl.
You don’t need many ingredients for this recipe- just a ton of Swiss chard (preferably double what’s pictured above- my harvest was limited), salmon, garlic, butter, and lemon (whoops- forgot to add that to the photo!).
And for an easy paleo/whole30 compliant substitution, you can use ghee instead of butter.
Swiss Chard is an easy vegetable to cook and it’s ridiculously healthy. It’s one of those “hearty” greens, similar to kale or collards, but it doesn’t take a long time took. It’s packed with vitamins K, A, and C, as well as fiber and other nutrients. And the best part is that the stems can be eaten as well as the leaves! Since the stems take a bit longer to cook, this recipe calls for sautéing them for a few minutes in the pan before adding the leaves.
If you’ve never worked with it before, here’s a great tutorial on how to easily separate the stems from the leaves and slice the leaves beautifully.
The chard has a delicate, slightly bitter flavor, similar to other leafy greens. Seasoned simply with lemon, garlic, salt, and pepper makes it tangy and bright and wonderful. I enjoyed getting a little bit of chard and a little bit of salmon with each bite- the two pair beautifully together in this recipe.
This Garlic Butter Salmon and Swiss Chard is an easy meal to make for a casual weeknight, but it’s also great for company. If you want to make this meal go a bit further for very hungry people, I recommend cooking up some quinoa or brown rice to serve with it, making sure to spoon all the juices from cooking the chard/salmon on top of it.
A note on equipment: if you are an experienced cook, you can use a stainless steel skillet (like the one pictured) to make this- just be warned that it may be a bit tricky to flip the fish without it sticking if you don’t sear it properly. But if you are a beginner, or if you just want to make your life a bit easier, I recommend using a nonstick skillet. Full disclosure: I used a nonstick skillet to cook this, then transferred everything to a stainless steel skillet for the photos because it looked brighter and prettier :-)
Here’s the printable recipe!
One Pan Garlic Butter Salmon and Swiss Chard
- 2 tablespoons butter or ghee divided
- 1 lb. salmon filet
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 lbs. rainbow swiss chard leaves and stems separated, cut into 1-2 inch pieces, and reserved (about 2 bunches)
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
- juice of one lemon
- chopped fresh parsley for serving optional
- Season both sides of salmon liberally with salt and pepper.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- When the pan is hot, add the salmon skin side up. Sear for 4-5 minutes, or until salmon easily releases from the bottom of the pan. Sear skin side down for 4-5 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. Remove salmon from pan to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
- Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to pan and melt over medium heat. Stir in garlic and sauté until fragrant and beginning to toast, stirring consistently, about 30 seconds.
- Add the chard stems and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Cover the pan and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes, or until tender.
- Add the leaves and stir, cooking until wilted, about 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
- Serve salmon on top of chard garnished with fresh parsley, if desired.
- Be sure to use ghee or even olive oil instead of butter for a dairy free, paleo, and whole30 compliant version of this recipe.
- Depending on the thickness of your fish, and also the variety and whether it's wild caught or farm raised, all may have an effect on the cooking time. You may need to cook it a bit longer than I did.