How to Cook Salmon from Frozen **VIDEO**

June 26, 2017   33 Comments

I happen to love salmon but I forget to take it out of the freezer for dinner. Does that happen to you? I am going to help you out because I have learned how to cook salmon from frozen.

How to Cook Salmon from Frozen

I had never attempted cooking from frozen because I thought that the fish would cook unevenly unless it was thawed. My baked salmon and asparagus recipe and my roasted salmon and broccoli both feature thawed fillets.

I thought that the fish wouldn't cook evenly without it being thawed (the inside would be cold and the outside hot) - but, happily, I was wrong.

Since making this recipe, I have also learned how to cook salmon from frozen without thawing in the oven - incredibly easy!!

I love how you can buy a bag of individually frozen fillets and store them in the freezer for a fast weeknight meal. Now you don't have to remember to take them out of the freezer before you leave for work in the morning!!

First, you rinse off the ice glaze in cold water and pat down with paper towels. Then, using a brush, you slather on some olive oil so the salmon won’t stick to the pan. Heat your pan to medium high while you are rinsing and brushing.

Cook your salmon for 4 minutes or so until browned. It will still be really frozen except for the layer that you brown. Turn it over (this is the browned portion above), cover the pan, and reduce the heat to medium.

Cook for 6 more minutes until the fish is opaque (check with a knife in the center – take a peek).

It’s kind of amazing. In 10 minutes, you have delicious, cooked fish right from your freezer. How can you go wrong?

I serve this with salad, rice or cauliflower rice, maybe some noodles - whatever I have on hand. My family usually loves this meal.


Please share if you try this recipe and let me know how it goes.

How to Cook Salmon From Frozen Recipe

3.6 from 15 reviews

Makes 2 fillets

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2 Alaska Salmon fillets (4 to 6 ounces each)
olive oil for brushing on
salt and pepper to taste


Rinse any ice glaze from frozen salmon under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Heat a heavy non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of fish with olive oil and place salmon in heated skillet, uncovered, for about 4 minutes until browned.

Turn salmon over and season with salt and pepper. Cover pan tightly and reduce heat to medium. Cook an additional 6 to 8 minutes or just until fish is opaque.

Nutrition Facts

For a four ounce fillet with olive oil = 190 calories, 11.7 g fat, 1.7 g saturated fat, 0.0 g carbohydrates, 0 g sugar, 22.0 g protein, 0 g fiber, 50 mg sodium, 1 Freestyle SmartPts

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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After cooking the fillets are they watery?

on December 13, 2016

I discovered cooking salmon from frozen because I, too, forgot to take the fillet out of the freezer. I put the frozen fillet on aluminum foil, sprayed the fillet with Pam generic, sprinkled on lemon pepper seasoning and put it into my toaster oven. I baked it for 17 minutes then checked it and put it back in for 3 more minutes. Worked out great. I have found that I have to vary the last few minutes because of my toaster over. Great way to get from frozen to the dinner plate. Your way does seem faster, but I rarely use extra oils to cook so my method worked well for me.

on December 13, 2016

Love this recipe! Does anyone know a reasonably priced place to get high quality salmon that is not contaminated with shellfish processing? I am willing to buy and have it shipped frozen but worried about my shellfish allergy....

on December 13, 2016

How serendipitous! This just happened to me last night and I had to cook something else. Now I know! Thank you!

on December 13, 2016

I'm glad to know i'm not.the only one who forgets to take salmon (or other fish) out of the freezer until cooking time is right down to the wire! I'm sure I'll be using this method often.

However, if time isn't quite so tight I find that it takes hardly any time at all to thaw out a salmon filet by putting it in a pan of cold water in the sink, changing the water frequently or just letting the tap run in a gentle stream if I have other dinner prep underway.

on December 13, 2016

@Lauren - No! I was thinking that the texture would be different but it is exactly the same as when you thaw it. It is not the least bit watery.

Thanks for your question!

on December 13, 2016

OMGosh, Thk u for ur Website & sharing. I voiced googled & immediately, ur site popped up & I read it thru. I am cooking Salmon for the very FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE! For my 16 yr old Grandson, Nicholas, who wants to eat healthy. I finally got Brave & picked a Frozen 4 pak of Salmon. Whew! I pray I do this exactly to ur instructions for him.

on March 26, 2017

Do you add any additional oil to the pan at all?

on May 2, 2017

@SayIDidIt - I did not add any additional oil but I have a very good non-stick pan. Thanks for your question!

on May 12, 2017

Will this work with any type of frozen fish filet?

on May 23, 2017

Thank for giving a great recipe about salmon from frozen! How long can this dish be preserve in refrigerator when i have some leftovers?

on June 10, 2017

if time isn't quite so tight I find that it takes hardly any time at all to thaw out a salmon filet by putting it in a pan of cold water in the sink

on June 27, 2017

@Brooke - yes, I think it would work with any fish filet. Great question!

@Lita - I find that cooked fish lasts about three days in the fridge without it starting to taste a bit funky. Thanks for your question!

on June 27, 2017

You stated that you have "a very good non stick pan". Would you share the make of the pan? I am always a bit hesitant buying non stick cookware. TX

on June 27, 2017

@Janet - I use a pretty expensive pan called a Scan Pan - - made in Denmark and not using teflon. I have been using it for years and as you can see from the video and photos - it looks like new. Totally worth the money.

on June 27, 2017

Those scanpans look very good. I just bought a 2pc frying set from WmsSonoma that are white ceramic and somebody already scratched one. So fragile. Scanpan sounds much more rugged; my next cookware replacement. Thanks for salmon method and great pan tip!

on June 27, 2017

I never defrost my salmon. Just use non stick pan and spray a little Pam, add some salt and pepper and cover. Quick and easy dinner.

on June 29, 2017

I wish I liked fish better, but fish taste to me is UCK! Salmon is nasty tasting in my mouth and stays and stays. I like my fish mild and dry and flakey. Any suggestions???😵😏

on July 5, 2017

@Kathy - Have you tried a white fish (such as cod or halibut)? They have a much less fishy taste and you can saute them in a little butter so the fish taste is less prominent.

or you could just stick to chicken :)

Thanks for your question!

on July 5, 2017

I SO love salmon but my shellfish allergy won't allow me to purchase it in stores anymore due to the possibility of contamination with any shellfish when they are processing, cutting, packaging. Wish I could trust someplace and purchase it, even long distance. If anyone knows of a place that does ONLY salmon and no other fish, please post it. Thanks. The recipe would be wonderful to try!

on November 20, 2017

@Karen - try looking for a place near you that sells CERTIFIED Kosher seafood. Since Kosher restrictions forbid shellfish, salmon which is certified kosher may be from a facility that can assure no contamination.

on January 9, 2018

Whoever responded with the suggestion of buying Kosher, thank you!! I had just learned about this last week and have already placed my first order with a Kosher-certified salmon company in WA. I am SO excited to be able to add this to my diet!

on January 10, 2018

Thank for giving a great recipe about salmon from frozen! How long can this dish be preserve in refrigerator when i have some leftovers?

on February 10, 2018

How serendipitous! This just happened to me last night and I had to cook something else. Now I know! Thank you!

on March 5, 2018

I would like to try this method however I really like to have salmon with a crispy skin. It looks like you cook the salmon on the skin side after you flip it and when the pan is covered. I expect the skin would be inedible.any thoughts?

on March 6, 2018

@Jo - the skin is pretty crispy. My husband and son love it! Thanks for your question.

on March 13, 2018

Arctic char is exactly the same as salmon for all purposes but has a milder flavor. Can be annoying to bone if you get a whole fish...

on March 13, 2018

Can u use frozen salmon for a recipe for fresh? Thaw first or keep frozen?

on April 16, 2018

in the event that time isn't exactly so tight I find that it requires barely any investment whatsoever to defrost a salmon filet by placing it in a container of chilly water in the sink

on June 29, 2018

Costco sells frozen salmon filets with kosher certification which should mean no shellfish contamination because shellfish are not kosher.

on September 2, 2018

Going to make this frozen salmon now. I'm thrilled with the notion. I'll share the outcome. Thanks

on September 28, 2018

Karen, if you access to a kosher supermarket or fish market you do not have to worry about shellfish contamination, as shellfish is not kosher and no kosher supermarket or fish market will ever allow shellfish to contaminate salmon! Or you can look for packaged salmon with a kosher symbol—such as OU (there are many others, but that is 1 of the most common.)

on June 11, 2020

I enjoyed your recipe, thank you. Why, in these times, would you cheapen it with a dig at an Asian delivery person?

★★★★★ on February 20, 2021

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