5 minutes of prep time is all you need for this delicious and flaky Instant Pot Lemon Pepper Salmon! The Instant Pot creates the silkiest and most amazing flaky salmon texture! This healthy salmon is also Keto-friendly and pairs well with cauliflower rice.
As a nutritionist, I know the importance of including salmon on a weekly basis for brain and heart health. Loaded with Omega 3’s, antioxidants, and lean protein; salmon is such a great choice for a healthy and balanced dinner. This salmon dinner is just one of several Keto-Friendly Instant Pot recipes in my library!
5 minutes to cook salmon!
I am absolutely thrilled to bring you a salmon recipe that comes together so easily and quickly in the Instant Pot. You’ll love this amazingly easy salmon method for meal prep, or just when you need a lightening fast dinner that is loaded with veggies and nutrients.
You might never have thought to cook fish in your Instant Pot, but in about 5 minutes you will have the silkiest, flaky, and luscious salmon you’ve ever had in your life.
Because I am absolutely devoted to giving you all fast and super simple dinners that you can make on a busy weeknight, I think you will love this list of 50 of the easiest Whole30 One Pan Meals! You’ll find this Instant Pot Lemon Pepper Salmon, more Instant Pot dinners, and other one pan meals you can make on the stovetop or oven. Even if not doing Whole30, there are plenty of healthy dinners to try!
Allow me to introduce you to my recipe developer today: Chef Shelley at Chef in the Burbs. Shelley is a personal chef, and busy wife and mom who specializes in Weekend Fancy and Weeknight Fast recipes!
Why use the Instant Pot:
Here are two huge reasons to use your Instant Pot the next time you’re making salmon for dinner.
- The texture is unreal. I know silky might sound a little weird to describe fish, but it seriously is! It’s so moist and tender, you wouldn’t believe it if you didn’t cook it yourself.
- The sauce bonus. After seasoning the salmon and throwing some herbs in the water, what ends up in the bottom of the pot is a fully flavored delicate broth that’s perfect to spoon over the salmon and veggies. Especially if you stir in a little extra healthy fat after the salmon has cooked.
What you need to make Instant Pot Salmon
Just a handful of ingredients is all you need:
- Skin on salmon filet
- Salt and Pepper
- Ghee or butter
- Bell pepper
- Fresh herbs like dill or tarragon
How to make flaky salmon in the Instant Pot
So honestly, this recipe couldn’t be any easier. Here is all you need to do:
- Add butter or ghee to the salmon and season with salt and pepper. Place lemon slices on top of the filet.
- Pour water in the bottom of the IP with fresh herbs. Place the steam rack on top, and salmon on top of the steam rack with the skin side down.
- Select the steam function (you can also use manual/high pressure if you don’t have a steam function), and steam for 3 minutes.
- While salmon is cooking, julienne the vegetables (or dice if you prefer).
- Use a quick release on the Instant Pot. Remove the salmon, and select the saute function. Saute the veggies for 1-2 minutes.
- Slice the salmon and serve with veggies. Spoon any residual sauce from the veggie/ghee/herb mixture in the bottom of the Instant Pot. You can also top with more fresh herbs and additional lemon juice!
Serving and Storing:
Here are a few fabulous side dishes that work great with this dinner. I also love this for meal prep. Make the salmon ahead, and store in an air tight container for up to one week. It’s best to slice into smaller pieces before refrigerating.
Serve with any of the following side dishes:
- Skillet Creamy Lemon Brussels Sprouts
- Easy House Salad
- Cauliflower Rice Tabbouleh
- Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes
- Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Tahini Vinaigrette
Looking for another delicious Salmon Instant Pot recipe? You’ll love these Instant Pot Chipotle Salmon Bowls!
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5 Minute Instant Pot Flaky Lemon Pepper Salmon
Instant Pot Lemon Pepper Salmon comes together with only 5 minutes of prep time and a handful of ingredients! So simple with a perfect salmon texture.
- ¾ cup water
- A few sprigs of parsley, dill, tarragon, basil or a combo
- 1.5 lb salmon filet skin on
- 2 tbsp ghee or other healthy fat divided
- ¼ tsp salt or to taste
- ½ tsp pepper or to taste
- 1/2 lemon thinly sliced + more to taste
- 1 zucchini julienned
- 1 red bell pepper julienned
- 2 carrots julienned
Place water and herbs in the Instant Pot and then put in the steamer rack making sure the handles are extended up.
Drizzle salmon with 1 tbsp ghee/fat, season with salt and pepper, and cover with lemon slices. Place salmon, skin down on rack.
Close the Instant Pot and make sure the vent is sealed. Select the “Steam” function (you can also use manual/high pressure) and press the + or – buttons to set it to 3 minutes.
While salmon cooks, julienne your veggies.
When cooking is complete, use a quick release. Select the cancel button. Remove lid, and using hot pads, carefully remove rack with salmon and set on a plate.
Remove herbs and discard. Add veggies and select the “Sauté” function and let the veggies cook for another 2 to 3 minutes using the residual butter/ghee and lemon juice.
Serve salmon with veggies on top. Add remaining tbsp of butter/ghee to the pot and pour a little of the sauce over veggies and salmon if desired. Top with any additional fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice.
The cooking time will vary, depending on the thickness of your salmon. 3 minutes is perfect for a filet that’s about 1 inch at its thickest part. Ask your seafood person for a center cut piece, or heat end. The tail end is much thinner.
If you don’t want to julienne the veggies, you cut them up bite sized and cook them longer, or steam them in a separate pot while the salmon cooks
Photo Credit: All photos in this post were take by Loren at Sweet Rustic Bakes
Hi, like the recipe, i am wondering what cooking time will be for salmon if frozen. Thanks.
I really don’t know Miriam, I haven’t tried with frozen. My best guess would be 5 additional minutes.
For a lot of things in the IP the cook time remains the same whether it’s frozen or not – it may just take some additional time to get up to pressure. It’ll basically thaw the salmon before it even starts the 3 minute countdown.
I made this tonight and will definitely be making it again. I used 3 sprigs of fresh basil and a tsp of whole dill seed in the water. I didn’t have skin-on salmon, just 4 fresh salmon fillets, but I made a circle of tin foil and put that on the trivet with my salmon on top. The smell while this cooked was ah-may-zing!!! I was a bit worried about the dill seeds once I realized that my veggies would be cooking in that water and I tried scooping a bunch out and now wish that I didn’t. I used chunkier cut veggies, so instead of sauteing them, I steamed them for 3m QR and they were absolutely perfect. I tossed the veggies into the remaining liquid, drained them and served them next to the salmon. The odd dill seed on the veggies made it taste even better! I can’t wait to make this again!
Yay! Glad you loved it!
First IP meal I made. Was fantastic! Didn’t use the extra fat…was still delicious. A family favorite for sure!!
So happy to hear, Wendy! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
This was fantastic! My whole family devoured it – including my picky boys. I’ll have to get a bigger piece of salmon next time, but otherwise this is perfect.
Love to hear that, Stephanie!
Tried this last night. A couple of questions – do the veggies go on the rack or in the water? My salmon seemed like it should have cooked a bit longer, I used sockeye, does that make a difference? Thank you!
The veggies go in after you remove the salmon at the bottom of the pan, not on the rack. A sockeye salmon should be great, but cooking time does depend a little on thickness. The recipe is for salmon approximately 1 inch thick, if its thicker, yo may need an extra minute or 2. Hope that helps!
Leigh zimmerman says
At 3minutes my salmon was too rare. I returned it to the pot after I’d sautéed the vegetables with the vegetables still in the pot.. steamed an additional 2minutes and the result was amazing. Yum
This recipe is PERFECTION. This is going to be my go to date night meal LOL. One question, when the veggies go in & the lid is on, should the valve be sealed or venting? I’ve never used the sauté function with the lid on so I wasn’t sure. Thank you thank you thank you for the great recipe!
Hi Candice , I am a Instant Pot Newbie , but i read that when using the Saute function it is ALWAYS with the LID OFF
Do i set the IP on low or high?
Just press the steam function, not high or low pressure.
Should it be on pressure cooker or just steam?
Lauren C Kirby says
When i did the quick release, it came out undercooked. I know some people like their salmon mid-rare, but when cooking for kids, I like to go more to the well done end of the spectrum. I feel like if i had let it natural release, it would’ve been perfect. I also had 1.24ln filet skin on, so that could have contributed as well.
It does have a slightly different cook time depending on the thickness of the filet. This recipe is for 1 inch with the skin. You could do the natural release next time, or add another 1-2 minutes
So I tried your Salmon recipe and timed it for 3 minutes like you wrote. Came out uncooked in the middle. Added another 3 minutes still not fully cooked then added 2 more before it came out perfect. Not sure why it took longer than what you stated.
Not sure why either, Deanna! Sorry about that. Lots of people have tried with success, but it doesn’t always work perfectly for everyone. It could also be the size and thickness of the salmon.
I know this is an older comment but same here. I did 3 mins and it was rare. I did 3 mins again and it looked cooked but then the middle was still undercooked. I ended up doing 3 mins again (for a third time) and it turned out great! So it took 9 mins. I do admit it was probably 2 inches thick so my initial mistake!
When you sauté the veggies, will a countdown timer occur, or do you simply set a timer? I’m so used to having to wait for the instant pot to start a countdown for me. Also- when I julienned my veggies there were a TON- do you scale up on time?
A countdown timer does not occur on the saute function. I would maybe saute the veggies in batches if you have so many.
This is another fantastic recipe! I used thicker frozen portions, so I cooked the salmon for 5 minutes on high pressure and 1 min NR, then QR and it was cooked perfectly! I only had a sprig of rosemary – which added nice flavor. We served it with cous cous – my entire family loved the salmon, vegetables, and sauce! We look forward to making it again.
Douglas J. says
This worked out really well. It’s a keeper.
This is perfection! Saved me in a pinch (I was Out of oven space and decided to see if the Instant Pot was an option) and it turned out FAR better than if I’d just done it in the oven to start with! Thanks so much!
Yay! So glad to hear!
Christine Fink says
If I have a taller trivet as well do you think I could do 2 filets stacked?
Yes, that should work no problem!!
Made this last night. It was perfect exactly as written in the recipe. Definitely the tastiest, easiest, fastest way to make salmon and accompanying veggies.
Lora Hyatt says
Thank you so much for this recipe! I currently live in Arkansas but I’m also a true Oregonian and I will eat Salmon anyway I can get it! A friend back home posted a picture on FB of some Salmon he smoked yesterday, so I have been hunting recipes for my Instant Pot and Salmon! So thank you my Oregon sister! I know my husband will be thanking you too tonight, his favorite also! ????????
What is the nutritional breakdown of this recipe?
Hi Diane, the nutrition facts are listed under the notes section in the recipe.
Liz Tosti says
This was my first recipe in my instapot, so there was a learning curve on my part. Now its one of my go to recipes. I cannot tell you enough how moist and flavorful this salmon comes out from the instapot. When you grill your salmon it shrinks so much and when cooked instapot style the portion remains the same. I alway switch up the herbs, some fresh and some dried and each time it comes out better than the last. I do cook the veggies a little longer but that could just be to our liking. The last time I cooked the fish I transferred it to another dish and put it under the broiler for 2 minutes and it came out excellent. I lOVE this recipe!!
So happy to hear!!
Katie Koff says
What steamer rack are you using? My instant pot rack doesn’t have handles and I would love one that does! Thank you.
Hi! My 6qt ultra came with one that has handles!
Thank you for the recipe. I usually cook fish on low for 8 minutes and then use quick release. But it turns out touch and rubbery. I cook for 7 mins and it’s under-cooked. I don’t know what I am doing wrong? Don’t know how a fish in tin cans is so soft?
My tiny little town’s grocery doesn’t sell skin on salmon. Does it matter if I by salmon with no skin? Do I change the cooking instructions at all?
No, you don’t need the skin.
I just got the IP for Christmas and love it! This was the third time I used it and I love it! I’m used to eating grilled salmon. So I was a little worried about the taste when I ate it steamed. However, I got over that quickly. I can see what you mean by it being silky. It’s wonderful! Plus, no big hassle or anything! Such a great recipe! I’ll def be using this again!
Sevi Star-Harvey says
This sounds AMAZING! Thank you coit sharing i think I’ll make it right this second! I keep checking, but i don’t see why this doesn’t get the gluten free bubble too.
So, just to start, I love salmon. It’s my favorite fish, and I love all sorts of preparations. And, I don’t often post online reviews. But I felt obligated to do so. This was the most unappealing meal i’ve had in a long time. There was a very unpleasant smell while the fist cooked, and I had to choke down the somewhat overcooked fish (just because I hate throwing out food – otherwise i’d have tossed it quickly). I definitely don’t recommend this over simply broiling or baking salmon.
Sorry it didn’t work out for you. I am wondering if it could have been a bad piece of salmon? It shouldn’t have had a smell while in the Instant Pot. Lots of salmon lovers have made this recipe with success, so it’s hard for me to know what went wrong!
This looks great. Do you think it would work to throw the veggies in the bottom with the liquid and cook it all at once? Thanks
You could do that, but the veggies would be mushy and not have the “sautéed” texture.
Do you steam for 3mins or high pressure for 3mins? 3 mins steam seems too short for 1lb salmon filet. Thanks!
You can do either one! The 3 minutes works great for a 1 inch thick filet. If bigger, add an additional minute or 2.
IS there a typo? I’m pretty sure it needs to be in Pressure Cook for 3 minutes, not steam mode. I tried it in steam mode and had to cook it for 6 additional minutes. Very frustrating!
No typo. Steam mode works perfect unless your salmon is thicker than 1 inch! You can also use high pressure.
Karen Beghly says
I can’t get the Print button to work on this recipe.
It does work, but requires a little bit of placing the cursor just over the right spot. Or it works perfectly from a smart phone. Working on a small glitch with the new updates to my recipe plugin. I am hoping to have the problem fixed within the week with my web developer.
Amazing! This was the 2nd meal I prepared using my instapot. I’ve always been intimidated to prepare fish. I would never want to make it any other way after seeing how quick & easy everything came together using the instapot. Thank you for sharing your recipe & knowledge.
So happy to hear that!
Will be trying very soon as Salmon is a fave of mine. Just curious about salmon skin steaming it didn’t make you miss the crispness of the skin? Or guess once take veggies and salmon is out sauté salmon skin side down. Pot should be pretty hot so imagine would crisp pretty quickly?
This was the second meal I’d made in my Instant Pot and it was surprisingly amazing – flavor was perfect (I used parsley, 1/2 the amount of pepper and double the lemon for 1.2 lbs of salmon). I don’t have much experience with the instant pot but couldn’t believe how perfectly tender and moist the salmon turned out!! Definitely a repeat and husband approved!!
Nad P says
Thanks so very much!
You are welcome!
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Wow, what a quick and easy recipe. I must admit I was skeptical but I’ll be doing this again. 5 mins for a great dinner is short of amazing! Thanks for this!
iptv bayilik says
Hey AMY! Thanks for such a nice post! I just bookmarked your blog.
Maryann Kugler says
Overseas friend says
This was so delicious, easy, pretty, and fast! Great for when you need to make a quick dinner.
Sheri Satran says
This recipe was absolutely delicious! Easy and will do again!!!
What can I use if I don’t have the “STEAM” option?
You can use the high pressure setting in place of steam.
I’m gonna try this soon! Could I use butter instead of ghee? Or even olive oil?
Yes, definitely! Either one is fine.
Thanks! One more question: I have an 8qt instant pot and read that you have to have at least 2 cups of liquid to avoid burning. Do you think changing the amount of water will make a big difference on anything else? (Maybe I should remove some liquid before putting in the veggies?)
Can you substitute fresh herbs for dried herbs or will that result in the dreaded burn notice?
Amy Rains says
You can substitute!
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iptv satın al says
I have recently started eating healthy. Thank you for a great recipe.
3 mins of steaming left me with completely raw salmon. I followed it with 2×3 mins at high pressure before the salmon was actually cooked. Turned out great but definitely needed more time for me.