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Pressure Cooker Salmon with Creamy Herb Parmesan Sauce

This Pressure Cooker Salmon is the perfect quick and elegant meal. Top it with a creamy herb parmesan sauce for a quick and fancy meal.

salmon being covered with sauce


I would have never imagined that I, Tanya, would be cooking salmon in an electric pressure cooker. Not too sure why I am surprised since I use my Instant Pot for just about everything. I’ve made sous vide egg bites and cornmeal porridge for breakfast and this beautiful shrimp paella for dinner and meal prep lunches. But fish, in the pot? Yes, it can be done and it’s so awesome.

The inspiration for this recipe comes from a high school friend Katharine who informed me of a salmon recipe she created in her Instant Pot. Her method was simple yet genius. Salmon in pot with stock, herbs, and lemon juice; pressure cook, remove and add cornstarch and let cook until it thickened. Amazing sauce and fish. I was intrigued and I decided to give it a go myself.

salmon with herb on top

But there was a problem. Every single time I wanted to try the recipe, I didn’t feel like making a store run to get fresh non frozen salmon. And the week I finally bought salmon, I bought it frozen and forgot to defrost it the day I wanted to make it. Yes, fish defrost quite quickly under running water but even that felt like such a hassle. So it dawned on me, why not cook it from frozen, just like I did with the shrimp in the shrimp paella.

frozen salmom

I set it to the same cook time for 5 minutes, closed the lid, and said a prayer. Well prayer works because my salmon came out perfect! With just a 5 minute cook time, my salmon was done from frozen. My  fish was flakey and perfectly cooked, and I was able to make an amazing sauce in the same pot once done. Dinner was complete in less than 20 minutes!

The beauty with this salmon in the pressure cooker is the ability to use fresh or frozen fish. Non frozen fish will cook with a pressure cook time of about 3 minutes. Use your judgment when setting cook times for fresh or frozen fish. The thicker and bigger the filet, the longer the cook time.

salmon with fork sticking out of it

You can have fun with the herbs used in this dish as well. I’ve used various combos of basil, parsley, chives, and dill and it’s always been delicious.

Some may have some questions about this dish and I’ve made a nice notes section for this pressure cooker salmon along with step by step photos. Of course, if you come up with new questions or love this dish, feel free to leave me a comment below. As always, enjoy 🙂

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4.50 from 2 votes

Pressure Cooker Salmon with Creamy Herb Parmesan Sauce

This Pressure Cooker Salmon with Creamy Herb Parmesan Sauce is the perfect quick weeknight and elegant meal. Top it with a creamy herb parmesan sauce for a quick and fancy meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 655.7kcal
Author Tanya


  • 4 frozen salmon filets
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1.5 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Place water and garlic in insert with trivet on top. Place salmon on top of trivet.
  • Close pressure cooker and set on Manual for 4-5 minutes.*
  • Once timer goes off, quick release the pressure. Remove salmon and trivet from the pot.
  • Turn off pressure cooker and set to Saute and adjust to Normal.
  • Once water begins to boil, whisk in the heavy cream and bring to a boil again. Allow to boil for about 2-3 minutes. The mixture should be able to stick to the back of a spoon.
  • Turn off pressure cooker and remove insert from heat. Whisk in chives, parsley, dill, parmesan cheese, and lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste.


*Adjust time based on thickness of filet. 
Suggested Tools
Instant Pot
Trivet for Instant Pot


Calories: 655.7kcal
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Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

Notes on Pressure Cooker Salmon with Creamy Herb Parmesan Sauce

  • The time listed is for 4-5 minutes under high pressure for frozen salmon. Thicker bigger filets will likely need a 5 minute cook time while thinner ones will need less of a cook time. Use your judgment when setting cook times to avoid overcooked and dry fish.
  • Dry herbs can be substituted for the fresh in this recipe, just cut herb amount in half. Also, add herbs before pressure cooking if using dry herbs. Fresh herbs should be added as instructed in the recipe.
  • Broth can be used in place of water for recipe.
  • It takes about 10 minutes to reach pressure in the pressure cooker. Make sure quick release is done as soon as pressure cooker timer goes off to avoid overcooked salmon.
  • These directions are for a 6 quart Instant Pot. Please modify accordingly for bigger or smaller models.
  • Serve over pasta or rice with a side of vegetables to complete your meal.

Step by Step Photos of Pressure Cooker Salmon with Creamy Herb Parmesan Sauce

Pin Pressure Cooker Salmon with Creamy Herb Parmesan Sauce

4.50 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)
Recipe Rating


Tuesday 3rd of March 2020

Hi, What is the name of the store did you purchased frozen salmon from??


Tuesday 6th of August 2019

I made this tonight. I had to cook my fish quite a bit longer. I started with 4 minutes and did another 2 minutes and it still wasn’t quite done, so I closed it up and set it on sauté for a couple of minutes. I get my salmon from the meat department meat case. It’s pretty thick. Next time I will probably pressure 6-7 minutes. I did have to add more water before I sautéed it because it was bone dry. It was trial and error this time, but next time I’ll have a better idea of what I’m doing.

Good news is that it was delicious! ?


Tuesday 23rd of July 2019

This looks wonderful,but I’m not a fan of dill. Any suggestions on what would be a delicious replacement? Thanks!


Tuesday 23rd of July 2019

Hi Becky, I'd probably just leave it out and add more fresh parsley.