This pesto salmon recipe is perfect for long summer days when you just don’t know what to make for dinner. In less than 20 minutes, you can have a flavorful and healthy dinner on the table that everyone (even your kiddos) will love!
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Why you should make this baked pesto salmon recipe now!
This pesto salmon recipe has only 2-ingredients, pesto and salmon. If you make your own pesto, you’ll need a few extra ingredients, but ones you likely already have in the pantry or the fridge. Additionally, this recipe makes a quick and simple weeknight meal that’s good for you.
It’s naturally gluten free, high in protein and beautiful to look at, making it a win-win-win. I love when that happens. And the leftovers of this pesto salmon recipe are almost as good as the first time you make it, so make double and have dinner (or lunches) all week long.
Additional Information on the Ingredients:
- Pesto: you can either use store bought or homemade. I typically make a double batch of homemade pesto and then freeze it in 4 oz mason jars. One of those jars defrosted is the perfect amount of pesto for this recipe.
Simple step by step instructions
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place a piece of parchment paper on a baking tray.
Then, if you have a large salmon filet (I like to buy mine at Costco so they are often HUUUGE), portion them into pieces that are about 2” wide. This helps everything cook faster and more evenly. If you have a piece of the salmon that is thinner (like towards the tail), you can make it a little bit wider.
Next, spread about 1 teaspoon of pesto onto each piece of fish.
Put the baking tray in the oven and bake until the fish is cooked to about 145 degrees Fahrenheit (to get the internal temp use one of these handi-dandi thermometers). I like to cook it to a little bit of a lower temp and then let it rest a few minutes before serving it. (I’m not recommending eating under cooked proteins, however, I also do not like to over cook fish).
Once the fish is out of the oven, you can add another dollop of pesto to the top of each piece of fish before serving.
Serve over rice, a big salad or for something fancy over risotto, and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
We like to eat baked pesto salmon two different ways. If we are serving right after being cooked, I like to serve either over a simple lemon risotto or rice pilaf. It also goes great over a big leafy green salad. A side of sauteed spinach or roasted cauliflower also works well.
If there is leftover pesto salmon (or sometimes I’ll make it the day before and then serve this), I like to make pesto salmon flat breads using naan (we love the Trader Joes’ version). With the toasted or baked naan as the base, spread some hummus on the bottom, flake the cooked salmon with pesto over the hummus and the top with pickled red onions and feta cheese. It’s so good. I’ll get you a full recipe soon!
Yes, you can make it on the grill. If you are going to grill the salmon, I would suggest leaving it as one whole piece with the skin on. Oil your grill grates, place the salmon on the grill then spoon on the pesto. Let it cook until the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Take off the grill, slice, and serve over a bed of greens or rice.
This recipe is great all year long, but especially good in the summer when you can make homemade pesto to go with it. I also love serving it for room temperature for brunch and the pesto salmon flatbreads are great for a Sunday dinner on the deck. This recipe would also be great for a holiday or Shabbat dinners in the fall.
One more simple tip
If you are using homemade pesto, make it ahead of time and keep it in 4 oz mason jars in the freezer. Simply top the pesto with a piece of plastic wrap to keep it from discoloring and put the lid on.
It will stay good in the freezer up to 6 months. When you are ready to use it, simply defrost it on the counter or pop it into the microwave for about 30 seconds (with the lid off 🙄).
Looking for more simple fish recipes? Try these:
When you try this recipe and love it 😍 let me know by leaving a comment below or 5 ⭐ rating!
Baked Pesto Salmon
- 1 lb fresh salmon if you have extra hungry people for dinner, you can increase the amount of fish and pesto accordingly
- 4 oz pesto homemade or store bought will work
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place a piece of parchment paper on a baking tray.
- Portion the salmon filed into pieces that are about 2-3” wide.
- Spread about 1 teaspoon of pesto onto each piece of fish.
- Put the baking tray in the oven and bake until the fish is cooked to about 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from oven.
- Once the fish is out of the oven, you can add another dollop of pesto to the top of each piece of fish before serving.
- Serve over rice, a big salad or for something fancy over risotto, and enjoy!
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