Easy Baked Pesto Salmon Recipe

There should always be room in your recipe collection for a quick, easy, and delicious meal. This tasty baked pesto salmon recipe certainly fits the criteria, as you'll be ready to eat it in less than 15 minutes, and there are only two ingredients! Jamie Bachtell-Shelbert is recipe developer, holistic dietitian, and food blogger at Wholly Nourished. She created this simple yet flavorful dish that makes it easy to eat without spending all evening in the kitchen. She remarks, "I like how quickly this comes together," and you'll certainly appreciate that fact on weeknights or when you're especially hungry.

If you are looking for a simple yet impressive dish for guests, Bachtell-Shelbert adds, "It is suitable to serve for a nice dinner or holiday." This fish pairs well with a wide variety of side dishes which makes it a versatile addition to the table. If you're feeling creative and looking to add a few extra elements, you'll find this recipe flexible and easy to adapt.

Gather the ingredients to prepare baked pesto salmon

If you're expecting a list of ingredients, you're in for a pleasant surprise. This delicious baked pesto salmon recipe requires a mere two items to prepare. It's all in the name 一 pesto and salmon. To keep things simple, Bachtell-Shelbert recommends using store-bought basil pesto. However, if you already make your own pesto, then go ahead and use your homemade option. While traditional pesto is made with fresh basil leaves, Bachtell-Shelbert remarks, "I do think any pesto would work here!" She adds, "Sun-dried tomato sounds fabulous!"

As for the salmon, fillets are best for this preparation, since you will be covering the fish with pesto. Ideally, search for fillets without too many bones to make the dining experience much more enjoyable. You'll definitely love this simple dish as-is, but if you want to add a little something special, then Bachtell-Shelbert suggests,"You can dress it up with chopped pistachios or roasted tomatoes to make it even more impressive."

Preheat the oven, and place the salmon on a baking sheet

Start off by preheating the oven to 375 F to bake the salmon. Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper to keep your final cleanup nice and simple. Transfer the salmon fillets to the lined tray, placing the fish skin side down. Now, the smooth surface of the fish is facing up so that it is in full display to layer on the pesto.

Spread the pesto evenly on top of the fish

Now, it's time to distribute the pesto evenly between the two salmon fillets. Using a spoon or butter knife, spread the pesto on top of the fish, one fillet at a time. Make sure to fully coat the surface of each fillet to avoid having a bite of salmon that's lacking pesto. Once you've divided the pesto between the two salmon fillets, you're one step closer to enjoying this tasty dish.

Bake the salmon in the preheated oven

Since the prep is so quick, you might have to wait a moment for your oven to finish preheating. Once it reaches 375 F, transfer the baking sheet to an oven rack, and set a timer for 10 to 12 minutes. The cook time will vary depending on the thickness of the salmon fillets, so keep a close eye to cook it to your preferred doneness.

Bachtell-Shelbert describes how to test for the ideal texture with a fork, noting that "the salmon will be firm when the top is touched" and adding that "the flesh flakes." If you'd rather a more objective measurement she says, "You can also test the temperature 一 145 F for a well done fillet." Depending on your preference, Bon Appétit indicated that the salmon will be medium rare at 120 F.

Serve this easy baked pesto salmon

When you've cooked the salmon to your liking, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Allow the salmon to cool down for a few minutes before serving this tasty dish. Bachtell-Shelbert recommends eating it immediately, but if you have leftovers, she adds that "it could be reheated if necessary." 

Thanks to the rich flavors from the salmon and pesto, this dish doesn't require a complicated side. Bachtell-Shelbert notes, "I love to serve this fish with a creamy risotto or herb roasted potatoes, and a salad or green vegetable like roasted green beans or broccoli." It would also pair well with simply prepared pasta or rice on the side. Whatever you choose to serve along with it will make an ideal presentation for the family or guests.

Easy Baked Pesto Salmon Recipe
5 from 22 ratings
There should always be room in your recipe collection for a quick, easy, and delicious meal. This tasty baked pesto salmon recipe certainly fits the criteria.
Prep Time
Cook Time
baked pesto salmon on plate
Total time: 13 minutes
  • 2 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
  • ⅓ cup store-bought basil pesto
  1. Heat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Add the salmon fillets to the baking sheet, skin side down.
  4. Divide the pesto evenly among the fillets, and spread it out to fully coat the tops of the salmon.
  5. Bake the salmon in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.
  6. Remove the salmon from the oven, and serve.
Calories per Serving 505
Total Fat 37.1 g
Saturated Fat 7.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 97.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 3.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.8 g
Total Sugars 0.0
Sodium 553.7 mg
Protein 37.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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