This pesto salmon recipe is a great way to take a humble fillet of salmon to new heights with minimal ingredients. Whether you want to use store-bought pesto or make your own pesto from scratch, this pesto baked salmon is a flavour-filled meal that the whole family can agree on.
Baked Pesto Salmon with Tomatoes
In my opinion, this salmon recipe is equal parts impressive and easy. With its bright and vibrant colours, it looks like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen but, thanks to a friendly real food shortcut, you can pull it together with a handful of ingredients and have it on the table in 30 minutes or less.
Different Ways to Make Pesto Salmon
Although this recipe calls for the salmon to be cooked in a baking dish in the oven, there are actually many different ways you could cook this pesto salmon.
In Foil: Cooking salmon in foil is as easy as the name implies. Simply place a salmon fillet on a piece of aluminium foil, top with pesto, and fold or wrap the sides of the aluminium foil up to create a parcel to enclose the salmon. The parcel can then be placed on a baking sheet or placed directly in the oven to cook for 20 minutes until the salmon is tender and flaky.
In a Pan: Cooking salmon in a pan is one of the simplest cooking methods. Simply add your salmon fillet to a skillet on medium-high heat, skin-side down, and cook for 4 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until salmon is golden and crisp. Once cooked, top the fillet directly with pesto, or gently heat the pesto in the pan before pouring it over your cooked salmon fillet.
On the Grill: Add salmon to the grill, skin side up, cover and grill for 6-8 minutes or until the salmon lightens in colour and you can take the fillet off of the grill without sticking. Once the salmon is cooked, remove it from the grill and top it with pesto.
Under the Broiler: For a quick, easy and crispy salmon fillet, the broiler is a great way to go! Simply add your salmon to an oven-proof skillet and place it under the broiler, skin side down, for 4-6 minutes until the top is golden and the centre is flaky. If you are using this method, it is best to add your pesto once the salmon is cooked to ensure that it does not burn.
Regardless of what cooking method you choose, the key to this salmon recipe is a good pesto. If you’re up to it, you can certainly make your own homemade pesto from scratch, however, if you’re like me and want to cut down on prep time, the store-bought stuff works just as well. To find the best quality pesto, be sure to read the ingredients and look for an option made with olive oil.
Whether you choose to make your own pesto or buy pre-made pesto, this pesto salmon is sure to be a winner. Serve it up with a side of potatoes and vegetables for a high-protein, high-fibre and well-balanced meal.
More Healthy Salmon Recipes:Print
This healthy baked pesto salmon recipe is filled with flavour while being quick and easy to make! Feel free to use store-bought pesto or make your own at home.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Mains
- Method: Baked
- 4 salmon fillets (4oz)
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pinch salt
- 6 tablespoons pesto, store-bought or homemade
Homemade Pesto (Optional)
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1/2 clove of garlic
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 2–3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 pinch salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- If you are making homemade pesto, prepare it now. In a small food processor or using a pestle and mortar, add garlic, pine nuts and basil leaves and blitz until finely chopped. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, until you have a nice creamy texture (feel free to add less or more as needed), then stir in grated parmesan cheese, lemon juice and salt. Stir to combine and then adjust seasoning as needed. Set aside.
- In a medium oven-proof baking dish, add cherry tomatoes, drizzle with of olive oil, add a pinch of salt and toss until the tomatoes are well-coated in the oil.
- In the same baking dish, layer in salmon fillets and carefully cover each fillet with 1 1/2 tablespoons of pesto.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminium foil and then transfer to the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes or until the salmon is tender and flaky.
- The pesto salmon can be served immediately, stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months.
- Serving Size: 1 fillet
- Calories: 286 calories
- Sugar: 2 grams
- Fat: 18 grams
- Carbohydrates: 4 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Protein: 27 grams
Keywords: baked, pesto sauce, foil, oven