A generous layer of pesto is all you need to slather a piece of salmon—then pile on top of some tomatoes and shallots—and dinner is served. Fast, full of flavor, and perfect for a busy weeknight—this pesto salmon is sure to please.
Here are more flavor-packed ideas—try my salmon bruschetta or my crab stuffed salmon.
Pesto to Please
Bright green pesto is pretty and full of punchy garlic flavor—it’s all you need to pull dinner together in this easy, one-pan dish. Tomatoes and delicate shallots cook alongside our fish so that supper is succulent, and even better, ready to serve all at the same time.
The layer of pesto adds unbelievable flavor and also protects the top of the fish as it cooks—so it’s always tender and never dry. The shallots take on a sweetness—almost like caramelized onions— and the tomatoes add a juicy pop of brightness. It’s a perfect plate.
As quick as you can say, Pesto! Dinner is done. Enjoy! – Linds x
Is Salmon with Pesto Keto, Low Carb, + Paleo?
- Keto + low carb? Yup! This is a delicious keto salmon to add into your low carb meal rotation.
- Paleo? That depends on the type of pesto sauce you use–for paleo salmon, opt for a dairy free product (parmesan cheese is a common pesto ingredient), or make your own! Vegan pestos are easier to find and will probably work, read ingredient labels carefully.
You’re 4 ingredients away from this flavorful dish–no salmon marinade necessary. Pretty straightforward ingredient list, but here are some questions you may have:
- Skinless or skin on salmon? Salmon skin adds a delicious texture to recipes that allow it to crisp up–think high heat methods like broiling or pan searing. When it isn’t crisp, the texture can be gooey (not how I want to describe my food), and doesn’t add to the dish. This baked salmon won’t crisp the skin, therefore, I prefer to use skinless. That said, there are loads of health benefits to salmon skin (more omega-3 fatty acids!), so use whatever you prefer.
- Wild or farmed salmon? We always purchase wild-caught salmon due to the contaminants found in farmed salmon (read more here).
- Homemade vs store-bought pestos? Both work! Homemade pesto (and certain pesto brands for that matter) tend to be less salty, so you may choose to finish with a sprinkle salt after taste testing.
Feel free to top your salmon with parmesan before baking for parmesan crusted salmon.
How to Make Pesto Salmon
1. Toss tomatoes, shallots, some pesto, and salt together in a medium bowl until the veggies are well coated.
2. Spread onto a baking sheet in a single layer, and bake until softened.
3. Pat salmon dry, season with salt and pepper, and place a dollop of pesto over each filet. Spread pesto over the top so the salmon is well coated.
5. Once veggies have softened, move them away from the center to make room for the salmon.
6. Bake salmon in the preheated oven until cooked through. Top with fresh basil + enjoy!
Reheat, Storing, and Freezing Tips
This pesto salmon is delicious straight from the oven but also makes for great meal prep. Here are some tips and tricks:
- How to store: Store your baked salmon in an air-tight container in the fridge.
- How long is baked pesto salmon good in the fridge? Salmon with pesto will be good in the fridge for 3-4 days (based on USDA recommendations).
- How to reheat: Reheat leftovers in the microwave, with a damp paper towel placed on top–this will prevent the salmon from drying out when reheated, and from making a mess in your microwave.
- Can I freeze this? Because basil is delicate, pesto doesn’t freeze well. I suggest eating it while it’s fresh.
What to do with Leftovers?
As mentioned, you can reheat your pesto salmon in the microwave, but if you’re looking to do something totally different with this dish, consider shredding and tossing it together with additional pesto for a salmon take on my pesto chicken salad. Or, just use it over fresh lettuce for a salmon salad.
What to Serve with Baked Pesto Salmon?
This pesto salmon bakes alongside delicious veggies. If you’d like more, serve it with zucchini noodles or even butternut squash noodles. If you aren’t eating low carb, consider serving this as a salmon pesto pasta. Bread is also a delicious way to soak up some extra sauce.
More Recipes with Fish
Pesto SalmonPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 4 4-6 ounce salmon fillets skinless
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons pesto
- 1 shallot thinly sliced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Option to line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
- Add tomatoes (1 pint) and sliced shallot (1) to a large bowl, along with 2 tablespoons of pesto and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Toss to coat the veggies in the sauce.
- Spread tomatoes and shallots in a single layer on the rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- While veggies are cooking, pat salmon (4 4-6 ounce) dry with paper towels and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of remaining salt and pepper.
- When the veggies are done cooking, push them towards the edges of the baking sheet with the back of a spatula, and nestle the salmon skin side down (even though we're using skinless, look for the side with grey on it) in the center of the pan. Spoon 1 tablespoon of pesto over each salmon filet, and spread it evenly over the top with the back of your measuring spoon.
- Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the salmon is cooked through and flakes easily, should be about 18-20 minutes.
- Serve salmon with shallots and tomatoes on top, and enjoy!
katerina @ diethood.com
Oh wow! This sounds absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to give it a try! YUM!
Yay! Can’t wait to hear what you think, Katerina!
Beti | easyweeknightrecipes
My family would be so happy with this meal! It looks and sounds incredibly delicious!
Yahoo! Can’t wait to hear what they think!
Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Dessert
Looks beyond delicious! Adding on our weeknight dinner rotation!
Yay! SO glad to hear that, Erin!
I’ve never tried pesto and salmon combo! I am so curious to try it!
Yay! Can’t wait to hear what you think, Catalina!
This was delicious. Had it for dinner tonight with asparagus that I put in to cook with the salmon. Made the whole thing in my air fryer and the 18 minutes at 400 degrees was perfect. Thank you for posting it, Lindsey.
Yay! SO glad to hear that, Carol!