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Pesto Crusted Salmon

Pesto Crusted Salmon on a bed of rice pilaf with a side of broccoli

Looking for a new salmon recipe to include in your weekly rotation? This simple pesto crusted salmon will jazz up your week! It’s easy and delicious, yet feels elegant and sophisticated.

Culinary Tips

When cooking any type of fish in the oven, a good rule of thumb is to heat your oven to 400° F and roast 10 minutes for every inch of thickness, as described in our Roasted Fish Base Recipe.

Skin on or off? For this recipe, it doesn’t matter. When you roast/bake fish in the oven with the skin side down, the skin doesn’t get crispy, so it’s not very appealing to eat. However, it does separate easily from the fish once cooked. 

Remove small pin bones using fish bone tweezers before cooking; these are no fun to bite into!

A good fishmonger at your local grocery store can help you with the pin bones and skin. Don’t be shy to ask for help!

Try to find Panko bread crumbs as specified in the recipe. Panko is a Japanese breadcrumb that is extra crunchy. Look for the whole wheat version if you can find it. If not, no worries; the regular kind will work just as well; the overall recipe will still be nutritious.

Want to take your recipe to the next level? Make your own pesto!

Recipe Variations

Change up this pesto crusted salmon recipe by varying the pesto!

Check out our Pesto Base Recipe to learn how to create endless variations, or make these tried-and-true pesto recipes!

Pesto Base Recipe

Basil Pesto

Arugula Walnut Pesto

Equipment Recommendations

You just need a few essential kitchen tools for this recipe:

Health Benefits of Pesto Crusted Salmon

This is a nutrient-packed dinner recipe! The featured ingredients in this recipe are salmon and pesto.


The American Heart Association recommends eating two, 3.5-ounce servings of fish per week, and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 8 total ounces per week for the general population. Why? Because fish is a quality source of protein that is rich in vitamins and minerals. Fatty fish, like salmon, is high in EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, which is good for heart and brain health.

Confused about which salmon to purchase? Wild-caught is known for having a higher omega-3 content, but surprisingly, that’s not always the case! We recommend consulting the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch app to help guide your seafood purchasing decisions.


Pesto is made from a blend of leafy greens, nuts, and extra virgin olive oil. Leafy greens are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that promote health and help fight diseases. Nuts of all varieties contain plant-based protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Extra virgin olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean Diet. It contains high amounts of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols which may reduce inflammation. (1, 2

Serving Suggestions

Build a balanced meal with the addition of veggies and whole grains! Pesto crusted salmon pairs well with a grain salad and roasted vegetables!

Want more salmon recipes? 

Try out these delish fish recipes!

Dill and Yogurt Salmon

Baked Pesto Salmon

Moroccan Salmon with Lemon Dill Yogurt Sauce

Pesto Crusted Salmon on a bed of rice pilaf with a side of broccoli

Pesto Crusted Salmon

This pesto crusted salmon recipe features just 4 ingredients: salmon, pesto, panko, and parmesan. Super easy, rich in omega-3's, and delicious!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Seafood
Servings 4 filets


  • 4 salmon filets, with or without skin (~4-6 ounces each)
  • Salt & pepper
  • ¼ cup homemade or store-bought pesto
  • 2 Tablespoons panko (whole grain suggested)
  • 2 Tablespoons shredded parmesan


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare a baking sheet with nonstick spray, foil, or parchment paper.
  • Place fish filets skin side down (if skin on) on baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Spread 1 Tablespoon of pesto over each filet. 
  • In a small bowl, combine panko and parmesan. Divide evenly on top of each filet.
  • Place in oven and roast 10 minutes for every inch of thickness. Enjoy!


The internal temperature should reach 145° F. 
Keyword Pesto Crusted Salmon

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Maneck j Bharucha

    Made it for my wife who loves salmon ( I hate salmon ) …. now she follows me everywhere ?

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