Baked Pesto Salmon

We can often get stuck preparing the same recipes over and over again, but this simple baked pesto salmon will transform your weeknight dinner routine from bland and boring to delicious and exciting!

Health Benefits of Fish

The American Heart Association recommends eating two, 3.5-ounce servings of fish twice 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 fishes, like salmon, are high in EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart and brain.

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!

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

Recipe Variations

You can change up this baked pesto salmon recipe by varying the pesto. Take a look at our Pesto Base Recipe to learn how to create endless variations.

Need some inspiration?

Check out these tried-and-true pesto recipes:

Serving Suggestions

Build a balanced meal with the addition of veggies and whole grains!

Roast some vegetables in the same oven while the salmon is cooking or steam vegetables on the stovetop.

Prepare a grain salad or a simple side of brown ricequinoa, or farro.

Looking for Other Salmon Recipes?

Try out these favorites!

Dill and Yogurt Salmon

Pesto Crusted Salmon

Baked Pesto Salmon
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins

Choose a store bought pesto or use our Pesto Base Recipe to create this simple baked pesto salmon. Add the salmon to a salad or pair with some delicious sides!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Seafood
Yield: 4
  • 4 salmon filets, with or without skin (~4-6 ounces each)*
  • Salt & pepper
  • ¼ cup homemade or store-bought pesto
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Prepare a baking sheet with nonstick spray, foil, or parchment paper.

  2. Place fish filets skin side down (if skin on) on baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  3. Place in oven and roast 10 minutes for every inch of thickness.

  4. Once done, top each filet with 1 Tablespoon of pesto. Serve with lemon wedges. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

The internal temperature should reach 145° F. 


*Confused what 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 🙂


Need basic guidance on how to roast fish? Refer to our base recipe!

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