This is a variation of our roasted fish base recipe. It’s easy to 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!
Culinary Tips for the Best Pesto Salmon
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.
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!
- Salmon: substitute any fish of your choice – cod, mahi mahi, halibut, barramundi, tilapia, etc. If using less-fatty fish, add a drizzle of olive oil before cooking.
- Pesto: use any flavor of pesto – basil, arugula, sun-dried tomato, etc.
Change up this recipe by varying the fish, adding more spices, or sprinkling with dried herbs before cooking.
We love buying our spices from The Spice House. Click on the picture below to view & try out hundreds of flavorful spices and herbs!
We love getting our oil and vinegar from Enzo’s Table. Click on the picture below to try out dozens of different oils, vinegars, and more!
Need some fish recipe inspiration?
Use our roasted fish base recipe as a guide to make it your own!
Use these kitchen tools for recipe success:
Health Benefits of Salmon with Pesto
This is a nutrient-packed dinner recipe! 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. The featured ingredients in this recipe are salmon and pesto.
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 are 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)
Storage Tips for Leftover Pesto Salmon
Cool leftover salmon completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
You can also freeze leftover fish. Place salmon without pesto topping in an airtight container and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before heating. When ready to heat and serve, place on a pan and cover. Place in a cold oven, then preheat the oven to 350ºF. Once the oven reaches 350ºF, check the internal temperature of the fish. If it is 145ºF or above, it’s ready to serve. If it is not yet 145º, continue cooking for a few more minutes. Once finished, top with pesto or other seasonings.
Looking for more easy weeknight dinner recipes?
Try out these favorites!
Baked Pesto Salmon
- ~1 pound salmon, whole or individual filets, with or without skin
- Salt & pepper
- ¼ cup pesto (homemade or store-bought)
- Lemon wedges
- 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.
- Place in oven and roast 10 minutes for every inch of thickness.