Baked Pesto Salmon Recipe

This Baked Pesto Salmon Recipe is an easy, weeknight dinner that is bursting with fresh flavor. This healthy meal takes just 20 minutes to make and can be baked up with veggies for a complete meal in one sheet pan!

Baked salmon is delicious on its own but when it is topped with fresh pesto sauce, it becomes so much more delicious! These salmon fillets are definitely taken up a notch with the fresh, herby basil flavour.

We love a good, easy salmon recipe in our home like our Almond Crusted Salmon, Salmon Parcels, and Citrus Soy Glazed Salmon. This Baked Pesto Salmon Recipe is right up there with those favorites and always a welcome dish to sit down to!

Besides how delicious this dinner is, it is also so easy to make and quick too! Just 4 ingredients are needed for pesto baked salmon and in 20 minutes, you have dinner on the table! This easy recipe is a perfect meal for a busy weeknight!

Baked Pesto Salmon with roasted zucchini, cherry tomatoes and onions on a plate.

I love baking the tender flaky salmon up with veggies so that I can have my main and side dish baking up at the exact same time and in the same pan. Easy dinner and super easy clean up! I included the veggies as an option in the recipe card at the end of this post so that you can do it too.

This recipe makes the perfect sheet pan dinner! It’s also low carb and keto-friendly.

Pesto topped salmon and pesto coated cherry tomatoes, onion, and zucchini on a parchment lined sheet pan.

Why you should make this Baked Pesto Salmon Recipe

  • It’s delicious!

  • This meal is healthy and low in carbs and a great source of protein. Salmon is so nutritious and provides healthy fats (including omega-3 fatty acids) among a whole list of nutrients. If you’re interested, you can read more about how nutritious this healthy fish is on Healthline.

  • This healthy salmon recipe takes only 20 minutes to make!

  • It requires only 4 ingredients!

  • I included a veggie side dish option that can bake up in the same pan for an easy, complete meal!

  • It is so easy. Novice cooks can master this recipe!

  • It is easy enough for a weeknight but it so flavourful, it makes a great option for date night meals and other special gatherings.
Close up of baked salmon topped with pesto and baked with cherry tomatoes and zucchini in a sheet pan.

Ingredients in Baked Pesto Salmon

  • Salmon fillets: I use pre-portioned, fresh salmon fillets for this recipe but you can adapt it to use a larger piece which you can slice after cooking. If you are using frozen salmon filets, be sure to let them thaw completely before proceeding with the recipe.

  • Pesto: I usually use my homemade Basil Pesto consisting of fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, olive oil, lemon and parmesan cheese that I blitz in the food processor. You really can’t beat the flavor of homemade basil pesto but since this is meant to be an easy weeknight meal, you can use store-bought pesto to keep this simple.

  • Seasoning: salt and black pepper

  • Lemon zest: This is optional but I like adding the extra burst of fresh, zingy flavour.
The ingredients for this baked pesto salmon recipe consisting of 4 salmon fillets, lemon, pesto and salt and pepper on a grey marble countertop.

Optional Vegetable Side Dish

I highly recommend adding the veggies as a side dish that bakes up in the same pan. Not only does it make an easy meal for you, but the flavour as it all bakes up together with the fish makes these veggies extra tasty. To add them, you will need:

  • Veggies: Fresh cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and red onion

  • Olive oil

  • Pesto

  • Salt and pepper

Note: Ingredient quantities and full instructions are in the recipe card at the end of this post.

How to Make this Easy Pesto Salmon Recipe

  1. Season the salmon: Pat the salmon dry with paper towels and season it with a little salt and pepper. If using, sprinkle them with lemon zest.

  2. Top with pesto: Place the salmon in a large baking dish and then spoon a layer of pesto on top of the salmon.

  3. Optional vegetables: If you are adding vegetables to this baked meal, toss them with olive oil, pesto, salt and pepper. Then arrange them around the salmon fillets before baking.

  4. Bake: Bake salmon in a preheated oven at 450F for 10-15 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through (the cook time will vary depending on the thickness of the salmon fillets).
A photo collage consisting of four photos to show the steps for making this baked pesto salmon recipe.
A sheet pan with the baked pesto salmon and vegetables after they are cooked.

Tips and substitutions

  • Salmon: I use salmon fillets for this recipe. Both fresh and frozen (but thawed) salmon can be used. You can also substitute a different type of fish for this dish including cod, halibut, haddock and many more.

  • Veggies: Seasoning the vegetables and tossing them with pesto adds good flavour. I included veggies that do not require a long cooking time so that they can bake up in the 10-15 minutes it takes for the salmon to cook. You can substitute other vegetables such as asparagus, green beans, or sliced red pepper as well as other vegetables. Just keep in mind how long the veggies you are substituting may need to cook.

  • Check on the fish at 10 minutes. Depending on the size of your fish portions, they may be cooked in just 10 minutes. Larger portions (or ovens that don’t get as hot) may mean that you need to bake your fish for longer. I recommend checking in on it at 10 minutes and then adjusting the time if needed. As always, when cooking with proteins, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. This will ensure they are cooked to a safe temperature as well as prevent you from overcooking them so you still have a moist, tender salmon fillet.
Pesto topped salmon and pesto coated zucchini and cherry tomatoes on a white dinner plate set on a grey marble countertop.

Storing leftovers

Once cooled, leftover salmon (and veggies) can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days.

What to serve with Baked Pesto Salmon

As mentioned earlier, if you bake the salmon with the optional vegetables, you can have a complete low carb meal on the table in no time. If you aren’t necessarily looking for low carb options, I also like to serve this dish with:

I also like to serve the salmon with lemon wedges so you can squeeze fresh lemon juice over top of the salmon if you wish to.

This stress-free dinner is always a hit in our home and has become one of our go-to healthy recipes. I hope it becomes a healthy dinner recipe the whole family will love in your homes too.

-Cathy

Closeup of baked pesto salmon on a plate with a piece of salmon flaked off to show how tender and moist the salmon is.

You may also like these flavorful salmon recipes:

Almond Crusted Salmon
Citrus Soy Glazed Salmon
Salmon Parcels
Baked Herb Butter Salmon

Baked Pesto Salmon with roasted zucchini, cherry tomatoes and onions on a plate.

Baked Pesto Salmon Recipe

Herbs and Flour
This Baked Pesto Salmon Recipe is an easy, weeknight dinner that is bursting with fresh flavor. This healthy meal takes just 20 minutes to make and can be baked up with veggies for a complete meal in one sheet pan!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine European
Servings 4
Calories 321 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 1/3 cup Basil Pesto
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon zest optional

Optional Vegetables

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 2 medium zucchini chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 medium red onion sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 450F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  • Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel and season it with salt and pepper. If using, sprinkle them with lemon zest.
  • Place the fillets in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spoon pesto over top of each salmon fillet.
  • Optional vegetables: If you are adding vegetables to this baked meal, toss them with olive oil, pesto, salt and pepper. Then arrange them around the salmon fillets before baking.
  • Bake salmon in the oven for 10-15 minutes* or until the salmon is cooked through (the cook time will vary depending on the thickness of the salmon fillets).

Notes

Note 1: The nutritional information is an estimation for the baked salmon with pesto and does not include the optional vegetables.
*Note 2: Cook time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the salmon fillets. Check the temperature using a meat thermometer after 10 minutes of cooking and cook longer if necessary.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 321kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 35gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 268mgPotassium: 833mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 485IUCalcium: 54mgIron: 1mg
Keyword 20 minute recipe, healthy dinner, keto, keto-friendly, low carb, one pan dinner, pesto, salmon, sheet pan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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