Here is an easy pesto salmon recipe that even picky eaters love! Have dinner on the table within 25 minutes using this simple yet delicious recipe.
Whenever I’m in a rush and want to make a dinner that takes just a few minutes to prepare and cook, salmon is the first protein I reach for. Easy salmon recipes such as dijon salmon, broiled salmon, and baked salmon fillet with lemon are some of our go-to recipes for busy nights. Today I’m going to show you how to make pesto salmon, another super simple recipe that calls for just four ingredients and is ready in 25 minutes.
Table Of Contents:
Why This Recipe Works
- Flavors: Using only 4 ingredients, this pesto salmon is packed with delicious flavors. If you're interested in trying new salmon seasonings and flavors, try out Mediterranean marinated salmon and orange glazed salmon too!
- Quick and easy: Just like our blackened salmon, this is an easy and quick recipe that's ready in less than 30 minutes, making it the perfect dish for a weeknight dinner.
- Nutritional: Salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which can reduce inflammation.
- Salmon fillets: I always prefer wild caught Alaskan salmon. However, this recipe works with farmed Atlantic salmon as well. You can use a whole side of salmon for this recipe if that's what you have. It's your call whether you prefer salmon with or without skin.
- Basil pesto: To make things even easier, I used store-bought pesto but if you have a bunch of fresh basil at hand, you can make the pesto from scratch.
- Cherry tomatoes: Roasted tomatoes are so good here. You can also use grape tomatoes or even large roma tomatoes cut in half.
- Garlic: Garlic cloves are a nice addition to this dish. But they are absolutely optional so if you're not a garlic fan, you can leave them out.
How To Make Pesto Salmon
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the salmon fillets skin side down on the baking sheet and spread the pesto on them.
- Place the tomatoes and garlic on the baking sheet as well.
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the salmon is cooked completely.
Alternative Cooking Methods
You can also grill pesto salmon. Preheat the grill to medium high and spread the pesto on the salmon. Grill for about 20 minutes or until it’s fully cooked. There is no need to flip the salmon.
Pro tip: Salmon is fully cooked when it flakes easily using a fork and the color is opaque.
Air Fryer Instructions
Once you've prepared the salmon, place the fillets in the air fryer basket or sheet and cook for 15 to 20 minutes on 400 degrees F.
As this is a salmon recipe with an Italian flair, I love serving it with Italian appetizers such as caprese salad or use it as the main protein on this Greek salmon salad. If you’re looking for starchier side dishes, you can serve this pesto salmon with instant pot brown rice or white rice. Oven roasted Greek potatoes can also make a good side dish for this salmon recipe.
Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 300 degrees F for 15 minutes or until heated through.
Can I freeze cooked salmon? You can freeze it, however keep in mind that the flavor and texture will not be the same once thawed.
Frequently Asked Questions
I always prefer to serve salmon immediately after I cook it. However, it is possible to make this recipe for meal prep, in which case it’s best to save it for no more than three days.
You'll know the salmon is cooked once it's opaque and flakes easily using a fork.
You can use frozen salmon to make this dish however make sure to thaw it completely before cooking.
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Baked Pesto Salmon Recipe (4 ingredients)
- 4 salmon fillets
- 4 tablespoon pesto
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 6 cloves garlic peeled
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and coat a baking sheet with non stick cooking spray.
- Place the salmon fillets on the baking sheet and spread one tablespoon pesto on each salmon fillet.
- Place the tomatoes and garlic cloves on the baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the salmon is cooked completely and the internal temperature registers are 145°F.
- Serve immediately with your favorite side dish.
- A splash of lemon juice right before serving gives this dish bright flavor.
- You can serve this dish with some fresh salad, rice or potatoes.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- To grill pesto salmon, reheat the grill to medium high and spread the pesto on the salmon. Grill for about 20 minutes or until it’s fully cooked.