Baked Salmon with Pesto
Seriously flavorful and easy 30-minute dinner right here!! Tender baked salmon smothered with flavorful pesto – an effortless way to add a punch of flavor!
The recipe can easily be adjusted to accommodate more or less servings.
Rule of thumb: 1 tablespoon of pesto for each filet.
- 4 (4-6oz) skinless salmon filets (Note 1)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons pesto (Note 2)
- Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
- Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Drizzle olive oil all over the prepared baking sheet and evenly sprinkle half of the salt over the oil.
- Arrange the salmon filets on oil and sprinkle the remaining salt over the fish.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of pesto on each filet.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. Depending on the thickness of the fish, it’ll take more or less. I prefer to cook the filets until internal temp reaches around 135°F. (This thermometer is a life-saver!)
- Serve immediately with perfectly fluffy rice and blanched asparagus, if desired.
Note 1: I don’t recommend skin-on salmon for this recipe, because the skin will get soft and soggy from baking at low heat.
Note 2: I love this homemade pesto, but sometimes store-bought pesto comes in handy. My favorite brand of pesto is Giovanni Rana (pictured below).
Yield: 4 servings, Serving Size: 4-6oz
- Amount Per Serving:
- Calories: 682 Calories
- Total Fat: 29.4g
- Cholesterol: 263.5mg
- Sodium: 529.7mg
- Carbohydrates: 1.2g
- Sugar: 0.3g
- Protein: 103.9g
Inspired by Pesto-Rubbed Baked Salmon by Geoffrey Zakarian.All images and text ©
Let’s make melt-in-your-mouth tender and buttery salmon with pesto!
4 TIPS ON HOW TO CHOOSE SALMON:
These days, every food item has so many labels, and it’s confusing. But here’re a few tips to consider when choosing salmon:
- Wild-caught: Always choose wild-caught salmon, as it’s more nutritious AND tastes better. I’ll admit, I used to buy farmed salmon all the time. (They’re pale orange and thick.) And after we had wild-caught salmon one night, we never looked back!! The difference in taste was absolutely astonishing!!!
- King/Coho/Sockeye/Pink Salmon: You can read more about different varieties of wild caught salmon here. For this recipe, I used wild-caught pink salmon.
- Fresh vs Frozen: Both fresh or frozen salmon is equally great. I usually buy frozen, as I don’t live near the ocean and fresh seafood is not easily accessible in this part of the world.
- Skinless Salmon: For this baked salmon recipe, I recommend getting skinless salmon, because the skin tends to get soggy during baking.
HOW TO MAKE BAKED SALMON WITH PESTO:
This baked salmon recipe is ridiculously easy.
- Place skinless salmon filets on a oiled and salted sheet pan.
- Salt and slather on pesto on top.
- Bake and serve!
How do know if salmon is cooked?
Watch for following signs in cooked salmon. The salmon flesh
- turns opaque
- flakes easily
Ideally, you’d check the internal temperature with a thermometer (I love this handy thermapen, which is super quick and reliable!).
- According to USDA, the internal temperature of cooked salmon should reach 145°F.
PESTO: Homemade vs Store-Bought
Besides a good salmon, pesto plays significant role in this recipe, which is one of two main ingredients!
So as you can imagine, a good pesto is crucial for a tasty meal.
I love homemade pesto, and at end of every summer, I make a BIG batch basil pesto and freeze it to use through the winter.
BUT, when I’m out of homemade pesto, Giovanni Rana pesto has been my go-to! Unlike many other brands, this pesto has bright flavors and beautiful color! (This’s not sponsored, I just love it!)
WHAT TO SERVE WITH PESTO SALMON:
So you’re cooking this delicious pesto salmon. Now what do you serve with it?
Here’re a few ideas: