This amazing pesto crusted salmon is a fantastic entree that you can prepare in less than 20 minutes. Perfect as a main course for easy weeknight dinners.
Why you'll love it
- Really quick and easy. The dish only requires 5 minutes of work, and up to 15 minutes of cooking.
- This easy salmon recipe tastes much better than plain baked salmon, but is just as simple to make.
- Prepare pesto topped salmon ahead of time, and enjoy it for lunch or dinner throughout the week.
Salmon: Use fresh salmon fillets. If you have frozen salmon, you will need to thaw or defrost them before use.
Pesto: Use your favorite pesto. Store bought pesto works just as good as your favorite homemade recipe.
Breadcrumbs: The breadcrumbs add a crispy crumb on top of the salmon. You can use regular breadcrumbs if you like, or panko breadcrumbs if you prefer larger pieces of crispy topping.
Additionally, you will need olive oil, salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
Brush the salmon fillets with olive oil, and place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Make sure that the skin side is facing down if your salmon fillets have the skin attached.
Combine pesto with breadcrumbs in a separate bowl. Sprinkle the salmon fillets with salt and pepper, then cover with the pesto topping.
Bake in the oven until the salmon has cooked through, about 10-15 minutes. The fish is finished baking when it flakes at the touch of a fork.
🐟 More FISH RECIPES from Hint of Healthy
Here are my best tips to get this recipe perfect:
- The trick to cooking salmon right is to not overcook it. The fillets have cooked through when they flake at the touch of a fork, typically after about 15 minutes.
- Use a pesto you like. Homemade pesto, or an Italian brand are often the best choices.
Serve pesto baked salmon with your favorite healthy side dishes. Pesto crusted salmon is a great main course fish dinner recipe, and pairs well with a variety of easy sides. Here are some of my favorite options:
- Vegetables: Roasted Broccoli and Carrots, Parmentier Potatoes, Mediterranean Roast Vegetables, Air Fryer Eggplant, Instant Pot Green Beans
- Sauces: Yogurt Dill Sauce, Authentic Tzatziki Sauce Lemon Pepper Vinaigrette.
- Side dishes: Air Fryer Halloumi Fries, Lemon and Garlic Rice
- Salads: Caprese Pasta Salad with Pesto, Olive Salad, Tabbouleh with Quinoa, Kale Sweet Potato Salad.
Leftover pesto crusted salmon can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days after cooking. Cooked salmon stores really well due to the high fat content, and you can even freeze it for up to 3 months.
You can reheat the leftovers and serve them with a side dish, or add the salmon to salads, sandwiches or pasta.
Keto / low carb / gluten free: Omit the breadcrumbs for a low carb and gluten free version of the dish. The breadcrumbs add some extra texture to the dish, but they are not essential.
Other fish: You can use this recipe with other types of fish too. Try making pesto baked trout or cod instead.
Sheet pan salmon dinner: Add diced vegetables to your baking dish along with the salmon to make a complete sheet pan dinner. Broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, green beans and asparagus are excellent options.
Parmesan pesto crust: Add some Parmesan cheese to the basil pesto and breadcrumbs. Pesto often contains a little Parmesan anyway, but adding extra cheese makes the crust more flavorful.
🐟 More FISH RECIPES from Hint of Healthy
Frequently asked questions
Salmon can be cooked in many ways, but it tastes best when cooked on direct heat. Baked, air fryer, pan seared or grilled salmon are all fantastic ways to prepare it.
Absolutely. Bake salmon at 400 F for about 10 minutes. Season well, and coat with olive oil before baking.
Yes. You can make this recipe with any pesto that you like. Red pesto will of course taste different to green pesto, as it's made with different ingredients.
You might also like these recipes..
- Tandoori Salmon
- Smoked Salmon and Avocado Toast
- Balsamic Maple Glazed Salmon
- Salmon and Creme Fraiche Pasta
- Smoked Salmon and Quinoa Salad
- Pan Fried Hake
- Salmon Stir Fry
- Baked Swordfish
If you make this recipe, make sure to post a photo to Instagram with #hintofhealthy!
Pesto Crusted Salmon
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C
- Combine breadcrumbs and pesto in a small bowl.
- Place the salmon fillets on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
- Brush the salmon with olive oil, the sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the pesto and breadcrumb topping on top of each fillet.
- Bake the salmon for about 10-15 minutes, or until they flake at the touch of a fork. Serve immediately.
- Store leftovers in a refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Add diced or sliced vegetables to the baking sheet to make a full sheet pan dinner.