Basil Pesto Salmon

Basil Pesto Salmon

Easy Basil Pesto Salmon- all you need is salmon, pesto, and seasoning.

I’ve been eating ridiculous amounts of salmon recently.  I just can’t stop myself– it’s delicious.  It’s flavorful, flaky, and filling.  Salmon is an easy and quick main dish on a busy night.  However, as amazingly tantalizing as perfectly cooked salmon is, it is also incredibly easy to overcook and dry out.  Few things in life are sadder, my friend, than hard, dry salmon.  (Okay sure, that’s not true.  A ruined dinner, however, is always a minor tragedy).  One way to make sure your salmon stays tender is to smother it in pesto.  That’s right- whether you make your own or buy it pre-made, this herb-filled sauce will lock in the salmon’s natural moisture and help make your fish perfect.  This recipe for Basil Pesto Salmon has 5 ingredients (6 if you include the lemons) and is incredibly flavorful.  My favorite part, the best part, is that it’s ready in 15 minutes.

In a hurry? Jump to the recipe! 

Basil Pesto Salmon

Basil Pesto Salmon

Making Basil Pesto Salmon

To prepare this salmon, all you need is the salmon, salt, pepper, some basil pesto, thyme, and lemons to squeeze over it.  Put it all on a baking tray, and roast it until it’s finished.  That’s it.  You don’t need to brush oil on the salmon, because there’s already oil in the pesto.  You don’t need to wrap the salmon in foil, because the pesto seals in the moisture.  It’s so simple, you’ll wonder what you’ve forgotten.

I’ll tell you what you’ve forgotten- the side dishes.  I like to eat carbs with my fish (who am I kidding- I like to eat carbs with everything), and this dish would go well with pasta, or rice, or mashed potatoes.  Oh– and vegetables, to make your plate more colorful and healthier.  Whatever you serve along with your Basil Pesto Salmon, the fish will be a flavorful, delicious choice.

Basil Pesto Salmon

Basil Pesto Salmon

Looking for more easy seafood ideas? Try these:

Basil Pesto Salmon
5 from 2 votes

Basil Pesto Salmon

Course Main Course
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 205 kcal
Author Champagne Tastes


  • 1 1 lb salmon fillets, patted dry
  • 2 TB basil pesto
  • pinch salt, ground pepper
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
  • lemon wedges, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place salmon fillets skin side down. Drizzle with salt, and pepper. Spread pesto over the top of fillets with a spoon or small spatula (try to make cover them as evenly as possible). Sprinkle thyme over the pesto.

  3. Roast the salmon 4-6 minutes per 1/2 inch thickness. (The average salmon fillet is about 1 inch thick in the center, and would need 8-12 minutes in the oven). The fish should flake easily with a fork when it's finished.

  4. Serve with lemon wedges.

Recipe Notes

*Calorie Information was calculated per serving using My Fitness Pal.

22 thoughts on “Basil Pesto Salmon

  1. Jill says:

    I always order salmon and fish at restaurants because I’m fairly certain they won’t ruin it… because I have definitely overcooked salmon at home before! 🙁 I will be trying this recipe!

  2. Laura | Wandercooks says:

    Our housemate is addicted to salmon, can’t wait to make this for her, she will be in heaven! (As will I, since I’m equally addicted!). I’ve never actually tried salmon with basil pesto before, so I’m keen to try that flavour combo!

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