This easy Pesto Salmon is covered in basil pesto and then oven-roasted. It’s delicious, ready in minutes, and is perfect for weeknight dinners.
I’ve been a little salmon-crazed lately. (Have you noticed?) I love it seared (like here and here), grilled (like here and here), and also– baked! Baking fish, however, makes me a little nervous. Why?
It’s easy to accidentally overcook and dry out the fish! Few things in life are sadder, my friend, than hard, dry salmon. (Okay sure, that’s not true. BUT– A ruined dinner is always a minor tragedy.)
Making Pesto Salmon
One way to make sure your baked salmon stays tender is to smother it in pesto. That’s right– whether your pesto is homemade or pre-made, this herblicious sauce will lock in the salmon’s natural moisture and help make your fish perfect. This recipe for Baked Basil Pesto Salmon is easy, delicious, and ready in about 15 minutes!
To prepare this salmon, all you need is the salmon, salt, pepper, some basil pesto, fresh basil, and lemons to squeeze over it. Put it all on a baking tray, and bake it until it’s cooked through. 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.
Once your salmon is ready, top it off with some fresh basil and squeeze some lemon juice over it. That’s it– you’re ready to eat! Serve your salmon immediately while it’s still hot, and pat yourself on the back for getting dinner ready in 15 minutes!
Learn More: Want to know more about the different types of salmon available? Read this Ultimate Guide to Cooking with Salmon.
Easy Weeknight Dinner
- 2 salmon fillets (~4 oz each), patted dry
- 2 TB basil pesto
- pinch salt, ground pepper
- To Serve: fresh basil, lemon wedges (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 F
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 cover them as evenly as possible). Sprinkle thyme over the pesto.
Roast the salmon 4-6 minutes per 1/2 inch thickness. The fish should flake easily with a fork when it's finished.
If the salmon has skin, remove it now if desired. It should peel off easily. Serve with lemon wedges and fresh basil (optional).
*Calorie Information was calculated per serving using My Fitness Pal.