This 15-minute pesto salmon recipe is loaded with garlicky pesto butter and fresh lemon juice. Its the perfect meal for busy weeknights.
The best baked pesto salmon
This easy baked salmon recipe comes together in less than 20 minutes and thats including the cook and prep time! It requires only 6 ingredients and is super simple to make! Once you’ve got this easy main dish down, all you have to do is serve it with a quick side dish like creamy mashed potatoes, air fryer broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or asparagus.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this simple baked salmon
- Basil pesto– you can make your own or buy it from the store. Just make sure to purchase the one thats in the refrigerator.
- unsalted butter– make sure its softened to room temperature.
- garlic– only use fresh. The dry stuff won’t work here.
- salmon fillets– you can use wild-caught king salmon or Atlantic.
- salt & pepper
- lemon juice– this ad a nice little tang that you don’t want to skip.
How to make baked pesto salmon
- Mix up the butter pesto– Combine the softened butter, basil pesto, and grated garlic in a small bowl using a fork. If you forgot to soften your butter, just microwave it for about 20-30 seconds.
- Season the salmon– Place the salmon fillets on a baking sheet lined with foil. Season the salmon with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
- Top with pesto butter– Then add the pesto butter on top. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 10 minutes. If you’re ever unsure if your fish is cooked through, check the thickest part of it with an instant-read thermometer. It should read at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
What to serve with Pesto salmon
- our go-to serving suggestion is mashed potatoes
- or go above and beyond and serve it with these cheesy scalloped potatoes
- you can serve pesto salmon with any kind of pasta; we prefer orzo or couscous
- we also have a wild brown rice recipe we love to serve with fish.
- make it a healthy meal by adding quinoa as a side dish.
- or make it a low carb dinner and serve it with steamed vegetables and a green salad.
How to make it healthier
If you want to make it healthier, you can swap the butter for olive oil, but it will need to be drizzled instead of scooped onto the salmon fillets.
Make it with a whole salmon fillet
You can easily make this pesto salmon recipe with a full salmon fillet. Just spread all of the pesto butter on top of the entire fillet.
Do you like salmon? Try these MOUTHWATERING salmon recipes
Panko Crusted Salmon– with lemony garlic mayonnaise and crispy panko-parmesan crust
Salmon Wellington- seasoned salmon, cheesy sauteed spinach wrapped and baked in puff pastry.
Grilled Cilantro Lime Salmon- marinated in a garlic-cilantro soy sauce dressing and grilled to perfection.
Watch how to make baked pesto salmon:
- 4 tbsp Basil Pesto
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1 garlic clove zested
- 4 7oz salmon fillets
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- In a bowl combine the basil pesto, softened butter, and zested garlic using a fork.
- Like a baking sheet with foil and lay the salmon fillets on top. Generously season with salt and pepper and squeeze a little bit of lemon juice on top. (About 1/4 tsp per fillet)
- Scoop out the butter pesto using a cookie
- scoop and place 2 scoops on each fillet.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 10 minutes.
This recipe was originally posted on Jun 29, 2015, we’ve tweaked it a bit since then.