Pesto Salmon

5 from 8 votes
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Oven Baked Pesto Salmon recipe is an extraordinary meal with practically no prep and minimal cleanup! You’ll love this flakey salmon fillet, baked with fragrant pesto and ripe tomatoes.

A dinner plate served with roasted cherry tomatoes and salmon.


You guys already know about my love affair with easy salmon recipes, right? Yes, I am a total sucker for dishes like Honey Garlic Sauce Salmon, Lemon Butter Grilled Salmon, and Air Fryer Salmon with Mustard Sauce. Cooking salmon with a savory rub, sauce, or glaze is just about the easiest way to get dinner on the table, fast.

Which brings me to my next obsession: pesto. This fresh, vivid green sauce is one of my favorite flavor combinations: basil, garlic, Parmesan, olive oil, and pine nuts. It somehow manages to be salty, rich, bright, zingy, and mild all at once. but if you’re not into basil, then it’s your time to try my recipe for Tomato Pesto Salmon.

Why I Love This Pesto Salmon Recipe

  • Quick and easy. Start to finish this pesto salmon is ready in 30 minutes! This is the perfect dinner idea for busy weeknights when you want to get dinner on the table fast.
  • Nutritious. Salmon is a healthy source of protein and other nutrients (more on that below). Plus with the veggies and pesto you’re getting an extra boost.
  • Flavorful. Every bite of this recipe is bursting with flavor! Between the roasted tomatoes, vibrant pesto and flakey salmon, this simple dinner idea is extra satisfying.
A tray of baked salmon with pesto, cherry tomatoes, and lemons.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Another thing to love about this salmon is that it’s a five-ingredient meal. You won’t even need to make a grocery list!

  • Salmon: You’ll need one whole salmon fillet, skin included. That’s a large, 2 to 2.5-pound fillet, not an individual portion.
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • Pesto: Grab some of your favorite basil pesto, homemade or store-bought.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: Cut in half. You could also use larger tomatoes, just cut them into bite-sized pieces. 
  • Olive Oil: Extra-virgin has the most flavor, but any olive oil is fine.
  • Lemon Wedges: For serving.
Cutting a bite of salmon with a fork.

How to Make Pesto Salmon in the Oven

Let’s talk about the process for making this – it’s so low-maintenance, you guys. A whole salmon fillet may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be!

  1. Prep. To get started with this recipe, you’ll want to preheat your oven to 400˚F and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil. Then lay the whole fillet skin-side-down on the baking sheet.
  2. Add Seasonings and Pesto. Next, sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper, and pour pesto over it. Use a spoon to spread the pesto over the salmon fillet. (Be careful not to dip the spoon into the jar after touching the salmon with it – that can spread bacteria.)
  3. Add Tomatoes. Prepare the tomatoes by tossing them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange the tomatoes around the salmon.
  4. Bake. Slide the baking sheet into the oven for 25 minutes, or until the salmon is flaky and the internal temperature registers at around 145˚F.
  5. Enjoy! Take the pan out of the oven and slice the fillet into individual portions. Serve with the tomatoes, and lemon wedges for squeezing.
Baked salmon with pesto and tomatoes on a sheet pan.

Recipe Tips

  • Frozen or Fresh: Frozen fish can often be better than fresh, especially if you don’t have access to seafood caught the same day. Most seafood is frozen before shipping, then thawed for sale or sold frozen.
  • Parchment: If you would like to use something other than foil, parchment paper is a great idea. You can also cook directly on your baking sheet – just give the underside of the salmon a light brush with high-heat oil, like vegetable oil. This will help prevent sticking.
  • Baking Time: To avoid overcooking or undercooking, you may need to adjust the baking time a bit. The easiest way to make sure you get it right is to use a meat thermometer. Check the salmon a few minutes early, and if it’s at 145°F, take it out of the oven. If not, keep checking every few minutes until it reaches that point.
  • Add Veggies: Feel free to add onions, bell peppers, zucchini, and other tender veggies around the salmon to get a built-in side dish going! These tender veggies will be a healthy addition to your meal. Just toss them with oil, salt, and pepper before baking.

Serving Suggestions

Add a side of Air Fryer Baked Potatoes to the pesto baked salmon, with a side of Roasted Parmesan Cauliflower Bites for a lighter option. Roasted Green Beans, Peas and Bacon Risotto, or these Sautéed Garlic Broccolini are all super tasty green veggie sides you can whip up in no time.

A dinner plate served with roasted cherry tomatoes and salmon.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

To store leftover salmon, cool it down completely and then place it in an airtight container or zip-top bag. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for 2 to 3 months. Thaw in your refrigerator before reheating. To reheat, place in a covered skillet over low heat until warmed through.

More Savory Salmon Recipes

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5 from 8 votes

Oven Baked Pesto Salmon

This easy, baked pesto salmon recipe makes tender, perfectly flavored salmon that's ready in just 30 minutes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8


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  • Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  • Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the salmon in the center of the foil, skin-side down. Rub the minced garlic evenly all over the fillet and season the salmon with salt and pepper. Spread the pesto all over the top. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, toss the tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Arrange the tomatoes around the salmon filet.
  • Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the salmon is flaky and the internal temperature of the salmon registers at 145˚F. Use an Instant Read Thermometer to check for doneness.
  • Remove from oven.
  • Cut into individual-sized filets.
  • Serve with the cooked tomatoes and a side of lemon wedges.


  • Salmon: In this delicious recipe I used a whole salmon fillet, but if you have individual salmon fillets that you’d like to use up, that will also work. For individual sized fillets, you may want to start checking for doneness around the 16-minute mark.
  • Cooking Time: Salmon cooks fairly quickly, and in general, most fish are done under 25 minutes. However, the timing will vary depending on the size and thickness of the fillet(s). To make sure that it’s cooked through, always use an Instant Read Meat Thermometer. 
  • Tomatoes and Veggies: Feel free to add any other veggies that you like or have on hand. Slices of zucchini, onions, strips of bell peppers, broccoli, and so on, are all great options.
  • Basil Pesto: I recommend using about 3/4-cup pesto, but if you want to use more or less, that is up to you and totally OK to do. 


Serving: 4ounces | Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 284mg | Potassium: 780mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 708IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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Recipe Rating:


  1. June says:

    Made this tonight and my family enjoyed it! It took a little longer, an additional 15mins or so, but the salmon came out just right, flaky and tasty. Saving this recipe for sure! Thank you!

  2. Juliane says:

    My family would love this! Can’t wait to make this for them on the weekend!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      I hope you and your family enjoy it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  3. Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Dessert says:

    Such a fabulous meal! Can’t wait to make this!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Thank YOU! I hope you love it! 🙂

  4. Sandra McCollum says:

    Perfect weeknight meal! So yummy!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Thank YOU! Please enjoy! 🙂

  5. Erik says:

    The pesto adds a really great flavor. So fancy!

  6. Catalina says:

    What a great ide to use pesto for salmon! Must try it too!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      I hope you enjoy it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  7. Amanda says:

    What a fantastic dinner. So full of flavor and every bite was perfect!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Thank YOU! I’m very happy you loved it! 🙂