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How to Make Baked Pesto Salmon

Salmon is my go-to meal (especially for lunch and/or dinner) on a busy day or when I want something easy. Baking a salmon is always the way to go. If you want to have some added texture to come with the salmon, coating it with Basil Pesto elevates the flavor. Join me in learning how to make baked pesto salmon!

How to Make Baked Pesto Salmon


Basil Pesto

  • 4 oz whole basil leaves (I used my homegrown Genovese and Thai basil)
  • 4 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (adjust to taste)

Remaining Ingredients

  • 2 large salmon fillets (I use Sockeye salmon with skin-on)
  • Pinch of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (for pan-searing)
  • 1 medium-sized lemon, sliced
  • 2 thin stalks of spring onions, cut into 4-inches long (for garnish)

Item’s you’ll need

  • Food processor
  • Measuring cups, spoons, bowls
  • Rubber or silicone spatula
  • Mixing bowls
  • Iron Skillet (I used a 10-inch skillet)
  • Splatter screen (optional)
  • Serving plate
  • Spoon and fork


Make the Basil Pesto

basil in a food processor for pesto sauce recipe

In a food processor, combine the basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic cloves, and extra virgin olive oil. Season it with a pinch of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (adjust to taste). Pulse the mixture until smooth. Pause and scrape the ingredients to the bottom as needed. Continue to pulse until you get the consistency you desired. Garnish with some basil leaves on top and chopped pine nuts. Set aside for later.

Bake the Pesto Salmon

Two sockeye salmon fillets cooking in a cast iron pan with olive oil

In a separate bowl with the salmon fillets, season them with some Kosher salt and pepper (adjust to taste). Set aside. Then heat some olive oil in a preheated skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put the fish in and pan-sear them for 3 to 5 minutes or until the sides changes color. When the side turns somewhat white, coat them with the basil pesto until well coated. Finish it up in the preheated oven and bake them for 15 to 20 minutes at 350°F/176°C. After 20 minutes, remove the skillet from the oven and let it cool down. Squeeze some lemon juice and garnish with some spring onions. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Rochelle Dawson
Rochelle Dawson
Rochelle Dawson

Now I have a new dish for my Costco Salmon! Thank you!