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This delicious Pesto Salmon is on your table in just 15 minutes. Smothered in a Greek yogurt and pesto blend, this baked salmon is perfect for busy weeknights. With minimal ingredients but tons of flavor, the final result is salmon filets you can't resist.
If you're unsure about what to cook for dinner this week, this baked salmon with pesto should be top of the list.
With a light, refreshing flavor, and just 3 minutes of prep time, this salmon works just as well as a light dinner with veggies as it does on top of something richer like your favorite lemon ricotta pasta.
The nutty flavor from basil pesto mixed with the freshness of salmon will have this recipe on repeat for busy nights.
Why you will love this recipe
- It's quick and all done in a total time of 15 minutes
- It's easy with only 3 ingredients plus salt and pepper
- You get the fish and the sauce all in one dish
- Loaded with protein, vitamins, and omega- 3fatty acids
- Juicy and lots of fresh, garlicky flavor from the pesto
- The Greek yogurt adds a nice bit of acidity to keep the pesto salmon juicy
- A healthy, gluten-free choice for a busy weeknight dinner
What you need to make it
Ingredient notes & substitutions
- Salmon: Use either a whole salmon filet or individual serving filets with the skin on or off.
- Pesto: Any pesto works for the salmon fillets. Choose from red pesto, green, store-bought pestos, or homemade. They're all great.
- The Greek yogurt can be replaced by creme fraiche or other cooking yogurts
How To Pick The Perfect Salmon Filet
For the best salmon, choose a filet that has a deep pink color and is not dull or pale. Look for vibrant. It can even have an orange hue.
Likewise, the skin should be shiny.
The texture of it should be firm and pop back when you poke it. This means that the filet is fresh which is what you want.
And of course, it should have a mild ocean-like smell.
How to make it
- Add the Greek yogurt, pesto, and salt and pepper to a small bowl.
- Mix well and add extra salt and pepper as per your preferred taste
- Place the salmon filets onto a greased baking sheet and portion the yogurt mixture on top to cover them.
- Bake it until done. Option to serve them with extra pesto on top, or as a side for your guests to add themselves.
Tips & tricks
- Use your favorite pesto sauce for the baked pesto salmon. Each blend adds a unique flavor.
- Use homemade pesto - like my red pesto - for the best flavor
- Slice before you bake: slicing a whole salmon into individual filets before baking will give you a more uniform appearance if you serve this salmon for a dinner party
- Don't overcook the salmon as it will dry out. Follow the directions and cook the salmon until it reaches 145°F (63°C) on an instant read thermometer.
Storing, Freezing & Reheating
Like most fish, this pesto salmon recipe is best eaten straight away. However, leftovers can be enjoyed as well.
Store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days.
Do not freeze the salmon after cooking.
Reheat leftover pesto salmon on a baking pan in the oven very slowly so that the salmon doesn't flake and dry out. You can also reheat in the microwave in 30 second increments.
How To Serve Baked Pesto Salmon
The best part about pesto salmon is that it can be dressed up or down as needed.
You can serve the salmon with ribbons of fresh basil, dusted with parmesan cheese, sprinkled with chopped pine nuts, or with a side of lemons for fresh lemon juice.
Our favorite side dishes to pair it with are:
- Creamy Rice
- Air Fryer Baby Potatoes
- Greek Potatoes with Lemon and Feta
- Simple Arugula Salad or a simple garden salad
It's best to bake salmon skin-side down. If you are cooking salmon without skin, you can place either side down.
Having a barrier on top of the salmon helps keep it moist when baking. Using something like olive oil, tomato pesto, or even butter helps prevent the heat from drying out the salmon.
More quick & easy salmon recipes
Looking for more quick & easy salmon recipes?
- Firecracker Salmon
- Furikake Salmon
- Baked Lemon Pepper Salmon
- Oven Baked Teriyaki Salmon
- Salmon Stir Fry
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...and let me know what you loved about it in the comments.
Pesto SalmonPrint Rate
- 1 lb salmon filet a whole filet or individual serving filets, skin on or off
- ½ cup Greek yogurt or creème fraîche or other cooking yogurt
- 3 tablespoon pesto red or green
- ¼ teaspoon salt or according to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper or according to taste
- pesto optional
- Preheat the oven to 390℉ (200℃).
- Mix together Greek yogurt and pesto, then taste test and season as needed with salt and pepper.½ cup Greek yogurt, 3 tablespoon pesto, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Bring out an oven safe dish. Use a non-stick dish or grease it with olive oil.1 lb salmon filet
- Place the salmon filets in the oven safe dish. Add the pesto and yogurt mixture on top, covering the salmon as much as possible.
- Bake in the middle of the oven at 390℉ (200℃) for 10-12 minutes (individual filets) or 18-20 minutes (whole filet), or until done.
- Serve as they are, or top with a little bit of extra pesto.
Equipment needed for this recipe
- 1 Oven safe dish
- Measuring cups (metric or US)*
Nutritional information is approximate and automatically calculated, and should only be viewed as an indication.