Pesto salmon is an easy, healthy dinner that everyone in your family will love! Tender, flaky salmon pairs with delicious pesto and Parmesan breadcrumbs for a dinner packed with flavor.

serving of pesto salmon served on a white round plate with a side of roasted tomatoes.

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Easy Pesto Salmon Recipe

Somehow, even seafood haters love salmon. Maybe it’s salmon’s milder flavor or flaky texture that makes dishes like One-Pan Baked Salmon and Asparagus and Asian Salmon winners. Whatever it is, this pesto salmon recipe is another meal destined to be a hit!

We make pesto salmon by combining fresh salmon filets with basil pesto sauce. Then, we add a crispy, cheesy panko breadcrumb topping. The filets bake in the oven until they’re golden brown on the outside and delightfully flaky inside. 

The result? A perfectly cooked salmon filet that is absolutely packed with flavor, protein, and heart-healthy omega-3 fats! Plus, pesto salmon is an easy Lenten meal that comes together in under 30 minutes! 

The basil pesto complements the natural taste of salmon while adding so much bright, herbaceous flavor. If you’re looking for a restaurant-style meal to make for a date night dinner, this is it!

However, this pesto salmon recipe is great for just about any occasion. When you’ve only got a few minutes to get dinner on the table, an easy fish recipe like this is perfect! Add some side dishes like steamed broccoli, and you can have a quick and easy meal perfect for busy weeknights in under 30 minutes.

top down image of a plate of four panko pesto crusted salmon garnished with roasted tomatoes and fresh basil.

Ingredients for Pesto Salmon

To print: see recipe card below.

ingredients to make pesto salmon.
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 salmon filets – About six ounces each, with the skin on.
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Zest of one lemon – You can save the lemon, and cut it into wedges for serving if you’d like.
  • Black pepper
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto – Use your favorite store-bought variety, or make your own homemade pesto.
  • 4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese – Freshly grated parmesan cheese is always best!
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs – I like Italian seasoned panko, but plain breadcrumbs also work wonderfully. There is plenty of flavor in this fish dish!


  • For a gluten-free version, replace the panko breadcrumbs with almond meal or gluten-free panko.
  • Try using a different kind of pesto for a twist on the original. Arugula pesto, spinach pesto, or cilantro pesto would all be delicious!
  • Use frozen salmon filets in place of fresh salmon filets. Thaw the frozen filets according to the package directions. Then, follow the recipe as normal.
  • Use skinless salmon rather than salmon with the skin on.

Directions for How to Make This Baked Pesto Salmon Recipe

  1. Prepare: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and drizzle it evenly with olive oil.
  2. Arrange the salmon fillets: Pat each salmon filet dry with a paper towel. Then, place the filet skin side down on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Season the salmon: In a small bowl, stir together the salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Use this mixture to season the tops of the salmon filets.
  4. Add the pesto: Spoon the pesto onto the filets, and spread it out evenly with a wooden spoon. It should completely cover the top of the fish!
  5. Add the breadcrumbs: Mix the parmesan and breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the pesto. Then, drizzle the remaining olive oil over the tops.
  6. Bake: Place the pan in the preheated oven. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the center is flaky. Rest for a few minutes before serving.

Serving Suggestions

Pesto salmon pairs nicely with a bright, acidic side salad or roasted vegetables. You can also whip up a batch of Instant Pot rice. Or, make orzo, toss it with pesto, and serve it with the pesto salmon.

For a complete meal in about 20 minutes, add veggies like cherry tomatoes or asparagus to the baking dish. They’ll cook with the fish for a delicious one-pan meal!

serving of panko pesto crusted salmon served on a white round plate with a side of roasted tomatoes.

How to Store Leftover Pesto Salmon

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  • To reheat, place the pesto salmon filets on a baking sheet. Warm them in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for eight to ten minutes or until heated through.

Quick Tip

The internal temperature of the salmon should read 145 degrees Fahrenheit on a probe thermometer when done cooking. Make sure the sensor of the thermometer is in the center of the filet for the most accurate temperature reading.


What flavors go best with salmon?

Salmon pairs well with a variety of flavors, including citrus, herbs, and spices. The addition of pesto in this recipe adds an herbaceous flavor that you just can’t beat! You can also use garlic, ginger, capers, and lemon juice to enhance the flavor of salmon. 

When should I season my salmon?

Season your salmon right before cooking. This will help the seasoning stick and ensure that the flavor comes through in each bite. 

What is the best vegetable to serve with salmon?

Some of the best vegetables to serve with salmon are roasted Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and green beans. For a more colorful plate, try adding tomatoes, bell peppers, or carrots for a vibrant mix of flavors! 

What wine pairs with pesto salmon?

Pesto salmon pairs best with a white or light red wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir. The acidity in the wine will help to cut through the richness of the pesto and enhance the flavor of the fish. 

Pesto crusted salmon on a plate with roasted tomatoes.

Pesto Salmon

Pesto salmon is an easy, healthy dinner that’s just as perfect for a date night in as it is for a weeknight meal! Tender, flaky salmon is paired with herbaceous pesto and Parmesan breadcrumbs for a dinner packed with flavor.
No ratings yet
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 Large Baking Sheet
  • 2 Small Bowls


  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 4 salmon filets about 6 oz each, skin on
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Zest of one lemon
  • ¼ cup basil pesto
  • 4 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs


  • Preheat an oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
    3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Pat each salmon filet dry with a paper towel, then place skin side down on the baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper and lemon zest. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the filets.
    4 salmon filets, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, Zest of one lemon, ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Spoon the pesto onto the filets and spread to the edge of each with a spoon.
    ¼ cup basil pesto
  • In a small bowl, mix together the parmesan and the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the top of the pesto. Drizzle each with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
    4 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the salmon is cooked through but still flaky inside. If using a probe thermometer, the internal temperature will read 145 F when done.
  • Let rest 1 to 2 minutes before serving.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 1498mg | Potassium: 854mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 425IU | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 2mg
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About Kasey Schwartz

For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.

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