Lemon Pesto Salmon recipe: A four-ingredient pescatarian dinner that is simply baked in the oven for the perfect weeknight meal! You'll love how this healthy oven-baked salmon dinner comes together in less than 20 minutes, is super flavorful, tender, and flaky!
Lemon Pesto Salmon Recipe
I adore this Lemon Pesto Salmon Recipe because it's so simple to make, even if you don't cook much. If you are looking to cook more fast, fresh and healthy meals this year? This delish oven-baked salmon recipe is it! It's super healthy but you'd never know because it tastes so incredible.
This Baked Salmon recipe is moist, flaky, and super flavorful from pesto! The gorgeous green pesto already has basil, pine nuts, and olive oil giving the fish so much flavor without a long ingredient list. In fact, this recipe is only FOUR ingredients and takes 20 minutes to put together from start to finish. You can't beat that for a weekend dinner.
Make it with Homemade Pesto or storebought for a fast dinner that can't be beaten.
Why You'll Love this Lemon Pesto Salmon Recipe...
- I love this Baked Lemon Pesto Salmon recipe because it is made with four ingredients. JUST FOUR!
- It only takes 20 minutes to make.
- You can customize it by using storebought or homemade pesto.
- The salmon is super healthy and this preparation is healthy too. A serving of this fish is only 250 calories!
- It tastes great making it a recipe your whole family will love!
Why is salmon so healthy?
Salmon is a great source of protein that is nutrient-dense and full of vitamins and healthy fats! It's most known for being a great source of omega-3 fatty acids ds that are great for heart health. It can also support brain health. The oily fish can also help with inflammation.
The only concern with eating salmon is it can be higher in mercury. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding there is guidance to follow on which fish you can eat and how often.
Which salmon should I buy?
There are a lot of options when picking a salmon to buy! Unless I happen to get lucky and find a fillet of salmon that is fresh and never frozen I often buy frozen salmon at the grocery store. That way I can keep it in my freezer and pull it out when I'm ready to enjoy it. Thaw it out by putting it in the fridge overnight.
Here are some other yummy options to look for at the store. All of these would be great for this Lemon Pesto Salmon recipe.
- US Atlantic Salmon (If buying farmed, US grown is a better option.)
- Wild Salmon including Chum, Keta, King, Pink, Red, Sockeye, and Sake
- Coho Salmon
Here's what you'll need to make this Lemon Pesto salmon recipe.
- Salmon: You can use fresh or frozen salmon filets. If you use frozen thaw it overnight in the fridge and cook it thawed. The thickness of the salmon fillet you pick will determine how long it needs to cook.
- Pesto: Store-bought pesto works great for this recipe, but it's not hard to make your own! I have a great recipe for almond basil pesto that I know you will love. If you buy store-bought go for a higher quality pesto.
- Lemon: Lemon is the perfect way to brighten the flavor of salmon and it helps balance out the briny flavors you often find with seafood.
- Olive oil: A little bit of olive oil goes a long way to keep the fish moist. I love cooking with this one.
- Salt and pepper: I like using sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
How to Make Lemon Pesto Salmon
- Preheat the oven and prep a baking pan or baking sheet by lining it with foil and spraying it with cooking spray.
- Cut the lemon in half and slice two lemon rounds out of the center of the lemon. Squeeze the rest lemon juice over the fish filets.
- Drizzle both sides of the fillest with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
- Spread a thin layer of pesto on the filets and lay a slice of lemon on top.
- Bake at 400F for 8-10 minutes or until salmon starts to flake with a fork. The thickness of the salmon will determine how long it needs to cook. The thicker the salmon the longer it may need.
Variations & Tips
- Add parmesan cheese for even more flavor!
- Top with pine nuts.
- Garnish for more fresh basil.
- Serve with Pesto Pasta for a complete meal.
- You can also grill the salmon in the summer.
What temperature should salmon be cooked to?
The FDA recommends that salmon should reach an internal temperature of 145F.
How do you tell if baked salmon is done?
Salmon will change from red to pink as it cooks. After a few minutes of cooking, you can check the salmon with a meat thermometer or a fork to check for flaking. You can pull it out a bit early though because it will continue cooking in the pan. Be careful not to overcook it as then it will be dry.
What is a good side dish with salmon?
These are a few side dish ideas that would good great with your salmon.
- Garlic Parmesan Asparagus
- Oven Roasted Butternut Squash
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic
- Oven Roasted Baby Red Potatoes
- Healthy Baked Acorn Squash
- Garlic Parmesan Roasted Carrots
I LOVE this crazy simple Lemon Pesto Salmon recipe and I know you will too. I hope you'll add this simple dinner to your menu this year.
More Healthy Baked Salmon Recipes to Love:
- Balsamic Glazed Salmon
- Foil Packet Salmon and Rainbow Veggies
- Teriyaki Salmon Bowls
- Everything But the Bagel Salmon
- Baked Salmon and Kale Salad
- Easy Baked Salmon with Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce
- My Dad's Fail-Proof Salmon Recipe
- Garlic Dill Salmon and Brussels Sprouts Sheet Pan Dinner
Easy Lemon Pesto Salmon
- Preheat over to 400 degrees
- Cover a glass baking dish in foil and spray with cooking spray
- Cut the lemon in half and slice two thin lemon slices out of the center of the lemon. Set the ends aside.
- Squeeze half of the rest of the non-sliced lemon over the fish. Save the other half for garnish.
- Drizzle both sides of each fillet with the olive oil
- Season both sides with a big pinch of salt & pepper
- Evenly spread a thin layer of pesto on the top side of each fillet of fish and lay a slice of lemon on top
- Put in the oven for 8-10 minutes until fish barely starts to flake with a fork.
- Use your favorite store-bought pesto or make your own!
- The FDA recommends that salmon should reach an internal temperature of 145F.
- Salmon will change from red to pink as it cooks. After a few minutes of cooking, you can check the salmon with a meat thermometer or a fork to check for flaking.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
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