Looking for a good baked salmon recipe? Baked salmon pesto is a four ingredient meal that’s ready in twenty minutes. Plus, use homemade or store-bought salmon for this salmon pesto recipe.
A recent survey of readers confirmed that salmon is a staple protein in many people’s weekly dinner rotation. It’s easy to understand why. It’s healthy, easy to make and widely available. This easy Baked Salmon Pesto is a regular during the weeknights because it’s a four ingredient meal that takes less than 30 minutes. I got your attention, didn’t I?
Salmon is prized for its health benefits and while farmed salmon is good, wild Coho, Sockeye or Atlantic salmon is even better. The highlight reel of salmon’s nutritional benefits include:
Omega-3 fatty acids (decreasing blood pressure, lowering inflammation, reducing cancer risk).
Selenium (good for your bone health and reducing thyroid disease).
Potassium (reduces blood pressure and your risk for stroke).
B Vitamins and folic acid (All B Vitamins work together providing optimal functioning of the brain and nervous system).
See this article for even more health benefits.
Salmon Pesto Recipe – A Four Ingredient Meal
This pesto salmon bake couldn’t be simpler to make. Start by slicing your salmon fillet into individual portions. (Ok,you don’t HAVE to do this, but slicing it BEFORE baking, gives you lovely even cuts. If you slice it AFTER it bakes, the salmon will flake — not the end of the world, but if you’re a food blogger appearance matters…) Then spoon your favorite pesto sauce over the fillets.
On this site I actually have 3 pesto recipes and any of them would be perfect for your salmon with pesto sauce but this traditional pesto recipe and this pesto with walnuts also have options for freezing individual portions so that you’ve always got a stash of pesto at the ready.
When you want a good baked salmon seasoning, pesto is one of my favorites — it’s bright and herbal and puts a punctuation mark on any baked salmon recipe, however, if you’re not going to use the cheese and breadcrumb topping, I’d recommend baking the salmon first and then spooning the pesto over the cooked fish, otherwise the pesto will develop a crusty and unsightly pond scum color — and that’s not what we’re going for here.
That said, you really want the crunchy topping... It’s golden and flavorful, adding another dimension to this simple dish. Because there’s parmigiano reggiano in the pesto AND the pesto, I could have easily called this dish Salmon Parmesan.
This salmon pesto recipe can easily be doubled or tripled depending on the size of your crowded it would be great for company or even a festive Easter dinner, thanks to it’s scaleability.
I bake the salmon at a lower temperature than you might expect — only 325°– to assure that the salmon isn’t over-cooked and to minimize the gooey white stuff that invariably oozes from the fish when it’s baked. The white stuff is called albumin and it’s harmless, but unsightly. Cooking at a lower temperature reduces the amount of albumin leaked, but the oven is hot enough to brown the the crumb topping. It’s a win-win.
You’re gonna love this Baked Salmon Pesto and I’d be surprised if it didn’t make regular rounds in your dinner rotation starting NOW. If you’re hungry for more easy salmon recipes, try this Hoisin-Maple Asian Glazed Salmon.
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Parmesan Pesto Baked Salmon - Only 4 Ingredients
- 4 6-ounce salmon fillets pin bones removed
- 6 tablespoons pesto
- 1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese grate with a microplane grater if possible.
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Place a piece of parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet. Lay the salmon fillets on the baking sheet, not touching. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons of pesto over each fillet and spread it with the back of a spoon or knife so that it's lightly coated with pesto.
- In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese until evenly distributed. Top each of the salmon fillets with a coating of the breadcrumb mixture.
- Cook the salmon for 12-15 minutes for medium. To get the crust a golden brown, turn the oven to broil and heat for 45 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes with the salmon about 5 inches away from the heating element. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.
- Serve immediately.
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