Pesto crusted salmon is a simple and delicious way to prepare salmon that is weeknight friendly but will still impress for a special dinner. Just mix all the pesto ingredients with breadcrumbs top the salmon fillets and toss it into the oven. Pesto's nutty and herby taste naturally pairs well with salmon and is sure to become a mainstay on your table.
I prefer to use a mild flavored salmon such as sockeye or coho so the flavor doesn't compete too much with the pesto, but any salmon will work. When using a leaner sockeye salmon, I find that gently baking it in the oven brings out a tender a juicy texture opposed to pan frying.
Most pesto crusted salmon recipes call for a panko breadcrumbs but I typically use homemade breadcrumbs because they are incredibly easy to make with a food processor and are a good way to use up stale bread. But, in a crunch, you can swap out panko in this recipe with no problems.
Also, if you are in a pinch, using store bought pesto will work well, just mix it with the breadcrumbs and call it a day. I recommend buying a store bought variety that is still very green, that way you know it has lots of fresh basil and parmesan included!
What to serve with pesto crusted salmon
- green beans with walnuts
- garlic herbed quinoa
Some other salmon recipes
pesto crusted salmon
- 2 cups basil, (picked from stem and finely chopped)
- 1 cup parmesan, (grated)
- ½ cup walnuts, (or pine nuts, finely crushed or chopped)
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, (minced)
- 1 cup breadcrumbs, (homemade or panko)
- 1 lb salmon, (or enough for four fillets)
- sea salt and fresh pepper, (to taste)
- lemon wedges and lemon zest, (for serving)
- Begin by preheating the oven to 350°. Then, put all of the pesto ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth and well combined. Or, smash in a mortar and pestle. Skip this step if using store bought pesto.
- Next, combine the pesto and breadcrumbs, it should feel like wet sand. Sprinkle some sea salt and pepper over you salmon fillets and top the pesto crumbs, it's ok if the breadcrumbs are falling off a little bit.
- Place the salmon fillets onto a sheet pan and bake in the oven for about 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon.
- Remove from the oven and serve with some additional salt, lemon zest, and lemon wedges.