You won’t believe how delicious this Pesto Salmon tastes! Try it with my Mom’s pesto!
Leave it to Costco to inspire me to make Pesto Salmon.
It’s become our routine to pick up a foil pan of raw salmon topped with pesto butter (to bake later) during our bimonthly trips for paper products and other necessities. It got me thinking about how good salmon would taste with Mom’s Pesto with Pecorino Romano.
Because nobody’s pesto tastes better than Mom’s. She makes it with fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, Parmesan, Pecorino and usually skips the expensive pignoli (pine nuts). If you haven’t tried her recipe yet, you’d best get moving on that.
I even updated the photos for Mom’s pesto today. Because pesto’s not supposed to be blue. (Lordy, how far I’ve come with photography.)
To make this salmon — which is impressive, company worthy and approved by Mom — you’ll need fresh pesto, pepper and cooking spray. That’s it.
You can add a slice of lemon for garnish, but it’s not needed for flavor. You don’t want to overpower the pesto.
You’ll place the salmon on a foil- or parchment-lined sheet pan. Tip: If parts of the salmon filet are very thin compared to the rest, cut off the thin pieces and bake them for five minutes less than the others.
You’ll spray the salmon with a little oil, then sprinkle on some black pepper. Next, you’ll dollop two tablespoons of pesto onto each piece of salmon. I use my tablespoon scoop (affiliate link) to make it easier.
Then, you’ll bake your salmon at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, pulling out the thinner pieces early. Finally, you’ll spread the pesto onto the fish.
Tip: Don’t spread the pesto on the salmon until after it’s baked. This will give your salmon a vibrant green topping.
What to Serve with Pesto Salmon
I love to serve this pesto salmon with boiled redskin potatoes…with a little pesto, butter, salt and pepper stirred in. Yum! Add The Best Italian Green Salad with Homemade Dressing, and you’ve got a fabulous meal.
Or…wait for it…you can serve this Pesto Salmon over pasta! Farfalle (butterfly-shaped pasta) would work well.
Just make this Pesto Salmon. I hope you love it as much as my family does!
(Recipe Source: Cooking with Mamma C)
- 2 pounds salmon
- 1/2 cup Mom's pesto
- cooking spray
- black pepper
- lemon slices for garnish optional
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a half-sheet pan with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup.
- Rinse the salmon and feel for any bones to remove. Pat the fish dry with paper towels. If there are any parts of the salmon that are very thin compared to the rest, use kitchen scissors or a knife to trim them off so you can bake the thin pieces for less time than the rest.
- Place the salmon on your lined pan. Spray the salmon with cooking spray and sprinkle on black pepper.
- Scoop a tablespoon of pesto onto a large piece of salmon, a couple inches from one end. Scoop another tablespoon of pesto onto the salmon, near the opposite end. (Do not spread the pesto until after the fish is baked.*) Continue placing two tablespoons of pesto onto each large piece of salmon. For any small thin, pieces, you'll probably just need one tablespoon of pesto.
- Bake your thick pieces of salmon for 20 minutes, or until it can be flaked with a fork. If you have any thin pieces, bake them for five minutes less.
- After the salmon is baked, use a knife or the back of a spoon to spread the pesto across each piece. If your salmon has skin on the bottom, use a metal spatula to gently lift the cooked salmon off the skin before serving your fish. Garnish each piece of salmon with a slice of lemon, if desired.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days.
The prep time doesn't include making the pesto. If you're making Mom's Pesto with Pecorino Romano, you'll need another 25 minutes.
Bake your salmon topped with dollops of pesto and then spread the pesto across the fish afterward, to ensure your pesto has a more vibrant color.