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Need an easy, go-to way to quickly bake some yummy salmon? This Baked Pesto Salmon recipe is it! Pesto, dijon mustard and brown sugar make this salmon pop in flavor, crunchy panko gives it dimension and it’s baked to tender flaky salmon perfection. A five-star dinner ready in 25 minutes!
About This Recipe
Restaurant quality salmon made home in 25 minutes? YUP. There’s a reason this baked pesto salmon recipe is our go-to!
I love salmon. It’s one of my favorite ways to switch up my protein because it cooks so quickly! I try to incorporate it as often as I can because it’s so incredibly healthy for you. It’s packed with omega-3’s, vitamin D, potassium and one of the best sources of vitamin B12. It’s practically a fillet of health.
Besides the health benefits, it’s just so yummy! Salmon is pretty bland on it’s on (like most proteins) which is great because it makes the perfect neutral palette to build upon. And we definitely do that with this recipe!
The pesto, dijon mustard and brown sugar work together to bring mad flavor to this salmon that will truly make your taste buds dance! And then the panko gives this salmon a little crunch and another level of dimension. Heck, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!
This salmon pairs great with so many things too. Like rice, potatoes, noodles, vegetables. We love eating it alongside these easy Air Fryer Roasted Potatoes or these 15-minute Buttered Noodles. I feel like any vegetable or side salad would work well too! One of my most favorite combos I’ve tried is pairing this salmon with rice and green beans like in these Pesto Salmon Bowls. They just pair so great together and make such an amazing, macro-balanced dinner or meal prep!
Why You’ll Love This Baked Pesto Salmon Recipe
- Family favorite – this one is a favorite around here and I know it will be one of your go-to’s too!
- BOLD flavors – no bland salmon here, this pesto salmon is bursting with rich flavors!
- Ready in 25 minutes – and with just 15 minutes of prep time, hello easy weeknight meal!
- Super healthy! Salmon is PACKED full of omega 3’s fatty acids (the good fat) and all kind of vitamins and nutrients! It’s one of the healthiest foods you can eat.
- Good source of protein and healthy fats – pair with some grains and veggies for a perfectly balanced meal.
- Pairs great with so much – seriously any grain or vegetable, there are so many great options! Read below for some pairing favorites!
- Salmon fillets – I used Atlantic salmon and used the individually-packed kind because I like that it’s pre-portioned. Usually these come as 4-oz. fillets (so 5 fillets for this recipe) or 5-oz. fillets (so 4 fillets for this recipe). But you can definitely use a whole salmon fillet too. Make sure to get the kind with the skin on because the skin helps keep the salmon moist when baked.
- Brown Sugar
- Seasonings – Grab some smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and freshly cracked pepper.
- Parsley – I would recommend fresh parsley here for the most fresh flavor!
- Panko breadcrumbs – Use gluten free here is needed.
- Pesto – I used basil pesto. Both homemade pesto or use store-bought basil pesto work here! You could even use a more spicy pesto here if you’d prefer.
- Dijon mustard
To make gluten-free: use gluten-free panko breadcrumbs.
How To Make
Make sure salmon cools to room temperature before storing. Then store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
What To Eat With This Baked Pesto Salmon
Can I make this Baked Salmon recipe gluten and dairy free?
This recipe is both gluten free and dairy free as written, just make sure you are using gluten free panko bread crumbs.
Can I use a whole salmon fillet or is it better to use the pre-portioned salmon?
You can use a whole salmon fillet too! I like the individually packed salmon because it makes it easier for storing and reheating the next day. But a whole fillet works too, it may just take a little bit longer in the oven.
I don’t like the skin, can I use skinless salmon?
I would still recommend getting the kind with the skin on. It helps keep the salmon moist and from drying out during cooking. Plus, once you bake the salmon, the skin falls off like a glove! So by baking with it on, you are a lot less likely to dry the salmon out, and then you can just easily peel it off if you want!
How is this Baked Pesto Salmon recipe best served?
I’m serious when I say this salmon goes with pretty much everything! For a lower carb option, serve it up with a side of green beans cauliflower rice, or on top of a salad. For a more balanced meal, this dish pairs great with pasta, rice and potatoes. We love eating it with rice and green beans for a classic combo like in these Pesto Salmon Bowls. But it’s also great with a simple salad.
- 1.25 lb. salmon fillets – about 5 fillets 4-oz. each*
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp + 1/4 tsp salt divided
- Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (14g)
- 1/4 cup pesto (60g)
- 2 Tbsp dijon mustard (30g)
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- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, smoked paprika, garlic powder, 1 tsp salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- In a separate small bowl, combine the parsley, panko and pesto and another 1/4 tsp of salt.
- Place the salmon on the baking sheet, skin side down. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt then spread the mustard over top.
- Add the brown sugar mixture evenly over top all the salmon fillets. Then add the panko mixture on top.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until the salmon is opaque and tender with a fork.
If your salmon is a different size, that is fine – just get as close as you can or scale the recipe as needed! Also if you rather do a large salmon fillet instead of the individual fillets, that works too! Whatever kind you use, I would still recommend getting the kind with the skin on. It helps keep the salmon from drying out during cooking. And it falls off like a glove once baked so you can just get rid of it then if you want!
Nutrition is hand-calculated and accurate. No autocalulations! However, note that values can vary based on the brands you use and if you substitute ingredients.