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This easy oven-baked pesto salmon recipe is topped with a tasty homemade dairy-free pistachio pesto. A simple, healthy weeknight dinner ready in 25 minutes!

Closeup photo of baked salmon topped with pistachio pesto and basil leaves on a large white serving platter.

This baked pesto salmon is such a fresh, delicious, and healthy dinner idea. It’s super easy to make and it’s ready in under 30 minutes (the best)!

As a dietitian, salmon is one of my all-time favourite protein sources. It’s super versatile and packs in a ton of nutrition benefits, which I cover below.

In this recipe, I also share my tips for how to bake salmon perfectly (i.e. making sure that your salmon is super soft and juicy)!

The salmon then gets topped with the tastiest homemade dairy-free pistachio and basil pesto.

NOTE: you don’t need to use pistachios to enjoy this recipe. I include a bunch of alternatives to pistachios (such as hemp seeds or walnuts) to make pesto, or you can always use a store-bought pesto if you’d prefer.

This recipe pairs so well with a side of veggies, pasta, or other starch – I include some ideas for what to serve with pesto salmon for you below as well. Enjoy!!

Overhead photo of 4 pieces of baked salmon topped with pistachio pesto and basil leaves on a large white serving platter.

How To Bake Salmon

Baking salmon in the oven is hands-down my favourite way to cook it (and also the easiest way IMO).

After years of making salmon this way, I feel like I’ve nailed down a foolproof method to cook it perfectly every time. Trust me, there is nothing worse than dry, overcooked salmon!!

My method?

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash salmon fillets and pat them dry.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place salmon fillets on top, making sure to leave adequate space between then.
  4. Drizzle fillets with olive oil (approx. 1/2 to 1 tsp each fillet). Then, crack sea salt and pepper overtop.
  5. Once oven is heated, place salmon in for TWELVE (12) MINUTES ONLY.
  6. Remove from oven. Salmon should be cooked but still tender and moist.

SO easy, right?!

While the salmon is in the oven, make the pistachio pesto (directions below). Once salmon is done, top the fillets with pesto, pair with your favourite sides, and dig in!

NOTE: I tested this recipe twice, once cooking the salmon with the pesto and once topping the salmon with pesto after cooking. Both methods worked, but both my boyfriend and I preferred baking the salmon BEFORE topping with pesto.

Overhead photo of four un-cooked salmon fillets on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

How To Make Dairy-Free Pistachio Pesto

Making this pistachio pesto is just as easy as baking the salmon!

I simply add tons of fresh basil, shelled pistachios, nutritional yeast, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper to a food processor. Pulse everything together, and you’ve got a delicious and healthy homemade pesto in just minutes.

Don’t feel like using pistachios? Check out my recipes for Hemp Seed Pesto and Basil Walnut Pesto!

In a pinch? Store-bought pesto works just fine!

Overhead photo of fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, pistachios, and nutritional yeast on a wooden cutting board.

What To Serve With Pesto Salmon

There are so many things you can serve alongside this pesto salmon recipe! For instance:

  1. Try it with roasted or sautéed vegetables, like roasted bell peppers, sautéed spinach, or sautéed cherry tomatoes. Check out my roundup of 20+ healthy vegetable side dishes if you need some inspiration!
  2. Pair it with a simple pasta (maybe also tossed in the pesto?), or another starch like roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, or farro.

If you decide to make this dish, I’d love to know what you pair it with in the comments below!

Close up photo of 4 pieces of baked salmon topped with pistachio pesto and basil leaves on a large white serving platter.

Baked Salmon Nutrition Facts

Salmon is an excellent source of quality, complete protein:

  • a 3-ounce serving provides 17 grams
  • a 6-ounce piece will give you 34 grams

Protein helps to protect bone health and prevent muscle loss, among many other functions!

In addition to protein, salmon is rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fatty acids, including omega-3s. Omega-3s are known to support heart health, brain health, and to reduce inflammation overall.

On the micronutrient side, salmon is a great source of B vitamins like:

  • vitamin B12
  • vitamin B6
  • thiamin
  • riboflavin
  • niacin

B vitamins act as coenzymes in many important metabolic processes throughout your body, such as turning the food we eat into energy!

Salmon is also a good source of minerals like potassium and selenium.

Overhead photo of 4 pieces of baked salmon topped with pistachio pesto and basil leaves on a large white serving platter.

More Healthy Salmon Recipes

Did you give this Baked Salmon With Pistachio Pesto Recipe a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!

If you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or Pinterest – seeing your creations always makes my day. You can also subscribe to my email list to never miss a new recipe or nutrition education post!

Get the Recipe: Baked Salmon With Pistachio Pesto

This easy oven-baked salmon recipe is topped with a tasty dairy-free pistachio pesto. A simple, healthy weeknight dinner ready in 25 minutes!
easy baked salmon topped with pistachio pesto
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Ingredients

  • 4 fresh salmon fillets (4-6 ounces each)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt + pepper

Pistachio Pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt + pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Wash salmon fillets and pat dry. Place fillets on a parchment-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Crack salt + pepper overtop.
  • Once fully heated, place salmon in the oven for 12 minutes.
  • While salmon cooks, make pistachio pesto by combining all pesto ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until smooth and set aside.
  • Remove salmon from oven and top each fillet with pesto. Pair with your favourite side dish and enjoy!

Notes

*Cooked salmon will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @walderwellness on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

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Pinterest graphic for a 25-minute pistachio pesto baked salmon recipe.
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