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Pesto Salmon is a taste of sunshine! Tender fillets of salmon slathered with pesto and baked alongside juicy roasted tomatoes that have been tossed in even more pesto, this healthy dinner recipe is exactly what to cook for dinner next week.

Easy pesto salmon with tomatoes

Pesto is one of those magic foods that can’t help but lift your mood.

A blend of herbs, Parmesan cheese, nuts, lemon, and olive oil, Basil Pesto sings with the promise of warm afternoons, late sunsets, and the kind of easy dinners I long to cook all summer long.

Pesto is versatile, vibrant, and anything you add it to comes to life (I actually have a whole list of simple, unique ways to use pesto sauce in my cookbook!).

Today, we’re using it to make baked fish with pesto, a healthy salmon recipe that anyone can make.

Like my Baked Salmon in Foil, the salmon is tender and flaky, and not at all dry or fishy.

  • Since pesto is made with olive oil, it helps to keep the salmon ultra moist.
  • The lively basil and nutty Parmesan in pesto give the salmon vibrancy.
  • To turn this basil baked salmon into a one-pan meal, I took a page from my Garlic Salmon with Lemon Butter and roasted vegetables alongside the fish.
A jar of DeLallo basil spread

How to Make The Best Pesto Salmon

This recipe’s ingredient list is short, one of the reasons I adore it for easy weeknight dinners that still taste special enough to serve to guests.

As with any recipe that uses few ingredients, the quality of the ingredients themselves is paramount. Don’t skimp.


If you are new to cooking salmon, be sure to check out How to Cook Salmon, which contains my best salmon cooking tips.

For a quick recipe and salmon temperature tips, check out Baked Salmon at 400 degrees.

The Ingredients

  • Salmon. Rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins, salmon is a healthy choice. When selecting salmon fillets, I recommend looking for wild-caught varieties, as they tend to be leaner and contain more minerals. Make sure the fillets you select are free of spots and bruising and do not smell “fishy”.


Wild about salmon? Be sure to check out our full collection of salmon recipes.

  • Pesto. The flavor star! Store-bought pestos vary wildly in quality. The best ones taste fresh and peppy; lower quality ones are bland, flat, and will not give you the results you are seeking.
  • Cherry Tomatoes. Once roasted, these juicy, little tomatoes burst with fantastic sweetness and concentrated flavor.
  • Red Onion. Becomes deliciously caramelized and slightly sweet once roasted.
  • Lemon Juice. Adds brightness, acidity, and makes the pesto pop.
  • Fresh Basil. Basil enhances the pesto flavor and brings a welcome touch of freshness.

The Directions

Tomatoes, onions, and pesto in a bowl
  1. Rinse and drain the tomatoes, then toss with the onion, pesto, salt, and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a baking sheet.
Tomatoes and onions on a baking sheet
  1. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, then stir. Bake for 10 more minutes.
Pesto being spread on pieces of fish
  1. Season the salmon and spread pesto over the top of each fillet to evenly cover the flesh.
Basil spread on fish filets
  1. Make sure each fillet is fully covered in pesto!
Four salmon filets with pesto and tomatoes
  1. Place the salmon fillets in the middle of the baking sheet with the vegetables. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes.
Pesto salmon filets on a baking sheet
  1. Finish with salt, lemon juice (add lemon zest for even more zip), and basil. DIG IN!

What to Serve with Pesto Salmon

Thanks to the vegetables that cook along with this baked pesto salmon recipe, you can easily serve it as a stand-alone main course. If you’d like to bulk it up more, here are some ideas:

Healthy pesto salmon on a sheet pan

Wine Pairing

Serve pesto salmon with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or Pinot Noir.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate salmon and vegetables in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days. 
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F. 
Pesto salmon, tomatoes, and basil on a plate

Pesto, presto! Save this recipe and make it all summer long…or anytime you are craving a taste of sunshine.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Else Can I Add Pesto To?

Your jar of pesto need not go to waste! Try pesto spread on a sandwich, as a salad dressing, scrambled into eggs, or as a marinade for Grilled Chicken Skewers.

Can You Eat Open Pesto?

An open jar of pesto can last several weeks in the refrigerator. Since air causes pesto to taste less fresh, keep pesto in a small jar, press a sheet of plastic wrap against the pesto’s surface, then tightly secure the lid.

What Else Goes Well With Pesto Salmon?

In addition to the vegetables and noodles suggested above, you can also serve pesto salmon with orzo, farro or another grain. Or try it with cauliflower rice for a low-carb option.

Pesto Salmon

4.91 from 22 votes
Sheet pan pesto salmon with tomatoes is perfect for fast, healthy dinners. The salmon is tender and flaky and the pesto makes it taste fresh!

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 45 minutes

Servings: 4 servings


  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets skin on
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt divided, plus additional for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper divided
  • 6 tablespoons prepared basil pesto divided
  • 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes left whole
  • 1 small red onion thinly sliced
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice for serving
  • Chopped fresh basil optional for serving


  • Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously coat a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  • Place the cherry tomatoes and red onion in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons pesto, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Toss to coat, then spread into a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake the tomatoes and onion for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and with a spatula, stir them around a little to promote even cooking, then return to the oven for 10 additional minutes.
  • Meanwhile, pat the salmon fillets dry. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Spread 1 tablespoon of the remaining pesto over each fillet.
  • Rub the pesto on with your fingers or the back of a small spoon as needed. Make sure each fillet is completely covered in pesto.
  • Remove the sheet pan from the oven and move the tomatoes and onions to the outsides to make space for the salmon in the center. Arrange the salmon fillets down the center of the baking sheet, skin-side down.
  • Return the pan to the oven and bake the pesto salmon until the fish flakes easily with a fork and reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, about 16 to 20 minutes.*
  • Sprinkle the salmon with a pinch of additional kosher salt and squeeze lemon over the top. Top with fresh basil as desired. Enjoy!


  • *The cooking time will vary based upon the thickness of your salmon. Thicker (2-inch-plus) slices will need several extra minutes, while thinner slices may cook more quickly.
  • TO STORE: Refrigerate salmon and vegetables in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F. 


Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 383kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 37gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 95mgPotassium: 1393mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1680IUVitamin C: 56mgCalcium: 90mgIron: 3mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Erin, your website to best contact you this way. I haven’t made this recipe yet. But with a serious leg injury, I have to limit the time I stand on the affected leg. So, here’s the question:

    Is this recipe in your cookbook? I have the cookbook! Thanks, Pinky

    1. Hi Pinky! This recipe is actually exclusive to my website. I hope you enjoy it if you decide to try it!

      1. How do we know if recipes are only posted at your website vs in your cookbook? Is it possible to say so, or should we assume that ALL recipes posted at the website are not contained in your cookbook? Thanks for your prompt reply!

        1. Hi Pinky! My cookbook has entirely new and different recipes from my website. I hope this helps!

  2. Oh my goodness this was SO delicious!
    I used a pre-made basil pesto from President’s Choice (Loblaws) and despite my partner’s comment that he didn’t really like pesto, he thought it was fabulous!
    A very quick and easy dinner for company! Start checking your salmon after about 10 minutes to make sure you don’t overcook it.5 stars

    1. So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the feedback and thank you for your kind review Barbara!

  3. We LOVED this recipe and I will definately make it again…! I roasted the grape tomatoes and red onions then added them to Banza chickpea linguine (I’m diabetic and the less flour, even whole wheat the better!) with more pesto added to the linguine in to compliment with the salmon. The hubby-do loved it also and told me that this recipe is a keeper, which was very flattering for me, since he was a pro-chef, and I am always striving to cook up to his level.5 stars

  4. I think the timing stated at the top off this recipe should be 40-45 mins not 25 min. 2 x 10 mins for the tomatoes and onions, then another 10-15 mins for the salmon. Is that correct?

  5. Not sure if my feedback counts because 1) I adapted it to use leftover salmon I had grilled prior in the weekend as well as pesto I had just made from basil just about to bolt when I harvested it and 2) I used an air fryer but TLDR: It was amazing. Can’t wait to try this again with raw salmon in the oven (when the weather cools). Thanks for sharing!5 stars

  6. The tomato and onion mixture took a bit longer than the recipe suggested, but wow! It tasted fantastic! Thank you for sharing this! It’s a keeper :-)5 stars