20 minutes

Pesto Butter Salmon

Pesto butter salmon is a perfect healthy dinner. Ready in about 20 minutes, and cooked with seasonal veggies all on one sheet pan, this delicious meal could not be easier.

Pesto is one of my favorite summertime foods. It’s so delicious with the fresh sweet basil, tangy Parmesan, and rich olive oil. I love it with pasta, spooned onto garlic bread, or, in this case, mixed with butter and drizzled over salmon.

This easy baked pesto salmon recipe is a dinner for the win. It’s super-fast on prep, cooking and clean up. Plus, already delicious pesto is only improved with the addition of salty softened butter (isn’t this the case for all things?). The basil pesto butter keeps the salmon moist, and takes what could be just another baked salmon recipe over the top!

You Will Love This

  • This recipe is a healthy and delicious dinner. It is low carb, gluten free, full of healthy fats from the fish, and vitamins and minerals from the veggies.
  • This is ready in no time! Get this on the table in about 20 minutes flat, choosing low-prep veggies like cherry tomatoes and asparagus.
  • Who doesn’t love a sheet pan dinner? Only one dish to clean? Sign me up.

Ingredients

Ingredients for pesto butter salmon on a marble background.

Gather up your ingredients. For this simple recipe, you will need:

  • Olive oil: Avocado oil would also work.
  • Salmon fillets: Feel free to use frozen, defrosted salmon.
  • Salted butter
  • Basil pesto: You can make the pesto sauce yourself, or use store bought. I tested this recipe with my favorite homemade basil pesto, and also with Kirkland brand signature basil pesto from Costco. Both were totally delicious.
  • Veggies: Use whatever quick-cooking veggies you love in this recipe. Salmon only takes about 12-15 minutes to cook, so veggies like asparagus, tomatoes, summer squash, bell peppers, onions or green beans would be great choices. I love tomatoes because they burst open when baked and create a delicious tomatoey butter pesto sauce to put over pasta or soak up with crusty Italian bread.
  • Kosher salt and black pepper: For seasoning the veggies. You could also add garlic powder, onion powder, or use seasoning salt – whatever you like on roasted veggies!
  • Additions: Sprinkle some fresh-grated parmesan cheese over the fish before baking and voila! Parmesan crusted salmon.

Instructions

Step One: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you are using a whole salmon fillet, cut it into approximately 4 ounce portions. Drizzle some olive oil over your baking sheet. Pat dry your salmon fillets and put them on the baking sheet skin-side down.

A sheet pan with four salmon fillets and olive oil.

Step Two: Wash and trim your veggies and add them to your sheet pan.

A sheet pan with four salmon fillets, asparagus and cherry tomatoes.

Step Three: Mix melted butter with pesto until well incorporated. Spoon the pesto butter over your salmon fillets, covering the top of each fillet. If there is leftover sauce, drizzle it over your veggies.

A sheet pan with four salmon fillets, asparagus and cherry tomatoes, with pesto butter drizzled over top.

Step Four: Sprinkle veggies with salt and pepper, and add a little fresh lemon juice if you like! Put the pan in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until the salmon is cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

A sheet pan with four salmon fillets, asparagus and cherry tomatoes cooked in pesto sauce with a fork and spoon for serving.

How Long to Bake Salmon

Salmon cooks really fast. In a 400 degree oven, salmon will cook in about 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of the fillet. It is done when it is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, and the internal temperature has reached 145 degrees.

I usually take the salmon out of the oven to check with my meat thermometer at about 10 minutes. If it’s not done, just pop it back into the oven for a few more minutes, no harm done!

Serve This With

This is basically a complete meal! Serve it with a side of crusty bread or whole grain pasta to soak up the leftover sauce. Or keep it low-carb with a fresh green salad on the side. Whatever you do, make it easy, because easy and delicious is the name of the game with this meal!

Storage and Reheating

Store leftover salmon in an airtight container in the fridge for a maximum of 3 to 4 days. Fish can be prone to drying out when reheated in the microwave, so I recommend reheating on your microwave’s low setting (about 50% power) for bursts of 30 seconds or so at a time, until it’s warmed up to your liking. Cold pesto salmon is also yummy on top of a Cesar salad for lunch!

A sheet pan with four salmon fillets, asparagus and cherry tomatoes cooked in pesto sauce with a fork and spoon for serving.

Pesto Butter Salmon

Pesto butter salmon is a perfect healthy dinner. Ready in about 20 minutes, and cooked with delicious veggies all on one sheet pan, prep and clean up could not be easier.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 4
Calories 350 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound salmon fillet
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 3 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 1 pound asparagus spears
  • 16 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you are using a whole salmon fillet, cut it into approximately 4 ounce portions. Drizzle some olive oil over your baking sheet. Pat dry your salmon fillets and put them on the baking sheet skin-side down.
  • Wash and trim the veggies and add them to the baking sheet.
  • Mix melted butter with pesto until well incorporated. Spoon the pesto butter over your salmon fillets, covering the top of each fillet. If there is leftover sauce, drizzle it over the veggies.
  • Sprinkle veggies with salt and pepper, and add a little fresh lemon juice if you like! Put the pan in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until the salmon flakes easily with a fork and is cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

Notes

Substitutions: Use whatever quick-cooking veggies you love in this recipe. Salmon only takes about 12-15 minutes to cook, so veggies like asparagus, tomatoes, summer squash, bell peppers, onions or green beans would be great choices.
Doneness: Salmon cooks really fast. In a 400 degree oven, salmon will cook in about 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of the fillet. It is done when it is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, and the internal temperature has reached 145 degrees.
Storage and Reheating: Store leftover salmon in an airtight container in the fridge for a maximum of 3 to 4 days. Fish can be prone to drying out when reheated in the microwave, so I recommend reheating on your microwave’s low setting (about 50% power) for bursts of 30 seconds or so at a time, until it’s warmed up to your liking. 

Nutrition

Calories: 350kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 27gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 251mgPotassium: 1080mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1392IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 74mgIron: 4mg
Keyword basil pesto, pesto butter, sheet pan salmon
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