Imagine the delightful blend of flavors in our Easy Lemon Pesto Salmon and Pasta Recipe. The dish starts with a succulent salmon fillet, perfectly seared to bring out its richness. It is then drizzled with a lively lemon pesto sauce, full of fresh herbs and a hint of garlic, contrasting the salmon's delicate flavors. The zestiness of the lemon juice enhances the overall taste. Accompanied by perfectly cooked pasta, this meal delivers a delightful combination of texture and taste. The Lemon Pesto Salmon and Pasta is more than just a dish, it's a culinary experience that bridges the gap between simplicity and sophistication, ideal for two who appreciate good food in a relaxed setting.
INGREDIENTS FOR BAKED PESTO SALMON RECIPE
For the full recipe with quantities, see the recipe card at the end of the post.
- Herbs - Fresh basil and fresh parsley are a must for pesto.
- Garlic -use fresh garlic.
- Nuts - Use any nut you like, pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, etc. There are many great options or you can omit the nuts completely.
- Cheese - Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
- Salmon - use fresh salmon or quality frozen salmon. If you are curious about the differences between Pacific and Atlantic salmon read Atlantic and Pacific Salmon: What's the Difference? for more information.
- Pasta - Works best with spaghetti, bucatini, fettuccine, etc.
- Pesto - You can use jarred pesto from the grocery store but make your own pesto with fewer food additives and preservatives. You can also make a vegan pesto using nutritional yeast instead of cheese. Vegan dishes often have as much flavor as their non-vegan counterparts!
IS THIS BUDGET FRIENDLY?
Yes! This great recipe comes in on Oh, That's Good's price ranking scale as FRUGAL! That means in my area, you can make this tender salmon fillet with homemade basil pesto with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for under $6.00 per serving! Great for a busy weeknight.
Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
Pour the olive oil into the food processor while still running and process until fully incorporated.
Add the cheese and lemon zest and pulse two or three times.
Season the flesh side of the salmon filet with a little salt & pepper. Boil the pasta to al dente while the salmon is cooking.
Heat butter and oil over medium-high heat.
Place the salmon filets, flesh side down, in the hot oil.
Turn the fillets over, reduce heat to medium, and continue cooking until done. Cook to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
While the pasta is hot, add pesto until coated. Reserve the remaining pesto and pour some over the salmon fillets.
Serve the tender flaky salmon over the pasta with pesto drizzled on salmon and a lemon wedge for a healthy dinner recipe.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Absolutely! This Lemon Pesto Salmon and Pasta recipe is not only delicious but quick to make. It's perfect for those hectic evenings when you want a gourmet meal without spending hours in the kitchen.
Yes, salmon is a fantastic source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for our health. This dish combines the goodness of salmon with other wholesome ingredients for a nutritional punch!
With 43g of protein per serving, this salmon dish covers a significant portion of the average daily protein needs. It's a tasty way to meet your nutritional goals!
You don't necessarily need a baking dish since the salmon is seared on the stove. However, if you prefer, you can transfer the seared salmon to a baking sheet to finish in the oven for a different texture.
Absolutely! Sockeye salmon, with its rich flavor and firm texture, works wonderfully in this dish. Whether you use sockeye or another type of salmon, the results will be mouth-wateringly good!
This Lemon Pesto Salmon and Pasta dish has 21g of carbohydrates per serving. It's a flavorful way to enjoy a moderately low-carb meal.
Of course! Fresh pesto, with its aromatic herbs and nuts, would be an excellent substitution. The vibrant flavors of fresh basil and garlic will complement the salmon perfectly.
A top tip is to store leftover pesto in a zip-top bag or freezer-safe container. Add a thin layer of olive oil on top of the pesto before sealing. This method keeps your pesto fresh and ready for an easy weeknight dinner down the road.
Pairing this salmon with a simple side salad or steamed veggies makes for a balanced meal. A low-carb option could be roasted cauliflower or green beans, while a more indulgent side might be garlic bread, especially if there's extra pesto to spread!
A great way to store leftover pesto, place it in a zipper bag or freezer-safe container. Pour a scant layer of olive oil on top of the pesto. Squeeze out all of the air if using zip-top bags. Freeze until needed. If you store it too long in the freezer, the basil will darken, so use it within a month or so. If you do not use the layer of olive oil expect the pesto to darken. Keep this easy pesto in air airtight container in your freezer for an easy weeknight meal.
NEED MORE FISH AND SEAFOOD RECIPES?
We love seafood and sharing our favorites with you!
Easy Lemon Pesto Salmon and Pasta Recipe
- Food processor or blender.
- Saute pan
- Meat thermometer optional
For the Homemade Pesto
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- ⅛ cup fresh parsley
- 1 large cloves garlic
- ⅛ cup pecans or pine nuts or walnuts
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino cheese
- zest of one lemon
For the Salmon
- 12 ounces salmon 6 ounce filets
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 Tablespoons olive oil for frying or canola oil
- 1 Cups Cooked pasta of your choice optional
For the pesto:
- Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. If using a blender take extra care not to puree the pesto. I like to leave the pesto a little chunky.
- Pour the olive oil into the food processor while still running and process until fully incorporated.
- Add the cheese and lemon zest and pulse two or three times.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Use immediately or freeze in zip lock bags with the air squeezed out.
For the salmon:
- Boil your choice of pasta to al dente while the salmon is cooking.
- Season the flesh side of salmon filet with salt and pepper according to personal taste.
- Heat butter and oil over medium-high heat.
- Place the salmon filets, flesh side down, in the hot oil.
- Cook, checking frequently until golden and crispy.
- Turn the fillets over, reduce heat to medium, and continue cooking until done.
- The salmon is done when you press it with a finger and it feels firm. Do not overcook as it will dry out. Salmon should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While the pasta is still hot add pesto until just coated. Reserve the rest of the pesto and pour some over the salmon filets.
- If you have leftover pesto, place it in a zipper bag and squeeze out all the air. Freeze until needed. If you store it too long in the freezer the basil will darken, so use it within a couple of weeks.
- Garnish with lemon wedges and fresh basil leaves.
Approximate nutrition information is provided as a convenience and courtesy only. You are encouraged to do your own calculations if precise data is required.
We take every effort to ensure that the estimated meal cost per serving is accurate. We use a meal cost analysis application that estimates the cost of a recipe based on groceries purchased at a Walmart store in my geographical area, northern California.
If you liked this dish, you should check out Can You Put Salmon in the Air Fryer? Yes, you can cook salmon in an air fryer!