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Pesto-Crusted Salmon

Scott Phillips

Servings: four.

You can play with the flavor of the pesto by replacing half of the basil with parsley or cilantro.


  • 3 slices white bread
  • 1 Tbs. pine nuts
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup olive oil; more for the pan
  • 4 boneless salmon fillets (about 6 oz. each)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 500
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 300
  • Fat (g): 33
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 19
  • Cholesterol (mg): 95
  • Sodium (mg): 770
  • Carbohydrates (g): 13
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 37


  • Heat the oven to 400°F. Pulse the bread in a food processor to make breadcrumbs. Remove about 1/2 cup of the crumbs and reserve them. Add the pine nuts, garlic, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper to the crumbs in the food processor and pulse. Add the basil and process again. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a slow stream, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the pesto is spreadable.

  • Brush a small baking sheet with oil, put the fillets on it, and season them with salt and pepper. Spread a 1/4-inch layer of the pesto evenly over the top of each fillet. Sprinkle the reserved breadcrumbs over the pesto. Bake until the salmon is cooked — it should just start to turn opaque, with a trace of bright orange in the middle — and the topping is lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.


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Reviews (4 reviews)

  • user-3786562 | 09/14/2018

    This salmon was easy and wonderful. We use a lot of pesto and I used our favorite bottled brand. When I have tons of basil in my garden, i will try it again with homemade.

  • Ellen_M | 03/16/2016

    I've made this several times and it is always a hit. Easy, healthful and delicious! Thanks! I give it 5 stars!

  • ljt2107 | 06/30/2013

    Another hit...thank you FC

  • m2violin | 08/13/2010

    This is an easy weeknight meal, especially if you have some fresh basil in your garden. My local supermarket had some wild Alaska sockeye salmon, so this was a good use for the salmon. The only downfall was I found the pesto a bit too salty. Perhaps it was because I used sea salt instead of table salt. Next time I will not use the 1 tsp. of salt called for in the recipe, and instead just use salt to taste.

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