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two gorgeous pesto butter salmon fillets with tomatoes basil and lemons
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Pesto Butter Salmon

This tasty and easy baked salmon recipe is rich, decadent and satisfying. It's slathered in our homemade walnut pesto recipe, butter, and is ready in under 20 minutes. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice, add a pinch of red pepper flakes, then top with some fresh lemon, tomatoes and basil for a refreshing and balanced touch to this rich salmon dish.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian-American
Keyword: pesto, salmon
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 691kcal
Author: Briana


  • 1.5 pounds salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about the juice of half a lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup homemade walnut basil pesto (use store bought or our recipe)
  • Garnish with: fresh basil, tomatoes, lemon slices (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Drizzle lemon juice over top of the salmon, season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes on both sides. 
  • In a separate container, combine olive oil, pesto, lemon zest and softened butter. Mix well. Transfer salmon to a prepared baking sheet. Place the buttery pesto sauce over salmon until completely covered. 
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes until an instant read thermometer reaches 145°F. The buttery pesto sauce will melt off the sides, we like to drain it off into a separate container and serve with the salmon later. Plate the salmon with lemon slices, fresh basil, tomatoes and drizzle the remaining sauce over top.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Do not reheat, simply enjoy leftovers cold.


  • This recipe was made using about 3 servings of our homemade walnut pesto recipe if you want to use store bought, feel free, but be sure to adjust the macros accordingly! 
  • Tomatoes, lemon and extra basil are not included in the nutrition facts.
  • We don't recommend reheating leftovers, just enjoy them cold. 
  • Red pepper flakes are optional. 


Calories: 691kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 59g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 160mg | Sodium: 843mg | Potassium: 901mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1149IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 2mg