Preparing family style meals is a simple way to serve dishes that are both practical and effortless, especially when cooking for parties, gatherings, or family dinners. One of my favorite dishes to serve this way is salmon. I take a whole half side of boneless salmon and bake it in the oven until it is just cooked through. This leaves it slightly flakey and very tender.

Most of the time when I cook salmon, if I plan on grilling it, I fillet it into smaller individual portions. It is easier to handle when in single serving size pieces. However, if I am a large group of people over I will always bake whole half sides of salmon and allow people to serve themselves as much or little as they please. Baking salmon this way is practically fail proof when baking at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes. The texture is buttery tender and the fish itself is forgiving when it is cooked a few minutes longer than normal.


This recipe seasons the salmon with pesto, lemons, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. The popular garlic-basil condiment compliments the salmon without overpowering it with its flavor. The lemon adds a bit of acidity to balance everything out for one flavorful dish. With Easter quickly approaching, this dish would make a lovely addition to your holiday brunch or anytime you have a gathering.


Recipe: Baked Pesto Salmon

  • Prep Time: 5 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 18-20 min(s)
  • Total Time: 25 min(s)
  • Servings: 4-5

An easy delicious baked salmon recipe using half a salmon. Seasoned with pesto sauce, lemons, and salt and pepper, this salmon is perfect for brunch, dinner, or Easter celebration.


    16 ounces (half side) of salmon

    Kosher salt and pepper

    1 tablespoon lemon zest

    ΒΌ cup pesto sauce

    1 lemon cut into thin slices


    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

    Place the salmon skin side down on a lined baking sheet sprayed with non-stick coating.

    Season the salmon with salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Using a silicon brush or the back of a spoon spread an even layer of pesto sauce over the salmon. Top the salmon with slices of fresh lemon.

    Bake the salmon for 18-20 minutes until the salmon is cooked through.

You Might Also Like

One Response to “Baked Pesto Salmon”

  1. Kurt Story

    As one who cooks salmon 3 times a week, you don’t need anywhere near 18-20 minutes for salmon filet this thickness–I’d give it 7. Too much cooking time will take its toll on flavor and dry out the fish. And, despite all that pesto, you can see the fish is crumbly and dry. I think salmon has the best flavor of any fish, there’s no need to overpower it by cooking time or strong sauces–but that’s your call.