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Grilled Pesto Salmon

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Category: Seafood, Dinner
  • Method: Grill or Stove-Top
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean


Simple grilled salmon with a delightful basil-spinach pesto.




  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup fresh baby spinach
  • ¼ cup freshly shaved or shredded Parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, walnuts or almonds
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil


  • 1-pound fresh salmon, skin-on
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium. Brush oil on the salmon and season with salt and black pepper. Grill flesh side down first for 5 minutes, then flip and cook another 5 minutes or until salmon skin is crispy and the flesh flakes easily when pressed with the back of a fork.
  2. While the salmon cooks, place pesto ingredients, except olive oil, in a small blender and puree, drizzling the olive oil in through the vegetable shoot until pesto-like consistency is achieved, scraping the sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  3. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, brush the salmon with the pesto. Serve immediately.


Cooking Tip: I add spinach to my pesto to cut back a bit on the cost, as basil is more expensive than spinach, but the basil flavor still overpowers the spinach so flavor is not sacrificed. Spinach also adds a boost of nutrition!

Substitution Tip: Try this recipe with chicken or flank steak! Use nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan cheese for a dairy free version.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 322
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Sodium: 490mg
  • Fat: 24g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 20g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 24g
  • Cholesterol: 51mg

Keywords: Mediterranean, salmon, fish, pesto