Home ยป Foil Baked Basil Pesto Salmon

Foil Baked Basil Pesto Salmon


It’s no surprise I’m a foodie, but…don’t judge me, please?

I already have my menu planned for next week.

Maybe it’s because of the spring weather and lighter fare are heading “in”, or because I’ve crossed paths with a few new blogs lately. Or maybe it’s because next week will be the first week in over 18 months that I will be home every night of the week during dinner time! (Students, I love you…but I love dinner, too).

I think my over-zealous meal planning has a bit to do with all of the above. Plus, I feel like I’ve been hitting the recipe jackpot lately…and I love it!


I don’t normally micromanage my diet much, but rather, make good choices most of the time.

But yesterday and National RD Day had me thinking about what I had to eat for the day. Breakfast was a skim latte and a Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Parfait made with Greek yogurt (recipe coming!), lunch was Black Bean and Rice Stuffed Peppers and a Greek yogurt, and dinner was Tempeh and Broccolini Stir-Fry (recipe coming!). My snacks were a banana in the morning and an apple in the afternoon. When I got home from work, I went out for a 3 mile run in the 78 degree (!!), sunny weather. And after dinner, Mr. Prevention wanted to go get soft serve…so we walked — 2.25 miles each way.

Six fruits and veggies, all whole grains, vegetarian, and 7 1/2 miles of running/walking. Not too shabby!


Like I said, I’ve been hitting the recipe jackpot and loving what I eat is so important to me. I wouldn’t eat healthy if I didn’t love the way it tastes. And healthy doesn’t have to be time-consuming…in fact, recipes like this can’t get much easier.

No, really.

This recipe is caprese-meets-salmon in one tidy foil packet. No clean-up, no dishes…just toss the mess (amen). The ingredients are simple and wholesome, and you can pair this salmon with just about anything. I opted for potatoes on this particular night, but I think any veggie or salad would go great. I’ve tried several fish-baked-in-foil recipes and they are yet to disappoint.

If you happen to not care for salmon, I think this dish would work well with chicken, too. Just be sure to check the center of the meat to ensure it’s cooked through before serving.



Foil Baked Basil Pesto Salmon slightly adapted from The Imitation Chef and Kalyn’s Kitchen, original from Mark Bittman’s Quick and Easy Recipes from The New York Times

2 (6 oz) salmon fillets
cooking spray
2 Tbsp prepared basil pesto
1 Roma tomatoes, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 450 F.

Tear two large sheets of aluminum foil and spray each with cooking spray; place salmon on top. Spread 1 tablespoon basil pesto on each piece and lay sliced tomatoes on top. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fold over sides and double the seams and ends so it is sealed completely. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, open carefully, and serve immediately.

Yield: 2 servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 375 calories; 21 g. fat; 105 mg. cholesterol; 265 mg. sodium; 5 g. carbohydrate; 1 g. fiber; 36.5 g. protein

Result: It doesn’t get much faster or easier than this. And flavor? This recipe has that, too. I love new ways to prepare salmon and the fact that there’s no dishes is a major plus. I do think these could even go on the grill over indirect heat or under several layers of foil over the grates to avoid burning. Two thumbs up from the both of us for this salmon-meets-caprese meal for two!


Clinic then giving my last final for the quarter!

P.S. Thanks for all your votes!

Be well,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. March 15, 2012 / 6:41 am

    I met one of your old co-workers from the dialysis lab last night. I feel so awful that I can’t remember her name. I think it started with a T? Shoot. I’m so bad with names.
    So I found a recipe similar to this in a little magazine I got in the mail the other day. I cut it out but I think I might be making THIS instead!!!

    • Nicole, RD
      March 15, 2012 / 6:42 am

      Tracy ๐Ÿ™‚ She mentioned meeting you last night on Facebook…what a small world! ๐Ÿ™‚ You can give Nick chicken in his foil packet, but you let him know how many omega 3’s he’s missing out on! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. March 15, 2012 / 7:08 am

    Living in a family that always has a million things to do, I can totally relate to everyone being home for dinner at the same time. Whenever that happens we make sure to have an extra special dinner!

    This salmon sounds delicious! I’ve always been a little scared to make salmon at home, but this recipe sounds so simple! Thanks! ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. March 15, 2012 / 8:35 am

    wowo that IS an easy recipe! Love it! Especially since I just got a job where I don’t get home until 6:30 ish. I’m pregnant, so I’m already bushwhacked and easy recipes have been my middle name as of late! This is SO easy and healthy….goingon the menu for next week!

    ps can you share the new websites you’ve gotten inspiration from?

  4. March 15, 2012 / 9:05 am

    Simple but amazing tasting I’m sure! Have you been loving this weather, or what. It’s also funny for me to think about how easily I forget it is to run in the heat…and it’s not even summer yet. But definitely not complaining, I’m loving it! I could use some menu planning for sure. I just can’t get into it for some reason.

  5. March 15, 2012 / 9:05 am

    sometimes simple is the best! One of these days, when fresh wild salmon is on sale, I am going to buy it. I think this would be a wonderful way to prepare it.

    the weather….oh the lovely weather….I am loving every minute of it! Enjoy your spring break!

  6. March 15, 2012 / 9:38 am

    I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe! I couldn’t believe the amount of flavor for so little work, it’s my favorite thing about the recipe:).

  7. Shannon
    March 15, 2012 / 11:04 am

    I recently discovered your website and a new love of salmon! What a great coincidence. I, too, plan my meals way in advance. It makes it so much easier to shop and be prepared for the week. Thanks for sharing the great recipe. I can’t wait to try it!

    • Nicole, RD
      March 15, 2012 / 11:16 am

      Thanks, Shannon! Appreciate your sweet note and hope you love this recipe, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. March 15, 2012 / 11:12 am

    I like that you suggested using chicken for this instead of salmon. I’ve tried, but I’m just not a fan of fish. Chicken on the other hand, I love. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Nicole, RD
      March 15, 2012 / 11:17 am

      I actually thought of you when writing that ๐Ÿ™‚ But I really do think it would work just great! Hope today is a better day, darlin’! Hugs!

  9. March 15, 2012 / 11:22 am

    I love foil packet recipes. The last one I made was a recipe of yours and it was just amazing!
    So simple like you said!
    I really don’t know how you fit it all in your day. I am truly impressed! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. March 15, 2012 / 12:13 pm

    Deeeeeelish! I just made a batch of arugula pesto and froze a bunch of 1tbsp servings, so now I can add pesto to dishes whenever I want. Love how quick and easy these packets are.

    And AWESOME job with eats and all your movement yesterday. I just saw a few soft serve frozen yogurt shop open up about a mile from our house…. I see many trips there once it gets nice here!

  11. March 15, 2012 / 12:19 pm

    I wish I liked salmon! It looks delicious – maybe I should try it again??

  12. Christin
    March 15, 2012 / 10:07 pm

    Can I sub a different fish? Not a fan of salmon, and I’m all set on the chicken recipes. Maybe Tilapia?

    • Nicole, RD
      March 15, 2012 / 10:12 pm

      Yeah, I would just drop the cooking time to about 12 minutes!

  13. March 16, 2012 / 5:16 am

    Next week sounds pretty exciting for you!

  14. Pingback: Seafood
  15. April 3, 2013 / 9:42 pm

    I was going to make salmon with mango salsa for dinner tonight, but there wasn’t any mango salsa at the store. So I looked in my fridge and thought, hmmmm…I wonder how pesto would be? I googled ‘salmon with pesto’, and found this recipe. SO glad, really, really good.

  16. October 11, 2019 / 8:14 am

    I am so happy I saw this post earlier this week. I tried this recipe and I am very satisfied! It is indeed delicious! Many thanks for sharing.

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