Pesto Salmon with Roasted Tomato Orzo

4.80 from 5 votes
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Baked Pesto Salmon with Tomato Orzo comes together in just 30 minutes for an easy weeknight dinner. Nutritious and with minimal ingredients, this pesto salmon recipe will be a family favorite.Three salmon fillets on a platter over orzo with roasted tomatoes

Why You’ll Love this Pesto Salmon

Simple, elegant, and full of summer-fresh flavors, this baked pesto salmon will become a staple. It only requires a handful of high-impact ingredients, and is on the table in just 30 minutes.

While you can certainly whip up your own pesto, I lean on jarred pesto for ease and convenience. To switch things up, you can even try this Red Pesto, which uses sun-dried tomatoes and roasted red peppers.

This meal is weeknight-approved and a delicious way to up your intake of heart-healthy omega-3’s. It’s certainly one that will be on REPEAT at my house this summer. 

Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions:Salmon, pesto, tomatoes, and orzo in separate bowls with ingredient labels

  • Salmon: You need four 6-oz. salmon fillets for this recipe, which can be wild-caught or sustainably farmed. If purchasing wild, I suggest either King (or Chinook) salmon, which has a higher fat content and richer flavor. Sockeye, on the other hand, is much leaner and easier to overcook.
  • Pesto: My top-pick for jarred pesto is DeLallo Simply Pesto. It legitimately tastes homemade, unlike many other varieties on store shelves. Alternatively, you can make homemade pesto!
  • Tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes get roasted alongside the salmon until they slightly burst and become sweet and jammy. Roasted cherry tomatoes are so versatile, and really bring the orzo to life.
  • Orzo: You can find regular and whole-wheat orzo in the pasta aisle. Just like any other pasta shape, dry orzo will keep for a WHILE in the pantry, so don’t worry about it going to waste. If making the recipe gluten free, use rice or any gluten-free small pasta shape.
  • Lemon: Using both the zest and juice of 1 lemon adds brightness and acidity to the orzo. 
  • Basil: I love topping both the salmon and orzo with chopped basil leaves. They really bring out the fresh flavors of the dish, and add an herbaceous edge. 
  • Pine nuts: For added crunch and richness, add toasted pine nuts or chopped walnuts.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare Salmon

Preheat oven to 450ºF. Pat salmon skin dry with a paper towel, and season flesh evenly with 1/4 tsp. each salt and black pepper. Next, spread pesto evenly over the flesh of the salmon, and let sit while you prepare the tomato orzo. Four salmon fillets on a cutting board being rubbed with pesto

Step 2: Roast Tomatoes

Place tomatoes on a large baking sheet covered with foil for easy cleanup. Toss tomatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast for 10 minutes.Cherry tomatoes coated in olive oil on a sheet pan

Step 3: Roast Salmon

Remove baking sheet from the oven and use a spatula to push tomatoes to one side of the pan. Add salmon fillets to remaining half. Place back in the oven for another 10 to 12 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through.Salmon and tomatoes being roasted on rimmed baking sheet

Step 4: Cook Orzo

Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan filled with salted water to a boil. Add orzo, and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain, place back in the pot (removed from burner) and stir in remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil, lemon zest and juice, 1/4 tsp. salt, basil, and pine nuts.
Orzo pasta in a pink bowl

Step 5: Assemble and Serve

To serve, spread orzo on a serving platter or large dish, and scatter roasted tomatoes and garlic overtop. Top with pesto salmon fillets, and garnish with extra fresh basil. A platter of roasted tomato orzo topped with pesto salmon

What to Serve with Pesto Salmon:

The baked pesto salmon + roasted tomato orzo is plenty satisfying on its own, however it never hurts to add a veggie side. Here are some of my favorite options:

How to Store and Reheat:

  • To Store: Place leftover salmon in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Store orzo mixture separately for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat Salmon: Remove salmon from the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan on reheating it. Once you take the chill off, you can either reheat it in the oven, microwave, or a skillet. Whichever method you choose, be sure the reheating is gentle so the salmon doesn’t dry out.
    • Stovetop: Heat a skillet over medium-low, and rewarm individual salmon portions with a splash of water, covering the skillet. Remove the salmon once it is heated through (this should only take a couple of minutes).
    • Oven: Put the fish on a rimmed baking sheet and warm it a 275°F oven for about 15 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F to 130°F. 
    • Microwave: Place your salmon on a microwave-safe plate, cover it with a paper towel, and set your microwave to 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, check the salmon and adjust it for even heating, and continue to microwave as needed.
  • To Reheat Orzo: Microwave in a heat-proof bowl in 30-second increments until heated through. Alternatively, heat in a small skillet with a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. 

Salmon being broken into with a fork to show flakiness

  • Rimmed Baking Sheet: I love that this one is non-stick, which makes for easy cleanup.
  • Citrus Juicer: To help get every last drop of lemon juice!
  • Saucepan: The perfect size for cooking smaller portions of pasta and grains. 

More Easy Salmon Recipes to Try:

Curried Maple-Mustard Salmon

Miso-Maple Salmon

Sheet Pan Chili-Lemon Salmon Dinner

A white platter filled with roasted tomato orzo topped with pesto salmon and lemon

If you give this baked pesto salmon recipe a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates! I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review!

4.80 from 5 votes

Pesto Salmon with Roasted Tomato Orzo

Baked Pesto Salmon with Roasted Tomato Orzo comes together in just 30 minutes for an easy weeknight dinner. Easy, nutritious, and with minimal ingredients, this pesto salmon recipe will be a family favorite.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Large rimmed baking sheet
  • Medium saucepan

Ingredients  

  • 4 (6-oz.) salmon fillets
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto (I use DeLallo Simply Pesto)
  • 10 to 12 oz. cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced into coins
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest, plus 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts or chopped walnuts (optional)
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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 450ºF. Pat salmon dry with a paper towel, and season flesh evenly with 1/4 tsp. each of salt and black pepper. Spread pesto evenly over the flesh of salmon, and let sit while you prepare the tomato orzo.
  • Place tomatoes and garlic on one half of a large baking sheet covered with foil. Toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and 1/4 tsp. salt. Roast for 10 minutes. (Move on to step #3 while tomatoes roast.)
    Remove baking sheet from oven, and add salmon fillets to open half of baking sheet. Place back in the oven for another 10 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan filled with salted water to a boil. Add orzo, and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain, place back in the pot (removed from burner) and stir in remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil, lemon zest and juice, 1/4 tsp. salt, basil, and pine nuts.
    To serve, spread orzo on a serving platter or large dish, and scatter roasted tomatoes and garlic overtop. Top with pesto salmon fillets, and garnish with extra fresh basil. 

Notes

  • To Store: Place leftover salmon in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Store orzo mixture separately for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat Salmon: Remove salmon from the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan on reheating it. After it sits, you can either reheat it in the oven, microwave, or a skillet. 
    • Stovetop: Heat a skillet over medium-low, and rewarm individual salmon portions with a splash of water, covering the skillet. Remove the salmon once it is heated through (this should only take a couple of minutes).
    • Oven: Put the fish on a rimmed baking sheet and warm it a 275°F oven for about 15 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F to 130°F. 
    • Microwave: Place your salmon on a microwave-safe plate, cover it with a paper towel, and set your microwave to 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, check the salmon and adjust it for even heating, and continue to microwave as needed.
  • To Reheat Orzo: Microwave in a heat-proof bowl in 30-second increments until heated through. Alternatively, heat in a small skillet with a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1salmon fillet with orzo | Calories: 575kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 715mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. Chris says:

    4 stars
    Salmon is delicious! Orzo is a little tasteless and dry. I’d suggest adding mushrooms, Parmesan, red pepper flakes, and butter to orzo.

  2. Summer Yule says:

    5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was easy and so delicious! The garlic was really nice roasted with the tomatoes, and pesto with salmon is always a favorite. Will definitely make again soon, this recipe is a keeper!

  3. Kyle says:

    5 stars
    I enjoy me some salmon and some pesto. Throw in some tomatoes and orzo and I am filled with delight. I’m a huge fan of this dish. So good

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      SO glad you enjoyed this one, love! Thank you for leaving a review!