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Kalyn's Kitchen

Foil-Baked Salmon with Basil Pesto and Tomatoes (Video)

Foil-Baked Salmon with Basil Pesto and Tomatoes is delicious all year, but it’s especially good when you’re using the very last of the fresh garden tomatoes and homemade basil! Use Seafood Recipes to find more recipes like this one.

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Foil-Baked Salmon with Basil Pesto and Tomatoes!

Foil-Baked Salmon with Basil Pesto and Tomatoes found on KalynsKitchen.com

Before we completely let go of the summer tomatoes and fresh basil, I want to remind you about this Foil-Baked Salmon with Pesto and Tomatoes. This is one of those no-fail perfect recipes that’s always delicious whenever you make it, but if you make it when you still have some fresh garden tomatoes (and maybe even some homemade Basil Pesto with Lemon in the fridge) this is even better. In my small garden I’m still getting a few tomatoes, and I just made some pesto with the last of my basil that was growing in the window, so this looks like a great idea for an early fall dinner.

But even if you don’t have a garden, or your garden tomatoes are long gone, or if you have to use mid-winter tomatoes and pesto from the store, this recipe will always produce spectacular results! It was was adapted from Mark Bittman’s Quick and Easy Recipes from the New York Times, where Bittman used tomatoes and fresh basil to top salmon that was baked in foil. And no disrespect to Mark Bittman, but I think my variation of using pesto to replace the fresh basil might even have been an improvement! Check out My Favorite Low-Carb and Keto Recipes with Pesto for more tasty ideas for using basil pesto!

Foil-Baked Salmon with Basil Pesto and Tomatoes found on KalynsKitchen.com.

Let salmon come to room temperature while you preheat the oven or toaster oven and the baking sheet. Make a double layer of foil, drizzle a little olive oil on the foil, lay on the salmon pieces, and season the fish. (I always season fish with Szeged Fish Rub, but use any seasonings you like if you don’t have that.) Top each piece of salmon with a thin layer of pesto and some slices of tomato.

Foil-Baked Salmon with Basil Pesto and Tomatoes found on KalynsKitchen.com.

Wrap up the packets, folding over the ends a couple of times. Bake at 450 F for 15 minutes. Then let sit a few minutes before carefully opening packet. Serve hot, and enjoy!

Foil-Baked Salmon with Basil Pesto and Tomatoes found on KalynsKitchen.com.

Make it a Meal:

You can serve this Foil-Baked Salmon with Basil Pesto and Tomatoes right in the foil if you’d like, for a dinner that’s sure to please anyone who likes salmon. Add something like Cucumbers Caesar or Zucchini Noodle Mock Pasta Salad for a low-carb meal!

More Low-Carb Ideas for Cooking with Pesto:

Easy Baked Pesto Chicken ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Roasted Red Peppers with Pesto and Goat Cheese ~ Aggie’s Kitchen
Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Parmesan ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Pesto Zucchini Lasagna Rolls ~ All Day I Dream About Food
Low-Carb Baked Chicken Stuffed with Pesto and Cheese ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Foil-Baked Salmon Recipe with Basil Pesto and Tomatoes

Foil-Baked Salmon with Basil Pesto and Tomatoes is especially good when you have fresh summer tomatoes!


  • 2 salmon filets, about 6 oz. each
  • fish rub of your choice; see note (this is optional but recommended)
  • 2 tsp. olive oil (to grease foil)
  • about 4 tsp. basil pesto (can use pesto from a jar here with good results, although obviously homemade pesto is even better)
  • 2 or 3 medium tomatoes, sliced about 1/4 inch thick


  1. Preheat oven to 450 F. (I used my Oster toaster oven.)
  2. Place a baking sheet in oven to heat while you prep the salmon.
  3. Tear two pieces of foil, big enough to wrap salmon with some overlapping.
  4. Place foil pieces one on top of the other.
  5. Put about 2 tsp. olive oil in center of top piece of foil and lay salmon on top of oil.
  6. Season salmon with Szeged Fish Rub or other seasonings of your choice.
  7. Spread each piece of salmon with about 2 tsp. basil pesto.
  8. Arrange sliced tomatoes over pesto so they cover the top of the salmon.
  9. Wrap salmon securely in foil, doubling over the seam and ends several times.
  10. Place salmon packet on heated baking sheet and cook 15 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven after 15 minutes and let sit 2-3 minutes.
  12. Then open carefully and serve immediately, while salmon and tomatoes are hot.


For years I have used Szeged Fish Rub, but any seasoning blend that tastes good on fish will work in this recipe.

Recipe adapted from Mark Bittman’s Quick and Easy Recipes from the New York Times.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Foil-Baked Salmon with Basil Pesto and Tomatoes is a wonderful meal for low-carb eating plans, including any phase of the South Beach Diet. Tomatoes do have some carbs, but there’s not a lot of tomato in this recipe.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

Foil-Baked Salmon with Basil Pesto and Tomatoes from KalynsKitchen.com

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106 comments on “Foil-Baked Salmon with Basil Pesto and Tomatoes (Video)”

  1. Pingback: Day 1 – Dana’s South Beach Blog

  2. Pingback: Free ALDI Meal Plan week of 11/12/17 - 11/18/17 - Mashup Mom

  3. Do you know if the Szeged Fish Rub is sold in stores? I see it on Amazon, but would like to pick up in a store if possible. Thanks.

    • I did first discover it in a store that sold overstocked items, but I haven’t seen it in any stores around here recently. Maybe try googling the company and see if you can find any information about where it’s sold. I do love it and try to never run out!

  4. I know this is an old recipe, but just wanted to say that I made this tonight, but with flounder. All I had was white fish, and it still came out wonderful! I just decreased the bake time because it was a thinner fish. Thank you, I use your recipes all the time!

  5. I made this a couple of weeks ago and forgot to comment. I used super ripe Farmer's Mkt tomatoes and Wild Alaskan King Salmon, it was absolutely delicious! I was so happy to have run across this recipe of yours because I had never thought to put pesto on salmon. (I know, silly me!)

  6. Hmm. It looks so yummy and tasty. I’ll definitely try this Salmon meal recipe this weekend at my home for my family. It attracts me a lot because of their numerous health benefits and their tastes. Many thanks for sharing this awesome recipe 🙂

  7. I really like salmon! Haven't tried salmon like this 🙂 thanks for the recipe

  8. This looks delish and so colorful! That basil pesto over the salmon sounds pretty amazing!

  9. I love foil packet dinners and this salmon definitely needs to be added to my must make list, Kalyn!

  10. I have a huge fear of making salmon at home, but this looks pretty straightforward…I think I can do it. 🙂

  11. This does sound wonderful. Summer tomatoes are still pretty plentiful here and I have a ton of pesto in the freezer…I make it all summer long and freeze my extras so I don't have to miss out on the winter months! I'd really like to try this!

  12. Salmon always makes for such a beautiful dish! Love the pesto topping!

  13. Wow, what a great idea! I have bags of pesto in the freezer so I'm totally making this, and soon!

  14. I actually like the original picture. 🙂 I think your pesto instead of basil idea was definitely an improvement! It looks lovely.

  15. Ah, Weekend Herb Blogging — a little nostalgia trip! I love how easy this recipe is, and how flavorful the results of just a few minutes of cooking can be.

    • Lydia, yes I miss some things about those days. But I don't miss the hours I used to spend doing the WHB round-ups. And no one would click around and read about herbs now anyway! Highly recommend this recipe.

  16. I love to see these recipes resurrected from the archives, if only to see the familiar names of the “original” food bloggers in the first comments. This one’s going on the Supper This Week list!

    • Alanna, it is fun isn't it? And this was posted for Weekend Herb Blogging! Those were the kinder, gentler days of blogging for sure, when people actually had to visit the blog to talk to you. I hope you enjoy it, this is one of my favorites.

  17. Seriously I don't think this will freeze all that. But it only tales a few minutes to throw together.

  18. Hi Kalyn 🙂
    I am excited to try this recipe. I teach and have 3 kiddos. We are BUSY, but are committed to eating healthy despite our schedules. This recipe is perfect for us! I have acquired quite a bit of healthy freezer friendly meals that meet our needs. Do you think this would freeze well? I thought I could prepare it with the pesto, wrap it in foil, and put it in the freezer. When we are ready to enjoy, I could thaw in fridge, top with tomatoes and bake. What do you think?

  19. I wrapped both pieces of salmon together, but double-wrapped the packet with foil so it wouldn't leak or burn on the grill.

  20. I'm sure this is a dumb question, but did you wrap each piece of salmon individually in it's own piece of foil, or did you double wrap the two salmon together. It says two pieces of foil. Not sure where the second piece goes.

  21. So glad you enjoyed it!

  22. Thanks for this recipe! Made this today and it came out very tasty.

  23. I'd try thawing it a tiny bit more with either the fish inside a plastic bag and run hot water over it, or a microwave, knowing that will start to cook the salmon the tiniest bit. I still think that would be better than having the inside not cooked (and the other part might get dry before the frozen part is done. Hope that works; I love this recipe!

  24. I have a dilemma! I took my salmon out of the freezer far too late today and I've gotten myself into a bit of a mess. I've thawed it under cold water but the thickest part is still a bit frozen and it's already 7:15pm. Do you think it would be alright to go ahead and use it, if I adjusted the cooking time longer, perhaps? Would there be an issue with extra liquid?

    It's my own fault, I suppose. I've been so excited about this recipe all week, but my day just got away from me!

  25. So glad you enjoyed the recipe. This is something I've made over and over for guests.

  26. A friend gave me some homemade pesto and I wanted to make salmon for a dinner party so googled and found your recipe. I am a huge lover of caprese salad so your recipe really caught my eye with the basil pesto and tomotoes. It was a huge hit! I cooked 4 packets so left in the oven for about 5 extra minutes. I served this with a starter of corn, red pepper, and leek soup with creme fraiche; then the salmon with roasted root veges and a salad of arugula, apples, calamata olives and pecans. I will be sharing your recipe and definitely making it again! Cannot wait to check out your other recipes! Thanks! – Houston, TX

  27. DELICIOUS! My hubby enjoyed it too!

    I cannot tell you how HAPPY and GRATEFUL I am that I found this site! Every time I look for recipes I'm bombarded with so much fat and carbs!! I kind of gave up and just ate whatever was around and easy (lots of rice and pasta dishes).

    I recently decided to go south beach-y and this site is just perfect. Please keep posting and sharing, because I would be lost without it!!

  28. Thanks for posting this recipe! I made pesto a few days ago and had no idea how to bake it with the salmon. I'll be trying this one tonight!

  29. Mike, glad to hear it worked well for you!

  30. Your recipe was a lifesaver. I bought 3 fillets today and did have a clue how I wanted to cook them. I added a few thin lemon slices and a splash of pinot grigio (about a half shot) for a little extra acid.

    Made fresh cooked spinach with garlic and fingerling potatoes with chives, parsley and evoo.

    My wife and daughter loved it. Thanks again.

  31. Jessica, so glad you liked it!

  32. Oh.My.Gosh. YUM! I made this and added a little bit of fetta cheese and whole almonds in with it. Soooo good! Even great with store bought pesto 🙂

  33. Matt, hope you enjoy it, and lucky you to have salmon in the freezer and tomatoes in the garden!

  34. That looks delicious. I just took a piece of Chinook out today and will try this with tomatoes from the garden tonight!

  35. Melissa, glad you liked it, and good to know it worked with canned tomatoes as well.

  36. This was fantastic. I cheated and used a can of petit tomatoes instead of fresh. Super easy and still very delicious! Thanks!!! 😉 Also, if you don't oil the foil then you can lift the fish right off the skin. I don't like fish skin on my plate.

  37. Jess, this is something I make often for guests, highly recommend this recipe.

  38. Oh my goodness – this sounds fabulous! Can't wait to try it.

  39. I love the sound of mizuna pesto in this; I bet that is fantastic! Glad you liked it.

  40. We had this tonight with mizuna pesto (frozen fresh after summer ended forever ago!) and canned tomato. It was really good. I served it with some steamed broc with soy sauce… simple and good.

  41. I would say that "foil-baked" means baked in foil, which is definitely not steaming. I would also call the fish with a crusty surface baked, but that's just my opinion.

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