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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, even when you have to use basil pesto from a jar! 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 so good, even when you don’t 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 (affiliate link) 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 (affiliate link).

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.

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

  1. Aw, gee, you guys are so nice even when I post those photos that are a bit blindingly-shiny around the edges.

    Janelle, glad to hear you like the links. I’m hooked on finding them now, it’s so much fun. (And easy to with the Food Blog Search – bottom of right sidebar if you haven’t seen it before. Add it to your site if you’re a blogger, it’s really a lot of fun.)

  2. I think your photos came out great! And the recipe sounds really good too!

  3. Actually, I think your hero shots of the cooked fish look lovely, Kalyn. And the fish sounds wonderful! Can’t wait to try this new approach. Even though I’m a big fan of fresh basil, I have to agree the pesto would be even better, with its nice garlic kick.

  4. All of my favorite things in one recipe! Thanks! And your photos look great!

  5. Hurray for tomatoes! The pics turned out just fine!

    I went to bed thinking about tomatoes… and woke up to your pic!

    BTW I really love all the links you provide to related recipes…

  6. I love pesto and I just bought some salmon from Costco yesterday! I never thought of putting the two together. I am excited to try it!

  7. Pesto always makes me think of summer, this sounds great!

  8. Great colours Kalyn! This looks delicious. Also, Lydia’s suggestion of using parchment paper is definitely a good one. I use it for baking fish all the time and it will certainly solve your light reflecting problem!

  9. Those are lovely salmon, and sounds delicious as well.

  10. Kalyn, this looks delicious! I love salmon and try to eat it often, but I usually prepare it the same way – baked with lemon and rosemary. I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  11. That salmon looks and sounds so good! I would imagine that the salmon is super moist and tender being baked/steamed in foil with the tomatoes and pesto.

  12. Glad people like the sound of it. This was one of the best “easy” recipes I’ve made for a long time. It sounds like I’m not the only one who loves ultra easy recipes like this.

    Lydia, would you believe I’ve never even bought parchment paper. I think it might work though.

  13. Awesome! Simple, easy and perfect. I love dishes like this!

  14. I wonder whether, to make this more photogenic, it could be baked in parchment instead of foil?

  15. The tomatoes heighten the dish, so in love with roasting them of late.

  16. I had the shiny foil issue the other day when trying to photograph potato packets 🙂 I made do, but what a pain.

    I’m excited about making your salmon dish — I love pesto. Usually, I make a sweeter glaze for salmon, but I’m getting tired of it and have been looking for something new. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Ah, the challenges of photographing foil. Well, it looks fab. I love fish (or chicken) roasted in foil packets. And with tomato and pesto? Fuggeddaboudit.

  18. Kalyn, I love salmon with pesto, I make it all the time, and with homemade pesto it’s even better! It intensely flavors the salmon so well! MmmmI can taste it now

  19. I normally like my salmon with a sweeter sauce, but this sounds really good. I’ll have to remember this the next time I decide to cook salmon.

  20. Lovely!! That’s very much my kind of recipe 🙂