Pesto Salmon Salad

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Today’s recipe has nothing to do with Cinco de Mayo. Or Mother’s Day. Or any holiday really. But that doesn’t make this pesto salmon salad any less special.

Fresh salmon and pesto salad

Sometimes the absolute best meals aren’t the ones you make for any holiday, but the ones you make on those random Tuesday nights. The nights after a really long day at the office where you were once again unappreciated at work and made to fetch coffee again for your pig-headed boss. The nights after your teenage daughter screamed “I hate you” after you told her that no, she can’t dye her hair purple and go to a rock concert downtown with a 23 year old 7-11 store clerk.  The night where your husband called to say he’s working late, yet again, and you’re starting to question your entire marriage. That night where you’ve had a bottle of $3 dollar wine. The night where you’ve all but given up hope on yourself and your family.

pesto salmon salad2

That is the night you make this pesto salmon salad.  Because it’s easy, it’s quick and it’s absolutely delicious. Even after a day like that, this salmon will make you smile. It’ll make you realize that you still got it. You may not be the world’s best mom, office manager or wife all the time, but you can cook like there’s no tomorrow. And sometimes  we just need those little reminders, those little bits of courage to get through the rest of the crap we think we’re failing at.

Fresh salmon salad

Who knew a simple pesto salmon salad could offer so much perspective? The best meals I make aren’t for holidays or special occasions, but the ones that I make for myself when the rest of my world is all but crumbling down. When I’m barely hanging on by a thread, cooking is what jolts me back to life. And this pesto salmon salad with a fresh lemon viniagrette did just that for me yesterday.

And when sh** gets rough, I’ll take my wins wherever I can get them, even if they are something as simple as making a fantastic dinner.

Pesto Salmon Salad

Salmon filet


Serves 2.
Prep time: >10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes


For the salad: 

  • 2 small (4 ounce) salmon filets
  • 3 tablespoons fresh pesto (use this recipe, it’s my favorite!)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parmesan
  • 2 cups fresh greens (I used kale)
  • 1 tomatillo, sliced
  • 2 strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cup red onions
  • Lemon slices

For the dressing: 

  • 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking dish with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the salmon filets on the parchment paper. Top each filet with pesto and a sprinkle of cheese. Add salt and pepper. 
  2. Bake salmon for about 8 – 10 minutes, or until lightly pink.
  3. Whisk the salad dressing ingredients together. Toss with mixed greens. Top the greens with salmon. Add 2 tablespoons onion, 1/2 tomatillo and 1 strawberry.

Nutritional information per salad:

Calories: 400
Fat: 27 grams
Carbohydrates: 4 grams
Fiber:  2.8 grams
Protein: 26 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 8

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  1. Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
    Oy, I hear you. There's nothing like an easy, delicious comforting meal when you feel like everything around you is falling apart... and this one looks perfect! Hang in there, girly!
  2. Posted by Meagan @ A Zesty Bite on
    Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
    I'm on a huge pesto kick right now and this recipe looks really good with the use of salmon.
  3. Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
    this week is going rough for me in terms of everything and I really needed to hear something like this - I still got this. Thanks alot :)
  4. Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
    Love this recipe, friend. So spring-y!
  5. Posted by Laura (Tutti Dolci) on
    Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
    What a delish salad, I love the pesto topping! Hope your week is getting better! xo
  6. Posted by Kristin on
    Friday, May 3rd, 2013
    This sounds amazing! I've never had pesto and salmon together, but I adore them both - and it's strawberry season here, so what a perfect fresh addition!
  7. Posted by Jamie-Lee on
    Friday, May 3rd, 2013
    This looks so tasty! I love finding new recipes for salmon its one of my favourite fishes :)

    Jamie-Lee | Orangen't You Lovely | Food, Diet, Health, Fitness
  8. Friday, May 3rd, 2013
    This look so good! Cooking is always a great stress reliever for me too.
  9. Posted by Elissa on
    Sunday, May 5th, 2013
    I may have drooled on my keyboard! I love pesto and I'm always looking for new salmon recipes...double win! Thanks for the super yummy, healthy recipes, as always!

    Elissa -
  10. Posted by Grubarazzi on
    Monday, May 6th, 2013
    I love this post, and I'm definitely going to try this salmon!
  11. Posted by Aggie on
    Thursday, May 9th, 2013
    I could eat this for dinner every night!! Looks so delicious!