Walnut Crusted Pesto Salmon

5 from 6 votes

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For my Walnut Crusted Pesto Salmon I pressed fresh, chopped California Walnuts on all sides and topped the baked salmon with a homemade walnut pesto instead of the traditional pine nuts. Tender and flakey, this salmon is baked, quick and on the table in under 30 minutes.

Walnut Crusted Pesto Salmon

I’m excited that today’s post is sponsored by my friends over at California Walnut Board. Whether toasted to bring out their flavor more, chopped, sauced or used in lieu of pine nuts for pesto, walnuts are so versatile.

Walnut Crusted Pesto Salmon

To keep them fresh, I usually keep mine in the freezer and pull them out when ready to cook or bake with. Like for this Walnut Crusted Pesto Salmon.

The pesto is super easy to make and instead of traditional pine nuts I used California Walnuts. Check out the recipe here for my homemade pesto in minutes and swap out the nuts.

fresh walnut pesto - Walnut Crusted Pesto Salmon

Did you know that many people think all fat is bad, but your body needs a certain amount of good fat and that can be found in foods like avocados, salmon and olive oil to maintain a nutritious diet. And WALNUTS. ?

So this recipe is tailored to salmon and walnuts because we are all for #TeamGoodFat!

Walnut Crusted Pesto Salmon

I chopped the walnuts and pressed them on the salmon for a tasty, healthy crust. I also decided on baking these and finished them off with a flavorful pesto using walnuts instead of pine nuts. Sound good?

Walnut Crusted Pesto Salmon

Did you know you can keep that fresh taste of California walnuts by keeping them cold. Walnuts go rancid when exposed to warm temperatures for long periods of time. Heat causes the fat in walnuts to change structure, which creates off odors and flavors. Fresh walnuts smell mildly nutty and taste sweet.

Walnuts are the only nut that supplies a rich source of the plant based omega-3 ALA and salmon has the marine based omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA at 2 grams per 3 ounce cooked portion. Pretty good, huh?!

overhead photo of Walnut Crusted Pesto Salmon

I quickly dressed some fresh spinach and sweet grape tomatoes in a vinaigrette and the walnut crusted pesto salmon went on top.

A perfect lunch or dinner!

For other walnut, fish and pesto ideas, try my Honey Mustard Grilled SalmonCreamy Pesto Chicken PastaBroiled Salmon with Honey Sesame Glaze. Enjoy!

Walnut Crusted Pesto Salmon

Thanks again to the California Walnut Board for sponsoring today’s post. Thank you too for supporting the companies that continue to make Kevin Is Cooking possible.

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Walnut Crusted Pesto Salmon

Walnut Crusted Pesto Salmon

5 from 6 votes
For my Walnut Crusted Pesto Salmon I pressed fresh, chopped California Walnuts on all sides and topped the baked salmon with a homemade walnut pesto instead of the traditional pine nuts. Tender and flakey, this salmon is baked, quick and on the table in under 30 minutes.
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 13 minutes
Total: 28 minutes



  • Allow salmon to come to room temperature before cooking and preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Sprinkle both sides of the salmon filets with salt and pepper.
  • Chop walnuts or pulse in food processor until fine crumb. Place in a shallow, rimmed dish. Press salmon into walnuts to coat on all sides. Place in oven proof baking dish or foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle tops with oil.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Turn broiler on high and broil for 3 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  • Remove from oven, top with pesto and allow to rest 3 minutes. Serve over lightly dressed spinach greens and tomatoes (optional), or your favorite sides.


Calories: 416kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 340mg | Potassium: 620mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 670IU | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 1.5mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main
Cuisine: American, Western
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
With fresh, chopped walnuts used as a crust on salmon filets, this Walnut Crusted Pesto Salmon gets lots of flavor from pesto also made with walnuts instead of pine nuts. Tender and flakey, this salmon is baked, quick and on the table in under 30 minutes. #spon @CAWalnuts #salmon #pesto #TeamGoodFat


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. 5 stars
    Made this last night with fresh wild halibut and it was delicious. Best part was the leftover fish made a wonderful halibut salad sandwich with a touch of mayo. Definitely a “stay-at-home” dinner staple!

    1. Oh wow! So glad you guys enjoyed this one Kerry. Appreciate you coming back to let me know. NOW – I just can’t wait for us to be in Alaska in June for our next trip. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I love everything about this meal – I could honestly just sit and eat pesto with a spoon! And love it that you’ve doubled down on the walnuts but coating the salmon too. Absolutely must try!

    1. Me too! I love when it hits any heat and the aroma is bloomed! This is a good one with the crunchy exterior and tender interior of the moist salmon. Thanks Marissa! 😉

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve been looking for new salmon recipes Kevin, and this one is pushing all my buttons! Couldn’t be easier!

    1. Then my Monday work is done! Thanks Mary Ann… super easy and loaded with fresh, good ingredients. Cheers and happy Monday!

  4. 5 stars
    This looks delicious, Kevin! Walnuts and pesto on salmon? That’s scrumptious!! And love how quickly this one comes together – dinner perfection 🙂

    1. Exactly Dawn! Super easy, packed with fresh healthy flavors and made in no time. Triple threat dinner! Cheers! 🙂

    1. Thank YOU Annie! Appreciate the kind words. Not only is this easy, but is a fantastic one served (leftovers, if any) flaked on a salad. Cheers friend! 🙂