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close up of air fryer pesto salmon

Air Fryer Pesto Salmon Recipe

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  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Seafood
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Air fryer pesto salmon is so easy, and made in just 15 minutes! This tender, flaky salmon made with fresh basil pesto is an automatic family favorite.



For the Salmon

  • 4 (4-6 oz.) salmon filets
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • salt & pepper to season

For the Pesto

  • 2 cups fresh packed basil
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • clove garlic
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil (or 2/3 cup depending on the type of consistency you like)
  • 1/3 cup of shredded parmesan cheese


Make the Pesto: 

  1. To a food processor add basil, pecans, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Blend until basil is roughly chopped up.
  2. Slowly add the olive oil till smooth.
  3. Once completely blended, pour mixture into a bowl and stir in the parmesan cheese.
  4. Set aside.

For the Salmon:

  1. Heat air fryer to 400°F and let preheat for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Pat salmon dry with a paper towel.
  3. Brush avocado oil on flesh side of salmon, season with salt and pepper.
  4. Using tongs, gently place salmon skin side down in air fryer basket and air fry for 9-10 minutes (depending on the thickness of your salmon)
  5. Check for desired doneness. The best way to do this is to gently flake the salmon with a fork.
  6. Remove from air fryer and top with pesto.


  • To store. Keep your salmon in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  • To reheat. The easiest way to reheat this salmon is to put it back in the air fryer (at 300-350 degrees F) and cook it for a few minutes until it is warmed through.
  • To freeze. For the best results, if you plan to freeze this salmon ahead of time, let it cool before topping it with the pesto, and then freeze it in an airtight container for 2-3 months. Then, after thawing and reheating the salmon, you can add some fresh pesto later.


  • Serving Size: 1 filet + pesto
  • Calories: 521
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 366 mg
  • Fat: 41 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 35 g
  • Cholesterol: 5 mg