close up of air fryer pesto salmon

Air Fryer Pesto Salmon Recipe

  • Author: Krista
  • prep_time Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • cook_time Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • total_time Total Time: 15 minutes
  • yield Yield: 4 1x
  • category Category: Seafood
  • method Method: Air Fryer
  • cuisine Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Air Fryer Pesto Salmon – this tender flaky salmon recipe is done in just 20 minutes. Each bite is topped with a fresh vibrant pesto for the perfect healthy weeknight dinner!



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 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.


  • 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

Keywords: pesto salmon recipe, air fryer salmon, pesto salmon