Fish comes out perfect when you’re using the air fryer and parmesan pesto crusted salmon fillets are no exception. This is a simple air fryer salmon recipe which includes parmesan, garlic and homemade pesto. If you love the flavours of Italy, you will definitely enjoy this parmesan crusted salmon that is a super quick salmon dinner. This Italian salmon recipe is the easy way to cook salmon fillet.
Parmesan crusted salmon in the air fryer offers an easy way to cook salmon fillet and it’s a pretty quick recipe too. So whether you want to make something special at the weekend or you want a speedy weeknight supper, this Italian salmon recipe is ideal.
Salmon is one of ‘the big three’ in the fish world, with the others being tuna and cod. These are the most popular kinds of fish sold and there’s good reason. Salmon offers a distinctive flavour whether you’re using farmed or wild, and the world also loves cod and tuna.
Italian Salmon Recipe Ingredients
The parmesan crusted salmon is seasoned with salt, garlic powder and parmesan cheese. This quick salmon dinner is even more delicious thanks to the homemade pesto. Garlic, basil, pine nuts, parmesan, oil, and lemon juice team up to make the pesto, with a little salt and black pepper too.
For the best result, focus on fresh ingredients. As well as choosing the best salmon, you will need fresh basil (never dried for pesto) and real parmesan. I love to grate my own parmesan because it tastes so good!
How to Prepare Parmesan Crusted Salmon
So how do you make this air fryer salmon? Well the first thing to do is roast the garlic in oil in a skillet. I’m sure you can imagine how amazing that will smell! Next you can make the pesto for this quick salmon dinner.
That is super-easy because you just have to puree the ingredients in a blender or food processor. You will have 8 ounces of pesto. Use some for these parmesan pesto crusted salmon fillets and keep the rest refrigerated for future recipes.
Now you’re ready to cook the air fryer salmon. Season the fish using garlic and salt and then put them in the air fryer. I grease the air fryer with a little cooking spray first just to make sure the fish doesn’t stick.
After about 12 minutes you can add the pesto on top of the fish and sprinkle over the parmesan. Another 3 minutes and your air fryer salmon will be ready to serve! I’m sure you will agree this is an easy way to cook salmon fillet and the result is amazing.
What’s the History of Pesto?
Being Italian it goes without saying I love pesto. But there is generic pesto and homemade pesto, with the second option being the best by far!
Since this is such a quick and easy way to cook salmon fillet, whipping up some pesto won’t add much more time on to the recipe. In fact you can combine the pesto ingredients in a food processor while the garlic fries in the skillet.
But what’s the story behind pesto and how did it become so popular all over the world? This sauce was first created in Genoa, Italy. Early pesto recipes included garlic, pine nuts, parmesan or pecorino cheese, and salt.
The word ‘pesto’ comes from ‘pestare’ which is Italian for ‘to pound or crush’ because the ingredients were crushed with a mortar and pestle. Technically the word ‘pesto’ refers to anything made with pounded ingredients, which is why there are several in Italy. However, green pesto (pesto Genovese) is the best-known outside of Italy.
Pesto dates back to the Roman times. The Romans enjoyed a similar sauce of crushed garlic, cheese, salt, oil, herbs, and vinegar. Pine nuts featured in some ancient recipes. Basil didn’t make an appearance until the mid-1800s.
How to Serve Parmesan Pesto Crusted Salmon Fillets
There are many ways to serve this Italian salmon recipe. It pairs with everything from mashed potatoes to buttered pasta shapes.
Adding a contrasting colour of vegetable such as sliced raw tomato or baby carrots would look good on the plate. This is such an easy way to cook salmon fillet. It cooks faster than many side dishes.
So whether you prefer to team your parmesan pesto crusted salmon fillets with a fresh, crisp salad or with some veggies, you will love this Italian salmon recipe.
If you are a fan of this parmesan crusted salmon, you might also like Salmon and Fresh Vegetables with a Creamy White Wine Sauce, Orange BBQ Salmon with Foil Packet Garlic Soy Vegetables or Smoked Blackened Salmon Sliders with Wasabi Mayo.
Air Fryer Parmesan Pesto Crusted Salmon Fillets Recipe
Air Fryer Parmesan Pesto Crusted Salmon Filets
- 4 Oz. salmon fillets
- 1/2 Tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 Tsp. garlic powder
- 1 Cup Parmesan Shredded
- 6 Cloves garlic whole
- 2 Tbsp. canola oil for roasting garlic
- 1 1/2 Cup basil fresh
- 3 Tbsp. pine nuts
- 1/3 Cup Parmesan grated
- 1 Tsp. sea salt
- 1 Tsp. black pepper ground
- 1/3 Cup olive oil extra virgin
- 2 Tsp. truffle oil black, or black truffle flavored olive oil
- 1 lemon juiced
- Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat on the stove.
- Roast the garlic. Add 2 Tbsp. of canola oil to the skillet. Then, add garlic cloves and cook for 5 minutes. Be sure to gently shake the skillet often to toss the cloves so they evenly roast. Remove from heat.
- Prepare pesto. Combine all ingredients except the olive oil, truffle oil, and lemon in a food processor. Pulse for 15 seconds. Add the olive oil, truffle oil, and lemon juice and pulse for 15 seconds. Add contents into a mason jar and refrigerate. This recipe will make 8 oz of pesto. *For this step, it is ok to include the stems of the basil as they provide a lot of flavor! I will also place whole roasted garlic cloves into the food processor without cutting them because they will be softened and easily broken up.
- Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees F for 5 minutes
- Lightly spray the air fryer with non-stick cooking spray. Evenly season the salmon fillets with sea salt and garlic powder. Set fillets into the air fryer. Cook for 12 minutes.
- Spread 1 tbsp of pesto atop each of the salmon fillets and sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese. Place back into the air fryer and cook for 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve with fresh veggies and rice.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Not only is it an easy way to cook salmon fillet, but this air fryer salmon recipe always comes out delicious. If you haven’t used your air fryer in a while, you definitely have to use it for this wonderful air fryer salmon recipe with pesto!
If you are looking for air fryer recipes, you might also like this Air Fryer Cheesy Bacon Hasselback Chicken.