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 pesto salmon that is a super quick salmon dinner. This Italian salmon recipe is the easy way to cook salmon fillet.
Looking for a delicious and easy way to enjoy salmon? Look no further than this delicious air fryer pesto salmon recipe! With a crispy, golden-brown crust and a tender, juicy interior, this dish is sure to become a family favourite.
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 a good reason. Salmon offers a distinctive flavour whether you’re using farmed or wild, and the world also loves cod and tuna. Fish is perfect for the air fryer, and air fryer cod is another favourite, along with this air fryer salmon recipe.
Pesto Salmon Ingredients
The parmesan crusted salmon is seasoned with salt, garlic powder and parmesan cheese. This quick salmon dinner is even more delicious thanks to making your own 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 fresh pesto sauce) and real parmesan. I love to grate my own parmesan cheese because it tastes so good! Fresh or frozen salmon (thawed) will work for this recipe, but I prefer fresh if you can get it for this pesto salmon recipe.
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 homemade 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 of the homemade pesto refrigerated for future recipes.
Now you’re ready to air fry the pesto salmon. Season the fish using garlic and salt and then put them in the air fryer. I grease the air fryer basket 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 potato salad 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.
Pesto Salmon FAQs
Yes! Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a baking sheet with the salmon in the oven, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the top is golden brown. The internal temperature of each fillet needs to be 145 degrees F. Cook times always vary based on the thickness of the salmon.
No, you don’t need to flip the salmon.
Air Fryer Pesto Salmon Recipe
Air Fryer Parmesan Pesto Crusted Salmon Filets
- 4 Ounces salmon fillets
- 1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 Cup Parmesan Shredded
- 6 Cloves garlic whole
- 2 Tablespoon canola oil for roasting garlic
- 1 1/2 Cup basil fresh
- 3 Tablespoon pine nuts
- 1/3 Cup Parmesan grated
- 1 Teaspoon sea salt
- 1 Teaspoon black pepper ground
- 1/3 Cup olive oil extra virgin
- 2 Teaspoon 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 tablespoons 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 ounces 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. Cook times always vary due to thickness of the salmon. Salmon should have an internal temperature of 145 degrees F when done.
- Spread 1 tablespoon 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 pesto 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 pesto air fryer salmon!
You Might Also Like
Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.