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Salmon with Basil Sauce and Tomato Salad Recipe

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We’re making a summery salmon with a beautiful, big-flavored basil sauce that is so good, you’re going to want to just drink it. Perfectly-spiced, fresh, and a dinner for everyone!

Hello and happy summer to you, me, and this amazing salmon with basil sauce!

That bright green basil sauce is the green sauce of summer 2023 for me – pour it over spice-loaded, caramelized salmon and throw a little tomato salad on the side and you have a very happy dinner.

We’ve been eating this ON REPEAT in our house lately!


In This Post: Everything You Need For Salmon with Basil Sauce


How To Make This Salmon with Basil Sauce (with Pictures)

Step 1: Make the Basil Sauce

Just blitz, blend, do your thing. I use this mini chopper (affiliate link) for nearly all my sauces these days!

Ingredients for basil sauce in a food processor

Looks like this when you’re done:

Basil sauce in a bowl

Step 2: Rub The Salmon with Spices

It’s a little bit satisfying, I’m not going to lie.

Salmon with rub on a baking sheet

Step 3: Bake The Salmon

Ten minutes before it’s time to eat, we pop this guy in the oven. I usually either use a meat thermometer, to check the temp (135-140 is a great benchmark) or I just sacrifice one end of one piece to check for doneness.

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White hand flaking off a piece of salmon on a baking sheet

Step 4: Assemble and Serve

Everybody builds their own plate! We layer in rice and a simple tomato salad.

Only requirement: make sure everyone gets lots of basil sauce.


Lindsay’s Notes

I have a real emotional attachment to this basil sauce (or some version of it) because it originated at a family cabin in Wisconsin. There was a huge basil plant on the dock, and we harvested it liberally, and for weeks we ate ev-er-y-thing smothered in basil sauce.

Last week, when I breathed in my first bunch of fresh summer basil, it took me right back. Lightbulb. Craving. Basil sauce time.

One of my all-time favorite things in life is when I find a recipe that makes everyone in my family happy. And this meal has something for all of us: lots of protein to make Bjork happy, lots of big flavor to make ME happy, and enough elements that no matter what the mood is in the kid department, they can find something they will like.

Against all odds, my preschooler regularly asks for seconds and thirds on salmon whenever we make this, and my toddler literally cleans out the sauce blender with a spatula. And I’m not saying that’s going to happen for everyone. But I’m saying it does sometimes happen for us, and I am always shocked, and I always play it cool, but it’s making me super-extra love this recipe right now.

In short: whole family endorsement here.

May your summer be full of many batches of basil sauce!


Related: If you love salmon, please don’t sleep on these two salmon recipes: Coconut Curry Salmon and BBQ Salmon with Mango Salsa! Oooeee! Both recipes that we make on repeat in our house.

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Note: The photos on this recipe show a tomato cucumber salad, but at this very moment, I’m preferring a tomato corn salad! You’ll see corn in the recipe card, but not in the photos. Either will work, but for what I love best, follow the recipe card!

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Description

Summery salmon with a beautiful, big-flavored basil sauce and a simple little tomato salad.


Spice-Rubbed Salmon:

Basil Sauce:

Tomato Salad:


  1. Prep: Prep the tomato salad.
  2. Make the basil sauce: Blend the basil sauce ingredients until mostly smooth. 
  3. Prep the salmon: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix the spices in a small bowl and stir in the olive oil. Coat the salmon with the spice paste.
  4. Bake the salmon: Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 9-12 minutes, or until 135 degrees in the thickest part. (It’s all personal preference, but this is the doneness that we like best – it’s a medium-well done salmon.)
  5. Assemble the meal: Plate the salmon over the rice, serve with salad, and spoon the sauce over the top. Season with salt and pepp. Mwah!
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: salmon recipe, basil sauce, salmon with sauce

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Frequently Asked Questions For Summer Salmon With Basil Sauce

How long does the basil sauce last?

I’ve kept it as long as 5 days in the fridge.

What other protein would work well here?

This would be great with chicken or shrimp!

Chicken: Coat chicken breasts or thighs with the spice rub and pan-fry them for 4-5 minutes per side until cooked through. (I’ve done this, and it’s great. I omitted the sugar and increased the salt to 1 teaspoon for 1 pound.)

Shrimp: Coat them in the spice rub and sauté for 4-5 minutes total until cooked through. (I haven’t done this, but it should work great.)

Can you make this vegetarian / meatless?

Yes, I think you could also do something similar with tofu – here’s a recipe that has a similar build using tofu as the protein! I think this would also be great with roasted sweet potato or cauliflower in place of the salmon.

How do you make this gluten-free and/or dairy-free?

This recipe is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free! Just be sure whatever “grain” you’re using to build the bowls is gluten-free, like rice or quinoa.

Can you cook the salmon with a different method, like grilling?

First of all, YUM. Secondly, yes, but you’ll just want to adjust two things: 1) the spices on top, and 2) the timing. As written, the oven easily creates a crusted golden exterior with the spice rub on the salmon, but on a grill, if you flip the salmon face-down, the spice rub will stick and burn to the grates. I would just follow a grilled salmon guide like this if that’s what you want to do!

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