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Lemon-Pesto Salmon with Roasted Red Pepper, Zucchini, Tomatoes and Orzo Salad

7 ingredients, less than 30 minutes to cook, and FULL of garlicky, pesto flavor. This salmon recipe is incredibly simple to make and is so comforting. It’s also quite healthy, so it checks all the boxes!

Why you should eat more salmon:

It’s Healthy. Salmon is packed full of protein, vitamins and healthy fats. As you’ll begin to notice, we eat a lot of it in our household.

It’s Easy. I can’t tell you how many salmon Caesar salads I’ve made in my lifetime. Before I started blogging, when I needed to fix a healthy dinner in a hurry, I almost always went with salmon. My go-to is in a pan with a little olive oil because this method cooks a nice sear on the fish, and it’s done in just 10-12 minutes.

It’s Delicious. I haven’t found a way to cook salmon that I don’t like. Literally, anything you season it with will work. I’ve made Thyme-roasted salmon, smoked paprika salmon, and now this pesto salmon, and all were equally yummy!

The lowdown on this recipe:

I recently started cooking more with orzo pasta because we love it. It’s little rice-sized pasta noodles, and it’s extremely versatile. I followed the directions on the package to cook it and then seasoned it with a little salt, freshly cracked black pepper, lemon juice and olive oil and set aside to use when I assembled the rest of the dish.

For the salmon, I literally just took it out of the package and generously rubbed it down with some store-bought pesto. Then, I diced a zucchini and tossed both in a pan with some olive oil and cooked the fish and zucchini on medium for about 12 minutes (flipping the fish once at the halfway mark). I prefer skinless salmon because I get a little weirded out by eating fish with the scales still attached, but you could also make this if you’re brave and prefer skin-on filets!

While the salmon and zucchini were cooking, I took a couple of tomatoes, still on the vine, and plopped them in the pan with everything else to let them soften some. When cooking tomatoes this way, it’s best to cover the pan with a lid to lock in the heat and let the steam work its magic. Within 15 minutes, my meal was ready to be served, and it was mighty tasty!!


  • 2 salmon filets

  • 1 8 ounce jar pesto

  • 2 cups of cooked orzo (seasoned with salt, pepper, lemon juice & a little olive oil

  • 3-4 tomatoes on the vine

  • 1 medium zucchini, diced

  • roasted red peppers (I used some from a jar.)

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Garnish with fresh lemon, basil & thyme (optional).


  • Cook orzo following directions on package. Season with salt, pepper, a dash of lemon juice and olive oil to taste and set aside.

  • Generously coat salmon filets with pesto sauce.

  • Place salmon filets in preheated skillet with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, medium heat.

  • Toss diced zucchini and tomatoes in the skillet and cover.

  • After 5-6 minutes, flip salmon and stir zucchini; cover again.

  • Cook to preferred doneness. I usually cook mine between 5-6 minutes each side to get a nice flaky finish.


  • Spread orzo pasta on a platter.

  • Place salmon and zucchini on top of pasta.

  • Top with tomatoes and roasted red peppers.

  • Sprits some fresh lemon juice over dish.

  • Garnish with fresh basil and thyme, if preferred.

  • Enjoy!!


The Galloways

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