Pesto Salmon Bowl



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This pesto salmon bowl is loaded with hydrating greens, fresh herbs, healthy fats and high quality protein on a bed of wholesome grains. This post is sponsored by Kroger.

Have you ever come back from a weekend of indulging (oh hi summer wedding season) and just craved all the vegetables? Perhaps a really simple source of protein to accompany the purity of the aforementioned veggie situation, and a healthy fat to soothe the inflammation in your gut? However, before you even make it to the grocery store you’ve excused yourself from the mere idea of having to prepare such a seemingly complex creation, because, after all, the weekend was exhausting enough.

Well folks, rest assured that you’re not alone in this experience of reset and recovery. It’s our bodies natural way of re-balancing and finding homeostasis, and points to an efficient internal monitoring system. So though it may be beneficial to avoid sugar, alcohol, and refined carbohydrates for a few days that doesn’t mean our food has to be boring, bland, or labor intensive. Allow me to tempt you with this green goodness pesto salmon bowl.

Two plates of pesto salmon, greens, herbs, cucumber, and avocado over rice, surrounded by bowls of herbs, forks and napkins.

To combat digestive stagnation I used fresh fish (but any leaner cuts of protein would work), high fiber grains and greens, and added a number of ingredients to promote cooling + hydration within my core. I was also mindful to incorporate ingredients rich in antioxidants to support my body in its defense work against inflammation + bloat. This bowl is not only nourishing, but filling due to the combo of heart healthy fats and whole grains.

Though fish can be intimidating to cook at first glance, knowing how to prepare and serve it is not only important for a balanced lifestyle but easier than you may think. This method is so simple, and takes no more than 15 minutes from start to finish.

Pesto salmon, greens, herbs, cucumber, and avocado over rice on a white plate.

Use Salmon or Steelhead Trout

We’re using fresh salmon for this bowl, but if you want a little variety you can also use wild-caught Steelhead trout, which both resembles and tastes a lot like salmon. Trout is known to be rich in lean protein, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, while containing a low level of toxins like mercury and pesticides. However, you could use any lean piece of fresh fish to accompany your bowl.

As I’ve discussed in previous posts, fats are an integral part of creating a satisfying meal that will keep you full for longer periods of time. Unsaturated fats, like those found in fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocado, shouldn’t be feared or avoided, as they’re a necessity for our bodies to carry out their normal functions. This doesn’t mean we can consume copious amounts of these foods, but it does mean we should incorporate them in our meals as healthier alternatives to saturated fats from animal products (dairy, bacon, pork, etc).

Green Goodness Pesto Bowl

That being said, I wanted my detox bowl to be loaded with unsaturated fats to help me reset + balance, as well as soothe any acute inflammation. Adding pesto to the fish and grains not only gives the dish a powerful extra boost of flavor, but also introduces olive oil and pine nuts to the line up of hearty healthy fats. Topping the bowl off with avocado was like the cherry on my green goodness sundae. You know you’re an adult when you get so excited about your dinner that you equate it to a dessert!

Next came all the greens I could find in arms reach: arugula, peas, green onions, and all the fresh herbs. Bitter flavors, like those found in arugula, are known to drain internal heat and soothe us during hot summer months. Did you know that green onions contain 100 times more phytonutrients than a regular onion? These are the compounds that give green onions both their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. Gimme, gimme!

Pesto salmon, greens, herbs, cucumber, and avocado over rice, on a white plate surrounded by bowls of herbs.

The time saving grace to this dish was the organic grain blend I had on hand from Seeds of Change, which allowed this bowl to come together in under 20 minutes. While the fish was baking, I chopped the herbs, and didn’t have to worry about fussing over two more pots on the stove. I heated the pre-cooked quinoa + brown rice a few minutes before the trout was done, and voila – dinner was ready and looked gorgeous! The blend would’ve been delicious by itself, but while it was sautéing on the burner I added peas, pesto, and arugula for an added punch… because let’s be honest, I can’t help but add my own flare.

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5 from 2 votes

Pesto Salmon Bowl

This pesto salmon bowl is loaded with hydrating greens, fresh herbs, healthy fats and high quality protein on a bed of wholesome grains.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


Basil Pesto:

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup parmesan
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil


  • 1 lb 3-4 fillets salmon or wild-caught steelhead trout
  • sea salt and ground pepper
  • 2 packages Seeds of Change Organic Quinoa and Brown Rice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3-4 big handfuls arugula
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped dill + more for garnish
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro + more for garnish
  • 2 cups baby peas, thawed if frozen
  • 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 cup spring onions, chopped
  • extra pine nuts, for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 400° F.
  • Make pesto: add basil, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor. Process until finely minced. With the machine running slowly drizzle in the olive oil and process until the mixture is smooth. Add the cheese and process very briefly, just long enough to combine. Remove 3 teaspoons from food processor and set aside for later.
  • Prep fish: add filets to a baking sheet and sprinkle with a little sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Spread pesto sauce on top of each fillet. Bake prepared fillets in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
  • While fish is baking, prep grains and greens. Add 2 packages of Seeds of Change brown rice + quinoa blend to a large skillet with 3 teaspoons pesto and 1/4 cup water. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes and then add fresh arugula, baby peas, dill and cilantro. Toss and heat until grain and peas are warm and arugula has wilted a bit.
  • Prep 4 bowls: add a base of the grains and greens mixture to each bowl, top with cucumber, avocado and one fillet of baked fish. Add chopped pine nuts on top of each filet for garnish and sprinkle each bowl with spring onion, fresh dill, cilantro and cracked pepper. Serve immediately.


Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 523kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 264mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Seafood
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pesto salmon bowl
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Such a good looking recipe!!! Definitely going to try it out minus the steelhead. I hope it was not a wild steelhead as they are on the verge of being listed under then Endangered Species Act.

  2. The bowl looks gorgeous! I love how green it is. I’ve been trying to eat healthier lately and your blog has been helping tons. Thank you so much!

  3. 5 stars
    Really delicious! I used pesto from the store rather than making my own. Call me lazy! Still worked great and it was quite easy to put together.

    1. So yum! I am so glad you’re loving this recipe and it turned out great for you, Heather. Thanks so much for your review & star rating, it means so much to me!