Pesto Grilled Salmon & Pasta

5 from 34 votes

Easy and simple to make, pesto grilled salmon is cooked on the grill and then served on a bed of creamy pasta for a delicious summer time meal

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This Pesto Grilled Salmon & Pasta recipe post is sponsored by DeLallo, although the content represents my own personal opinion and experience using the product.

Fresh, tasty and delicious, this pesto grilled salmon is served with creamy pasta and is the must-have dish this summer! Salmon kabobs are brushed with pesto before being grilled and served with a parmesan pesto pasta.

Two plates of pesto grilled salmon with pasta next to Delallo bag of pasta and Delallo pesto jar
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Ingredients & substitutions

  • Pasta: Use DeLallo Spirali Pasta which is handcrafted in Italy. It has a great springy texture and the shape of it holds all of the flavor from the pesto sauce. All their pastas are dried slowly at low temperatures to preserve the color, texture and flavor.
  • Salmon: Use a skinless salmon fillet and cut it into chunks before threading it onto skewers with fresh lemon slices.
  • Pesto:  Cook the pasta and salmon with an authentic Italian green pesto for the best results. One of the best quality ones you can find is the DeLallo Simply Pesto. It’s made with handpicked Italian basil blended with olive oil, crunchy pine nuts, cashews, garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano. It adds a great herby freshness to the salmon, and it’s also mixed into the pasta.
  • Butter: Butter adds a richness and silky texture to the pasta. Preferably use salted butter, if you use unsalted, you may want to add in a little extra salt.
  • Parmesan cheese: The pasta is mixed with pesto and parmesan cheese. Use freshly grated rather than pre grated for the best flavor and texture.
Ingredients to make the recipe

How to make pesto salmon with pasta

  1. Add the butter, pesto and parmesan to the al dente cooked pasta.
  2. Stir well to combine and create a rich smooth sauce; cover and set aside.
  3. Cut the salmon into chunks and thread on to a skewer.
  4. Alternate the salmon with slices of lemon.
  5. Brush the kabobs with pesto on all sides
  6. Grill on each side until cooked through to your liking.
6 image collage to show how to make the pasta, skewer the salmon and grill the salmon
  • Then you can serve the pesto salmon over the pasta for a full meal that’s super flavorful, rich and satisfying!
Pesto grilled salmon skewers with pasta

Tips for grilling salmon skewers

  1. Cut the salmon into large chunks. Because salmon can be quite tender, it helps to keep the chunks large so they don’t fall off the skewers. This is especially important if you’re grilling on grates.
  2. Don’t thread the skewers too far ahead of time. The acid in the lemon slices can start to cook the fish which can make it chewy. It’s best to make these as soon as you are ready to cook them.
  3. Be careful not to overcook the salmon. It only takes around 4 minutes on each side and it’s ready when slightly browned and opaque. If you overcook it, the fish will dry out.
  4. Soak your skewers in water before threading them. Wooden skewers can burn on the grill which can affect the taste of the salmon. Soak them in water for an hour to prevent this. Wooden skewers are thinner than metal ones, which can break apart the pieces of salmon.

Frequently asked questions

Can you make these with different fish?

You can make these with other types of fish, but make sure it is fairly firm and avoid white flakey fish like cod as this will fall apart when grilling.

Can you make it ahead of time?

The pesto grilled salmon is best served as soon as it’s made, but the pasta can be made ahead of time and either served as a cold side, or quickly reheated on the stovetop. If you do have leftovers, the kabobs will keep well in the fridge for 2 to 3 days and are best reheated in the oven, covered with foil, at 350F until warmed through.

What do you serve with it?

This pesto grilled salmon and pasta is a whole and filling meal just as it is. You can also serve it with a nice side salad like Tomato Caprese or Zucchini Salad.

Close up shot of bite of pesto salmon with pasta

It’s amazing how rich and flavorful this pesto salmon is with such minimal ingredients. That’s because of the high quality fresh taste of the DeLallo Pesto and the DeLallo Pasta that has a tender but firm bite and clings well to the simple sauce it’s tossed in. It’s an all-around heavenly meal!

This pesto grilled salmon tastes like summer! The pasta is perfectly cheesy and rich and the green pesto ties everything together perfectly. So quick and easy and so delicious!

More pasta recipes:

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Pesto Grilled Salmon & Pasta

Easy and simple to make, pesto grilled salmon is cooked on the grill and then served on a bed of creamy pasta for a delicious summer time meal
5 from 34 votes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 518
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
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  • 1 pound Delallo Spirali Pasta
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 3 lemons divided
  • 1 6 ounce jar Delallo pesto
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds salmon fillets skin removed and cut into 1-inch squares
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil for garnish
  • Red chili flakes for serving


  • Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water and drain.
  • Soak wooden skewers, at least 1 hour. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium high heat. Clean and oil the grates with the olive oil, if necessary.
  • Trim the ends of 2 lemons and thinly slice. Add the salmon cubes and lemon slices folded in half by alternating onto skewers (make 5-6 skewers). Brush both sides of skewered salmon with half the pesto.
  • Carefully place salmon skewers onto the grill. Grill until salmon is cooked through and opaque, 4 minutes per side.
  • Return drained pasta to the same pot over low heat and add butter, Parmesan, remaining pesto (about ½ cup), and juice of remaining lemon. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Add in reserved pasta water gradually until the sauce is glossy.
  • Garnish with fresh basil and chili flakes and top with the salmon skewers. Serve immediately.


Storage: Store the salmon kabobs in an airtight container and they will keep well in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. They are best reheated in the oven, covered with foil, at 350F until warmed through.


Calories: 518kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 64mg, Sodium: 345mg, Potassium: 607mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 665IU, Vitamin C: 22mg, Calcium: 143mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine Italian
Course: Main Course
5 from 34 votes (31 ratings without comment)

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  1. Julia C says:

    I made this for my family tonight and it went down so well, even with my fussy son who said the sauce was “amazing”, high praise indeed, thank you Yumna x

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      That’s amazing! Makes me so happy to hear. You’re so welcome!

  2. Julia says:

    soo yummy

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Exactly what I was going for! Thank you!!

      1. Cyn 🇲🇺 says:

        Made this for dinner 2 days ago and it was simply delicious! Love your recipes Yumna! 🤩

        1. Yumna Jawad says:

          That makes me so happy to hear! Thank you!!