Basil-Avocado Baked Salmon

August 13, 2012 in Categories: , , by

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What better way to follow up a post on the safety of eating fish (it’s safe!), with a recipe for my favorite fish, salmon!  The inspiration for this recipe came from three different ideas that managed to merge together when I couldn’t decide which one I wanted to try.  The result was surprisingly tasty!  The flavors are somewhere between guacamole and pesto and the creaminess reminds me of an old salmon dish I used to make where it was coated with mayonnaise before baking. 

You could place all of the topping ingredients in a food processor to make this meal extra quick to prepare.  I preferred to chop everything by hand, to get a little more texture.  The broiling step give a nice texture to the top of the avocado as it starts to brown, but is optional.

Note:  This salmon is also really tasty eaten as leftovers cold.

Basil-Avocado Baked Salmon


  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tsp capers, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
  • 3-4 6-8oz salmon fillets
  • 1-2Tbsp coconut oil (for greasing the pan)

1.    Grease a baking sheet with coconut oil (you may optionally line with tin foil and then grease).  Preheat oven to 350F.
2.    Mash avocado until very creamy.  Stir in chopped capers, garlic, basil and lemon zest.
3.    Lay salmon fillets on prepared baking sheet.  Spread avocado topping over the top of the salmon with a knife or the back of a spoon.  Coat ¼” thick for thinner fillets and up to ½” thick for thicker salmon fillets.
4.    Bake for 10 minutes (up to 15 minutes for thicker fillets).  Turn oven up to broil.
5.    Broil for 3-4 minutes until avocado topping starts to brown.  Enjoy!


Delicious! The substitutions I made were: halibut steaks, lemon balm from the garden instead of basil, and I forgot to add the capers because I was busy visiting with a friend during preparation. So I put a few capers on top as a garnish (had to dig a little hole in the avocado spread so they would stay on top). Served with salad, steamed beets and steamed sweet potato. Lovely summer dinner!

Hi! I’m very, very new to the Paleo diet. (I just went on my first paleo shopping trip today, in fact.) I was wondering if bags of frozen fish filets were acceptable? Thanks in advance!

And, on a totally unrelated note, what is “IFing”?

Yes, that’s what I buy. IFing is intermittent fasting, where you fast for 16-24 hour anywhere from once per month two a couple of times per week. Benefits in men have been well documented, much more controversial whether there is benefit in women.

I want to make this but am IFing until tomorrow night. Will the avocado actually stay good? How does it not brown?

Yeah, we had leftovers and they were great. I think I covered them with plastic wrap to stop them browning. Also, if your avocados are ripe but you want to make this tomorrow, just put your avocados in the fridge.

I made this for dinner last night. I used a 1.5lb keta salmon fillet. I have been baking these fillets for months with various seasoning but this one was, by far, the most moist and flavorful. It was funny though, my husband said it only tasted of lemon and he couldn’t taste the basil and my mom said it needed more lemon…I thought it was just right. I served it with steamed broccoli and cauliflower with a sauce of chicken broth, gelatin and romano and cheddar cheese. It was not only a nourishing meal with lots of good fats but it was filling, tasty and took less than a half hour to make. Yay for quick meals in a traditional foodie kitchen where meals can take days to make!

I love the Paleo diet- lost 60 lbs, felt amazing and LOVE the food, but my kids (7&9) aren’t as excited as I am. I made this dish tonight, and even my 7yo “I hate meat/fish!” Daughter devoured it!!

I’ve made a few of the salmon recipes on your site, and this is my favorite. I usually buy wild caught frozen salmon since it fits into my budget better, but it tends to have a fishy aftertaste. The avocado topping is the only marinade/ topping I have ever tried that got rid of that fishy aftertaste. This will be a weekly regular for me.

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