Dairy-Free Pesto Salmon and Veggie Bowls

What’s more summery than pesto? Fresh basil and lemon is simply perfect on a hot summer day. This pesto is made without parmesan, making it dairy-free yet equally delicious. This dish is nice and light yet filling enough to keep you satisfied until your next meal.

This bowl has quinoa for a base and is topped with roasted summer vegetables including bell pepper, zucchini, and corn. Wild-caught salmon is the protein here, but this bowl would be really delicious with chicken too. We make sure to eat salmon at least once a week for those health-boosting omegas. The homemade dairy-free, walnut pesto goes directly on the salmon while it bakes and gets drizzled on the top of the finished bowl as well.


Pesto Salmon

1 cup of fresh basil leaves, packed
1 garlic clove
Juice of ½ a lemon
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
½ cup of raw walnut halves
½ teaspoon of salt
⅛ teaspoon of freshly cracked pepper
686g boneless fresh salmon fillet

Veggie Bowl

Juice of ½ a lemon
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 ears of corn, shucked
1 large zucchini, chopped into quarters lengthwise then ¼ inch thick pieces (about 4 cups)
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped into ½” squares
1 cup of dry quinoa, cooked according to package
2 tablespoons of olive oil
½ teaspoon of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. To make the pesto, add the basil, garlic, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, walnut halves, salt, and pepper to a blender or food processor. Blend until fairly smooth but not fully pureed, you want to keep some texture from the basil leaves and walnuts. Reserve 2 tablespoons of your pesto to make a dressing.
  2. Place your piece of salmon on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Pour the pesto on top of the salmon (except the 2 tablespoons you set aside) and spread in an even layer. Bake your salmon for 15-20 minutes. It will be opaque and flake apart easily when it’s fully cooked.
  3. While the salmon is cooking, mix the reserved pesto with the juice of ½ a lemon and the ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the corn cobs, zucchini, and bell pepper with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and ½ teaspoon of salt. Place the veggies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 425F for 30 minutes, turning the corn cobs over halfway through. Let cool a few minutes, then cut the corn off the cobs.
  5. To assemble, place a scoop of cooked quinoa in a bowl and top with the roasted vegetables, a piece of the salmon, and a drizzle of the pesto dressing. Makes 4-6 bowls.

Contributed by Melanie Maxwell, R.H.N.