Crispy Pesto Potato Chip Salmon on a plate.

We’ve had a giant open bag of Ruffles (thanks, Costco) sitting in our pantry since Memorial Day, and the contents tempt and taunt me every time I open the door searching for something – anything – other then Ruffles to snack on. Salty, crunchy, and totally addicting, chips are my kryptonite and I can never eat just one. It’s 0 or 500 – eek! Lord knows how I’ve been able to resist them thus far, though I knew my self control would run out eventually.

After Ben rejected the idea of taking the chips to work (an open, slightly old bag of Ruffles? I feel like they’d be a hit at the community food table! Kidding.) I took matters into my own hands and tossed a bunch into the food processor, blitzed them up, then sprinkled the crumbs on top of pesto-slathered, wild-caught salmon and IT. WAS. GOOD.


Crispy Pesto Potato Chip Salmon is buttery salmon filets topped with the simplest homemade pesto (got the perfect-sized recipe for you below,) then topped with potato chip crumbs and baked for 7 minutes. Couldn’t be easier and the fresh/decadent, creamy/crispy combo of pesto and potato chips was made to pair with salmon. I mean, literally I made it to pair with salmon, but they truly do make each fabulous filet that much better.

Plate of Crispy Pesto Potato Chip Salmon cut into with a knife.

It’s the start of salmon season which means wild-caught varieties (the kind we save our money for over farmed) are finally readily available and you know, not looking and smelling like zombie fish in the case. This is usually the reality of living in Iowa!

The price of wild-caught, in-season salmon can be shocking for sure, but the quality and flavor is worth the price in my opinion – at least as an occasional treat. Plus when you consider the price per person (4oz filet each) it’s not too bad. I love king salmon, and the sockeye salmon filets I used to make this dish were phenoooomenal. Like I said, super buttery, tender, and melt in your mouth. I usually leave the skin on when cooking salmon, since it’s so easy to peel off after cooking, but the person working behind the seafood counter can remove it, plus any pin bones, if you wish.

By the way, please excuse the dull coloring of these photos – I’m not sure what I was thinking photographing light yellow potato chips in the background of this beautiful, crusted salmon. I can promise you the taste and texture are on point though!

Fork with bite of Crispy Pesto Potato Chip Salmon.

Start by pulsing 3 cups potato chips in a food processor until they resemble panko bread crumbs in texture. Again, I used Ruffles, but plain, non-ridged potato chips should work just fine. You’ll need approximately 1/2 cup potato chip crumbs total.

Wipe out the food processor to make the pesto. The recipe makes just 1/3 cup pesto which you’ll use almost all of. I don’t know about you but even with the best intentions, I never use leftover pesto before it goes bad!

Add 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves that have been slightly torn to the bowl of the food processor with 1 Tablespoon walnuts or really any kind of nut or seed – I used raw pumpkin seeds for this batch! – 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, 1 clove garlic that’s been roughly chopped, and a big pinch salt. Pulse until the ingredients are finely minced then slowly stream in 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil while processing, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to taste then process to combine. Pesto = done!

Place 4, 4oz salmon filets onto a nonstick-sprayed, foil-lined half sheet pan then season each filet generously with salt and pepper before slathering with a heaping Tablespoon pesto.

Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons potato chip crumbs on top then bake on the middle rack of your oven for 6 minutes at 400 degrees. Turn the broiler on then place the salmon underneath for 1-2 minutes, or until the potato chips are light golden brown.

Serve with fresh lemon wedges, and you’re set! I hope you love this EASY, totally delicious, Crispy Pesto Potato Chip Salmon recipe – it truly is one of my favorites! Enjoy!

Horizontal image of Crispy Pesto Potato Chip Salmon on a plate.

Crispy Pesto Potato Chip Salmon

5/5 (1 REVIEW)


Crispy Pesto Potato Chip Salmon cooks in 7 minutes flat! Salmon filets are slathered with fresh pesto, topped with crushed potato chips, then baked. This easy, gluten-free dinner is as good as it sounds!


serves 4

  • 4, 4oz salmon filets (I prefer wild-caught King or Sockeye salmon)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup potato chip crumbs (made from ~3 cups ruffled potato chips)
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • For the small batch pesto (makes 1/3 cup)
    • 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves, torn
    • 1 Tablespoon walnuts
    • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
    • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
    • big pinch salt
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • squeeze fresh lemon juice


  1. Place one oven rack in the middle of the oven then another at the very top, and then preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a half sheet pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray then arrange salmon filets on top and season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Add potato chips to a food processor then pulse until chips are the consistency of panko bread crumbs. Scoop into a bowl then set aside.
  3. In the same food processor, add first five pesto ingredients (basil through salt). Blend until ingredients are finely chopped then slowly stream in extra virgin olive oil while processing until pesto is smooth, scraping down the bowl when necessary. Add fresh lemon juice to taste (I like mine on the lemony side but at least add enough to make the pesto taste fresh.)
  4. Slather 1 Tablespoon pesto on top of each salmon filet then sprinkle on 2 Tablespoons potato chip crumbs. Bake for 6 minutes in the middle of the oven then turn on the broiler, move sheet pan to the top rack, and broil until potato chips are golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges for drizzling.


  • If your salmon filets are bigger then 4oz, add 1-2 minutes baking time while sheet pan is in the middle of the oven (vs under the broiler.)

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

Photo collage of Crispy Pesto Potato Chip Salmon.