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Joint Healthy Baked Fish Packets

by Lauren Larson MS, RDN August 13, 2015

Joint Healthy Baked Fish Packets

Last time we talked about taking care of you joints by eating the right foods for joint health. This week I have an easy, healthy recipe that features three of the foods I talked about: fish (for omega-3s), olive oil, and garlic.

This is a truly customizable recipe that you could vary based on the fish or vegetables that you have on hand or want to use. I used wild salmon because it’s among the highest in omega-3s (about 1,000 mg per 3-ounce cooked portion) compared to other types of fish, and I used green beans because they are in season in my area. You could easily make this same recipe with tilapia or cod, asparagus or sliced summer squash (zucchini or yellow squash). You could even use broccoli and/or cauliflower to get some of those cruciferous vegetables that support joint health.

Fresh or frozen fish will work in this recipe. If the fish is frozen, be sure to defrost it completely in the refrigerator for 4-12 hours before making the recipe.

Serve it by itself or with some roasted potatoes or cooked quinoa. Enjoy!

Baked Pesto Salmon

Recipe inspired by


  • 4 pieces of parchment paper about 12-14 inches in length
  • 1 1/4 pound green beans, asparagus, sliced summer squash, chopped broccoli or cauliflower
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/4 pound salmon, cut into 4 fillets
  • 4 tablespoons pesto (homemade or store bought)
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half


  • 1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  • 2. Divide vegetables among parchment paper pieces and toss each with 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1/4th of the garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
  • 3. Top veggies with salmon (skin side down if skin on) and season with salt and pepper.
  • 4. Spread 1 tablespoon pesto over each piece of salmon and drizzle each with 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Evenly divide cherry tomatoes over salmon.
  • 5. Bring short edges of parchment paper together and fold down towards salmon leaving some room. Fold in edges to create a sealed pouch. Transfer pouches to a baking sheet and bake until fish is cooked as desired; about 20-28 minutes (see note). Set aside to cool for 3-4 minutes, then cut open, transfer to a plate and serve (avoiding skin if skin on salmon was used).

Note: the cooking time may vary depending on the type and thickness of fish used. Thinner fish will cook in less time while thicker fish will require more time. If not using salmon, begin checking fish after 10 minutes per inch of thickness. It is done when is no longer translucent in the center, feels somewhat firm, and flakes easily with a fork.

Lauren Larson MS, RDN
Lauren Larson MS, RDN

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