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Easy Weeknight Dinner for Gastric Sleevers: Pesto Salmon with Tomatoes and Zucchini

Easy Weeknight Dinner for Gastric Sleevers: Pesto Salmon with Tomatoes and Zucchini

Easy Weeknight Dinner for Gastric Sleevers: Pesto Salmon with Tomatoes and Zucchini

Some meals look like they are simple to prepare but wind up having tons of ingredients and use seventeen different pots and pans. But some, like this one, use a few common ingredients, one pan, and are bursting with good for you flavors.

This salmon dish uses zucchini as a base on which to cook the fillet, then tops the fish with pesto and tomato. It’s pretty much that easy. Well, there are a few extra steps. It’s so easy to prepare and clean up that it makes an easy weeknight dinner (and maybe some leftovers for lunch).

This recipe is quite low carb, which makes it ideal for gastric sleeve patients. Dr. Shillingford’s bariatric surgery patients are instructed to limit their overall caloric intake and also their overall carbohydrate intake to promote weight loss. You’ll find about 15 grams of carbs in the zucchini, about 7 grams in the tomatoes, and about 5 in the pesto sauce (depending on the brand). But those 22 grams of carbohydrates are for the entire recipe. Gastric sleeve patients would not be consuming the whole recipe due to their reduced stomach pouch size. Weight loss surgery patients can adjust the recipe to make a single serving with a smaller fillet of salmon, or cook the whole recipe and then divide it into smaller portions.

Pesto Salmon with Tomatoes and Zucchini
Recipe from

  • 6 oz skinless salmon
  • 2 zucchinis, sliced
  • olive oil, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tablespoons pesto (packaged or homemade)


  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F
  2. On a baking sheet, lay down zucchini. Drizzle on olive oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper. (Bariatric patients should limit the oil they use to conserve calories.)
  3. Lay the salmon on the zucchini, and spread the pesto on top of the salmon. Top with tomatoes.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

Dr. Shillingford’s gastric sleeve patients are encouraged to try this recipe when it’s appropriate to do so based on their progress in advancing on their post op bariatric diet. Many weight loss surgery patients find that moist proteins are better tolerated than dry proteins. Salmon is often well tolerated due to its flaky texture and high fat content (don’t worry, it’s good fat). Eat slowly, take small bites, and chew it well. If the tomatoes are too acidic for your new stomach to tolerate, you can leave them off and try them again at a later date. For more recipes and nutrition information about gastric sleeve, visit and be sure to like Dr. Shillingford’s Facebook page!

American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Realize Obesity Help American Medical Association Obesity Medicine UNIVERSITY of MICHIGAN Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin