Introduction Stroke-associated pneumonia (SAP) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality after stroke. Various factors, including dysphagia and stroke severity, are closely related to SAP risk; however, the contribution of the baseline pulmonary parenchymal status to this interplay is an understudied field. Herein, we evaluated the prognostic performance of admission chest computed tomography (CT) findings in predicting SAP. Methods We evaluated admission chest CT images, acquired as part of a COVID-19-related institutional policy, in a consecutive series of acute ischemic stroke patients. The pulmonary opacity load at baseline was quantified using automated volumetry and visual scoring algorithms. The relationship between pulmonary opacities with risk of pneumonia within 7 days of symptom onset (i.e., SAP) was evaluated by bivariate and multivariate analyses. Results Twenty-three percent of patients in our cohort (n = 100) were diagnosed with SAP. Patients with SAP were more likely to have atrial fibrillation, COPD, severe neurological deficits, and dysphagia. The visual opacity score on chest CT was significantly higher among patients who developed SAP (p = 0.014), while no such relationship was observed in terms of absolute or relative opacity volume. In multivariate analyses, admission stroke severity, presence of dysphagia and a visual opacity score of >= 3 (OR 6.37, 95% CI 1.61-25.16; p = 0.008) remained significantly associated with SAP risk. Conclusions Pulmonary opacity burden, as evaluated on admission chest CT, is significantly associated with development of pneumonia within initial days of stroke. This association is independent of other well-known predisposing factors for SAP, including age, stroke severity, and presence of dysphagia.