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Pistachio Crusted Salmon

A nutty, herb-infused pistachio crust and honey Dijon glaze take everyday salmon fillets to the next level in this pistachio crusted salmon recipe!

Some of the best dishes are all about contrast. It could be a constant in flavors, or, as in this pistachio crusted salmon, a contest in textures.

Here, a crunchy, nutty crust gives way to tender, flaky salmon baked to perfection in the oven. It’s a great way to give ordinary salmon fillets some high-end appeal—you’ll feel like you’re eating dinner at your favorite restaurant!

We can’t forget about the flavors either, though! The salmon is glazed with a mixture of lemon juice, honey, and Dijon—it’s tangy, sweet, and punchy. This is spread over the salmon, followed by a generous layering of crushed pistachios, Parmesan, garlic, and thyme. 

When baked, the pistachio crust gets crispy and crunchy. (It’s hard to resist picking bits of it off while you’re waiting for the salmon to cool!) This is a recipe easy enough for a weeknight dinner, but fancy enough to serve at a dinner party!

Overhead view of 4 pistachio crusted salmon fillets on sheet pan

Why You’ll Love This Pistachio Crusted Salmon Recipe

  • Salmon, but dressed up. Salmon is an excellent option for a healthy weeknight dinner, but just baking it as-is can feel ho-hum. The pistachio crust jazzes up this weeknight dinner staple!
  • Impress your guests. Pistachio crusted salmon makes for an elegant and impressive meal when entertaining guests. It’s also great for a date night-in!
  • So flavorful. There are so many layers of flavor in this salmon recipe, from the fish itself to the zippy glaze and nutty crust, which is flavored with Parmesan, thyme, and garlic.
  • Nutrient-packed. This pistachio crusted salmon is not only delicious, but also loaded with nutrients! Salmon is one of the healthiest proteins you can eat.
Overhead view of ingredients for pistachio crusted salmon

What You’ll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.

Salmon:

  • Salmon fillets – You can use smaller fillets or use one whole 1 1/2 pound salmon fillet with skin.
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Glaze:

  • Dijon mustard – Dijon has a sharp flavor that goes well with salmon.
  • Lemon juice – Use freshly squeezed lemon juice, which has a brighter flavor.
  • Honey – Or maple syrup.

Pistachio Crust:

  • Roasted pistachios – I recommend buying shelled pistachios to save yourself some prep time!
  • Melted butter
  • Dried thyme – Thyme adds some woodsy flavor to the crust.
  • Grated Parmesan cheese – Parmesan brings some umami to this pistachio crusted salmon recipe.
  • Garlic 

What Is the Best Salmon to Eat?

I prefer wild-caught salmon as it tends to have a deeper, richer flavor and a firmer texture due to its natural diet. Coho,  sockeye, and chinook are all excellent options, but if you can't find wild-caught, farm-raised salmon is fine.

How to Make Pistachio Crusted Salmon

  • Prepare. Preheat your oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Season. Place the salmon fillets on the baking sheet. Pat them dry, then season with salt and pepper.
  • Make the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, lemon juice, and mustard. Spoon or brush the glaze over the salmon.
  • Chop the pistachios. Place the pistachios in a food processor and pulse until crumbs form. 
  • Make the crust mixture. In a small bowl, combine the pistachios with the melted butter, thyme, Parmesan, and minced garlic. 
  • Add the crust to the salmon. Spread the pistachio crust over the salmon and lightly press with your hand or the back of a spoon to ensure that it sticks to the fish.
  • Bake. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 to 11 minutes if your salmon is thin, or 15 to 16 minutes for thicker fillets. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Spatula lifting pistachio crusted salmon fillet

Tips for Success

  • Start with dry salmon. Be sure to pat the salmon fillets dry before seasoning them. This helps the seasonings and glaze stick to the fish.
  • Don't overprocess the pistachios. You want them to have some texture and not be finely ground.
  • Know when it’s done. Cooked salmon is pale pink and will easily flake apart with a fork or a tip of a knife. 
  • Or use a meat thermometer. To know exactly when salmon is done, use a meat thermometer and insert it into the thickest part of the fillet. Once the temperature reaches 145ºF, it's ready to eat.

Serving Suggestions

Pair this delicious pistachio crusted salmon with a side of Roasted Winter Vegetables with Maple Glaze, brown rice, or quinoa for a complete and balanced meal. It also goes well with a crisp green salad like this Massaged Kale Salad . For something extra special, try serving it over Vegan Mashed Cauliflower.

Pistachio crusted salmon on plate with salad and fork

How to Store Leftovers

If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in the oven at 350ºF until heated through. You can also reheat it in a skillet over medium heat or in the microwave.

Can I Freeze This Recipe?

This pistachio crusted salmon is best served fresh, but you can freeze leftovers in an airtight container or freezer bag. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then follow the reheating instructions above.

Overhead view of pistachio crusted salmon on plate with salad

More Salmon Recipes

Pistachio Crusted Salmon

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A nutty herb-infused crust and honey Dijon glaze take everyday salmon fillets to the next level in this easy pistachio crusted salmon recipe!
author: Alyssa
yield: 4 servings
Pistachio crusted salmon on plate with salad and fork
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

Ingredients
  

For the salmon:

  • 4 (6-ounce) individual salmon fillets (or one whole 1 1/2 pounds salmon fillet with skin)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey (use maple syrup if you can't eat honey )

For the pistachio crust:

  • cup shelled roasted pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic minced

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400º Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the salmon fillets on a lined baking sheet. Pat them dry with paper towels and season them with salt and pepper.
  • In a small bowl whisk together honey, lemon juice, and dijon mustard. Using a teaspoon, or a brush, cover the salmon with a glaze evenly.
  • Place the pistachios into a food processor and process until big crumbs form, don’t overdo it, should take about 30 seconds. Alternatively you can chop the pistachios with a sharp knife or place in a ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
  • In a small bowl, combine crushed pistachios with the melted butter, dried thyme, grated parmesan and minced garlic. Spread the pistachio crust over the salmon fillets and lightly press down on it with your hand or the back of a spoon to help ensure that it sticks to the fish.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10-11 minutes if your salmon is thin, or 15-16 minutes if using thicker fillets. When cooked, salmon will become pale pink and will easily flake apart with a fork or a tip of a knife.
  • Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with lemon wedges, avocado or favorite sides.

Nutrition

Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 539mg | Potassium: 1081mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 303IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 2mg
cuisine: American
course: Dinner

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