Pistachio Crusted Salmon

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Pistachio crusted salmon is an elegant salmon dinner with a deliciously crunchy topping. Each salmon fillet is coated with a blend of chopped pistachios, garlic, honey, Dijon mustard, and fresh lemon juice, then baked until perfectly tender and golden. It’s a surprisingly easy recipe that will wow your guests!

Pistachio crusted salmon next to forks
Photo: Gayle McLeod

Crunchy nut toppings are a great way to add visual interest and texture to an otherwise simple baked salmon. Crusted seafood often contains breadcrumbs, but this chopped pistachio mix is just as satisfying, if not more so. The crunch is a bit heartier and when the chopped nuts are mixed with layers of sweet and savory flavors, I think you’ll find it’s hard to stop at just one fillet!

So if you’re looking for a salmon recipe to put on the menu for an easy weeknight dinner or dazzling dinner party, this pistachio-crusted version ought to be at the top of your list. It’s a beautiful entree that’s low effort and will satisfy all pistachio and salmon lovers. And if you’re not sure what to serve with it, I’ve got delicious options below!

Ingredients for pistachio crusted salmon

Pistachio-Crusted Salmon Ingredients

  • Salmon Filets: You can make this with individual salmon fillets (which is what I’m doing today) or one large piece (the equivalent to half of a salmon). And if you need some guidance on what kind of salmon to buy, I’ve got a whole post talking about Coho vs Sockeye vs King salmon.
  • Pistachios: The key here is to chop the pistachios somewhere between a fine and rough texture. If they’re too big the topping won’t stay together as well and will likely fall off the salmon. But if they’re too fine, you’ll lose that visual interest.
  • Sweetener: You can use either maple syrup or honey, it’s up to you! The stickiness of the sweetener helps hold everything together.
  • Flavor Additions: Lastly, you’ll need fresh garlic, Dijon mustard, and a splash of fresh lemon juice to tie it all together!

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How To Make Pistachio Crusted Salmon

Prep the salmon. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and let the salmon come to room temperature for 15 minutes. Place the salmon fillets on a parchment-lined baking tray, pat them dry with a paper towel, and season with salt and pepper. Don’t skip the patting as this will help the topping stick!

Salmon fillets in a baking dish

Stir the coating. In a separate mixing bowl, stir together the maple syrup, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and pistachios.

Pistachio topping in a bowl

Coat the salmon. Evenly divide the pistachio mixture on top of the salmon fillets, and press it down with the back of a spoon. Be careful when you do this as the pistachio mixture can easily fall off.

Adding pistachio topping on salmon

Cook the salmon. Bake the salmon for 12 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through. You’ll know when the salmon is done when it reaches 145°F and flakes easily with a fork. I also like to use an instant-read thermometer to double-check the internal temperature!

Flaking pistachio crusted salmon

Common Questions

What to serve with salmon?

I love to serve pistachio-crusted salmon with a fresh and easy side salad, like this massaged kale salad or cucumber salad. For a heartier meal, pair this with roasted potatoes, black lentils, and roasted vegetables like roasted broccoli or roasted asparagus! You can take a peek at all the sides in this side dish category.

Can you use frozen salmon fillets for baking?

Frozen salmon can be a better choice if you can’t get fresh-caught salmon! Because who knows how long the “fresh” salmon on the ice at the market has been sitting there. But before baking, it’s ideal to thaw it in the fridge overnight. Otherwise, let it thaw in cold water for about an hour.

Can you use other nuts instead of pistachios?

Yes! If you’re not a fan of pistachios, you can also use finely chopped almonds for the same nutty flavor and crunchy texture. And if you end up loving this almond crust, I’ve got a delicious almond herb-crusted cod recipe in my Healthy Meal Prep cookbook!

Tips For Storing Cooked Salmon

  • For storing: Any leftover fillets can be stored in the fridge in a sealed container for 2 to 3 days.
  • For reheating: The best way to reheat salmon is back in the oven to prevent it from drying out fast. You can do so by drizzling a little olive oil on top and baking them in the oven at 300°F for about 5 to 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can microwave it the same way for a few minutes until warmed through.
  • How to freeze: Since you want the pistachio topping to be as fresh and crunchy as possible, freezing isn’t the best option.

More Easy Salmon Recipes

I’ve got an abundance of salmon recipes on my website, so make sure you try them all!

  • Air Fryer Salmon: This is my go-to recipe if you’ve got an air fryer!
  • Salmon Bites: Who can resist these little salmon bites with lemon garlic butter?
  • Salmon Salad: Once you’ve got cooked salmon on hand, flake it into this deliciously creamy salad.
  • Orange Glazed Salmon: Citrus and salmon are the dreamiest pairings in this easy dinner idea.
  • Salmon Patties: When craving a patty-type dinner, you’ll love these salmon patties!

If you love pistachios as much as I do, I can’t wait for you to make this pistachio-crusted salmon. Once you do, drop a comment in the comment box below! I’d love to hear your thoughts, and your comment will help others in the community.

A plate of pistachio crusted salmon

Pistachio Crusted Salmon

5 from 13 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

This pistachio-crusted salmon is perfectly flakey with a delicious crunch. It's an elegant dinner idea that's surprisingly simple to make!

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Prep the salmon. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and let the salmon come to room temperature for 15 minutes. Place on a parchment-lined baking tray, pat it dry with a paper towel, and season with salt and pepper
    Coating salmon with salt and pepper
  • Stir the coating. In a mixing bowl, stir together the maple syrup, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and pistachios.
    Mixing a pistachio topping in a bowl
  • Coat the salmon. Evenly divide the pistachio mixture on top of the salmon fillets, and press it down with the back of a spoon.
    Spooning pistachio topping onto salmon
  • Cook the salmon. Bake the salmon for 12 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
    Flaked pistachio crusted salmon with arugula

Nutrition

Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 105mg | Potassium: 963mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 155IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked salmon, Pistachio Crusted Salmon, Pistachio Salmon
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




30 Comments

  1. I have made this multiple times for family dinner, recommended it to others, and served it to guests. It’s always such a hit!

  2. The calories are very inaccurate. There are approximately 250 calories in a 6oz piece of salmon. There is no way there are only 227 calories in a single serving (6oz salmon PLUS pistachios, maple syrup, etc.). This is closer to 500 calories. Please update your nutrition information.

    1. Hi Danielle – Thanks for letting us know! We just noticed the pistachios weren’t calculated correctly, so the nutritional information should be correct now!

  3. As with every Lisa Bryan recipe, looking forward to trying! Any storage suggestions if meal-prepping and not eating it the same day?

  4. I eat salmon almost every week and wanted to try something different. I loved the pistachio, mustard and lemon combo. So flavorful. And as always easy. I combined it with the air fryer green beans and the garlic sautéed spinach. It was delicious together.5 stars

    1. Happy you loved the crunchy topping! It’s always fun to switch up how you serve salmon for dinner, and you made a perfect pairing with the green beans and spinach.

  5. I made it today!! In fact I’m still eating it and enjoyed it tremendously. My pistachio crust is not crunchy (is it supposed to be so?) Still, I love how fast this dinner takes me, just under 30 mins. the honey and garlic go so well with the nuts, Im going to put tis on my regular list of quick dinner. :)5 stars

    1. Happy to hear you’re loving this pistachio-crusted salmon! The pistachios itself should naturally be a bit crunchy.

  6. I made this new recipe tonight and my family thinks it would be better to adjust the amount of the topping to about half of the full recipe (but still use the same amount of salmon). I appreciated the ease of making the topping and a really nice flavor combination!

    1. You can always adjust to your liking, but glad everyone still enjoyed the flavors in this pistachio-crusted salmon, Deb!

  7. I made this for dinner last night and it was a huge hit! Yummy sounds all around. Thanks for another simple and tasty recipe, Lisa.5 stars

  8. this salmon is soooo delicious. I have made it before, I had it at a Restaurant one year, got the recipe on line, but I cannot remember using maple( which) I don’t like. And honey is not one of my favorites. Can you suggest something else? I haven’t made this for a long time. We have a gathering of 5 people once in a while. I’d like to have it again… ;o)
    thank you lise

    P.S. I have Just bought your cook book, am excited to go through it!!!5 stars

    1. Thanks so much for buying my cookbook! And you can use any sticky liquid sweetener as the binder. Hope you enjoy!

    1. So. The first time I made this I didn’t read all the notes and I goofed up. I tossed my pistachios in my blender and blended them a little too fine. Now, everyone else loved the salmon and thought it was good. But the texture just wasn’t right for me. The nuts ended up making too heavy a layer over the salmon and I just wasn’t a big fan. But, because everyone else liked it and Costco had a crazy sale on fish I decided to try again.

      I’m so glad I did and I’m glad I read all the notes this time. Hah! I did a rough chop of the pistachios the second time. Omg. It’s insane the difference it made. (I followed everything exactly. No additions or subtractions.

      My middle son (23years old) was over for dinner and he said, “mom this is not an exaggeration. This is the best fish I’ve ever had in my life” Between him and my 16 year old son there was only a tiny amount leftover lol.

      It was outstanding. This is definitely my new favorite way to serve Salmon. I don’t know what exactly it is with the nuts, maple syrup, good Dijon, etc but it’s just perfection.

      Don’t get me wrong everything I’ve tried on here and Feel Good Foodie is amazing.
      But this is like 100/100!

      Make this. Follow the recipe. (I did end up making more bc I had more people to feed. It’s easy to double) Don’t grind the nuts super fine lol. You definitely want them chopped up but not super fine like a bread crumb.5 stars

      1. Hi Brandy – Happy to hear your second time making this was a success! It’s a good reminder to always read through the post and notes I provide to make sure your meals turn out perfectly :)