Pistachio-Crusted Salmon for dinner tonight! Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Although it does taste like a restaurant-worthy dish, you won’t believe how easy it is to make! This nutritious salmon recipe is packed with flavor, texture, and is ready to enjoy in under 20 minutes. A delicious weeknight recipe that your whole family will love!
Salmon is great on its own, but when you add a crunchy pistachio crust, you get a super delicious dinner that will earn you rave reviews!
I’m always on a mission to get more seafood into our diet. The kids will eat shrimp occasionally, depending on their mood, and so far salmon is definitely the favorite in the fish category. To be honest, I was a little skeptical that my kids would eat this, but they all ate it and enjoyed it! If that’s not a seal of approval, I don’t know what is. Best of all, the recipe only has 3 ingredients and is ready in less than 20 minutes. Can’t beat that!
Pistachio-crusted salmon is delicious with a simple green salad, your favorite roasted veggies, a baked sweet potato, and/or a scoop of rice on the side.
Ingredients needed for Pistachio-crusted salmon
All you need is salmon, melted butter and chopped nuts. You can use pistachios as I have, or whatever nut variety you have on hand (mixed nuts, pecans, almonds). Whichever you choose, get the shelled, salted and roasted variety for easy preparation and deeper flavor. Then, simply chop up the nuts or grind them a mini food processor (roughly chopped, not too finely ground, is what you’re going for).
WHAT SALMON IS BEST FOR BAKED SALMON?
Pistachio-crusted salmon is a little pricier than your average chicken dinner, but you can serve this salmon dish for much less than the cost of dining out – and it tastes so much better! If you’re going to the expense of enjoying salmon at home, I recommend spending a little extra on high-quality, wild salmon because you can definitely taste the difference!
- what is high-quality salmon? You want to purchase wild-caught salmon, which is usually king, coho or sockeye.
- king salmon, also known as Chinook, is considered to be the finest of the wild Pacific salmon. It is known for its high content of healthy omega-3 oils and because of the higher fat content, it tastes the richest and is considered the most delicious of all your salmon choices.
- coho salmon, also known as silver salmon, has a lighter taste, which may appeal to some. It pairs well with sauces and it’s more versatile in cooking, making it possible to serve in a wider variety of ways. The flavor of coho salmon is similar to king salmon, but it’s more of an any-day kind of salmon. It’s a great, less expensive option than king salmon.
- sockeye salmon, also known as red salmon, has the strongest flavor of the bunch, but is not overly fishy. It is rich and flavorful, and many prefer it over king salmon. It is leaner than both king and coho salmon, so you’ll want to be careful not to overcook it.
- what size salmon is best? For this recipe, you can use either four 5 to 6 ounce salmon fillets OR 1 large wild Alaskan salmon fillet. I prefer individual fillets because I feel like they are easier to work with, considering they are already cut in perfect portions.
- where to purchase salmon? High-quality salmon can be found at the seafood counter of most grocery stores. This is a great option because you know it’s fresh and you’ll be able to select fillets of uniform size.
- can I use frozen salmon? If you happen to only have frozen wild salmon available – that works! Just make sure to thaw it before cooking. I often buy frozen Alaskan salmon from Costco and it’s wonderful.
- what salmon should I avoid? Always buy wild-caught salmon (preferably Alaskan) and avoid farm-raised Atlantic salmon. Farm raised Atlantic salmon are particularly fatty and often fed an artificial diet, which means they are far less nutritious, waterier and don’t yield the best results when cooked.
How to make pistachio-crusted salmon
This recipe is very simple and straightforward. You only need one pan, parchment paper and just about 5 minutes hands-on time! Here’s a quick rundown of the process, but for full instructions, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Place the fish on a parchment-lined baking sheet or in a baking dish (skin side down). Drizzle the fish with melted butter, season with a little S&P, and then top with the chopped nuts. Pat them on gently. Now bake for 10-12 minutes (or 12-14 minutes for thicker fillets) and serve! How easy is that?!
HOW TO COOK SALMON IN THE OVEN
This baked salmon requires about 10-12 minutes in an oven set at 350ºF. The cooking time will depend on how thick your salmon is and how well done you like your salmon.
You can accurately check the temperature of your salmon with an instant-read thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the salmon.
The FDA advises salmon should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145ºF., HOWEVER, if you cook your salmon to this temperature it will be overdone because the temperature will continue to rise after baking.
Instead, America’s Test Kitchen suggests cooking farm-raised salmon to about 125ºF and wild-caught to 120ºF to avoid dry, overcooked salmon. This is the recommendation that I follow and the results are always perfect after a 5-minute rest.
For buttery, juicy and tender salmon, you definitely don’t want to overcook it. I, personally, would rather my salmon be a bit undercooked than overcooked.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN SALMON IS DONE
The most accurate way to test the doneness of any type of meat is with a meat thermometer. Alternatively, check the salmon for doneness after about 10 minutes of baking. As salmon bakes, it changes from bright pink (raw) to opaque pink. The outside of the salmon should be completely opaque but the center should still be a bit translucent, but not raw. Cooked salmon will also easily flake with a fork along the muscle fibers.
REASONS TO LOVE This pistachio crusted salmon recipe
So much about this pistachio-crusted salmon recipe to love, but here are a few reasons why this dish is becoming one of my all-time favorite seafood dinners!
- Oven baked salmon. Baking salmon is pretty effortless because there’s very little hands-on time needed and it bakes up buttery and juicy. It is the perfect method when you want tender, juicy, flavorful salmon. As an added plus, salmon is packed with protein, healthy fats and other nutrients. This recipe is also naturally gluten free.
- Nutty topping. I’m absolutely in love with the combination of rich, buttery pistachios and salmon! Not only is the taste amazing, but I love all of the different textures going on. You’ve got the tender, flaky salmon with the contrast of crunchy nuts. So good!
- Easy. The ingredient list for this is super short and the whole recipe is so easy to throw together.
- Versatile. We love this salmon recipe as-is, but feel free to use any variety of nuts that you like best. Almonds or pecans would be great!
What to serve with pistachio-crusted salmon
Pair your salmon with any rice variety and a green veggie, such as green beans, asparagus, roasted broccoli or a medley of roasted veggies on the side for a healthy main course option. If you’re watching your carbs, serve the salmon over cauliflower rice or a salad.
You can easily make a simple side salad! Just toss mixed greens with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Feel free to add toppings to your salad such as red onion, cherry tomatoes, and croutons. Or try one of my favorite salad recipes: Italian Salad, Cucumber Tomato Salad, Wedge Salad.
- Storing leftovers. Store pistachio-crusted salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- How to reheat. Reheat in a 300ºF preheated oven or air fryer for 5-10 minutes until warmed through. Alternatively, you can reheat in the microwave in 20-second increments until heated all the way through.
MORE FAVORITE SEAFOOD RECIPES
Looking for more seafood recipes? You’ll love these family favorites!
If you try this pistachio-crusted salmon recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
- 4 (5-6 oz.) boneless salmon fillets
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup roasted, salted, shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the fish, skin-side down, on the parchment. Drizzle 1 tablespoon butter over each fillet and season with a little salt and pepper. (The nuts are already salted, so you do not need a lot of salt.) Sprinkle the chopped pistachios over each fillet and then use your fingers to gently press the nuts down.
- Bake fish for 10-12 minutes, or 12-14 minutes for thicker fillets. Serve warm and enjoy!
- How to store: Store pistachio-crusted salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- How to reheat: Reheat in a 300ºF preheated oven or air fryer for 5-10 minutes until warmed through. Alternatively, you can reheat in the microwave in 20-second increments until heated all the way through.