This Pistachio Crusted Salmon is a super delicious dish that's still elegant enough to impress your friends and family! The pistachios create a rich and nutty crust that perfectly compliments the buttery salmon. All you'll need is a glass of white wine to enjoy it with!
There's a reason my friends and family request this recipe over and over again!
I love it because it's so incredibly quick and easy to throw together with just a few simple ingredients. They love it because it tastes like a million bucks. Everybody wins!
You'll want to be sure and bookmark this recipe for pistachio crusted salmon so it can become a family fave for you too!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
This is by far the most requested recipe for our family gatherings and I know your family will love it too! Here's a few reasons why this healthy pistachio salmon is such a home run:
- It has less than 10 ingredients, most of which you likely already have on hand!
- Prep time takes less than 10 minutes.
- Minimal cleanup and mess thanks to the parchment paper.
- It's gluten free and keto as-is!
- This tender salmon will melt in your mouth.
- It's a great dish for all times of year, just switch up your sides to keep things seasonal!
- It's an easy recipe perfect for a busy weeknights but still feels like a date night treat.
Trust me when I say you'll want to add it to your regular dinner rotation.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
Here's what you'll need to make this delicious recipe along with some substitutions you can try.
- Salmon-Aim for wild caught fresh or frozen salmon fillets. Stay away from the farmed stuff if it at all possible.
- Pistachios-Roasted, unsalted shelled pistachios are best. If you use salted pistachios, then you'll only need a small pinch of salt to season your salmon. If you don't have pistachios, you can use almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts or pecans!
- Dijon Mustard-I always have dijon in my fridge but you can also use stone ground mustard if that's what you have on hand. Anything but the yellow French's mustard!
- Garlic-I've had success with both minced fresh garlic and granulated garlic, so just use what you have.
- Lemon-You can leave the lemon slices off entirely but they add a nice acid that cuts through the rich, buttery taste to balance out the flavors. Alternatively, you could grate lemon zest over the top the salmon fillet instead of using slices.
- Butter-You can use a drizzle of olive oil on top or use cooking spray if you're calorie conscious. However, butter keeps the salmon deliciously moist and tastes luxurious!
- Salt & Pepper-Kosher or sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, always and forever!
In order to keep this recipe keto-friendly, I left out any maple syrup, brown sugar or honey that you may see in other recipes out there. However, if you're serving this to young kids or picky eaters, they will really enjoy the slight sweetness from adding a teaspoon of one or the other to the dijon mix.
How To Make This Baked Salmon Dish
1. Prep Your Pistachios for the Crust
If you bought pistachios that are still in the shell, you'll need to start by cracking those open until you have ⅓ cup worth. Then, you can pulse them in a food processor until they are in small, gravel sized chunks. You don't want them to turn into powder which will result in a mushy crust.
If you don't have a food processor, you can put the pistachios in a heavy-duty ziplock bag and a mallet to crush them up by hand.
If you don't have a meat mallet, you can use a rolling pin or wine bottle to roll over and crush them up.
2. Assemble the Salmon
I like to line my baking tray with parchment paper for easy clean-up. You can use aluminum foil in a pinch but parchment paper has better non-stick qualities. Foil is a better option if you opt to cook this on your bbq though!
Start by placing your salmon skin side down and patting your salmon fillet dry with a paper towel to soak up any excess moisture. Brush with dijon mustard and top with minced garlic. Pat down the chopped pistachio mixture to stick to the top of the salmon. Top with lemon slices and the cubed butter.
Crush up your whole pistachios until they are in small pieces. A meat mallet or rolling pin works great!
Season your salmon filet with salt and pepper and brush dijon mustard liberally over the top.
Sprinkle with minced garlic and top with crushed pistachios, patting down to get them to stick.
Cover salmon filet with lemon slices and dabs of butter.
How Long to Cook Your Salmon?
For perfectly flaky salmon, all you have to do is pop it in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 8-12 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish, the efficiency of your oven, and whether you have a large or smaller fillet.
With a thinner, tailpiece of fish in an efficient convection oven, it should only take 8 minutes. If you have a thick, center-cut salmon filet it could take 12 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
How To Cook Salmon on the BBQ
Cooking this pistachio crusted salmon on the bbq is one of my favorite summer cookout recipes! Instead of cooking on a baking sheet, you'll assemble your salmon on a large piece of aluminum foil.
Prepare the salmon as usual and place foil directly onto the grill grates and cook with the bbq lid closed.
Keep an eye on it and if your pistachio crust starts to get too brown before the salmon is cooked through then just wrap it up tightly with the foil and seal. That way, it can finish cooking without burning the top.
Should I Use Wild or Farm Raised Salmon?
Whenever possible, consume wild caught salmon, even if you can only find it frozen. Farmed salmon is often pumped full of antibiotics and wild salmon is actually a carefully monitored and sustainable fishery.
What Other Nuts Work Well In This Recipe?
You can easily substitute pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds in this dish! Just make sure they are roasted and preferably unsalted.
What Cut of Salmon Works Best?
I prefer a center cut piece of fish because it will cook really evenly, but it often has more bones you have to watch out for. Tail pieces are great because there are fewer bones but the very end of the tail will cook faster than the thicker side so you end up with uneven cooking.