This Pistachio Crusted Salmon is rich, buttery, and makes the most elegant dinner! Finely ground pistachios are toasted with panko breadcrumbs, shallot, and garlic, then seasoned with parsley and lemon zest for a bright, vibrant, nutty topping that can’t be beat!
Here’s why we love it so much:
- Flavor! In addition to the crispy topping, there’s a sauce made from mayonnaise, honey, and Dijon mustard that is brushed onto the salmon. It serves double duty: it helps the ground pistachios stay put, but also adds the most wonderful flavor boost.
- Texture! The panko and pistachio mixture adds the loveliest crunch!
- Make-ahead friendly! You can prep the salmon up through crusting it with pistachios and panko early in the day, then refrigerate and cook off hours later when ready to eat.
We love to serve this dish with roasted or grilled asparagus and crispy potatoes. It feels restaurant-worthy, but it’s truly simple to make at home. If you make this recipe, plan on getting a lot of compliments.
- Salmon fillets: you can use skin-on or skin-off salmon fillets.
- Kosher salt: for seasoning all ingredients.
- Pistachios: we recommend buying shelled pistachios to make your life easier!
- Aromatics: including a finely chopped shallot and garlic. You’ll also need olive oil to sauté the aromatics.
- Panko breadcrumbs: these get mixed with the chopped pistachios to create the crispy, crunchy topping.
- Parsley: fresh chopped parsley adds an additional bright, lemon flavor.
- Lemon zest: cut into wedges for serving. We love salmon with fresh lemon juice!
We’re also making a quick creamy sauce, which will help the pistachio panko topping adhere to the salmon fillet. You can use either mayonnaise, sour cream, or Greek yogurt, then stir in a little honey and Dijon mustard. Easy and delicious!
For more of our favorite salmon recipes, check out our Salmon Florentine, Crab Stuffed Salmon, and this simple Weeknight Slow Baked Salmon.
How To Make Pistachio Crusted Salmon
- Prep the salmon. Preheat an oven to 300F. Pat salmon fillets dry with a paper towel, then place on a parchment lined baking sheet and season with Kosher salt.
- Make the pistachio topping. Sweat the shallot and garlic in a skillet over medium heat with a little neutral oil. Transfer to a mixing bowl, then add toasted chopped pistachios and panko breadcrumbs. Stir in lemon zest and fresh parsley, then mix well.
- Make the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together mayo (sour cream or Greek yogurt is fine too!), honey, and Dijon mustard. Use a silicone pastry brush to brush the sauce on top the seasoned salmon fillets.
- Coat with pistachios. Press each salmon fillet into the pistachio mixture so that it adheres to the top. Repeat with remaining salmon. Place on a baking sheet (skin side down, if using skin-on) lined with parchment.
- Bake the fish. Cook in a preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 120F. Allow the salmon to sit for 5 minutes, then serve with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and lemon wedges!
We recommend the Thermapen MK4 to check for doneness on all meats!
Pro tip: grind the pistachios in a food processor to get them very finely ground!
Tips For Selecting Salmon
Which type of salmon is best?
There are a variety of salmon available at many fish markets, ranging from Atlantic salmon to wild Alaskan King salmon (rich, buttery, expensive), Norwegian salmon, coho salmon, and more. We prefer the thicker salmon varieties, as they have a higher fat content and, when cooked properly, flake easily and melt in your mouth. You can decide for yourself whether you prefer wild vs. farmed salmon.
Whichever type of salmon you choose, make sure that the fillet looks moist, not dried out, has no obvious discoloration, or any strong odors. Look for a bright orange-red flesh.
Seriously, we adore salmon. Check out more of our easy salmon recipes — there are dozens to cook through!
Use a meat thermometer! Salmon is cooked when an internal temperature of 120F is reached. Another good indicator is when the salmon flakes easily.
Yes! Salmon is a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as high in protein. This along with pistachios, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory traits, makes this an overall nutritious meal.
No, because of the traditional panko breadcrumbs. If you use gluten-free panko breadcrumbs, then yes!
Of course! We really love the flavor and buttery texture of pistachios, but you could use ground pecans or walnuts instead.
Absolutely! The cook time will vary, but you could certainly try this pistachio crust on other fish, such as: halibut, cod, or other firm white fish. If you want something similar to salmon, you can use arctic char or trout, but they are much thinner and won’t have the same ratio of fish to crunchy topping.
How To Serve
We love pistachio crusted salmon with crispy roasted potatoes, but garlic mashed potatoes, rice, or even our Israeli couscous salad would be great.
As for veggies, it depends on the season! If you make this in spring, try it with roasted or grilled asparagus in foil. If it’s winter, you could serve this with roasted broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or a grain salad.
You just can’t beat that pistachio crust! If you make this Pistachio Crusted Salmon recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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Rich, Buttery Pistachio Crusted Salmon Recipe
- 4 (6 oz) salmon fillets skin on or off
- ¾ tsp Kosher salt divided
- ½ cup pistachios shelled, very finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp neutral oil such as grapeseed, avocado, or canola oil
- 1 medium shallot finely chopped, about 1-2 Tbsp
- 1 medium garlic clove finely chopped
- ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 Tbsp chopped parsley plus more for serving, optional
- 1 tsp fresh lemon zest the lemon cut into wedges for serving
- 1 Tbsp mayo, sour cream, or Greek yogurt
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Flaky sea salt for serving
- Prepare the salmon. Preheat an oven to 300F. Pat salmon fillets dry with a paper towel, then season with ½ tsp Kosher salt.
- Sweat the shallot. Heat 1 Tbsp neutral oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add chopped shallot and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Season with remaining ½ tsp Kosher salt. Add chopped garlic clove, then cook 1 minute more.
- Toast remaining ingredients. To the skillet, add ½ cup chopped pistachios and ⅓ cup of panko breadcrumbs. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then continue cooking until the pistachios are toasted and the breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl, then stir in 2 Tbsp chopped parsley and 1 tsp lemon zest.
- Make the quick sauce. Place 1 Tbsp mayo (sour cream or Greek yogurt is fine) in a small bowl, then whisk in 2 tsp honey and 1 tsp Dijon.
- Coat with pistachios. Brush a little sauce on top of each salmon fillet, then press into the pistachio breadcrumb mixture, so that it adheres to the top of the fish. Repeat with remaining salmon fillets.
- Bake the fish. Place salmon fillets on a parchment lined baking sheet, then transfer to the preheated oven. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 120F. The temperature will continue to rise as the fish rests. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then serve with a pinch of flaky sea salt and lemon wedges.
- Internal temperature of salmon should register 120F to indicate medium.
- Make ahead: You can prep the salmon and coat it with the panko mixture earlier in the day (or about 6-8 hours in advance), then wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store in a refrigerator until ready to cook.
- Leftovers and storage: Store any leftover cooked salmon in an airtight container in a fridge, Use within 3 days, as seafood has a shorter shelf life than other proteins.
- We do not recommend freezing the cooked salmon, as the texture changes a bit as it freezes and then thaws. If you do want to freeze it, however, we recommend placing it in vacuum sealed bags to maintrain freshness. Use within 3 months.
Let us know your thoughts!