This Slow Roasted Pistachio Crusted Salmon is one of my favorite oven baked fish dishes. It's light, healthy, and crusted with a sweet and salty pistachio topping. All you need is 10 minutes of prep, making this recipe easy enough for those busy weeknights.
📋 About the Recipe
- Light dinner option: Serve this heart healthy fish as a light main dish with a simple green salad. Great for summers or as a lighter passover, Easter or holiday dinner.
- 10 minute prep: Although this fish recipe has a longer bake time, it will take you just 10 minutes or less to get it in the oven. Great for busy weeknights or easy hosting!
- Best flaky texture! Many recipes for pistachio crusted salmon will recommend cooking the fish in the oven at higher temperatures for a shorter amount of time, but that will almost always dry out your fish. A low and slow roast is best for the best soft, flaky, and moist texture.
- 9 ingredients - All you need is 4 filets, pistachios, dijon mustard, olive oil, and spices. Couldn't be more simple to make a gourmet, nut crusted salmon at home.
A few notes about the ingredients:
- salmon - I prefer wild caught Pacific salmon fillets over Atlantic salmon as Atlantic salmon is typically farmed, but you can use what's easiest for you.
- pistachios - Using pre-shelled, salted pistachios helps cut down on prep time, making this recipe quick and easy. No need to season the fish with additional salt, as the salted pistachios provide enough saltiness for the perfect flavor.
- brown sugar - Adds the best subtle sweetness to lightly caramelize the crust. A little goes a long way but makes a huge difference in flavor!
- dijon mustard - Balances the sweetness of the brown sugar with a tangy, sharp flavor. Honey dijon is my preference so it's not as sharp.
- olive oil - It's important to use oil to help form a pistachio paste that you rub on the salmon. This also keeps the fish moist while slow roasting in the oven. Without it, the pistachios would have trouble sticking to the top of the fish. I prefer the robust flavor of extra virgin olive oil, but a neutral oil like avocado oil or vegetable oil would also work well.
- Prepare and season the salmon: Gently pat the tops of the filets dry with a paper towel, then transfer them to a greased baking dish, skin side down. Sprinkle the filets evenly with the brown sugar, onion powder, dill, garlic powder, and black pepper - make sure to evenly distribute the seasoning!
- Crush the pistachios: Add the shelled pistachios to a zip top bag and pound them into a coarse crumb texture using a meat mallet or heavy spoon. Alternatively, you can also use a food processor to do this - just be careful not to over process. The texture should be like a coarse crumb, not a powder.
- Prepare the crust mixture: Transfer the crushed pistachios to a large mixing bowl, then stir in the dijon mustard and olive oil until evenly incorporated. The consistency should be similar to a semi-thick paste.
- Add on the pistachios: Spread the pistachio crust mixture over top of each filet until each filet is evenly coated and "breaded" with a nice layer.
- Bake: Bake the pistachio crusted filets for 1 hour at 225 degrees Fahrenheit (YES, 225!), or until the salmon is cooked through with an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Baking pistachio crusted salmon at higher temperatures is not advised - slow roasting at this low temperature of 225 degrees Fahrenheit ensures the fish will be tender and juicy, and caramelizes the pistachio crust topping.
⁉️ Substitutions and Alterations
Pistachio substitute: If you are out of pistachios, try using another heartier nut like walnuts or almonds.
❄️ How to Store
To store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in saran wrap in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Salmon that is still good will have a mild scent and be pink and flaky - if your fish is overly fishy smelling or slimy to the touch, it has spoiled and should not be eaten.
To freeze: I don't recommend freezing cooked salmon as the texture and flavor of the fish will diminish. However, if you do choose to freeze it, it should be okay for about 3 months in the freezer.
To reheat: Reheat these pistachio crusted filets in the oven at 225 degrees until warmed through, about 15-20 minutes. Reheating fish in the microwave is generally not recommended as this method will likely dry out your fish and make it overly fishy smelling. Low and slow is best when cooking and reheating salmon!
You can remove the skin before roasting, but it isn't necessary. Once the salmon is cooked through, the fish will flake off of the skin very easily. The skin also helps the fish filets retain their moisture while slow roasting.
If your salmon is mushy, this could be a sign that your fish was not fresh or of lower quality. I recommend using fresh filets over frozen-and-thawed filets for this reason.
💭 One More Tip
Be sure to leave a bit of texture in the pistachios! It's better to have a few larger pieces of pistachio than process the nuts too finely into a powder.
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Slow Roasted Pistachio Crusted Salmon
- baking dish
- 4 salmon filets (around 24 ounces total)
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup shelled salted pistachios
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 teaspoons honey dijon mustard
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.
- Pat the tops of the salmon filets dry with a paper towel. Arrange them in a greased baking dish.
- Season with brown sugar, onion powder, dill, garlic powder, and black pepper.
- Add the shelled pistachios to a zip top bag. Using a meat mallet or heavy spoon, carefully pound them until they become a coarse crumb.
- Dump the crushed pistachios into a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and dijon mustard. Stir to form a semi-thick paste.
- Top each of the salmon filets with the pistachio paste.
- Bake salmon at 225 degrees F (yes, that low!) for about an hour or until the thickest part of the salmon is cooked through to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
- You can also use a food processor to crush the pistachios, just don't over-crush them. They should be crumb-like, not a powder.
- I highly recommend baking the salmon as described in the recipe. This ensures a tender, juicy salmon. Baking salmon quickly at a higher temperature often results in dry, overcooked fish.
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