Add some crunch, color and a touch of elegance to your next salmon dinner with this healthy recipe for Pistachio-Crusted Salmon. It's a 30-minute meal that's Keto, Paleo and Whole30 compliant. This recipe includes tips for how to tell when salmon is done.
This Baked Keto and Paleo Pistachio-Crusted Salmon has a crunchy crust and pungent flavours of lemon and mustard. I could tell you just how delicious it is, but once you take the first bite, you may be surprised at just how good it is!
A lemon-mustard spread not only helps to make the chopped pistachio crust stick to the salmon, but it adds an amazing depth of flavour as well. And that crunchy, nutty crust? It keeps the salmon moist and tender.
It's a dish that we have frequently because it's so quick, easy and flavourful. And all you need to add to your salmon are some pistachios, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and a touch of olive oil!
The inspiration for this Pistachio-Crusted Salmon came from Robert Irvine's recipe on The Food Network site. I adapted it to make it gluten-free. This salmon dinner is Keto, Paleo and Whole30-friendly!
When I was preparing this baked salmon dish today, I was thinking about the first time I saw pistachio nuts. They were in a sack on the sidewalk outside a small store in the Plaka--the old town of Athens, a lifetime ago when we were 20-somethings! Denis and I bought them, munched on them as we wandered the streets, and then had to deal with our red fingers.
Pistachio shells used to be dyed red, apparently to hide the marks caused by hand-harvesting. Now, most pistachios sold in the west are grown in California and are harvested mechanically. The shells don't become stained and so there is no need for dye. Red pistachios are no more!
Let's get started. This recipe for Pistachio Crusted Salmon makes a fabulous salmon holiday dinner, too!
- salmon: any type will be delicious in this recipe. I used a fillet of chinook salmon that my hubby had caught. You'll need about 4 to 6 oz. per serving. Most salmon comes with the pin bones removed. If you have caught it yourself, you'll have to remove them.
- pistachios: ½ cup, chopped or coarsely ground in a food processor
- Dijon mustard: regular or whole-grain, your choice.
- lemon juice: fresh squeezed is always best. Use a little of the zest for garnish.
- olive oil: to brush on the salmon before coating and baking
- Simply rinse and pat dry your salmon fillet, remove the pin bones if they haven't already been removed and slice into serving-sized pieces.
- Season the fish with salt and pepper and a little oil, then spread evenly with the lemon-Dijon mixture.
- Coat with the chopped pistachios, pressing them evenly into the spread.
- Bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 10 - 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fillet. The fish will be done when it has reached an internal temperature of 145°F. or when it flakes easily with a fork and is still a little translucent in the center.
- Remove from oven, let rest for 5 minutes to allow it to finish cooking, then transfer to a serving platter or individual plates.
How will I know when the salmon is done?
It's easy to overcook salmon. Check it at 10 minutes. If it is beginning to flake when poked with a fork, but is still slightly translucent in the center of the fillet, it is probably done. Remember to let it rest for 5 minutes after removing from the oven. It will continue to cook a little on the counter. You can check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. It should be 145°F.
Yes! Try finely chopped almonds or walnuts instead, as I used in this recipe for Maple Walnut Crusted Sheet Pan Halibut. Use the same lemon-mustard mixture to help the nuts stick to the fish. This recipe is also delicious with macadamia nuts!
Try it with fennel seeds. This recipe for Crispy Fennel-Crusted Salmon shows that fennel and salmon are a match made in heaven!
🍽 Serving suggestions
We both love this way of cooking our favourite fish and have made it many times. It is quick and easy to prepare, ready in less than 30 minutes.
Consider it as an alternative to your traditional holiday meals! Fresh salmon, full of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids makes a terrific holiday salmon dinner.
Serve it with a salad and a flavourful side dish like
- Charred Asparagus with Warm Citrus Sauce
- Sesame Ginger Green Beans
- Skillet Parmesan Pecan Green Beans or
- Easy 5-Minute Sesame Asparagus
What to do with leftover salmon
If you've found you've cooked too much, no worries! Store it in an airtight container in the fridge. You can gently reheat it for a few minutes in a skillet on the stovetop, or flake it to add to a salad for lunch.
More healthy salmon recipes
If you love wild salmon, you might like these, too!
Baked Pistachio-Crusted Salmon
- 16 oz wild-caught salmon fillet cut into pieces about 2 inches wide and 1 inch thick
- 2 tsp olive oil extra virgin
- sea salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup pistachios shelled and finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Rinse salmon, pat dry, remove pin bones (if not already removed) and cut into serving pieces. Place skin side down on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Brush with a little oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Whisk together Dijon mustard and lemon juice and spread on top of salmon.
- Gently press the chopped pistachios into the mustard spread.
- Bake at 375°F. for 10-15 min. (depending on the thickness of the fillets) or until fish flakes easily with a fork but is still a little translucent in the center. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes to finish cooking before serving.
This post has been updated with new photos and information.