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This pistachio crusted salmon recipe is elegant yet easy, and packed with flavor and nutrition! It’s a great date-night dinner because it makes two servings, but you can easily scale it up to feed your family.

pistachio crusted salmon on plate with steamed rice and lemon

Looking for the perfect salmon recipe that is a treat for the tastebuds and also takes minimal time and effort? I have you covered! This dish is a favorite at my house.

One day I wanted to try something new with fresh salmon that I had just bought. I looked around my kitchen for unique ingredients I could experiment with. As I opened my pantry, I spotted a gorgeous box of za’atar that a friend had gifted to me. Then my eyes landed on a bag of shelled pistachios, and an idea took shape.

Salmon is well-known for its mild, buttery, sweet taste. Za’atar brings a lovely bright, citrusy, earthy flavor, which complements salmon’s richness. Last but not least, pistachio also adds a delicious nutty crunch to this dish. 

front view of plated pistachio salmon with side of rice

Why This Recipe Works

  • Unique Flavor Profile: With the bright flavor of za’atar, nutty crunch from pistachios, and sweet richness of salmon, this meal feels like a gourmet salmon recipe. (But the fact that it’s such an easy recipe is the cook’s secret!)
  • Quick and Beginner-Friendly: No worries if you’re new to cooking salmon. This recipe is easy and perfect for cooks of all skill levels, and it takes just 15 minutes.
  • Healthy Meal Option That Fits Into Just About Any Way of Eating: Many of us are trying to eat more salmon because of its sought-after omega-3 fatty acids, and this is a great way to enjoy it in a new dish. And it’s easy to fit into just about any diet because this recipe is naturally gluten free, paleo, low carb, and keto.

Pistachio Crusted Salmon Ingredients and Substitutions

Ingredients Explained

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas where applicable. For the full recipe (including the ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

pistachio crusted salmon ingredients
  • Unsalted shelled pistachios – If your pistachios are salted, simply omit the added salt from this recipe.
  • Za’atar spice mix – Za’atar is a thyme-based spice mix hailing from the Levantine area of the Middle East. It includes a blend of aromatic herbs, commonly thyme, oregano, marjoram, and/or savory, bright spices like sumac, and sometimes earthy spices such as cumin and coriander. Za’atar usually also contains sesame seeds, which add nutty crunch. My favorite za’atar is the Palestinian version, which is available on Amazon.
  • Coarse kosher salt – Salt seasons the dish so it isn’t bland. If you’re using fine salt instead of coarse, make sure to use less.
  • Salmon filets – Use wild-caught if it fits into your budget.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – We brush oil on the fish to help the pistachio coating stick to it.
  • Lemon wedges – Fresh lemon wedges are optional for serving along with the fish to squeeze on top. It brightens up the flavor!

Instructions

how to make pistachio crusted salmon in the oven
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Stir together the pistachios, za’atar, and salt in a shallow bowl.
  2. Coat the salmon with olive oil, and dip the side without skin in the pistachio mixture, lightly pressing it into the fish.
  3. Place the coated salmon fillets on a baking tray (pistachio-side-up).
  4. Bake until the salmon is fully cooked throughout, about 12 to 15 minutes (it will be opaque and flake easily with a fork). Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze on top.

Tips

  • Don’t chop the pistachios too finely for this recipe, or you won’t end up with a thick coating.
  • If you’re having trouble getting the pistachio-za’atar mixture to stick to the fish, simply put the fish onto the baking tray and sprinkle the mixture on top.

Storage and Reheating

To store, let salmon cool to room temperature, and then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat cooked salmon, first thaw it if it was frozen, and then let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes while your oven preheats to 275F. Put the salmon on a baking tray, spritz it with a little splash of water, cover it with foil, and put it in the oven until warm throughout, about 15 minutes.

What to Serve with This Dish

One of the best things about this recipe is that it pairs well with many sides. Because the salmon and pistachios are both rich ingredients, I like to pair this dish with lighter side dishes for balance.

Here are a few ideas:

partially eaten salmon dinner with piece of flaky salmon on fork

Pistachio Crusted Salmon FAQs

Do You Cook Salmon With the Skin On?

For this recipe, you can choose to cook it with or without the skin.

Can I Use Other Nuts Instead of Pistachios?

Yes! You can substitute the pistachios for other nuts if you prefer a different flavor profile. A few options include walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts. 

What Spice Mix Can I Use Instead of Za’atar?

You can opt for Italian seasoning, which is a blend of dried herbs including thyme, rosemary, oregano, etc.

How Do You Know if Salmon is Done?

When it’s fully cooked, salmon is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.

If you have a digital thermometer, you can use it to test salmon for doneness. According to the FDA, salmon is supposed to be cooked to an internal temperature of 145F in the thickest part. However, if you’re looking for a more medium-cooked salmon that retains some of its moisture, people generally aim for an internal temperature of 125 to 135F.

More Fish Dinner Recipes to Try

gourmet salmon dinner recipe

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Pistachio Crusted Salmon Recipe

Prep Time3 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
This pistachio crusted salmon recipe is elegant yet easy, and packed with flavor and nutrition! It’s a great date-night dinner because it makes two servings, but you can easily scale it up to feed your family.

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Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 425F.
  • Stir together the pistachios, za’atar, and salt in a shallow bowl.
  • Coat the salmon with olive oil, and dip the side without skin in the pistachio mixture, lightly pressing it into the fish.
  • Place the coated salmon fillets on a baking tray (pistachio-side-up). Bake until the salmon is fully cooked throughout, about 12 to 15 minutes (it will be opaque and flake easily with a fork).
  • Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze on top.

Notes

  • Pistachio Tips: Don’t chop the pistachios too finely for this recipe, or you won’t end up with a thick coating. If you’re having trouble getting the pistachio-za’atar mixture to stick to the fish, simply put the fish onto the baking tray and sprinkle the mixture on top.
  • Net Carbs: 5g per serving

Nutrition

Calories: 399kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 658mg | Potassium: 1022mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Baked Salmon with Pistachio Crust, Pistachio Crusted Salmon, Pistachio Crusted Salmon Recipe, Pistachio Salmon

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pistachio crusted salmon pin
Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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