Pistachio crusted salmon is the perfect easy dinner to impress! The fish is irresistible with a crunchy topping of nuts and Parmesan cheese.

Pistachio crusted salmon

Looking for an easy dinner to impress everyone? Try this Pistachio Crusted Salmon! This method for cooking fish seems like something you’d get at a restaurant, but it’s so simple to make. The aroma wafting from the oven will have you salivating before the food even reaches your plate! Each bite of tender fish and the crunchy, Parmesan pistachio topping makes you immediately want to take another. We inhaled this over here: and it’s now our go-to for entertaining (or a romantic meal). Here’s more about this tasty salmon recipe!

Ingredients for pistachio crusted salmon

The ingredient list for pistachio crusted salmon is short: and it takes no time at all to put together. Mealtime win, over here! Every time we make it, people want seconds. (Really.) Here’s what you need for this easy dinner recipe:

  • Salmon (wild caught if possible, see below)
  • Dijon mustard
  • Honey
  • Pistachios
  • Italian panko (see more below)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (that’s the kind that’s the texture of sand, not shredded)
  • Salt and pepper
Pistachio crusted salmon

Best salmon to buy

An important part of this pistachio crusted salmon recipe is buying a great piece of fish! This recipe is at its best with a high quality of fish. Here are some tips on the best salmon to buy:

  • Fresh salmon is best. You can find decent frozen salmon. But for the very best salmon, buy it fresh from your local seafood counter.
  • Buy wild caught salmon. Fish that is wild caught in your country is usually a sustainable choice. There are also quality options in well-regulated farms; see Seafood Watch Consumer Guide.
  • Coho is a good choice. We tend to like Coho salmon for its mild flavor: it’s a good middle of the road option in terms of price. Of course, King salmon is incredible but more of a splurge. Avoid Atlantic salmon as it is typically farmed salmon.

What’s panko? Is there a substitute?

One secret to the crunchy topping on this pistachio crusted salmon is panko. What it is? Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb mixture that is airier and lighter than traditional breadcrumbs. You can use either panko or breadcrumbs in this recipe, but we prefer panko because it’s the crunchiest! Look for Italian panko or Italian breadcrumbs, which contain seasonings and salt. It’s easily available in most grocery stores and online. If you can’t find Italian panko, here’s what to do:

  • Use regular panko and add salt and Italian seasonings. Mix 2 tablespoons panko with 1 pinch kosher salt and ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning (or ¼ teaspoon each dried oregano and dried basil)
  • Or look for Italian or plain breadcrumbs instead, or make your own breadcrumbs! For plain breadcrumbs, use the seasoning recommendations for panko above.

How to make this recipe gluten free?

Can you make pistachio crusted salmon gluten free? Yes. Look for gluten-free panko or breadcrumbs in stores or online to make this a gluten free recipe. You can also omit the breadcrumbs, but keep in mind the topping will be less delightfully crunchy (but still delicious).

You can also make this recipe dairy free: skip the Parmesan cheese or use vegan Parmesan!

How to know when the salmon is done

This pistachio crusted salmon is so simple. Just mix together the Dijon mustard and honey, brush it on top, and sprinkle the top with the pistachio panko Parmesan mix! Pop it in the oven and it should take between 10 and 15 minutes to bake. How to know when salmon is done?

  • Cook until the salmon just starts to flake when pricked with a fork.
  • The internal temperature should measure 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit in the center of the fish.
  • Be careful not to overcook. We prefer our salmon cooked to medium: to us, there’s nothing worse than a dry piece of fish. Keep an eye on it and don’t overdo it!
Pistachio crusted salmon

Sides to serve with pistachio crusted salmon

This pistachio crusted salmon is so delicious, we hope you’ll want to make it part of your regular dinner recipe rotation! Want to make an easy side to go with it? Here are a few ideas we like:

Easy salmon recipe

This pistachio crusted salmon recipe is…

Pescatarian. For gluten-free, see the notes above.

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Pistachio crusted salmon

Pistachio Crusted Salmon

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Pistachio crusted salmon is the perfect easy dinner to impress! The fish is irresistible with a crunchy topping of nuts and Parmesan cheese.


  • 1 pound salmon fillet or fillets, skin on (wild caught if possible)
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ cup finely chopped unsalted pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons Italian panko (or Italian breadcrumbs)*
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Bring the salmon to room temperature and pat it dry. Season the salmon with the salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix the Dijon mustard and honey, then brush it on to the fish in an even layer. 
  3. In another small bowl, mix together the finely chopped pistachios, Italian panko, and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the pistachio mixture on top of the fish.
  4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the salmon flakes with a fork; the internal temperature should be between 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit in the center. Serve immediately. 


*We recommend Italian panko or Italian breadcrumbs because they’re already seasoned. Panko is best since it’s the lightest and crunchiest. If all you can find is regular panko, mix 2 tablespoons panko with 1 pinch kosher salt and ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning (or ¼ teaspoon each dried oregano and dried basil). 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Salmon

Keywords: Pistachio crusted salmon

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About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. The husband made this last night and we were both astounded. It’s heavenly!! So easy and so good!! Thank you for yet another gem!

  2. Love this recipe. Better then could ever get going out. I used Jail House Salmon and the only thing I do differently is bake it at 350 for 18-22 minutes, for me this method has been working no matter how I top or season as piece of salmon. I think the type of salmon has a lot to do with how good it is too. A favorite recipe. Can’t wait to have it again. Thank you –10 stars

    1. Good question! Any of these should work. We’ve used both raw and roasted unsalted, but salted should be ok too. We’ve updated the recipe!