Mom’s Pistachio Crusted Salmon


This pistachio crusted salmon is my mother in law's specialty and is a huge hit every single time. Quick to mix up the ingredients and throw into the oven.My mother-in-law’s pistachio crusted salmon is famous in our family. I think it has something to do with the sweetness of the honey, the spiciness of the cayenne, and the saltiness and crunchiness (is that a word??) of the pistachios–they all just work together so beautifully. It was love at first bite for me. The hubby’s family has a feast of 7 fishes on Christmas Eve, and his mom always brings this dish. I look forward to it every year. She actually serves it as an appetizer, and you have to be quick, and I mean really quick, to grab a piece of this before it disappears.

For a long time, I didn’t think I liked salmon. I tried it over and over again because I had always heard about how healthy it is and the omega-3s and all of that, but I just didn’t like it.

Until I ate this pistachio crusted salmon, that is.

Then I realized I’d been doing it wrong all along. Salmon is pretty much ruined (in my eyes) if it is overcooked. And it is so easy to overcook it too. And guess what–I overcooked it to a dry chewy mess every single time I made it in the past. Now I know better.

The cooking time of this recipe will depend on how thick your salmon is. If it is thinner, bake for about 20 minutes, and closer to 30 if it’s thicker. Since I have such an aversion to overcooked salmon, I tend to err on the side of caution and cook it less at first, and then keep checking it every few minutes after that.

You’ll see there are two versions of the ingredients section in the recipe below. The first one, titled “For a Crowd” is the original recipe. The second one titled “Just for 2” is the recipe scaled down to serve two people. With it just being the hubby and I at home, there is no way we’d be able to finish a whole side of salmon between the two of us. So I normally scale the recipe down.

If you’d like to see this recipe step-by-step, you can watch the video version I made in American Sign Language below:



Mom's Pistachio Crusted Salmon
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


This pistachio crusted salmon is my mother in law's specialty and is a huge hit every single time.
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Seafood
Serves: either a crowd or 2, depending on which version you make

For a Crowd
  • side of salmon (3 to 3½ pounds)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 cup crushed pistachio nuts
  • fresh dill for garnish
Just for 2 (scaled down version of the above recipe)
  • 1 lb salmon fillet
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • ⅓ cup crushed pistachios
  • fresh dill for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk all ingredients except for salmon and pistachios.
  3. Place salmon in a baking dish and pour mixture over it.
  4. Top with pistachios.
  5. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Serve at room temp.


I hope you like this recipe as much as my family does. Enjoy!


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  2. Angelle

    Served this for Father’s Day today and it was a hit! Thanks for a great recipe. It’s definitely a keeper.

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