Updated: Aug 19, 2021
House full of picky eaters who won’t eat fish? Have I got a recipe for you! This Pecan and Parmesan Crusted salmon was a big hit with my particular, pint-sized peeps the other night- it was even lovingly renamed “chicken nugget salmon.” It's all about the yummy crust here: a crunchy mix of ground pecans, grated parmesan cheese, Panko, thyme, olive oil and lemon zest. Not only does this topping taste amazing, but it also helps to keep the fish super moist as it bakes. Buh-bye dried out, too tough salmon bricks! I prefer crispy, pan-seared salmon over the baked variety, but our vent hood has been broken and my husband has banned me from cooking fish on the stove and stinking up the whole house. This recipe was and is the perfect solution to my "broken vent hood/craving crispy fish" dilemma! The filets are coated with dijon mustard, topped with the pecan/parm mixture and quickly baked in a hot oven. You get the crunch factor from the topping minus the lingering pan-seared fish aroma, and clean up is an absolute breeze! Be sure to ask for center cut filets (minus skin and pin bones)- these thicker pieces will be less likely to dry out on you in the oven, plus I think they look prettier and taste more mild than the tail-end portions. I typically cook a 6-8 oz filet. Although I haven't tried this, I'd assume this topping would also be delicious on top of cod or halibut, but cooking times may vary. This recipe is a quick and easy family weeknight option, but also a great "fancy" fake-out when entertaining company (and easily able to be doubled). A simple veggie, some sort of grain, and a squeeze of lemon and you're all set for a succulent seafood supper. Enjoy!
prep time: ~10 min. cook time: ~15 min. serves: 4
1/2 cup raw pecan halves
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp fresh thyme
ground black pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
4 tsp dijon mustard, divided
4- 6 or 8 oz center cut, skinless salmon filets
4 lemon wedges for serving
Preheat the oven to 425° with a rack set in the middle. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the pecans in the bowl of a mini food processor and pulse until they resemble coarse bread crumbs. Transfer them to a small bowl with the parmesan, Panko, lemon zest, thyme, a pinch of salt, a few cranks of pepper, and 2 tbsp olive oil. Stir to combine.
Place the salmon filets fleshy side up on the lined baking sheet. Spread 1 tsp of mustard evenly over each filet and season liberally with salt and pepper. Top each piece of salmon with a heaping tablespoon of the pecan/parmesan mixture, pressing lightly so that it adheres in a thick layer down the length of the filet. It's ok if a little falls off onto the parchment! Drizzle the tops lightly with more oil and place the fish in the oven to bake 12-15 minutes, until the pecan topping is brown and the salmon flakes easily (tent the fish with foil if the topping is getting too brown). Let stand 5 minutes then serve hot with lemon wedges alongside for squeezing.