Pecan Crusted Salmon

Get mouth watering pecan crusted salmon on the table in 20 minutes and enjoy the nutty texture on a rich coating of maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and parsley. Simple, delish, fast and pretty.

This recipe is really nothing more than roasted salmon elevated with a sweet tangy sauce and nuts. But the extras add a lot of great flavor for so little effort.

inside piece of pecan crusted salmon on plate with beans

To make this salmon recipe, just whisk together a few sauce ingredients, use half to coat the salmon fillets, top with a finely chopped pecan crust, bake, then drizzle on the remaining sauce. Done.

The whole thing comes together in about 20 minutes. It's an easy main dish for company that looks gorgeous and tastes delicious. Even non fish eaters might give this one a whirl with the crunchy, nutty topping and sweet tangy sauce.

The most important tip is not to overcook the salmon fillets. Of course, that goes for any salmon.

If you have time, you can marinate the salmon in half the sauce for 15 minutes, but no worries if you don't since there is extra sauce for serving. Try to use good quality Balsamic Vinegar. It makes a difference.

What to serve with salmon

Try one of these simple side dish options for this maple pecan crusted salmon: Savoury Peach Panzanella Salad, Best Green Beans with Panko Crumbs, Grilled Summer Peaches, Easy Creamed Spinach, Roasted Bok choy and Broccoli, Roasted Baby Cauliflower or sliced cucumbers with Japanese Dressing.

Tailor To Your Taste

  • Combine all the sauce/glaze ingredients, then taste it and adjust it to your liking. If you prefer a bit more sweetness, add more maple syrup. If you like more tang, add more Dijon and/or Balsamic Vinegar.
  • Instead of salmon, try this recipe with cod, halibut, trout or sea bass.
  • Skip the parsley in the sauce and sprinkle it on as garnish instead for a more vibrant contrast. When parsley is cooked, it turns an olive-y green.

How to make pecan salmon with maple-balsamic sauce

salmon filets, pecans, parsley, dijon, butter, balsamic, maple syrup
Ingredients: salmon fillets, pecans, parsley, garlic, butter, Dijon, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper
maple balsamic glaze ingredients in measuring cup
Whisk together sauce ingredients in small bowl or measuring cup, microwave for 15 seconds to melt butter and set aside.
Pecan crusted salmon on pan ready to bake
Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Use half the sauce to coat the salmon (reserve the rest). Dip into shallow dish of crushed pecans and lightly press to help pecans adhere.
Pecan crusted salmon filet on plate with beans
Place salmon on lined baking sheet and bake at 425F (218C) for about 10-12 minutes, depending on thickness of salmon, until salmon flakes easily (but still warm pink in center).
inside piece of pecan crusted salmon on plate p
Serve with remaining sauce and a side of your choice (see suggestions above)

Make Ahead

  • The sauce can be made a day or two ahead. The pecans can be chopped ahead as well.
  • If you want to serve the salmon the next day, cool or at room temperature, you can make the entire dish a day ahead then cool and refrigerate it covered. Set it on the counter and bring it to room temperature a half an hour before serving.

Other easy baked salmon recipes

Good to Know - FAQ

What should I look for when buying salmon?

Look for salmon that appears moist with no dry spots. It should not smell fishy. If you don't have access to fresh fish, frozen is a good alternative as it is frozen immediately after being caught. Most Pacific salmon is wild whereas Atlantic salmon is farmed.

Is salmon healthy for you?

Atlantic salmon is considered to be less healthy than Pacific salmon as it has higher saturated fats and can contain food additives like antibiotics. Both, however, are healthy food choices compared to meat alternatives. They are low in calories and contain healthy omega 3 fatty acids, excellent protein, vitamin B12, potassium and other nutrients like iron and vitamin D.

Healthline says salmon is a nutritional powerhouse that provides several impressive health benefits and that at least two servings per week can help you meet your nutrient needs and reduce the risk of several diseases.

How do you know when salmon is cooked?

The rule of thumb for salmon is to cook it 10 minutes per inch (2.5cm) of thickness. When pierced with a knife it should separate easily and still be a warm pink inside (not dry and flaky white). It's ready when it is just turning opaque. An instant read thermometer will read 130-135F (54.4-57.2C)

How much salmon do you need per serving?

This largely depends on how big your eaters are. A healthy portion is considered to be 3-4 ounces (85-113g), but most adults will eat 6-8 ounces (170-227g).

inside piece of pecan crusted salmon on plate with beans
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4.92 from 24 votes

Pecan Crusted Salmon

Get mouth watering Pecan Crusted Salmon on the table in 20 minutes and enjoy the nutty texture on a rich coating of maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and parsley. Simple, good, fast and pretty.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 2 salmon fillets, with or without skin on one side (6-8 ounces each)
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup (65g) pecans, finely chopped

Marinade/Sauce

  • 1 ½ tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar (good quality)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove minced (or ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder)
  • ¼ cup (6g) chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • PREHEAT OVEN to 425F/218C. Line a small rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper or foil sprayed with cooking spray.
  • MAKE SAUCE/MARINADE AND PREPARE SALMON: Season salmon with salt and pepper. Place all marinade/sauce ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup. Microwave for 15 seconds until butter is melted. Use half of sauce to coat top and sides of salmon. Reserve remaining sauce for drizzling.
    (If you have time, to enhance flavor, place half of cooled marinade in ziploc bag and add salmon. Marinate for 15 minutes then discard marinade).
  • TOP WITH PECANS: Place chopped pecans on shallow dish and dip sides and top of the salmon in pecan mixture to adhere. Or sprinkle top and sides of salmon with pecans, pressing lightly to adhere.
  • BAKE AND SERVE: Place salmon pieces, skin side down, on prepared baking sheet. Bake, with pecan topping side up, for 10-12 minutes depending on thickness of salmon (bake 10 minutes per inch of thickness) until fish flakes but is still warm pink in the thickest part of salmon (not dry and pale light pink).
    If salmon has skin on bottom, to remove it, slip spatula between skin and flesh. Lift and transfer to plate. Drizzle with remaining sauce. And serve with lemon wedges if desired.

Notes

  1. Variations
    • Sauce/glaze: For more sweetness, add more maple syrup. More tang, add more Dijon and/or Balsamic Vinegar. For heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
    • Instead of salmon, try this recipe with cod, halibut, trout or sea bass.
    • Skip the parsley in the sauce and sprinkle it on as garnish instead for a more vibrant contrast. When parsley is cooked, it turns an olive-y green.
  2. Make Ahead
    • The sauce can be made a day or two ahead. The pecans can be chopped ahead as well.
    • If you want to serve the salmon the next day, cold or at room temperature, you can make the entire dish a day ahead, cool it, then refrigerate it covered. Set it on the counter and bring it to room temperature a half an hour before serving.
 
Nutrition values are estimates based on 6 ounces of salmon fillet per portion and include the sauce and pecans.

Nutrition

Calories: 559kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 534mg | Potassium: 1049mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 982IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?We'd love you to rate it above under 'rate this recipe' or in the comment section below. Thanks!

This pecan crusted salmon recipe, originally published in Feb 2019, is updated with new information and edits.

6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love cooking salmon, especially living on the west coast in Vancouver. The main thing is to let the salmon shine without making it too complicated and this recipe fills the bill. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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