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Pecan Crusted Salmon Recipe (20 Minutes)

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 filets elevated with a sweet tangy sauce and nuts. But the extras add great flavor for so little effort.

pecan crusted salmon with green beans on plate.

What to expect

To make this 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 but it is also perfect for a busy weeknight meal as well. Even nonfish eaters might give this one a whirl with the crunchy, nutty topping and sweet tangy sauce.

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.

Ingredients -tailored to your taste

salmon fillets, pecans, parsley, garlic, butter, Dijon, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper.

Salmon: Buy salmon fillets, skin on or off in individual portions or one larger portion.

Balsamic Maple Marinade: includes maple syrup, Dijon mustard, butter, balsamic vinegar, garlic and parsley.

Variations and substitutes

  • Instead of salmon, try cod, halibut, trout or sea bass.
  • Try almonds, walnuts or cashews instead of pecans.
  • 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 green).

Step by step instructions

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 a shallow pie dish of crushed pecans crumbs. Lightly press the crunchy topping to help it adhere.
Pecan crusted salmon filet on plate with beans
Place salmon in a single layer 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).

Recipe FAQs

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.

How do you know when salmon is cooked?

The rule of thumb for salmon is figure on about 10 minutes of cooking time 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).

What to serve with this simple pecan salmon

Try one of these recipes as the perfect side dish for the salmon:

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 this salmon dish 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.
inside piece of pecan crusted salmon on plate p
Serve with the remaining sauce and a side of your choice

Other easy baked salmon recipes

Or check out all our fish and seafood recipes!

If you like this recipe, please leave a 5 star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟in the recipe card below. And if you REALLY like it, consider a review in the comments. Thanks very much!

pecan crusted salmon with green beans on plate.
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4.94 from 33 votes

Pecan Crusted Salmon Recipe (20 Minutes)

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 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound salmon fillets, with or without skin (about 2 fillets, 6-8 ounces each)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped

Marinade/Sauce

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar (good quality)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove minced (or 1/8 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1/4 cup 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.

Recipe 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.
    • Try almonds, walnuts or cashews instead of pecans.
    • 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.
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Nutrition values are estimates based on 6 ounces of salmon fillet per portion and include the sauce and pecans.

Nutrition

Calories: 558kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 814mg | Potassium: 1050mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 982IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 3mg
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Recipe Rating




15 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Umm?? This was an absolute DELIGHT. Thank you for getting creative in the kitchen and teaching me that salmon and pecans were meant to be together. This was also beyond easy to make. So again, thank you! πŸ™‚

  2. 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!