Pistachio Encrusted Salmon

The holidays are coming and no matter how you celebrate, it means a time for family and friends to gather.  And what better way to celebrate the season than by sharing a meal.  I’m always looking for something new to make, something to impress my guests not only with a delicious meal but a beautifully presented meal.

The old saying is “we eat with our eyes”  and that my friends is the truth!  No matter how good a dish may taste, if the appearance is less than stellar, the flavors will not be appreciated.  So as you prepare your holiday feast, keep that in mind.

Salmon is not one of my favorite dishes, so when I prepare it, I challenge myself to make it flavorful and beautiful so that I don’t mind eating it.   I know if I’ve succeeded, then my guests  that already like salmon will be blown away!  I think this dish may qualify for that category.

salmon with a sundried tomato sauce

As you know, in an effort to eat more healthy, I’ve been working with Kelapo Coconut Oil, these past few months.   Cutting back where I can, and using healthier ingredients where ever I can.  One thing I’ve learned for certain is that I like coconut oil, especially Kelapo!

sundried tomato sauce and spinach

I’ve also learned how easy it is to use Kelapo Coconut Oil in place of other oils and even butter.   So for this dish, I went all out and it was amazing!   I hope you enjoy my Pistachio Encrusted Salmon served on a bed of wilted spinach tossed with a sundried tomato pesto all made using Kelapo Coconut oil.

served with spinach and a sundried tomato pesto


5.0 from 8 reviews
Pistachio Encrusted Salmon
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
Sundried Tomato Pesto
  • 1 cup reconstituted sundried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup (40 gm) pine nuts
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) Kelapo Extra Virgin coconut oil
  • 1 clove garlic -peeled
  • 1 tbs (15 g) grated romano cheese
  • 4 8 oz (230 g each) salmon fillets
  • 1 cup (150 g) pistachio's
  • 4 tbsp (60 ml) Kelapo Coconut Oil
  • 12 oz (340 g) baby spinach leaves
Sundried Tomato Pesto
  1. reconstitute the sundried tomatoes in warm water
  2. In the bowl of your food processor, add the sundried tomatoes, garlic clove, grated cheese and pine nuts. Pulse until fully blended and finely chopped.
  3. Add Kelapo Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, and pulse until well blended*
  1. pulse pistachio's in food processor until chopped with some finely ground
  2. Using half the kelapo coat topside of the salmon fillet (keep the kelapo solid for this application)
  3. Press salmon into pistachio's, covering topside of fillet completely, continue till all four fillets have been finished.
  4. Heat skillet over high heat and add remainder of Kelapo coconut oil
  5. Gently place salmon, nut side down and sear for about 2 minutes, until nuts have browned.
  6. Very gently turn salmon over and repeat process.
  7. Place salmon in baking dish with a little water and place in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. (replace any nuts that may have fallen off, making a nice top layer of pistachio's on the fillet)
  8. While salmon is finishing cooking, place 4 tablespoons of sundried pesto into sauce pan and warm gently ( add a little more coconut oil if mixture is not loose enough)
  9. Right before serving toss sundried pesto mixture with spinach leaves coating very well, until spinach begins to wilt.
  10. Divide spinach between 4 plates and top with salmon fillet.
  11. Serve immediately
* sundried pesto should almost be the consistency of a salad dressing when you toss it with the spinach


Now that was one delicious piece of salmon and it looked as good as it tasted!  Whether you’re entertaining or just turning a family meal into a special event, everyone’s going to love this salmon, just make sure to tell them after dinner how good that meal was for them, and that they have Kelapo Coconut Oil to thank for that!


  1. This looks fantastic. I love baking with coconut oil and now am inspired to do more cooking with it. Great recipe I want to try soon:)

  2. We do love salmon this way. I love using coconut oil, my daughter would have second thoughts on the coconut oil…I have to sneak it in where I can….so I don’t make popcorn with it anymore unless I want to eat it all for myself…no there’s an idea.

  3. Chef, This crusted salmon looks so scrumptious and I love the placement on the wilted greens! Coconut oil is surely finding its way into the spotlight and you’ve put it to great use here. Many thanks for sharing the recipe.

  4. I adore salmon prepared in any fashion….and this is another wonderful way for me to prepare my favorite fish! Thanks Dennis!

  5. Love Salmon, in fact I am addicted to the taste and flavors. Yet, I have never tasted it this way, with pistachios and even coconut oil. We have masses on home pressed coconut oil in the house but unfortunately I wont come across salmon so soon, so I ll have to wait. Better show your recipe my friend in germany, she is going to love that! Thanks for sharing chef. =)

  6. What a lovely dish, thanks Dennis. I have a tub of coconut oil in my pantry and very little idea what to do with it, but I think The Husband will really enjoy this dish.

  7. I use coconut oil for everything, even moisturizer… 😉

    Dennis this looks stunning and sounds incredible – I love the pistachio crust.

  8. What a great looking meal. This is a must try. Pinned. What really caught my attention was that pesto’d spinach.

  9. Yep, people eat with their eyes. My friend Julie, a pastry chef/ceramic artist (juliedianeartisan.com) holds that close to her heart as she creates.

    I’m curious chef D, when I incorporate coconut oil into items, it imparts a very slight coconut flavor. Do you find this too? I’ve got the Kelapo brand on my list to purchase next so I’m unfamiliar with it.

  10. Oh, aren’t pistachios just amazing? Just so tasty!

  11. This looks delicious! Love salmon, love pistachios, love spinach 🙂 Great combo, and healthy too!

  12. Love this. Totally my style. I should try coconut oil, I see it at the store all the time!

  13. I just bought salmon and was planning to cook it right now. I just stopped in my tracks when I saw your recipe. The pistachio on the fillet looks awesome. Must try this. Thanks for sharing, Chef Dennis! See you on the +Plus side 🙂

  14. I loving this recipe… BIG TIME! Man, does it ever look good. Glad you posted it.
    Thanks, Chef.

    PS I wrote to you over on Google+ (private message); re: blog tag.

  15. Chef, I love the crust on this salmon dish! Coconut oil is a favorite of ours too – great substitute for butter.

  16. I’ve never had salmon with pistachio, but I trust it will taste great!

  17. Pistachio and salmon sound like they belong together! Love the crunch factor 🙂

  18. I totally agree about eating with your eyes, so true! I make salmon a lot, and am always looking for a new way to prepare it. Pistachios are my favorite and I hardly use them in recipes. Need to pick up one of those huge canisters at the grocery store and try this. (I’m also starting to cook with coconut oil more too…)

    Great recipe!

  19. I love everything about this recipe, well I haven’t tried coconut oil yet but it’s on my list. Salmon, sundried tomato pesto and pistachio, definitely a home run.

  20. What a lovely and healthy salmon recipe. I can’t wait to try this!

  21. Looks great Chef Dennis! I was just looking for a new salmon recipe this weekend. Too late for this time (I made it pan seared with an olive-lemon relish, via Barbara Lynch’s Stir cookbook). I will save this for next time!

  22. Good morning~I have featured this recipe on my blog for my weekly seafood round-up and have also linked this recipe to your original post so that my readers will be forwarded to your site. Thank you for allowing me to share! Here is the link: http://carriesexperimentalkitchen.blogspot.com/2013/01/seafood-frenzy-friday-week-44.html

  23. Hi Dennis, I just wanted to let you know that I made this last night and it was wonderful, even the kiddos liked it! SCORE! ;]


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