Flavorful, moist and flaky, Pistachio Crusted Fish comes together quickly – less than 20 minutes, beginning to end! Brown sugar and chopped pistachios combine to form a luscious crunchy topping, dill adds a warm, slightly grassy tone, and lemon juice provides tangy added moisture. Altogether, this delectable, no-breadcrumb topping provides the ideal texture and flavor pairing for a mild, slightly sweet fish like sea bass. Don’t like pistachios? No problem – you can easily substitute other meaty nuts, like almonds, pecans or walnuts.

A single serving of Pistachio Crusted Fish, sitting on a light green plate that's on a cutting board.
(Photo by Rick Souders)

Baking fish fillets with a flavorful topping is one of my favorite, quick-and-easy ways to prepare a busy day entrée. Easy enough for everyday while elegant enough for entertaining – perfect! And, the variety of topping flavors are endless; I have favorite recipes that include breadcrumbs, garlic, mayonnaise, capers – and for this crusted fish dish, the topping’s main ingredients are chopped pistachios and brown sugar.

A single serving of Pistachio Crusted Fish, sitting on a light green plate that's on a cutting board.
(Photo by Rick Souders)
What’s the best fish to use in this recipe?

With this pistachio crust topping, I like to use sea bass – a mild, slightly sweet fish that tends to be moist, buttery and tender when cooked. I prefer striped or Barramundi varieties. Chilean sea bass, while popular, is actually not a sea bass; it’s a clever rebranding of Patagonian Toothfish. It’s also tasty, but keep in mind it’s higher in mercury.

You can also use other, mild white fish including grouper, cod, haddock or even halibut. This pistachio crust is also delicious on salmon, too!A single serving of Pistachio Crusted Fish, sitting on a light green plate that's on a cutting board.

Can I use other nuts in the crust?

Yes you can – you can easily substitute almonds, pecans or walnuts.

What to serve with Pistachio Crusted Fish

Here are my recommended side dish combinations to serve with Pistachio Crusted Sea Bass:

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A single serving of Pistachio Crusted Fish, sitting on a light green plate that's on a cutting board.
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A single serving of Pistachio Crusted Fish, sitting on a light green plate that's on a cutting board.

Pistachio Crusted Fish

  • Author: From “Fresh Tastes” by Lee Clayton Roper
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Flavorful, moist and flaky, Pistachio Crusted Fish comes together quickly (less than 20 mins.) with just 5 ingredients. Brown sugar and chopped pistachios form a luscious crunchy topping, dill adds a warm, slightly grassy tone, and lemon juice provides tangy added moisture. Altogether, this delectable, no-breadcrumb topping provides the ideal texture and flavor pairing for a mild, slightly sweet fish like sea bass.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 6 (4- to 5-ounce) skinless sea bass fillets – see Note below
  • 1 cup salted, dry roasted pistachio nuts, very finely chopped (can chop in a food processor)
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 15- by 10- by 1-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place sea bass fillets in prepared pan.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the nuts, sugar, lemon juice, dill and pepper. Spoon the mixture evenly over each fillet, pressing down to adhere.
  4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes per 1-inch of thickness of the fillet (see Note below), or until fish reaches 140 to 145 degrees when measured with an instant-read thermometer. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

Note on fish to use: I like to use sea bass in this dish, preferably striped or Barramundi variety. Chilean sea bass, while popular, is actually not a sea bass; it’s a clever rebranding of Patagonian Toothfish. It’s also tasty, but keep in mind it’s higher in mercury. You can also use other, mild white fish including grouper, cod, haddock or even halibut. This pistachio crust is also delicious on salmon, too!

Note on fish cook time: While the general rule of thumb for cooking fish is 10 minutes per inch of thickness, I’ve included the option to cook these fillets for 12 minutes per inch. I find that with the crust on top, it can take a bit longer. It’s really to your taste — just remember, it will continue cooking after you take it out of the oven and let it rest.

Make ahead: Fish with topping can be prepared but not baked up to 4 hours in advance, covered and refrigerated.

Keywords: sea bass, crusted fish

Lee Clayton Roper

Welcome!

I’m Lee Clayton Roper, and I’m passionate about making cooking and entertaining easy, elegant and fun. Here you’ll find scrumptious recipes, helpful tips and seasonal menus that will spark inspiration in your kitchen!
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2 Responses to “Pistachio Crusted Fish”

  1. Debbie

    I made this with halibut tonight and it was really outstanding!!!!

    Reply

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