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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


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.


  • 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


  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.


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

© A Well-Seasoned Kitchen ®