Quick and easy, this oven-roasted Honey Pecan Crusted Salmon brings together classic flavors in an entrée that’s perfect for weekday or weekend.
Have you been feeling the need for easier recipes lately? Perhaps it’s because I just got back from a vacation… But if I don’t have the ingredients on hand, and it isn’t done in 30 minutes, I get the urge to go out. You know the old saying “I need a vacation to rest up from my vacation!”
So I was happy to prepare a truly simple entree tonight. Pecan Crusted Salmon requires just a quick mix of topping ingredients, then you spread that on the salmon, and bake (it even bakes fast). Easy-peasy!
And of course, this wouldn’t count if it didn’t taste great as well!
Why You’ll Love This!
Tasty. The crunchy topping includes pecans, panko, honey and mustard–and made me think… If the honey mustard flavor combo is good enough to inspire a salad dressing, it’s gotta be a winner. Add the tasty salmon base and it’s over the top!
Easy. Just mix a few ingredients for the honey pecan glaze, top salmon, bake (fast even!) and you have an impressive entrée in minutes.
Healthy. Salmon’s loaded with healthy Omega-3 fatty acids—hooray! Who’s trying to get more seafood in their diet?
What You’ll Need
- Dijon mustard. This adds flavor and helps adhere the glaze.
- Honey. This adds flavor and helps adhere the glaze.
- Oil. This also adds flavor and helps create the glaze. I like to use extra virgin olive oil.
- Chopped pecans. This adds flavor and crunch.
- Panko bread crumbs. This enhances the crunch.
- Onion powder. This adds flavor.
- Chopped parsley. This adds flavor and color.
- Salmon fillets. This is the main component of the entrée and provides protein, healthy fats and other vital nutrients.
- Salt. This enhances flavor.
- A fish bone tweezers is very useful for removing bones. You can find them under $10 and it’s a good investment if you enjoy salmon.
Step by Step Directions
With a knife or food processor, chop the pecans into a mixture of small pieces and (almost ground) tiny pieces.
Add the remaining topping ingredients, then stir well to make a chunky paste.
Pat dry the salmon fillets and sprinkle with salt. Line a baking pan with parchment or spray with non-stick spray and set the salmon on this, skin side down. Spread the pecan mixture evenly on the flesh side.
Bake in a 375 F oven until fish reaches a temperature of 135-145F, about 12-15 minutes, depending on thickness. Top with additional chopped fresh parsley or herbs if desired.
Should I Use Wild or Farmed Salmon?
If you don’t have a regular supplier of salmon, the question inevitably arises of choosing between wild and farmed salmon.
That’s because, sadly, with environmental degradation and sometimes questionable farming practices, selecting seafood isn’t as straightforward as we might wish. But the Cleveland Clinic, did a recent analysis and found that wild (ocean) salmon is lower in contaminants, antibiotics and saturated (the “bad”) fat. So go wild if you can!
Of course, there are exceptions. Salmon from an environmentally conscious farm is likely to better than one hand-caught in a lake with contamination warnings. Ultimately the best answer may be to build a relationship with a fishmonger you trust.
Hmm, that’s how I buy my meat too—making sure I trust the source (farmer).
How to Serve
For the easiest of sides, I’d go with a loaf of artisan bread and either a bagged salad or cole slaw made with a pre-chopped cole slaw mix.
Just one notch up on the easy scale, roasted vegetables would be another great side–and can cook (mostly) with the salmon. If you go this route, cut your veggies on the small side, toss with oil and salt, and put into the oven while you prepare the salmon. This will ensure they are tender when the salmon is cooked through.
Or roast asparagus right alongside the honey pecan salmon since it’s done quickly!
Variations and Special Diets
If you’re feeling a bit indulgent, consider adding a tablespoon of bourbon to the glaze. Doesn’t that sound tasty!
Looking for more ideas for easy and delicious salmon recipes? Some other quick but company-impressive options include my Lemon Tarragon Salmon with Quick Béarnaise, my Horseradish Crusted Salmon with Asparagus or tasty and Easy Salmon Florentine! Or check out this Crab Stuffed Salmon Recipe from a blogging friend that has a clever efficiency tip!
Doesn’t it all make you feel that eating better is easier than you think!
This dish is already dairy free.
If you are looking for a gluten free version, you can use crushed pork rinds instead of the panko, or substitute extra pecans. For keto, just make the pork rind mod, then use a keto maple syrup instead of the honey.
And yes, I do keep pork rinds in my pantry. You never know when you’re going to have a carb reduction emergency!
Preparation and Leftovers
Pecan crusted salmon is so easy, there’s no real need to make it in advance. If you do wind up with leftovers, however, you can store them wrapped in the refrigerator for a few days or even freeze if needed. The topping will lose some crunch compared to fresh, but if you pop the leftovers under the broiler briefly, you should be able to get some of that back.
Tips & FAQs
Should I remove the skin on the salmon before baking? The skin is so easy to remove after baking that I usually leave it on. For some other preparation methods, like breading and frying, I do take it off first.
Can I leave the pin bones in? Packaged salmon fillets may come with or without (pin) bones, a row of bones down one side of the fillet. I’ve left pin bones in when I’m in a big hurry, but I encourage you to remove them if possible. I think it’s much easier before cooking. All it takes is a good fish bone tweezers–and I’ve even used a (cleaned) pliers in a pinch).
And If you remove them first, you don’t need to worry about an enthusiastic guest gobbling down a bone!
Honey Pecan Crusted Salmon
Honey Pecan Glaze:
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
- 4 6-oz. skin-on salmon fillets
- With a knife or food processor, chop the pecans into a mixture of small pieces and (almost ground) very small pieces. Add the remaining topping ingredients, then stir well to make a chunky paste.
- Pat dry the salmon fillets and sprinkle with salt. Line a baking pan with parchment or spray with non-stick spray and set the salmon on this, skin side down. Spread the pecan mixture evenly on the flesh side.
- Bake in a 375 F oven until fish reaches a temperature of 135-145F, about 12-15 minutes, depending on thickness. Top with a sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley or herbs if desired.
Originally published Oct 11, 2020
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