Sheet-pan crusted pecan-mustard salmon with asparagus will be your new favorite, quick company dinner. Top your salmon fillets with butter (or ghee, or olive oil), nuts, mustard and rosemary, and after 20 minutes of baking, the meal is ready.
Enjoy this easy, quick recipe with Seasoned Salt Potatoes, which can be finished in the Instant Pot in the same time that you are preparing the fish and asparagus.
Salmon or steelhead?
I enjoy both salmon and steelhead trout in one-pan dishes because all you need to do to prep is to slice and arrange the fillets. The two fish are similar in flavor but steelhead fillets tend to be thicker, taking a few more minutes to bake. The thinner fillets of salmon can sometimes dry out sooner than I like, and in this dish the butter, nuts and mustard protect the delicate texture of the salmon.
Steelhead is considered very sustainable compared to wild salmon according to the Monterey Bay Seafood Sustainability List, so we buy the steelhead when it’s available. You may hesitate to eat steelhead because it is farmed, but steelhead maintains its high omega-3 fatty-acid content when farmed, while salmon does not.
In the day we bought this at Costco, only the wild salmon was for sale, so we decided to enjoy it this time. To get the most out of the single, 1-¼ pound fillet, we made it into two meals (meal #2, a pasta dish using the leftovers, to come).
Pecans or walnuts?
Pecans often win on taste, with their naturally buttery flavor, while walnuts are healthier, with their higher omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts can have a bitter flavor that some people don't like even if they want to be healthy. So, how to choose?
Luckily, the relatively strong flavors in this dish are perfect to counteract that bitterness in walnuts. The rosemary and mustard have just enough flavor without overpowering the salmon's sweetness. Either pecans or walnuts would add variety and crunch on both the fish and the asparagus.
No matter which you buy, there is no need to toast the nuts first, as they will crisp up during baking. And you don't need to spend a lot of extra money buying nut halves, unless you plan to make a pecan pie with the rest - you're going to chop them up anyway.
What other vegetable can I use besides asparagus?
I chose asparagus partly because of its color contrast, the fact that I could buy it fresh and partly because it was locally grown and in season.
If you want this to bake on a single sheet-pan, the vegetable also needs to cook in the same length of time as the salmon. Any vegetable that you enjoy nearly-raw would work here: zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes. For other vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts or root vegetables, you'd either need to slice them very thin, or start them in advance of the fish.
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If you have a chance to try this recipe, please leave me a comment to let me know what you thought and how it went!
Other seafood recipes on A Meal In Mind
Garlic Dijon-Herb Salmon Baked in Parchment
Easy Massaman Salmon or Steelhead Curry
Miso-Lemon Baked Steelhead Trout
Veracruz Style Steelhead or Salmon
Shop Pecan-Mustard Salmon with Asparagus
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Crusted Pecan-Mustard Salmon with Asparagus
- 1¼ pounds of salmon cut into fillets
- ¾ cup chopped raw pecans or walnuts
- 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- big pinch of salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons melted butter ghee or good olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dry sherry or honey optional
- 1 pound asparagus spears tough ends removed
- Preheat oven to 350-375 degrees depending on thickness of salmon. Line small baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Chop nuts and finely mince the rosemary.
- Melt butter in small dish. Add mustard and rosemary, then salt and pepper. and combine.
- Place fillets onto prepared baking sheet and arrange the asparagus alongside. Drizzle mustard/rosemary/butter mixture onto each fillet and the asparagus.
- Distribute nuts evenly over the butter mixture. .
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork and is cooked through. (Aim for 15 minutes if you like the fish very tender in the middle as we do).
- Serve with Instant Pot Seasoned Salt Potatoes or rice and a simple salad!
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Loved the mustard spread and pecans crust on this salmon, thanks so much for the dinner idea and happy Easter!
Hello chefkreso, thank you so much and I'm delighted you enjoyed this - we love it. Happy Easter to you too!
I've been trying to eat more salmon lately and seafood in general, and this recipe is delicious!!
Emily, we love this with both salmon and steelhead, and the flavors of the pecans and the mustard are really great.
Love how easy and delicious this salmon is! Thank you for the recommendations for the nuts and other vegetables.
Maria, it's a wonderful recipe and the mustard really brings out the natural sweet flavor of the salmon. You are so welcome!
Taleen | Just As Tasty
I absolutely love pecans - what a great idea to use them for crusted salmon! I can't wait to try this dinner!
Taleen, the pecans are fabulous as a nut topping - I can't recommend them enough - I hope you like the salmon as much as I do!
I love the crunch you get from the pecans (or walnuts). And who can say no to that delicious mustard spread? So yummy!
Hi Stine Mari, I find mustard a surprisingly tasty flavoring on fish dishes - it's partly the mustard and partly that little tartness.
I love the whole meal of salmon and asparagus, two of my favorites. Love this recipe with the mustard spread.
Jere, I agree -- salmon and asparagus go together so well, take a similar amount of time to cook, and are great with this mustard flavor.
Jen | Jen's Food Lab
Salmon is my favorite fish! I wonder if this recipe would work with cashews as well. It looks amazing and also healthy though!
Jen, I used pecans only because I wanted a lighter version of something I'd had with walnuts. I think cashews would be very good!
What a tasty recipe, I love the idea of making a pecan crust - I bet it goes so well with the mustard. Thanks for sharing the recpe.
Sarah, we think the pecans give the perfect texture to the softer salmon, and the mustard flavor is divine with both. Enjoy!
I agree that walnuts can be a bit bitter so pecans would be my choice for this salmon dish. It looks wonderful! I love the idea of serving it with asparagus!
Hi Jacqui, it really is wonderful and of course you could customize it for whoever was going to be eating it. Asparagus is so great for a one-pan dinner!
Georgina @ Culinary Travels
Salmon asparagus is one of my favourite dinners right now. I love how tasty and healthy it is. The addition of pecans sounds glorious. I will try it.
Thanks, Georgina, it's such a great combination of flavors with the pecans, and I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do.
My husband loves seafood and I do not. I always need exact recipes when I am making seafood for him. He said this recipe was delicious.
Hi, Wendy, it's always a bit tricky to make a recipe for someone when it's not your favorite - or theirs. In my case, my son calls asparagus "aspara-gross" so I totally empathize.
I love sheet pan dinners so this salmon with asparagus meal is right up my alley! Next time I would try this with broccoloi florets! YUM!
Hi Gail, some of my family members also like me to include broccoli, especially the broccolini type. Hope you enjoy it.
I won't be able to make this since we have nut allergies, but I think I can go without and it still turn out pretty good.
Hi Marta, I made a similar dish for a friend who's allergic to all nuts and we used chopped sunflower seeds - but he could tolerate those and I know not everyone can.
What a flavorful meal is this. Love how simple and delicious this recipe is. Thanks for sharing
Kushigalu, the mustard gives the fish the perfect flavor pop.
I love the crunchiness that the pecans add to the salmon - makes it so much more fun to eat! And the mustard mixture is so creamy, rich, and delicious - YUM!
Thank you Alena, the nutty crunch is really wonderful in this recipe, and I hope you enjoy it if you make it.
This is such a creative recipe and it definitely inspired me to cook my salmon. I love how you combined the salmon with pecan nuts, that would give such a lovely crunchiness to the dish. I can't wait to make this for my family tonight!
Hi, Ramona, we love that crunch, too, as well as the simple prep and tasty flavors. Thank you!
Mustard is such a strong yet delicious flavor, the salmon must have tasted amazing with mustard. Wonderful meal idea.
Hi, Sapana. I find that mustard can bring out the flavor of fish as long as I don't use too much. Thank you!
I love fish. Your simple yet flavorful pecan-crusted salmon looks like a perfect dish to try for weekend dinner.
Lathiya, my family thought that the mustard and pecans made this a very fancy salmon dish (when it was very quick!).
This salmon recipe was really good - complimented the salmon flavor rather than trying to cover it up.
Josh, I'm so delighted to hear that you enjoyed this recipe. My goal was exactly to compliment the flavor of the salmon while providing texture from the pecans, so you have experienced just what I hoped to share with others.