Meatless Monday Challenge

5-Ingredient Pistachio Crusted Halibut (20 Minute Meal!)

on June 27, 2024
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This Pistachio Crusted Halibut is as simple as it gets, with only 5 ingredients and 20 minutes required! Tender fish with a crispy exterior and deep savory flavor.
Halibut with pistachio crust baked until crispy and golden brown plated with lemon.

If you want a quick and simple dinner that doesn’t skimp on flavor, this Pistachio Crusted Halibut is for you. In just 20 minutes and with only 5 ingredients, dinner is served!

Plus, this pistachio crusted fish recipe lends the BEST texture, yielding a firm yet tender fish with a crispy crunchy exterior. Filling, flavorful, and fast. What more do we need?

Halibut crusted in pistachios served with lemon wedges.

Halibut with Pistachio Crust Ingredients

Here’s everything you need:

  • Halibut. I used frozen (thawed) pre-portioned skinless filets.
  • Lemon juice.
  • Dijon mustard.
  • Parmesan cheese. Pre-grated or you can grate your own from a fresh block.
  • Pistachios.
overhead view of all ingredients for pistachio crusted halibut - lemon juice, pistachios, halibut, Dijon mustard, Parmesan

Sustainable Seafood

Halibut is deliciously tender yet firm, with a little bit of flakiness and a mild taste that takes on flavor readily.

There are accessible ways to source halibut sustainably, which as an advocate for green living, is important to me!

U.S. wild-caught Pacific halibut is a sustainable seafood choice as it is local and native to the Pacific Ocean and responsibly harvested under strict regulation.

Green tip: Look for Marine Stewardship Council and Friend of the Sea labels on your fish to ensure they were harvested sustainably.

How to Make Pistachio Crusted Halibut

Prep Your Halibut and Pistachios

If you’re using frozen halibut, make sure it’s completely defrosted before you start cookin’. Either transfer the fish from the freezer to the refrigerator at least 12 hours before, or add the halibut to a storage bag and make sure it’s sealed tight.

Then, you can submerge the frozen halibut in cold water for about 45 minutes until completely defrosted.

In my experience, I’ve found that halibut is often sold skinless, but if you need to remove the skin yourself, check out this guide on how to remove skin from fish.

Once your halibut is thawed and skinless, dry it in order to get the best texture when cooked. Simply place your halibut filets in between two paper towels and press down lightly, so that the towels absorb any excess moisture.

This will help to avoid a mushy texture. This same pat-dry technique is used in making this Cajun Mahi-Mahi Sandwich.

Green tip: Paper products contribute to deforestation. Consider these bamboo paper towels! Bamboo naturally regenerates every few months, whereas trees cannot regrow once harvested.

As for the pistachios, we want to break them down into smaller pieces so we can more easily form a crust for the fish. You can either crush them with a mortar and pestle or use a sharp knife to chop them.

Reducing moisture in raw halibut by blotting with paper towel.
Pat dry the halibut with paper towel.
Pistachios roughly chopped on a cutting board to make a crust for fish.
Chop or crush the Pistachios into smaller pieces.

Make Your Simple Marinade and Crust Mixture

This 5-ingredient halibut recipe is made so simple by using high-impact ingredients so that we don’t have an ingredient list that’s a mile long. The simple marinade, which doubles as an “adhesive” to stick the crust mixture to the halibut, is only 2 ingredients.

Just mix together the lemon juice and mustard in a bowl and voila! I recommend using a fork or whisk to make sure you integrate the lemon juice into the mustard.

In a second bowl, toss together the Parmesan cheese and Pistachio pieces.

Lemon juice and Dijon mustard mixed together to make a very simple fish marinade.
Whisk together the lemon juice and mustard.
Grated Parmesan cheese and chopped Pistachios mixed together to make a crust.
Toss together the Pistachios and Parmesan.

How to Add a Pistachio Crust to Your Halibut

Now that you’re all set up, crusting your halibut is easy! Drop the halibut into the mustard marinade and coat it on both sides.

Then, transfer the halibut to the crust mixture, pressing it in. Repeat for both pieces of halibut. You should aim to use up all the marinade and all the crust.

Coating halibut in a mixture of Dijon mustard and halibut.
Coat the halibut in the mustard marinade.
Pressing mustard-coated halibut into crust made of pistachios and Parmesan.
Press the pistachio crust into the halibut.

How to Perfectly Bake Nut-Crusted Halibut

Place the crusted halibut into a baking dish. If you have excess crust mixture, sprinkle it over top. Then roast the halibut on the top rack at 425°F for 10-13 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 130°F.

Check on it after 10 minutes. If you see that the pistachios are starting to burn, cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.

You’ll be left with tender fish with a crispy outer crust.

Halibut completely coated in pistachios placed inside a baking dish.
Place the pistachio-crusted halibut in a baking dish.
Pistachio-crusted halibut just baked in the oven.
Roast at 425°F for 10-13 minutes.

Serving Halibut with Pistachio Crust

This delicious halibut recipe is versatile and pairs well with pretty much anything and everything you have in your fridge. If you need ideas, here are some of my favorite sides to serve with it:

Two plates with bed of greens with halibut crusted in pistachios on top.

How to Properly Store and Reheat Leftover Roasted Halibut

Once cooked, your Crusted Halibut will last in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days. You can also wrap and freeze it for up to 3 months.

To reheat cooked halibut, thaw in the refrigerator overnight if frozen, cover, and bake it at 275°F for about 15-20 minutes. Ideally, the internal temperature reaches 130°F.

Green tip: Did you know that of the billions of pounds of food wasted annually, it is estimated that 50% of it happens in our homes? It’s always best to avoid food waste as much as you can!

Want to sharpen your kitchen skills?

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If you’re loving this Pistachio Crusted Halibut and want more simple fish recipes, check out this Salmon with Dill Yogurt Sauce and Crispy Blackened Cod.

Halibut with pistachio crust baked until crispy and golden brown plated with lemon.

5-Ingredient Pistachio Crusted Halibut (20 Minute Meal!)

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Marley Goldin
This Pistachio Crusted Halibut is as simple as it gets, with only 5 ingredients and 20 minutes required! Tender fish with a crispy exterior and deep savory flavor.
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 servings



  • 10 ounces halibut (in individual portions)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (smooth or grainy)
  • ¼ cup roasted and salted Pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Prep your fish and nuts by patting dry the halibut with paper towels (check out these bamboo paper towels for a more sustainable option). If necessary, remove the skin and slice into two individual portions. Roughly chop the Pistachios with a sharp knife.
  • In a shallow bowl, mix together the Dijon mustard and lemon juice to make your quick marinade.
  • In a second, separate shallow bowl, combine the chopped Pistachios and Parmesan cheese to make your crust.
  • Press the halibut into the marinade, coating it completely on both sides. You can use a pastry brush, spoon, or your hands to spread the marinade if that's easier.
  • Then, press the Halibut into the crust mixture, completely coating both sides of the fish and place the crusted fish into a casserole dish. Once you have crusted both pieces of fish, all of your crust mixture should be used up. If you have extra, sprinkle it on top of the fish.
  • Bake for 10-13 minutes on the top rack, until the internal temperature of the fish reaches 130°F. If you notice the crust starting to burn, cover the dish with aluminum foil. Enjoy hot!

Pro Tips

  • To make this salmon dairy-free, sub Panko bread crumbs for the Parmesan and add an extra pinch of salt to the crust.
  • Want more simple recipes like this? Check out this list of fish recipes with 5 ingredients or less
  • If using frozen halibut, make sure it’s completely thawed before starting this recipe. Transfer it from the freezer to the fridge at least 12 hours before or place in a sealed bag and submerge in lukewarm water for about 45 minutes. 
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword 30 Minutes or Less, 5 Ingredients or Less, Fish Dinner, Halibut, Pescatarian, Pistachio Crust, Pistachio Crusted Halibut
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