Kalyn's Kitchen

Baked White Fish with Pine Nut, Parmesan, and Pesto Crust

Try this Baked White Fish with Pine Nut, Parmesan, and Pesto Crust for a low-carb dinner idea that always feels like something special. 

PIN Baked White Fish so you can make it later!

Low-Carb Baked White Fish with Pine Nut, Parmesan, and Basil Pesto Crust found on KalynsKitchen.com

It’s always great to have some easy baked fish dinners in your cooking arsenal, and this Baked White Fish with Pine Nut, Parmesan, and Pesto Crust always produces results so spectacular that no one will ever think about this being a low-carb or Keto dish.  Serve this with a lovely salad of baby spinach and some type of roasted vegetable and it would be a perfect keto, low-carb, or South Beach Diet friendly dinner for any special occasion.

I love hanging out in the kitchen, but I’m not the kind of cook who wants to spend hours on a fussy recipe. I love recipes that are easy to prepare but have interesting ingredients with lots of flavor, and this recipe for baked white fish with a crust made of chopped pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic, pesto, and mayo certainly fits that description. And this is a recipe I’ve greatly enjoyed every time I’ve made it, so I am reminding you about it for Friday Favorites this week!

What Kind of White Fish Did I Use?

I first made this with fillets of halibut, but now halibut is so expensive that’s probably really a splurge for most people. You can use cod, bass, grouper, mahi-mahi, catfish, haddock, snapper, pollock, or any type of mild white fish. Depending on where you live, different varieties of white fish may be available and if you shop where there’s someone behind the counter, ask what they recommend. Here’s more about white fish from the Kitchn. 

What if you don’t have Pine Nuts?

I love, love, love pine nuts but I do know they’re a bit of a budget splurge. I buy them in a big bag at Costco and keep them in the freezer, and most recipes don’t use a super large amount so a bag will last me for years. But if you don’t want to buy them just for this recipe I’d use chopped almonds to replace the pine nuts. 

Low-Carb Baked White Fish with Pine Nut, Parmesan, and Basil Pesto Crust found on KalynsKitchen.com

How to Make Baked White Fish with Pine Nut, Parmesan, and Pesto Crust:

(Scroll down for complete printable recipe.)

  1. Let the fish come to room temperature while you preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
  2. If your pieces of fish have a flatter side, put that side up so it’s easier to spread on the crust mixture. (You can use one large casserole dish if you don’t have individual dishes like this.)
  3. Finely chop the pine nuts, using a large chef’s knife, and finely mince one clove of garlic.
  4. Combine pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, basil pesto, and mayonnaise. I used my favorite basil pesto from a jar but if you have your own pesto in the freezer, that would be even better.
  5. Spread the crust evenly over each piece of fish, then bake for 10-15 minutes, or until fish is done and the crust is starting to get lightly browned.
  6. Serve hot and wait for compliments.

Low-Carb Baked White Fish with Pine Nut, Parmesan, and Basil Pesto Crust found on KalynsKitchen.com

Make it a Low-Carb Meal:

This would be great with something like Roasted Cauliflower with Red Pepper, Green Olives, and Pine Nuts, Twice-Baked Cauliflower, or Garlic-Roasted Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds for a low-carb meal.

More Tasty Seafood Dinners To Try:

Favorite Low-Carb and Keto Baked Fish Dinners
Low-Carb Shrimp Dinner Recipes
The BEST Low-Carb Fish and Seafood Recipes

Low-Carb Baked White Fish with Pine Nut, Parmesan, and Basil Pesto Crust found on KalynsKitchen.com

Baked White Fish with Pine Nut, Parmesan, and Pesto Crust

Yield 2 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

This low-carb Baked White Fish with Pine Nut, Parmesan, and Basil Pesto Crust is special enough to make for guests.

Ingredients

  • 2 white fish fillets, about 6 oz. each (I used halibut but you could use cod, tilapia, grouper, or any mild white fish)
  • 3 T pine nuts
  • 2 T Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. finely minced garlic (1 garlic clove)
  • 1 tsp. basil pesto (I used purchased pesto)
  • 1 1/2 T mayo

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400F/200C. Spray individual casserole dishes with non-stick spray or olive oil (use one large casserole dish if you don’t have individual ones.)
  2. Remove the fish fillets from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature while the oven reheats. (Having the fish at room temperature is very important or it won’t cook before the crust topping gets too brown.)
  3. Use a large chef’s knife to finely chop the pine nuts and mince the garlic. Mix together chopped pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, basil pesto, and mayo.
  4. Use a rubber scraper to spread the crust mixture evenly over the surface of each fish fillet. Pile it on so all the crust mixture is used.
  5. Bake fish 10-15 minutes, until fish is firm to the touch and crust mixture is starting to lightly brown. (I baked the fish pieces in the photo for 13 minutes.) Serve hot.

Notes

Recipe inspired by a fish recipe from Cooking New American.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 283Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 266mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 24g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Baked White Fish with Pine Nut, Parmesan, and Pesto Crust is suitable for any type of low-carb eating plan as well as any phase of the South Beach Diet. Some of the ingredients in the crust topping are high in fat for South Beach, but only the Parmesan cheese has saturated fat and there’s not a lot of topping.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Check out My Favorite Low-Carb and Keto Recipes with Pesto for more tasty ideas for using basil pesto! Use Oven Dinners to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

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    102 Comments on “Baked White Fish with Pine Nut, Parmesan, and Pesto Crust”

  1. Could this be made in a instant pot air fryer/pressure cooker? The recipe looks delicious!

    • I don’t have one of those types of Instant Pots with the Air Fryer lid, so I can’t really answer with certainty. I’m not sure there is an advantage to make it that way over the oven, the fish cooks really quickly. And I worry about the topping burning in the Air Fryer. But it *might* work; I’d love to hear how it goes if you try it.

  2. This recipe has become a family standard in our fish recipe rotation! I’ve been making it for years. When my son is home from college I omit the nuts or grind them up since he has IBD issues. Either way, the recipe is delicious.

  3. Fish is our favorite dish in dinner. My wife and kids love them very much. This is a excellent recipe for me. I am going to make it and surely let you know about it. Looking forward for more recipes in future. Thank you so much.

  4. Made this tonight and wow, wonderful! I forgot to buy pine nuts but had some pistachios and used those instead and it was delicious!

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  6. OMGosh! 👏🏻 SO delicious!!! We didn’t have pine nuts, but it didn’t matter. We will make this over and over. Easy and sumptuous! Thank you! 

  7. Really good dish. My husband and I aren’t fond of fish and we both enjoyed, him to the point of asking me to make it again.

  8. This was delish! Just had it for dinner tonight & served it with creamy garlic cauliflower & kale mash & steamed carrot & broccolini. Will definitely be making again. Thanks for the recipe 😄👍

  9. I just made this tonight with Mahi mahi. Thank you so much, it was amazing!!

  10. I use Job snapper,Emperor and above all Grouper or any other white fish, with this recipe and it's second to none.What a great way to prepare fish

  11. Paul, you need something to keep the topping stuck to the fish, so I don't think it would work to just omit the mayo/ You could try something like sour cream or Greek yogurt, but without trying it I can't honestly say for sure it will work as well as the mayo (which keeps the fish moist).

  12. Hi. This looks really nice. I might be slightly picky but I'm not a big fan of mayo. Maybe I wouldn't even notice it but could i just leave it out or would you have any substitution suggestions

  13. Thanks Lisa, so glad the recipes are working well for you!