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.

Pinterest image of Baked White Fish with Pine Nut, Parmesan, and Pesto Crust

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

  1. Looks fantastic…I love how you baked it in the serving dishes, and I love that they only cost $.75…they are so pretty!

  2. I have some halibut from Costco in the freezer and this looks absolutely yummy. I'm not a big fish eater, but hubby is…so he'll be happy! Making this tonight!

  3. These look so refreshing, and they are a great way to get more fish into my diet! Thanks 🙂

  4. Mmmmm… This is going to be my dinner tonight!

  5. I made this last night. I used tilapia and it was wonderful. Because my tilapia was thin it cooked quicker than anticipated and the crust wasn't browning. I just flipped on the broiler and voila a beautiful crunchy colour.

  6. I love the ideas you come up with. Now I can use the big bag of piñons (I'm from NM) on something other than snacking and salads. Thank you.

  7. Thanks for another simple and flavorful baked fish recipe!

  8. I don't often get inspired by fish but one like that with that yummy crust, sure! anytime!

  9. Stephanie, I realized I should have told you more about basil pesto. It's a combination of garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, basil leaves, and olive oil, blended in the food processor. Homemade pesto is great, but for a recipe like this, pesto that comes in a jar will work just fine.

  10. Stephanie, I used purchased pesto, but if you want to make your own, there will be lots of recipes at Food Blog Search.

  11. This is going to sound um..lame, but do you have a recipe for Basil Pesto to use with this? In all honesty, I've never had,made smelt, dealt with pesto..not really even sure what it is. Help please? 🙂 This dish looks amazingly delicious and I can't wait to try it. 😀

  12. That looks like a great and quick fishdish!

  13. When I make pesto, I often put a tiny bit of mayonnaise in it to smooth out the flavor. I love that this topping is really pesto kicked up, and I love halibut and also our New England cod loin, so this is going on my make-it-soon list.

  14. What a wonderful, healthy meal for a busy night. The crust really adds something special to this dish.

  15. Beautiful, and healthy, preparation Kalyn. I don't use pine nuts very often, but this recipe might just change that.

  16. Jessica and Carrie, glad you like it.

    Maria, the dishes came from the DI in Centerville, only $.75 each!

    Alanna, I buy pine nuts at Costco, about $13 for a big bag which I keep in the freezer. The Costco ones have never given me any problem, so I'm assuming they aren't from China. I do love sunflower sees too, and I think they would work in this.

  17. Lovely fish, Kalyn!

    PS For anyone wanting a substitute for pine nuts, which have become out-of-this-world expensive, at least for ones from Italy since inexpensive pine nuts from China are perhaps linked to pine nut syndrome (where people lose their taste for a couple of weeks after eating pine nuts), I've been using toasted sunflower seeds.

  18. I love those white dishes and that crust looks fantastic.

  19. Sounds really wonderful! I'm going to give it a try.

  20. Beautiful fish – it looks so delicous.