Roasted Salmon with Cilantro Pesto

I don’t make seafood very often for a couple of reasons.  First, we live in Indiana – not the best place to get seafood that I would consider to be good quality.  Second, Ben isn’t a huge seafood fan.  He’ll eat most of what I make and he seems to like it okay, but I think he would prefer almost anything else.  I recently discovered that the area Wild Oats stores were converted to Whole Foods…hallelujah!  This weekend we went to check one of them out and I was in heaven.  (Really, I couldn’t stop raving.  Ask Ben.)  The store certainly isn’t close by, but close enough to make a monthly trip for special ingredients such as good salmon.  This has been one of my favorite salmon recipes for a long time.  It’s quick, easy, healthy and delicious!  The flavors of the cilantro and salmon go really well together.  I also thought it would be a perfect entry for this month’s Tasty Tools challenge, featuring the blender as this month’s tool.  Although I normally make the pesto in a food processor, it can be made in a blender as well.  I served this with garlic rice pilaf on the side and it was a very tasty and healthy meal.

Roasted Salmon with Cilantro Pesto


2-4 salmon fillets

1 clove garlic

1 cup cilantro, loosely packed

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. lime juice

1-2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped



Preheat oven to 400°.  Add garlic, cilantro, olive oil and lime juice to food processor.  Blend until creamy.  (Alternatively, if using a blender – mince garlic before adding to the blender.)  Grease a baking dish with olive oil.  Place salmon fillets in the baking dish.  Spread the cilantro pesto on salmon fillets, sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with chopped tomatoes.  Bake 15-18 minutes.

Source: adapted from The Fresh Market

13 Responses

  1. Oh! We’ve made this one a few times and I just love it.

  2. Oooh, Louis absolutely loves cilantro and this is a great recipe for me to try with the salmon fillets I have on hand. Thanks so much for participating in the Tasty Tools this month and I’m looking forward to trying this recipe soon!

  3. Wow Annie, this looks amazing and sounds SO delicious! What a great flavor combination!

  4. Oooh, that sounds awesome! Thanks for the idea 😉

  5. I can not wait to try this! I love salmon almost as much as I love cilantro! Thanks for the post 🙂

  6. Hey this looks great! If you’re up on the north side of Indy you should check out Joe’s Fish and Meat market in carmel…they IMO have the best seafood in Indy! YUM!

  7. i love salmon and am always looking for different ways to cook it – this looks wonderful!

  8. Oh wow! This looks so good! I have a piece of salmon in the fridge that’s been begging to be gobbled up, and this might just be the way to do it! One question though: Do you think I could substitute the lime juice for lemon juice? I hardly ever use lime, and so I would hate to have any of it go to waste. 🙂

    • Hi Jesse,
      So very sorry for the delayed response. Some comments seem to fall through the cracks and it’s hard to respond to everyone! I think lemon could be easily substituted for lime juice in this recipe. Enjoy!

  9. Hi Annie,

    Would this recipe work with another kind of fish? I generally prefer a white fish and I can’t see why this wouldn’t work with that. I’m an amateur though so I wanted to check first 😉

    Thanks a lot! And thanks for blogging such great ideas and so frequently! I love it!


  10. HI Annie. I love your website. I am a bit obsessed with cooking and taking pictures of the foods i make. This was the first recipe of yours i tried and i loved it! However, my cilantro pesto didnt come out as a paste as yours looks in the photo. I dont have a food processor so i put everything in a food chopper then transfered it to my blender and pressed puree, but it didnt. How did you get yours so fine? Afterwards, i thought maybe if i had added more liquid of somesort it would puree better but i dont know. Anyway, the flavor was all that really mattered and it was wonderful. Thanks!

    • Dalia,
      Yeah, something like this is much easier made in a food processor. Blenders tend to not do so well with things with small amounts of liquid. You would probably have to make a larger batch for it to work well in your blender.

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