Go Back
+ servings
cilantro chile pesto fish on white plate with tomatoes and fork
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto Fish

Bring fresh, vibrant, summery flavors to your dinner table with this cilantro chile pesto fish. Tilapia is grilled to tender perfection, then topped with a spicy and fresh cilantro jalapeno pesto. Low carb and gluten-free.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4
Calories: 475kcal


Cilantro Chile Pesto

  • 4 jalapeño peppers (whole *see note)
  • spray oil
  • 4 cups cilantro leaves (loosely packed)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 limes (juiced)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese (shredded)


  • 4 tilapia fillets (or white fish of your choice; see note **)



  • Pre-heat barbecue to medium heat (350°F). Spray jalapeño peppers with oil, and cook on the grill, turning every 2 minutes until charred and cooked through.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. (**leave the BBQ on for cooking the fish!)
  • While jalapeño peppers are cooling, assemble all pesto ingredients in a 7-cup food processor fitted with a steel blade.
  • Remove the stems and seeds from the cooled jalapeños, and do your best to peel off the skin. If it wouldn't peel, don't worry about it and move on. **You may wish to wear protective gloves when handling the jalapeños.
  • Place the peeled and de-seeded jalapeños into the food processor and blend for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the processor with a spatula and blend for 30 more seconds.


  • Spray a large piece of aluminum foil with spray oil. Arrange fish fillets on the aluminum, and spread generously with pesto.
  • Cook the fish on the foil over medium heat on the barbecue. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 4 minutes, or until fish is cooked through and flakes with a fork.


  • pesto may be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week
  • pesto may be frozen for up to 1 month (I recommend a small mason jar)
  • after cooking, tilapia fillets may be stored in the fridge- they are best eaten within 2 days
*Jalapeños vary in their spiciness, so use your judgment when preparing the pesto. Try with 1-2 jalapeños to start, taste and decide if you want the others.
**if you use a different type of fish, you will need to alter the cook time. Cook to an internal temperature of 145°F or until it flakes easily with a fork.


Serving: 1/4 batch | Calories: 475kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 487mg | Potassium: 679mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1280IU | Vitamin C: 21.4mg | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 1.7mg