Tilapia with Cilantro Pesto

{delicious. healthy. quick.}


Fish is always a go-to choice in our house.  It is healthy, cooks quickly, and so versatile to prepare.  I needed a quick weeknight meal and was thinking about a parmesan crusted tilapia fillet with traditional pesto.  Since basil season has come to an end the price was a bit high for how much is needed to make a decent amount.  I decided to switch it up a bit and try a cilantro pesto.  Bryan made a cilantro sauce to go over linguine and shrimp one time.  This recipe was pretty similar except since it is not cooked.  If you are looking for something really flavorful, but quick this is a perfect meal.  The pesto can be served over any type of fish, chicken or like I said pasta.

tilapia with cilantro pesto


2 tilapia fillets
1 bushel of cilantro, remove all/most stems
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water + additional tablespoon a time if needed
salt and pepper
cherry tomatoes [for garnish]

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Season the fish with salt and pepper.  Then sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of parmesan.
3.  In a food processor, add the cilantro, walnuts, parmesan, garlic, lemon, and olive oil.
4.  Process until combined and slowly drizzle in the water.  Process again.  Add more water if needed to make the consistency thick, but not too chunky or too watery.
5.  Place pesto in the fridge.
6.  Place the fish on a greased baking sheet and cook about 7-8 minutes, depending on thickness of the fillets.
7.  Immediately top with cilantro pesto when done and garnish with cherry tomatoes.

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  6. says

    This looks awesome! If I attempt to make the traditional form of pesto, can I simply sub the cilantro used for basil? Thanks Sara!

    • not so doughie says

      absolutely! It is delicious if you love cilantro :) thanks for stopping by!

    • not so doughie says

      Kim, it was fantastic! And it vegetarian & gluten free (right??) :-)
      Enjoy & thanks for stopping by!

  7. Rachel says

    Thanks so much!!!! I want to make this very soon. It will help overcome all the “doughieness” in the last few weeks!

    • not so doughie says

      The next few posts definitely will be not so doughie… it’s been a doughie week for sure. stay tuned for other quick & healthy meals this week!


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