Red Snapper with Cilantro Pesto

red snapper with cilantro
Red snapper and quinoa pilaf photo by Oksana Charla
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Calories: 305

Fresh-caught fish paired with bright lime-infused cilantro pesto brings out the best of the Pacific coast. At Mirador in the Arenas del Mar Resort, red snapper is plated on a bed of quinoa pilaf with cilantro pesto drizzled artistically on top and around the fish for an elegant casado-style meal. This dish can also be served fuss-free and family-style; let each person arrange their own plate. If you can’t have fish, replace the red snapper with pan-seared or grilled boneless chicken breast.

Food editor Beth Hillson is a chef and cooking instructor. She is founder of Gluten-Free Pantry, one of the first gluten-free companies in the United States, and author of Gluten-Free Makeovers and The Complete Guide to Living Well Gluten Free (Da Capo Lifelong).

Yields 4 servings


  • 2 large bunches fresh cilantro, about 3 cups of leaves (not packed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1-2 pinches of salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 1 1⁄3 pounds red snapper, striped bass or similar white flesh fish filets, cut into 4 portions
  • Quinoa Pilaf
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


1To make cilantro pesto, wash cilantro, remove leaves and pat them dry between paper towels. Place leaves in a food processor and process about 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and lime juice. Process until smooth. Add salt and blend. Set aside to serve with red snapper.

2To prepare red snapper, place 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter in a pan and warm over medium heat. Add 4 pieces of snapper, skin-side down, and cook until crispy, about 4 minutes. Turn the fish and sauté the other side until browned, about 3 minutes (internal temperature should register 125°F).

3To serve, plate each piece of fish with Quinoa Pilaf. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle with cilantro pesto.

1 serving contains 305 calories, 17g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 161mg cholesterol, 162mg sodium, 1g carbohydrates, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 34g protein.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.