Halibut with Cilantro Pesto

  • Serves: Serves 4; 3 ounces fish per serving
  • Cooking Time: 4 -5 minutes


Pesto made with cilantro, lime, and jalapeño turns simple grilled or broiled fish into a delicious entrée.


Vegetable oil spray
Cilantro Pesto
1 fresh medium jalapeño (optional)
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, minced
4 halibut or salmon fillets (about 4 ounces each)

Cooking Instructions

If using a grill, preheat on medium high. Wearing oven mitts, remove the grill rack and lightly spray with vegetable oil spray. If using a broiler, preheat the broiler and lightly spray the broiler pan with vegetable oil spray.

Wearing plastic gloves, slice the jalapeño in half lengthwise. Discard the seeds and ribs. Finely chop the jalapeño. Put in a small bowl.

Stir the remaining pesto ingredients into the jalapeño.

Rinse the fish and pat dry with paper towels. Brush half the pesto on one side of the fish. Place the fish with the pesto side up on the grill rack or in the broiler pan.

Cook about 6 inches from the heat for 4 minutes. Turn the fish and spread with the remaining pesto. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, or until it flakes easily when tested with a fork. Watch carefully so the walnuts don’t burn.

Nutritional Analysis
Per serving
Calories Per Serving
Total Fat
8 g
Saturated Fat
1.5 g
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
3 g
Monounsaturated Fat
3 g
38 mg
105 mg
1 g
25 g
92 mg
549 mg

Dietary Exchanges

3 lean meat

This recipe is reprinted with permission from the American Heart Association Low-Salt Cookbook, Third Edition, Copyright © 2006 by the American Heart Association. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc. Available from booksellers everywhere.