Baked Cilantro Chimichurri Salmon is full of delicious, fresh ingredients and it’s ridiculously easy to make. Perfect for a busy weeknight, and definitely beautiful and impressive enough for a weekend dinner party.You can whip Baked Cilantro Chimichurri Salmon up in about 15 minutes. Start to finish.
Serve it over rice and sautéed vegetables and you’ll be a star. Really, it’s an incredibly delicious, healthy and gorgeous dish.
What’s in Baked Cilantro Chimichurri Salmon?
Cilantro Chimichurri and salmon. That’s it!
Of course there are a few delicious ingredients in the chimichurri:
- red wine vinegar
- lemon juice
- cumin, paprika, crushed red pepper, salt
- extra virgin olive oil
You can read more about Chimichurri and its origins here.
How to Bake Salmon
There are dozens of ways to bake salmon. This is my way. It’s simple, tried and true.
- Try to purchase evenly sized salmon fillets. This way, they’ll all be finished cooking at the same time.
- The oven should be preheated to 375°F before you bake the salmon.
- You can leave the skin on or off. It’s will slide right off after it’s baked.
- It’s best to line your baking dish with foil.
- With or without the skin, and with or without foil, drizzle a light coating of olive oil in the pan before adding the fish.
- Typically, a good rule of thumb is about 10 minutes per inch of thickness.
How can you tell when salmon is done cooking?
- For most fish, and definitely salmon, it’s done when it’s still slightly translucent in the center. If you take it out of the oven at this stage, it’s likely to be perfect. A moment more and it could be on the dry side.
- It should literally flake apart when poked with a fork. If it doesn’t, it’s either still too raw, or it’s overcooked.
- Please take a look at the image below of the bite of salmon on the fork. Notice how it changes color? It’s more opaque on the edges and more of a bright orange towards the center, where it’s less cooked.
What to Serve With Baked Cilantro Chimichurri Salmon
I would suggest serving this with Coconut Cilantro Rice. It’s subtly sweet and perfect to soak up any of the chimichurri sauce that escapes the salmon. I serve it with this almost every time I make it.
Along with the rice, almost any sautéed green vegetable is great.
These three together make for a perfect bowl.
Not a cilantro fan?
I know, you love it or hate it. I happen to love it, but know a few people who don’t.
Here are a few alternatives you can use, following the same instructions in this recipe:
- You can make a traditional chimichurri with parsley.
- Use your favorite pesto!
- A green salsa would also be lovely.
- This recipe calls for 6 (8-ounce) salmon fillets. This is 3-pounds. You don’t have to cut it into portions — this recipe can also be made in larger or smaller fillets, even one very large fillet.
- Always ask the fish monger (even in your grocery store!) to portion your fish for you. More often than not, they’ll do it.
- You can make the Cilantro Chimichurri up to four days ahead of time!
- Whether you make it ahead or not, you can save the fifteen minutes and buy jarred chimichurri. I doubt you’ll find cilantro chimmichurri, but there are some good brands out there.
I hope you love it!
Baked Cilantro Chimichurri Salmon
- olive oil for the pan
- 1/3 cup Cilantro Chimichurri (click here for the recipe)
- 6 approximately (8-ounce) salmon fillets (skin on or off)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F, and drizzle a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan lightly with olive oil.
- Evenly divide the Cilantro Chimichurri among the salmon fillets. Spread it thinly over the entire top surface.
- Place the salmon in the baking pan and bake in the preheated 375°F for about 10 to 12 minutes, depending on its thickness. It should still be slightly transluscent in the center. If you're not sure it's done, just cut into the thickest part with a very sharp knife. It should almost flake apart.
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