Salsa Verde Baked Tilapia
Salsa Verde Baked Tilapia

Try this tart and flavorful fish baked in salsa verde with tomatillos and tilapia. Fry the veggies for your sauce, puree them in a blender, and then bake your fish.

Fish cooks quickly, making it perfect for weeknight dinners.

Some fried fish can be on the table in the same time it takes to set the table. But if you’re concerned about turning fillets or have a lingering smell, baking fish is a great alternative.

Homemade tomatillo sauce is pretty easy – just toss ingredients in oil, toast, and puree in blender. Such a sauce is a bonus because it can be made up to two days in advance, cutting your dinner prep time in half.

What is Salsa Verde?

Salsa Verde is perfectly summed up in its name: green sauce. The color – and distinctive flavor – comes from tomatillos, which are part of the nightshade vegetable family and come in a papery shell. They tend to be sticky when the peel is removed, so rinse before using.

They are pleasantly tart and taste similar to green tomatoes. They are high in pectin and add a really nice texture to any dish. The remaining ingredients in salsa verde are similar to the tomato salsa: onion, jalapeño, and cilantro.

If you make it from scratch, you can customize this sauce to your liking. Make it as spicy as you like or omit the cilantro. However, if you’re really short on time, this recipe also works well with store-bought salsa verde.

This dish goes well with firm, white fish. I used tilapia here because it has a bland flavor and is generally easily found frozen across the country. Many people like it because it doesn’t have a strong fishy odor.

Tilapia takes flavors well, especially when baked in a rich sauce.

  • Buy fillets skinless – you won’t get crispy skins if you bake them in salsa.
  • You can use frozen or fresh. If it’s frozen, just thaw it first.
  • Look for similarly sized fillets so the fish cooks evenly.

Sauce swap and fish flops

This recipe is very adaptable. It’s only two parts – sauce and fish – and you can swap out both depending on what you have on hand or what you prefer.

The quickest sub here is to swap out the homemade salsa verde for a store-bought variety. Whether you want dinner on the table in half the time or can’t find fresh tomatillos, there’s a simple solution that produces similar results. When you buy your salsa, make sure you have the same amount of liquid to cook the fish.

  • Buy enough salsa verde by the jar to equal about 3 cups of sauce.
  • If you’re not sure how hot your brand of salsa is, you may want to mix a mild Salsa Verde with a medium or hot one for a perfectly flavored sauce.
  • You can also buy a jar of mild salsa and add sliced ​​fresh chili peppers or some cayenne pepper if you want more spiciness.

If tilapia isn’t your favorite catch, substitute skinless white fish fillets of a similar size and thickness. Cod fillet, catfish and pollack are all great choices. If you choose a thicker cut, you may need to adjust the time.

Make it a meal

White rice is a great side dish here as it soaks up all the delicious sauce. Another great option are roast potatoes – you’ve got the oven on so toss them with some oil and salt and cook them to serve alongside your fish. You can also go the taco route and flake the fish to serve in warm corn or flour tortillas.


Reheated fish is notoriously vilified, and generally with good reason – the texture can suffer greatly from a second cook. Because the fish here is cooked in sauce, it provides a decent buffer if you have leftovers and want to reheat the fish.

Spoon some salsa verde into a nonstick pan and add your fish. Cover and heat over medium-low heat just until warmed through. However, consider simply serving the fish at room temperature. If you have rice, warm it up and then prepare a lunch bowl with fish, sauce and vegetables.

Quick and easy fish recipes

  • Easy Fish Tacos
  • Quick easy fish stew
  • Simply grilled salmon
  • Fish Taco Salad Bowl
  • Easy miso fish soup with soba

Salsa Verde Baked Tilapia

preparation time
20 minutes

cooking time
60 minutes

cool time
15 minutes

total time
95 minutes

4 servings

Make the sauce a day or two in advance. Fry and puree, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This step makes preparing the finished dish as easy as starting with salsa in a jar.


  • 1 1/2 lb tomatillolesspeeled and rinsed

  • 1 small White Onionpeeled, trimmed and cut into quarters

  • 2 Middle Jalapeño pepperstrimmed, split and gutted

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1/4 Cup packed up coriander (tender stems and leaves), plus more for garnish

  • 1 teaspoon lime juice, or more to taste

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher saltdivided

  • 1 lb tilapia (4 to 6 fillets), thawed if frozen

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • decay QuarkOptional


  1. Preheat the oven and prepare the baking tray:

    Preheat oven to 450˚F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

  2. Fry the vegetables:

    On the baking sheet, toss the whole tomatillos, onion, jalapeño, and garlic with the oil. Roast 25 to 30 minutes, until tomatillos are soft and browned (some will pop, and that’s okay). Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes.

  3. Reduce oven temperature and prepare salsa verde:

    Reduce the oven temperature to 350˚F. Transfer the veggies and any collected juices to the blender. Place the cilantro, lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the blender and puree until smooth. Taste and add additional lime juice or salt if needed.

    Top: After mixing the sauce, you can transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

  4. Season fish:

    Combine the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt with the cumin and cayenne pepper. Pat both sides of the tilapia fillets dry with a paper towel and sprinkle both sides with the seasoning.

  5. bake fish:

    Pour the salsa verde into a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Place the fish on top and bake on the middle rack of the oven until fish is opaque and reaches 145°F, 25 to 30 minutes. If you made the sauce ahead of time and it’s still chilled, you may need an additional 5 minutes of baking time.

  6. Garnish and serve:

    Sprinkle with queso fresco and additional cilantro, if desired. Serve each fillet with some salsa verde.

nutritional information (per serving)
209 calories
7g Fat
14g carbohydrates
25g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!