Healthy Cilantro Lime Salmon

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Cilantro Lime Salmon is one of the best recipes when it comes to healthy salmon recipes. This Cilantro Lime Salmon will quickly become a family favorite. It is so versatile that it can be prepared in the oven or on the grill! Jump to Recipe

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Cilantro Lime Salmon made with five simple ingredients packs a flavor punch and is a must make for anyone who loves cilantro. Speaking of cilantro, if you love it as much as we do, don't miss this Cilantro Lime Chicken and Cilantro Lime Quinoa.

My go to fish used to be haddock when I lived on the Northeast coast. It was always fresh, readily available, and normally pretty affordable. Since moving to California, I have started eating a lot more salmon. It isn't that I don't like other Pacific fish varieties, but many of them are so expensive and sometimes can be hard to find.

Whenever possible, I try and buy wild salmon since it has more flavor and doesn't need as much dressing up. Today's recipe is a perfect example of this - with just a few simple ingredients, you can make this salmon sing. Cilantro, garlic, and lime juice make the perfect crust for the salmon. You could also throw a jalapeno in as well if you like things spicy. I always love to come across an easy baked salmon recipe, and this one tops the list of my favorites!

Cilantro lime salmon recipe on a white plate with sliced limes.

Since this healthy salmon recipe can be made in the kitchen or on the grill, it is the perfect recipe for the health conscious summer cookout! This easy baked salmon recipe is sure not to take time away from your guests while preparing and will not leave them starving while waiting on a meal.

Why salmon? This fish is rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids. These are essential fatty acids that are deficient or completely missing in the standard American diet. This is important because when Omega-6 and Omega-3 are out of balance our bodies can become inflamed leading to serious chronic health conditions. Salmon is also a great source of lean protein, B-Vitamins, potassium, and antioxidants. All these nutrients assist with reducing the risk of heart disease and benefits weight control. Find out more about all the nutritional benefits of salmon plus everything you have ever wanted to know about cooking and preparing this healthy fish.

A common question regarding salmon is,  what is the difference between wild caught and farmed? Wild caught salmon comes from its natural environment which includes oceans, rivers, and lakes. Farmed salmon comes from a marine farm, which is called an aquaculture. The primary reason this is a concern is due to the salmon’s diet. In the wild they are eating what they normally would while being farmed they are fed specific diets to accomplish certain growth and nutrient desires. For instance, half of a wild caught salmon contains 281 calories while half of a farmed salmon has 412 calories. Similarly, the fat content of a wild salmon is approximately 13 grams compared to the nearly 30 grams in a farmed salmon.

Tips & Tricks

  • If you don’t have a food processor you can use a mortar and pestle to get ingredients finely minced.
  • Don’t have a mortar and pestle? Who does really? Use your cutting board and the bottom of a coffee cup. Just cut up your ingredients as small as possible and get to mashing!
  • If you want to avoid using foil for grilling consider purchasing a fish basket, this is a great accessory to any grill and can double for vegetables.

Change It Up

Not a cilantro and garlic fan? No problem! You can still get a full and savory flavor by opting to use any of your favorite seasonings and herbs. I like to use a little chili powder in place of the garlic. This gives it a nice chili-lime flavor.

Cilantro Salmon with limes cooked and served on a white plate.

Plan Ahead:

I’m all about saving time, especially if I have company coming over for dinner or a cookout. I want to focus on spending time with my guests rather than rushing to get ingredients together. Use these time-saving tips when preparing for this recipe:

  • Mix the cilantro, olive oil, garlic, lime juice, and lime zest together ahead of time This can stay in your refrigerator for up to a week before it has to be used.
  • If your salmon is frozen, be sure to take it out early enough to defrost. The general rule is 30 minutes for each pound.
The Recipe
Healthy Cilantro Lime Salmon

Healthy Cilantro Lime Salmon

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  • 1.33 lbs. skinless boneless salmon (one large piece)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
  • 2 U garlic cloves, minced

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the salmon on a large piece of foil on a baking sheet. Fold up the sides around the salmon, but do not cover. Sprinkle with paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper.


In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, honey, lime juice, cilantro, and garlic. Spread this mixture over the salmon.


Bake for 16-20 minutes until salmon is cooked through and flaky. Pour any remaining sauce from the foil onto salmon before serving. Add fresh cilantro and lime juice if desired.

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Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 6 oz.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 300
Calories from Fat 213
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24g
Saturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 83mg
Sodium 90mg
Total Carbohydrate 2g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 0g
Protein 31g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

Healthy Cilantro Lime Salmon
† SmartPoints™ calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.
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