Gluten Free Oven Baked Swordfish with Cherry Chipotle Salsa Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on November 1, 2015

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I have been making an effort lately to introduce more fish into my diet. Fish is packed with pretty lean protein, has no carbs, and contains essential amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids. It is also a really quick and easy meal to get on the table.

The trouble with fish is it can be pretty boring. I mean how many times can you grill up a piece of fish, squeeze some lemon juice on it, and feel satisfied? Especially when you serve a mild, white-fleshed fish (which is pretty much the only kind I can get away with serving at my home).

The trick is to create some sort of sauce or salsa to jazz it up. Preferably one that is quick and easy so that the whole quick and easy thing doesn’t go right out the window.

I love fish with this cherry chipotle salsa – it complements the mild sweetness of fish so well and takes about 1 minute to prepare.

This dish features swordfish – a family favorite, but any type of mild, white-fleshed fish will work great. Just keep this in mind: when oven roasting fish, you can plan on about 8-10 minutes per inch of thickness so if your fish is thinner, make sure to cook for less time. And be careful not to overcook your fish.

Here are a few more tips for cooking fish.

When buying fish, remember that fresh fish does not smell fishy. It should have a clean, fresh scent.

If you are new to fish cookery, it is easier to start with thicker fillets; they are more forgiving. Try to get them about 1 inch thick, this makes them easier to manage and helps keep them from getting overcooked.

Aim for fillets that are even in thickness. Fillets cut from the tail end tend to not be as uniform so ask your fish monger for a piece cut from the center when possible.

Leaving the skin on while cooking will help make it easier to flip the fish while cooking, if the recipe calls for that.

Baking thicker pieces of fish is easier when cooking in a skillet or on the grill; you just season and bake – no flipping required.

Many recipes will tell you to cook fish until it flakes easily – don’t do it! If you cook fish until it flakes, you have already overcooked it and your fish may be dry. A better way to tell is to LOOK. Raw fish has a translucent quality and becomes more opaque as it cooks. To check for doneness, use the tip of a small knife to peek into the interior of the fish. The fish should look opaque on the inside, slightly resist flaking, and look firm.

And lastly, fish will continue to cook for a minute or two once you take it off the heat or out of the oven. When checking your fish, make sure it still looks sort of moist and you will avoid overcooking.

Now for the salsa! I used a jar of natural Bordeaux maraschino cherries in this recipe and gluten free chipotle peppers in adobo. If you can’t find the natural Bordeaux maraschino cherries, you can substitute with 2 cups of frozen, dark sweet cherries that have been thawed and if you are not certain that the chipotle in adobe is gluten free, just use some chipotle chili pepper instead. Start with a little; you can always make it hotter but you can’t make it milder.


Gluten Free Oven Baked Swordfish with Cherry Chipotle Salsa Recipe


1 (13.5-ounce) jar natural Bordeaux maraschino cherries or 2 cups frozen dark sweet cherries, thawed
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup red onion, roughly chopped
1 gluten free chipotle in adobo sauce pepper
¼ cup cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 lime
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
¾ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 (4–6 ounces each) swordfish fillets, about 1 inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

First, make the salsa. Drain the cherries and remove the stems. Dry on paper towels. Place the garlic and red onion in a food processor and pulse to chop. Add the chipotle in adobo, cilantro leaves, and lime juice. Pulse to combine. Add the cherries and pulse just until the cherries are roughly chopped. Place in a small serving dish and reserve.

Combine the ground cumin with the salt and pepper in a small bowl. Brush the fish fillets on both sides with the olive oil. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture on both sides of each fillet. Place on a baking sheet and cook for 8–10 minutes.

Top the fillets with a bit of salsa and serve the rest on the side.


Serves 6

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