Cilantro Lime Grilled Fish Marinade

Happy Friday everyone!  I have GOT to knock out at least a one of the half a dozen random projects sitting around the house this weekend, although we have training at work all day Saturday that’s really crampin’ my plans.  You think they’ll mind if I hot glue and spraypaint while I learn first aid/CPR???

After our first fishing trip this summer, our friend gave us his marinade recipe and we’ve been grilling our wahoo and mahi-mahi in it ever since, it is crazy good.  And crazy easy.

There’s only six ingredients to the marinade:  melted butter (duh!), olive oil, garlic, cilantro, Tony’s, and lime juice.  You can use lemon juice too, zest it up with some jalapeno, or take out the cilantro if you want, whatevs.  It’s very play-friendly.

After melting the butter, everything gets pureed in a food processor.  And it smells  Or use a blender, if you’re like the husband and overflow the food processor bowl so there’s butter and oil everywhere :/

Get your fillets all clean and ready.  Remember to trim out that blood line if you can.  We were using wahoo here and have done it with the skin on and with the skin off and found it cooks up better without the skin.  For some reason, with the skin on it didn’t stay in a nice firm steak.

Put the fillets in a large ziploc or lidded container and pour the marinade in (make sure to get all those garlic bits at the bottom!).  Swoosh them around real good so it all gets coated and let it sit in the fridge for half an hour to an hour, occasionally swooshing it the whole time.

Keeping some of the marinade aside, toss the fillets on a medium hot grill for about three minutes per side, depending on how thick they are.  While they’re cooking, baste them with more marinade.  We pull ours off a tad bit before they’re done so they won’t be dry (they keep cooking after they’re taken off).

This is the only fish marinade we’ve tried that’s blown us away.  The first time we made it, we looked at each other wide-eyed after the first bite and said “Dude! This tastes like a restaurant!”.  Then made it every week for like the next four weeks :)

Cilantro Lime Grilled Fish Marinade

Cilantro Lime Grilled Fish Marinade

Yield: 4 fillets
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

A quick and easy marinade with TONS of flavor for any firm, white-fleshed fish like mahi mahi!


  • 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 stick
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, more if desired
  • 2 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • juice of one lime and/or lemon
  • 4 thick mahi-mahi fillets - or any thick white-fleshed fish


  1. Clean fillets and cut any big bloodline out of them
  2. Puree butter, oil, garlic, cilantro, seasoning, and citrus juice in food processor until evenly blended
  3. Place fillets in large ziploc or lidded container
  4. Set some marinade aside for basting, pour the rest into the fish container then gently shake/stir/mix to cover evenly.
  5. Let marinate in refrigerator for 30-60 mins. Stir/flip occasionally while marinating.
  6. Grill fillets over medium heat grill for about 3 minutes per side.


Have a good weekend guys!!


end of post - stay awhile

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37 thoughts on “Cilantro Lime Grilled Fish Marinade

  1. OOOO I love the sound of this! I love a good fish meal, it has to be hearty for my husband to give it a try – thanks for this!

    1. Any fish that has a super thick fillets like these will be totally man-worthy :) Let me know how y’all like it!

  2. Oh wow that looks amazing!! I’ve recently realized I need to start trying to cook more fish, but it’s something I’m not familiar with. This looks like something to try. Yum! Happy Saturday!! #SITSBlogging

    1. You should, fish is so easy Jessica! I am still not comfortable at all with cooking red meats but fish is so easy and quick, most recipes only take a few minutes on each side to be done. I would love to hear how you like it!

  3. Looks good! I would love it if you joined and contribute your awesome posts at my link party at City of Creative Dreams, starts on Fridays :D Hope to see you there at City of Creative Dreams Link Party.

  4. I love fish so will definitely try this out – Thanks for linking up to Pin Worthy Wednesday, I have pinned your post to the Pin Worthy Wednesday Pinterest Board.

    1. I had a smaller amount of fish so I used some of the marinade(uncontaminated) to make a really yummy spinach side dish

  5. When I put the fish in fridge after pouring the marinade over it, it coagulated to a soft spread. I would guess because of the butter in it had cooled. So how does the fish get marinaded if it just hardens on top. When I took the fish out of the container. The marinade on the bottom of the fish just stuck to the container and I iust had this semi-hardended marinade on the top of the fish.

    It had some flavor but not what I had expected.

    1. Thank you for trying the recipe Luke, but I’m so sorry to hear it did not come out as well for you! Ours does not solidify, not sure why but perhaps because we flip and mix it every 5-10 mins while in the fridge and usually just have it in there for 30 mins? You could also try leaving the butter part out and just marinating in the rest of the ingredients, then brushing the melted butter on during grilling and see if that maybe helps? I hope you’ll keep playing with it and hopefully it can work for you, it really is still the best fish marinade we’ve done at home and still use it often!

    2. This looks delicious and the marinade would probably work great on shrimp or chicken too…can’t wait to try it!

      I’m sure you can use olive oil in place of the butter but that too will solidify if left too long in the fridge. Then add a pat of butter just before taking it off the grill if you choose!

      1. I still want to try it on shrimp for sure! And yes, olive oil will definitely work too. It doesn’t have to be in the fridge for very long at all and I mush it around often in that time, so like I mentioned, it shouldn’t solidify too much. And extra butter at the end is always a good bet ;)

  6. I wonder if you could just bake the fish in this marinade? I have a similar recipe to this that I fry with the marinade bubbling around it and it’s delicious too.

  7. All marinades need salt this recipe did not call for any. Additionally butter is not a good marinade medium b c it just congeals. This marinade has potential, but needs to be modified.

    1. Thank you for the review of our recipe. The creole seasoning we use does have salt so we do not add any more to the mixture, and the fish only has to sit in the marinade for about 30 minutes so if the butter does congeal it’s towards the end of the timeframe and doesn’t bother us. This has been ours and our friends and family’s go-to fish marinade for years now and always gets rave reviews, but as with any recipe, it can be tweaked to your own preferences.

    1. Yes, you add the seasoning with everything else into the food processor when mixing the marinade. The amount of cajun seasoning we use has been a perfect balance for the size of fillets we put this marinade on, but you can of course reduce it to your preferences.

  8. This was by far, THE BEST fish marinade ever!
    I used lime juice, increased the cilantro [used 1 whole bunch], I don’t have creole seasoning so use Old Bay, and only used 3 garlic cloves.
    pureed and put into a zip lock bag with fresh cod.

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