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Roasted Tomatillo Salmon Tacos

Author: Adapted from Casa Marcela by Marcela Valladolid


  • 1 2-lb salmon fillet, pin bones removed
  • 1 ½ lbs tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved (or quartered if large)
  • 1 white or yellow onion, thickly sliced into rings but not separated
  • 1-3 serrano or jalapeno chiles, halved
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 3 limes, 1 cut into slices, 1 halved, and 1 cut into wedges for serving
  • 1 handful of cilantro (about ¼ cup), plus more for garnish
  • 12 corn tortillas, warmed
  • Chopped raw white onion, for garnish


  • Preheat your oven to 375℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the salmon, skin side down, in the middle of the baking sheet. Place the tomatillos, onion rings, chile halves, and garlic around the salmon in a single layer. Season everything on that baking sheet with salt and pepper to taste, then drizzle olive oil over top of everything. Place the lime slices on top of the salmon.
  • Roast for 20 minutes for rare. Transfer the salmon to a serving platter. Return the baking sheet with the veggies to the oven and roast for another 15 minutes.
  • Carefully scrape the veggies into your food processor. Add the handful of cilantro plus the juice of 1 lime. Process until smooth but still a little chunky. You’re making salsa, so you want salsa texture. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Pulse it in so you don’t wreck your salsa texture.
  • To serve, transfer the salsa to a serving bowl. I like to plate up family style. We use forks to dive into the salmon and chunk it up into the tortillas. Then spoon salsa over, and garnish with chopped raw onion and a little more cilantro, plus the lime wedges for squeezing over.


Recipe is adapted from Casa Marcela by Marcela Valladolid. I love this book. No one paid me to say that. So I cheat on her original recipe a little. Hers is a simple roast salmon with tomatillos and onions, where nothing is tossed into the food processor but elegantly served on a platter as a whole dish; then I went and turned it into tacos. I added chiles and garlic to the roasted tomatillos and onions, and then food processed it all into salsa. I feel certain it’s delicious either way, I was just craving tacos, so here we are. It’s become a household favorite. And yes, the tomatillos are from my pandemic garden (see body of post for more details if interested)! Twenty minutes at 375is perfect for achieving a rare salmon that’s succulent and flavorful. If you want it beyond rare, I guess roast for longer? I have to confess that I throw tantrums if my salmon is ever beyond rare, so I can’t help out on that one. I hope you love this, it’s a delightful twist on fish tacos!