Quinoa-Crusted Sole in a Chili-Lime Marinade (Oven Baked, Gluten Free)

quinoa crusted sole with chili and lime_blog
I planted my herb garden this past weekend.

The sun was shining, it was warm and I loved being outside.  In addition to my usual roster of aromatic favorites (lavender and lemon thyme being right up there), I found a pineapple sage plant that I thought was rather unusual in a delightful kind of way.  Have you ever come across pineapple sage? It smells amazing.

Anyhow, I always like to throw in a garden reference here and there on my blog because it somehow makes me feel like I know what I’m talking about.

Some of you might recall my little garden villain in the form of this girl:

(Never mind the innocent look.  You all know what she’s CAPABLE OF).

But here’s the truth, although she’s a wonderfully convenient excuse for my garden woes (and a certified pain in the tuckus), I am not a gifted gardener.  Not even close.  In fact, I may be the only person I know who manages to kill cacti on a regular basis.  Growing plant life is something I have to work really hard at but it’s important to me so I try and keep my little herbs alive through the summer — be sure to keep an eye out for some delightful inclusions!

I’m really excited about today’s recipe.  If you like the idea of crispy breaded fish but are looking for a healthier, gluten free alternative, this might be your new go-to. But possibly more exciting is the lip-smacking chili-lime undercoat…oh my… *so* delicious! Even my boys (who would readily admit that fish is perhaps not their top, top, choice) gobbled these up without restraint.  I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do!

Quinoa-Crusted Sole in a Chili-Lime Marinade

Quinoa-Crusted Sole in a Chili-Lime Marinade (Oven Baked, Gluten Free)

For the Chili-Lime Marinade:

  • 8 fillets of sole, or fish of choice* (using thicker fillets may affect cooking time and amount of liquid needed for the marinade)
  • 2-3 Tbsp cold-pressed coconut oil, melted
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Zest of one lime
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp palm sugar
  • 1/4 (or to taste) cayenne powder — it’s hot!
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

For the Quinoa Coating:

  • 1 + 1/2 cups quinoa flakes
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Sprinkle of sea salt

Serving: Makes 8 Quinoa-Crusted Sole Fillets


  1. You can make the chili-lime marinade ahead of time and allow the fish to soak up the flavor of the marinade in the fridge for up to 24 hours.  This leaves you with only the quinoa coating to assemble at show time.
  2. I am often asked about the difference between refined vs. unrefined coconut oil and why some coconut oils have a delicious coconut taste while others are virtually tasteless. Expeller-pressed coconut oil is a high pressure, high temperature extraction process that destroys the volatile aroma of the coconut.  You will pay more for the cold-pressed coconut oil but you won’t regret it! The taste is unmatched. Refined coconut oil undergoes a process of bleaching and deodorizing which unrefined oil does not.  So if you have a choice, ideally opt for cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil.


Heat oven to 400 F

  1. In a shallow dish or pie plate, combine: melted coconut oil, lime juice, lime zest, chili, paprika, palm sugar, cayenne and sea salt, whisking to combine.
  2. Place fillets in the chili-lime marinade, immersing to coat.
  3. In a separate pie plate or regular flat plate, combine quinoa flakes, onion, garlic and sea salt, mixing to combine.
  4. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with gently oiled foil or parchment paper (if you don’t brush the surface with oil, my experience is that the quinoa coating will stick).
  5. Dredge each chili-lime marinated fillet through the quinoa coating, making sure to coat both sides, and then place each coated fillet on the lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake fillets in the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until fish has cooked through and quinoa has achieved a nice crispy surface. (The fillets will not crisp up entirely like bread crumbs but pretty darn close).
© Inspired Edibles


Chili-Lime Goodness

Dredging the fillets

Ready to pop in the oven!

My garden girl (with Monsieur Black in the background)

quinoa crusted sole with chili and lime_blog

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  1. SallyBR says

    Forgive me, but I am the NUMBER ONE when it comes to lousy gardening skills. Can YOU kill mint? Can YOU kill parsley? I did not think so… I have a strange power over plants… (sigh). Maybe in my next life I can have a garden that actually produces something edible. :-)

    Love this recipe, I once made a salmon crusted with couscous but it did not turn out very good. I think quinoa has a better texture for it… Pinning your version…

  2. inspirededibles says

    Haha, thanks for the big tummy laugh this morning Sally!

    Glad you like the recipe and thank you for the pin luv! ;O)

  3. Eva Taylor says

    I am soooo jealous, we opened the cottage this past weekend and therefore I wasn’t able to plant my garden…but this weekend is going to be it! I’m much more successful in growing herbs in a pot rather than the ground, plus I know what the soil is in the pot, whereas the ground…not so much. One year I found chocolate sage and it was so wonderful (I bought three of them just for decoration because I couldn’t figure out what to season with them). The leaves were smaller and slightly chocolaty red in colour. Sadly I haven’t seen it since. I’ll keep my eyes open for the pineapple sage, it seems a much more versatile herb than chocolate sage!

    I’m absolutely LOVING this recipe, Kelly. I haven’t seen quinoa flakes but I’ll keep my eyes open for sure. I can surely see why your boys were all over this recipe even though they are not huge fish fans; I on the other hand adore fish and even though I’m not a huge breading lover, I can certainly get into this recipe. The Chili lime undercoating marinade sounds wonderful too.
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com

  4. Sonia! The Healthy Foodie says

    OMG, Sally, I thought I was the only one to have ever managed that miracle! I too was successful at killing mint, one more than one occasion, too! As for parsley? I don’t seem to be able to even have it look like it’s wanting to grow. It seems to instantly turn yellow on me. Unless maybe yellow parsley is a new, rare variety?

    In my arms, sisters, we are not alone! :)

    And ps, yes, I fully intend on planting more herbs again this year, and even a few cherry tomato plants.

    Wish me luck!

    Oh, and p.p.s. That fish looks CRAZY good. Makes me wish I was still doing quinoa…

    Oh, and p.p.p.s. Your dog is just the cutest, sweetest, most innocent looking little thing, Kelly. Surely she can’t be the one who wrecked your garden. You must be mistaken… It was probably Monsieur Black that did it! ;)

  5. Emilie@TheCleverCarrot says

    I too have killed cacti- you’re not the only one!!! I’ve never come across pineapple sage, but it sounds truly amazing. I’m glad you bought it so you can tell us all about it (I have see pineapple mint however, and it’s delish- especially in cocktails!!)
    I am literally staring at 2 lbs of lovely fish that I just picked up at the store. I’m going to make this recipe tonight! Thanks Kelly for coming up with dinner for us tonight :) xx

  6. Sandra @ Kitchen Apparel says

    Pineapple Sage is beautiful…if you manage to keep it around (away from the miss garden muncher) it will produce beautiful red flowers. I’ve never used it in cooking before but the smell makes it worth planting.

    This fish sounds great. I love how you used quinoa flakes to crust it with…how much fun is that!!! What a great recipe for the summer with all those spices and flavors.

    as much as I love pictures of food…your doggie pictures are stealing my heart :) Look at that face!!!

  7. Koko says

    Pineapple sage sounds awesome! We started a garden a few years ago at my request and I was so excited about it, and now I can barely get anything planted before my Dad (now dubbed “Farmer Bob” by my mom and I as we make fun of him) has planted everything in sight!! He stole my garden! I will have to get my green thumb on another time…

    I loooooove this recipe! I always cook sole the same way because I love this worcestershire sole recipe from cooking school, but I know that I just have to try this! I’ve never used quinoa flakes but I can’t wait to try this!

  8. SallyBR says

    (Sally wipes tears of emotion from her eyes)..

    so nice to know I am not alone anymore….. Life is good!

  9. beyondthepeel says

    I have to tell you something….That looks freakin’ amazing. I love that you used quinoa flakes here. What a fabulous idea. The marinade…oh baby. You have me salivating.

  10. Eliotseats says

    Need to find some quinoa flakes.

    We got tomatoes, cukes, peppers, and strawberries planted along with one Moon & Stars and one container eggplant. I hope beyond HOPE we get tomatoes this year!

  11. inspirededibles says

    The second picture kills me too and believe me Amy, there is no question in my mind that you will paint our girl one day! (We had to wait 13 years but we finally got our girl — so what if she has 4 legs!! ;O).

    The recipe is so yummy with the coconut chili-lime undercoat… I think you would love!

  12. inspirededibles says

    Hi Eva! We were hoping to open our cabin too but…, oh yeah, soccer rules our lives and we had to stay in town ;o). That chocolate sage sounds so intriguing… I’ve never seen that one but will keep my eyes out for sure. I would love to use it in a dessert! You should be able to find the quinoa flakes at a health food store (I get mine at Kardish — not sure if they are in TO but there’s no doubt many to choose from there).

  13. inspirededibles says

    Haha, hopeless gardeners unite!

    Oh the golden beauty is cute alright, innocent? not so much ;o).

    Keep us posted on your garden! Your cherry tomatoes sounds yummy…!

  14. inspirededibles says

    Yay! Let me know if you give it a try… would love to hear how it works out for you :)

  15. inspirededibles says

    Red flowers, really? I sure hope we get to that stage. I am using my elevated boxes that the boys built with their dad :) – far away from Miss Stella’s reach. I just hope I don’t kill the plant before then ;O)

  16. inspirededibles says

    Farmer Bob — Haha, sounds like your dad’s all over it! Enjoy your time together – xo.

    Is your worcestershire recipe on your site? I’ll have to go check it out… love my wooster!

  17. inspirededibles says

    Ah, thanks so much France, I have even better news: it tastes freakin’ amazing sister!! :O). Hope you give it a try sometime.

  18. inspirededibles says

    Goodness, you have a whole farm going! I haven’t seen a tomato in my yard in years…happily there are a lot of local growers ;O)

  19. kay says

    This looks yummy! Will have to try soon. Your pups remind me of ours, only the black one is our “garden gal” and the fluffy one would be the one in the background. And yes, we know what they are capable of. Too funny. :-)

  20. mjskit says

    Oh I do love the idea of crispy breaded fish but I know how hard it is to make without over cooking the fish. Your fish does look perfect. Never would have thought to use quinoa flakes as the crust. Very clever! Fabulous seasoning on the fish! Yes I have seen pineapple sage but I’ve never grown it. I did plant some purple sage this year, that and Mexican oregano (a type of verbena) are my new herbs for this year. Everything else wintered over quite well this year which is surprising since it was so dry. Have a wonderful weekend!

  21. inspirededibles says

    Hi Kay! Thank you so much for dropping in to say hello — it’s a good thing we love our pets, isn’t it? ;O). I hope you enjoy the quinoa fillets if you give them a try – cheers!

  22. inspirededibles says

    You know my husband and I had a deep-fryer about 20 years ago that we bought and used exclusively for french fries (oh yeah, us Quebecois take our fries seriously!) but anyhow, I don’t think I’ve deep fried since then… I do enjoy a good fish & chips at a pub now and then but keep things to the oven or the cue at home. Cheers Sissi!

  23. Marie-Eve says


    Is it me or is there a bit of liquid missing in the ingredients for the marinade? I only used 4 fillets and it doesn’t look anything like your picture where the fish is soaking in the marinade…


    • kelly says

      Hello Marie-Eve, thank you for dropping by with your observation, much appreciated. The sole fillets I used were very flat but I could see how 4 Tbsp of fluid could be a limiting quantity. I would suggest working with two juiced limes (4 Tbsp) and 2-3 Tbsp of coconut oil (making sure the oil is in fluid form). I hope this helps – I will update the recipe accordingly and thank you again for your feedback. If you have a moment, please let me know how you enjoyed the fish :) have a beautiful day.

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