Top-Rated Tilapia Recipes

Sensational recipes for this versatile, budget-friendly fish.

Broiled Tilapia with Thai Coconut-Curry Sauce

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Broiled Tilapia with Thai Coconut-Curry Sauce

Tilapia has a lot going for it. It's cheap, and it's everywhere—both compelling reasons to give it a try. Flavor-wise, tilapia is admittedly the mildest of the mild flaky white fish, but that can be turned into a virtue: It's a great starter fish for kids or anyone wary of seafood that is too "fishy". This makes tilapia a versatile base for a multitude of flavor approaches, as you'll see in our Top-Rated Tilapia Recipes.

In this recipe, ginger, curry paste, and coconut milk combine in a spicy sauce for a dish that has converted more than a few people to love this fish.

"I'm not a big fish eater, so I'm always looking for new and exciting ways to serve it. This one is a winner!" wrote reviewer Kelly. "Once you get the chopping done, it is a snap to prepare. Will definitely make again!"

View Recipe: Broiled Tilapia with Thai Coconut-Curry Sauce

Blackened Tilapia Baja Tacos Recipe

Photo: Levi Brown

Blackened Tilapia Baja Tacos

Blackening tilapia gives it a bold flavor, which is further enhanced with cilantro, lime, and avocado in a corn tortilla.

View Recipe: Blackened Tilapia Baja Tacos

Sweet and Spicy Citrus Tilapia Recipe

Photo: John Autry

Sweet and Spicy Citrus Tilapia

This versatile marinade works well with several types of dishes, especially flaky, white fish like tilapia. Round out the meal with a cool side of green beans tossed with cilantro and lime.

View Recipe: Sweet and Spicy Citrus Tilapia

Broiled Tilapia with Frisée-Apple Salad and Mustard-Parsley Sauce Recipe

Photo: Marcus Nilsson

Broiled Tilapia with Frisée-Apple Salad and Mustard-Parsley Sauce

Because it's sustainably farm-raised and widely available, tilapia is a great option. And since it doesn't have an assertive flavor, it pairs well with a variety of ingredients, such as the apple, mustard, and parsely featured in this recipe.

View Recipe: Broiled Tilapia with Frisée-Apple Salad and Mustard-Parsley Sauce

Pan-Seared Tilapia with Citrus Vinaigrette Recipe

Photo: Beau Gustafson; Cindy Barr; Kathryn Conrad; Mike Wilson

Pan-Seared Tilapia with Citrus Vinaigrette

Sherry vinegar is mildly acidic, which gives the tilapia a tangy flavor. If you can't find it, substitute white wine vinegar.

View Recipe: Pan-Seared Tilapia with Citrus Vinaigrette

Broiled Tilapia Gyros Recipe

Photo: John Autry

Broiled Tilapia Gyros

Tilapia is a excellent choice for a lighter gyro filling in comparision to heavier cuts of red meat. Vegetables and tzatziki sauce round out this take on the Greek classic.

View Recipe: Broiled Tilapia Gyros

Tilapia Piccata Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Tilapia Piccata

Tilapia is the perfect flaky white fish for this piccata recipe, which is even better when served with orzo.

View Recipe: Tilapia Piccata  

Roasted Tilapia with Orange-Parsley Salsa Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Roasted Tilapia with Orange-Parsley Salsa

All parts of the orange—juice, rind, and pulp—flavor the quickly cooked tilapia. This recipe calls for white rice as a side dishe, but brown, basmati, and jasmine rice are nice options as well.

View Recipe: Roasted Tilapia with Orange-Parsley Salsa

Blackened Cumin-Cayenne Tilapia Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Blackened Cumin-Cayenne Tilapia

Tilapia fillets are a reliable, speedy weeknight dinner option. After rubbing the fish with cumin, salt, garlic powder, and peppers, broil to make the process even quicker.

View Recipe: Blackened Cumin-Cayenne Tilapia  

Tilapia Tostadas with Roasted Corn Relish Recipe

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Tilapia Tostadas with Roasted Corn Relish

These crisp tilapia tostadas have all the appeal of traditional fish tacos, but the flat shape allows you to pile toppings high. Although we broil corn tortillas for the base, substitute flour tortillas, or use prepared shells, if you prefer.

View Recipe: Tilapia Tostadas with Roasted Corn Relish

Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia with Tomatillo Salsa Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia with Tomatillo Salsa

Tomatillo salsa adds a nice twist to this tilapia's cornmeal crust, while roasted potatoes and steamed green beans round out the plate.

View Recipe: Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia with Tomatillo Salsa

Sauteed Tilapia with Honey-Scallion Dressing

Randy Mayor

Sautéed Tilapia with Honey-Scallion Dressing

The bright, citrusy flavor of this simple dressing requires only six ingredients. Served with fast-cooking rice noodles and salad greens, this meal is a cinch to prepare in about 20 minutes.

"This recipe was amazingly simple and delicious!" said LISA B from Pennsylvania. "I used 2 of the individually frozen tilapia filets and cut the sauce in half. YUMMY! Unfortunately I didn't think ahead and make rice or the noodles. They are a must to soak up the delicious sauce!"

View Recipe: Sauteed Tilapia with Honey-Scallion Dressing

Tilapia with Coconut, Mint, and Chive Relish

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Tilapia with Coconut, Mint, and Chive Relish

Jalapeños and flaked coconut add heat and sweetness, while a bit of mint lends a cool, smooth finish to the relish that sets this dish apart. It works equally well with red snapper, though you can try other mild white fish choices, like this reader did.

"I made this with orange roughy―it was amazing!!!" said Larissa. "The fish in and of itself is terrific without the relish. The relish, however, is equally delicious! This is a summer keeper!"

View Recipe: Tilapia with Coconut, Mint, and Chive Relish

Spicy Tilapia with Pineapple-Pepper Relish

Randy Mayor

Spicy Tilapia with Pineapple-Pepper Relish

Cajun seasoning and ground red pepper add some sizzle to this quick and easy recipe. Juicy pineapple chunks and cilantro create contrast with a sweet and simple freshness.

"This is a great quick recipe. The relish was excellent and held up well in the fridge after a few days," said one anonymous reviewer. "It was a nice balance of sweet and spice. It will become part of our rotation!"

View Recipe: Spicy Tilapia with Pineapple-Pepper Relish

Tilapia Tacos with Peach Relish

Lee Harrelson

Tilapia Tacos with Peach Relish

Oven-fried fillets with a crisp panko crust are the calling card of these fish tacos, and a spicy-sweet peach salsa seals the deal. Substitute shrimp or other types of fish in this easy, breezy favorite.

"These were so good, I think my husband ate one of his in two bites. We love them! The panko crumbs make the fish really crunchy, which is essential in a fish taco, in our opinion." – kbse67

View Recipe: Tilapia Tacos with Peach Relish

Sauteed Tilapia with Lemon-Peppercorn Pan Sauce

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Sautéed Tilapia with Lemon-Peppercorn Pan Sauce

Brine-packed green peppercorns and a lemony, buttery pan sauce create bright flavors in a flash. Serve with rice and a side salad for a light yet satisfying supper.

"This was a lovely weeknight meal. It could be served to company as well. It was very light, but had a lot of flavor. I served this with rice and a green salad. We will be adding this to our weekly meal roster. Very good." ―Wendyb

View Recipe: Sautéed Tilapia with Lemon-Peppercorn Pan Sauce

Grilled Tilapia with Smoked Paprika and Parmesan

Beau Gustafson

Grilled Tilapia with Smoked Paprika and Parmesan

Smoky flavors and creamy polenta make this a deeply satisfying dinner that's quick enough for a weeknight meal, but sophisticated enough for company.

"This tilapia recipe is one of our family's all-time favorite Cooking Light recipes―so easy, fast and tasty. We like it best with Jasmine rice or black beans and a corn and red pepper salsa. There are never leftovers!" ― cilantrofrsh

View Recipe: Grilled Tilapia with Smoked Paprika and Parmesan Polenta

Tilapia with Lemon-Garlic Sauce

Photo: Squire Fox

Tilapia with Lemon-Garlic Sauce

Incredibly simple, remarkably delicious—this is an entrée that's elegant enough for entertaining and fast enough to brighten weeknight dinner doldrums. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.

View Recipe: Tilapia with Lemon-Garlic Sauce

Vietnamese Tilapia with Turmeric and Dill

Photo: Squire Fox

Vietnamese Tilapia with Turmeric and Dill

A killer savory marinade of shallots, fish sauce, toasted sesame oil, garlic, and turmeric permeates the fish and gives it a beautiful golden color. When you sear the fish in a hot-hot pan (go for stainless steel or cast iron here), it gets fantastically browned.

View Recipe: Vietnamese Tilapia with Turmeric and Dill

Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia with Squash Salad

Photo: Squire Fox

Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia with Squash Salad

You just can't beat a crisp breaded fish fillet. This one, with its cornmeal crust, is reminiscent of Southern-fried catfish (but with a sweeter fish at the center).

View Recipe: Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia with Squash Salad

Saffron Rice with Tilapia and Shrimp

Photo: Squire Fox

Saffron Rice with Tilapia and Shrimp

This paella-inspired dish starts by infusing purchased chicken stock with shrimpy goodness; it's an easy step that makes full use of shrimp shells that would otherwise be discarded.

View Recipe: Saffron Rice with Tilapia and Shrimp

Tilapia Cakes with Mango-Coconut Curry Sauce

Photo: Squire Fox

Tilapia Cakes with Mango-Coconut Curry Sauce

Boasting big, bold global flavors, these crunchy cakes are a fun alternative to salmon croquettes or crab cakes.

View Recipe: Tilapia Cakes with Mango-Coconut Curry Sauce

Spicy Hungarian Tilapia Stew

Photo: Squire Fox

Spicy Hungarian Tilapia Stew

Talk about packing some heat: This stew is fiery-fantastic, and we absolutely love it. You can alter the spiciness by using a milder pepper (such as banana pepper or Anaheim chile) or adjusting the amounts and types of paprika.

View Recipe: Spicy Hungarian Tilapia Stew

Tilapia Veracruz

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Tilapia Veracruz

Spanish and Mexican flavors combine in this quick fish dish. Serve with steamed rice and sautéed spinach.

View Recipe: Tilapia Veracruz

Spicy Tilapia and Fennel Stew

Photo: Justin Walker

Spicy Tilapia and Fennel Stew

Arrabbiata, a spicy sauce of garlic, tomato, and chile pepper, forms the base for this stew. You can substitute cod or shrimp for the tilapia. Serve with crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

View Recipe: Spicy Tilapia and Fennel Stew

Oven-Fried Tilapia with Cheesy Polenta

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Oven-Fried Tilapia with Cheesy Polenta

This makes for an easy dinner combination and a delicious way to incorporate fish into your weekly menu rotation.

View Recipe: Oven-Fried Tilapia with Cheesy Polenta

 

Fish Tacos with Tomatillo Sauce

Photo: Marcus Nilsson

Fish Tacos with Tomatillo Sauce

Tomatillos, jalapeños, red cabbage, and cilantro combine with flaky, flavorful tilapia in a rainbow of colors for an electric entrée that's less than 300 calories per serving.

View Recipe: Fish Tacos with Tomatillo Sauce

Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia Sandwiches with Jicama Slaw

Photo: Nigel Cox

Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia Sandwiches with Jicama Slaw

Jicama is a popular Latin American vegetable that tastes similar to an apple or a pear. The jicama and Fuji apple give this cornmeal-crusted tilapia sandwich an extra dimension of delightful crunchiness.

View Recipe: Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia Sandwich with Jicama Slaw

Sauteed Tilapia Tacos with Grilled Peppers and Onions

Photo: Francesco Tonelli

Sautéed Tilapia Tacos with Grilled Peppers and Onions

These low-fat tilapia tacos feature corn tortillas filled with tender pieces of sautéed fish, grilled onion, grilled bell pepper, and sliced jalapeño pepper. Slice the onion just before placing it on the grill. If given time to set, the onion rings will begin to separate and will not have good grill marks.

View Recipe: Sautéed Tilapia Tacos with Grilled Peppers and Onion

Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa Verde

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa Verde

These broiled tilapia tacos only take 35 minutes to prepare and, at 488 calories per serving, are well worth the wait!

View Recipe: Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa Verde

Shanghai-Inspired Fish Stew

Photo: Randy Mayor

Shanghai-Inspired Fish Stew

Traditionally, this comfort-food stew is made with flash-fried and then long-simmered fish heads. Tilapia fillets make an excellent, quick-cooking substitute.

View Recipe: Shanghai-Inspired Fish Stew

Cornmeal Crusted Tilapia Sandwiches with Lime Butter

Photo: Oxmoor House

Cornmeal Crusted Tilapia Sandwiches with Lime Butter

Lime butter gives this lightly-crusted delight a refreshing citrusy finish. The toasted French bread rolls can be substituted with ciabatta if desired.

View Recipe: Cornmeal Crusted Tilapia Sandwiches with Lime Butter

Roasted Tilapia with Tomatoes and Olives

Photo: Beau Gustafson

Roasted Tilapia with Tomatoes and Olives

Juicy tomatoes, briny olives, and fresh parsley add a savory bite to this roasted mild white fish. For speedy cleanup, line your jelly-roll pan with aluminum foil. Be sure to coat it with cooking spray before adding the tilapia and other ingredients.

View Recipe: Roasted Tilapia with Tomatoes and Olives

Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia Salad

Photo: Lee Harrelson

Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia Salad

While the ingredient list is long, most of the work is simply measuring out seasonings and prepared ingredients. The dish comes together in less than 30 minutes. Substitute any firm white fish, such as red snapper or flounder, for tilapia.

View Recipe: Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia Salad

Skillet Fillets with Cilantro Butter

Skillet Fillets with Cilantro Butter

Any mild white fish such as cod, flounder, or orange roughy would also be delicious in place of tilapia. Serve these brightly flavored fillets with sautéed spinach or a green salad.

View Recipe: Skillet Fillets with Cilantro Butter

Broiled Tilapia with Tomato-Caper Salsa

Photo: Randy Mayor

Broiled Tilapia with Tomato-Caper Salsa

The mild tilapia is a perfect foil for the bright, zesty salsa. Serve a green salad and roasted asparagus on the side to make this dinner a celebration of healthy ingredients.

View Recipe: Broiled Tilapia with Tomato-Caper Salsa

Tilapia in Mustard Cream Sauce

Photo: Jan Smith

Tilapia in Mustard Cream Sauce

"Orange roughy or chicken can be used instead of tilapia, and tomatoes or spinach can be substituted for mushrooms." -Alix McLearen, Wesley Chapel, FL

View Recipe: Tilapia in Mustard Cream Sauce

Pecan-Crusted Tilapia

Photo: Randy Mayor

Pecan-Crusted Tilapia

A weeknight favorite, this quick and easy pecan-crusted tilapia serves up moist fish with a crunchy crust.

View Recipe: Pecan-Crusted Tilapia

Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia

Photo: Oxmoor House

Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia

Dip the fish in the eggs and then into the panko mixture. Create your own fish tacos or have the Tilapia on its own with Roasted Fingerling Fries. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

View Recipe: Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia

Tilapia Sandwich with Greek Tapenade

Photo: Oxmoor House

Tilapia Sandwich with Greek Tapenade

Mâche, also known as lamb's lettuce or corn salad, is a tender green with a tangy, nutty flavor. Look for it in the produce section at your supermarket. Use a minichopper—or take your time using a large chef's knife—to finely chop the olives, roasted peppers, and oregano for the Greek Tapenade before you spread the mixture over the toasted bread.

View Recipe: Tilapia Sandwich with Greek Tapenade

Almond-Crusted Tilapia

Photo: Oxmoor House

Almond-Crusted Tilapia

Reminiscent of a restaurant-style fish amandine, this recipe easily doubles to serve a small dinner party. Almonds add such a rich, nutty flavor to the tilapia that even the pickiest eater will think it is delicious. Serve with green beans and Mashed Red Potatoes with Chives.

View Recipe: Almond-Crusted Tilapia

Tilapia with Warm Olive Salsa

Photo: Oxmoor House

Tilapia with Warm Olive Salsa

Squeeze a lemon wedge over the fish before drizzling with olive oil to tie together the components of this dish. Any thin white fillets, such as sole or flounder, can be substituted for tilapia.

View Recipe: Tilapia with Warm Olive Salsa

Spicy Louisiana Tilapia Fillets with Sautéed Vegetable Relish

Photo: Oxmoor House

Spicy Louisiana Tilapia Fillets with Sautéed Vegetable Relish

Louisiana hot sauce is not as spicy as other hot sauces. Use a hotter sauce if you prefer more heat.

View Recipe: Spicy Louisiana Tilapia Fillets with Sautéed Vegetable Relish

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