49 Tilapia Recipes to Make You Wonder Why You Ever Stopped Loving It
Healthy Tilapia Recipes
Flavor-wise, tilapia is admittedly the mildest of the mild flaky white fish. It's a versatile base for a multitude of flavor approaches, as you'll see in these healthy tilapia recipes.
First up, Broiled Tilapia With Yogurt and Herbs. Parcook the tilapia before slathering on the sauce to brown it slightly. Look for fillets with even thickness, but if you can't find them, fold the thin end of the fillet under itself to encourage even cooking.
Tilapia and Summer Squash Tacos
Summer squash adds a fresh seasonal element that makes for a sumptuous fish taco filling. Use Fresno chiles instead of chipotles for less heat.
Spiced Tilapia with Coconut Rice
Two pantry staples—black pepper and turmeric—team up to fight inflammation and add bold flavor to this fast-fix tilapia. Dressing up microwave rice with coconut milk is a smart kitchen hack you’ll turn to again and again.
Blackened Tilapia Po’boys
In place of fried shrimp, spice-rubbed tilapia lightens the calorie load while still harnessing classic Cajun flavors.
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.
Sheet Pan Baked Tilapia with Roasted Vegetables
Arrange the fish and the broccoli-carrot mixture on the same pan for quick cleanup. Add lemon wedges and bring to the table for a gorgeous presentation.
Blackened Tilapia Tacos with Basil-Lime Mayo
Firm tilapia can stand up to the simple yet robust spice rub here. Double the basil-mayo mixture and use as a veggie dip or sandwich spread for lunch.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Spanish and Mexican flavors combine in this quick fish dish. Serve with steamed rice and sautéed spinach.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Blackened Tilapia Baja Tacos
Blackening tilapia gives it a bold flavor, which is further enhanced with cilantro, lime, and avocado in a corn tortilla.
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.
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.
Tilapia is the perfect flaky white fish for this piccata recipe, which is even better when served with orzo.
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!"
Dip the fish in the eggs and then into the panko mixture.
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!"
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
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.
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!"
Broiled Tilapia with Thai Coconut-Curry Sauce
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.
A weeknight favorite, this quick and easy pecan-crusted tilapia serves up moist fish with a crunchy crust.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.