Thursday, February 17, 2011

Parmesan Broiled Tilapia

I used to be terrified to cook fish.  I'd order it in a heartbeat when we went to a restaurant... but something about having to handle it and try to cook it at home made me nervous.

Then I discovered tilapia... the world's friendliest fish.

Hello Mr. Tilapia... why you're not scary at all!
Say hello to Mr. Tilipia - he's a white fish, very mild, and he cooks beautifully.  The following recipe is a fool-proof, quick and easy, and incredibly delicious way to cook him.

(for typed out recipe scroll to the bottom)

YOU'LL NEED: Tilapia fillets, parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise, lemon juice, onion powder, celery salt, basil & black pepper.
I love this dish because it takes less than 5 minutes of prep, and less than 10 minutes to cook.

Preheat your oven to broil.  

Arrange four tilapia fillets on top single layer.  I usually buy the Costco individually vacuum sealed variety... but I only had two left so the squattier less pretty pieces came from a different store.

Now in a small bowl measure out 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.  I used shredded, but the powder variety from the canister works fine too, as does the real thing freshly grated if you've got it on hand.

Next add 1/4 cup of softened butter.   

3 tablespoons of mayonnaise.

Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to all that.

Now throw in some onion powder, black pepper, dried basil and celery salt (if you like measuring - 1/4 tsp of each.)  I just eyeball it though... I'm lazy like that!

Mix it all together and set aside...but not for long.  Like I said, this is a really QUICK recipe.

Put your fish in the oven about 4" from the element and broil for 3 minutes. 

Flip your fish over and broil for another 3 minutes.

Your fish will look nice and opague white at this point - divide your parmesan mixture evenly over the fillets and put back under the broiler for.... yep you guessed it... THREE MINUTES!

In this last 3 minutes, your fish will cook through perfectly (a good test is prod it gently with a fork, it should flake easily).  The cheese will be bubbly and browned on top and the smell... well it will be DIVINE!!!

Now serve it up with your favorite sides, tell your 3-year old it's chicken because it's easier than trying to explain fish to him, beam widely while your husband "mmm's" and "ohhhhh's" through dinner and tells you he thinks it looks so nice he'd like to saran wrap it and hang it on the wall - and enjoy!

Recipe from
Prep time: 5 minutes    Cook time: 10 minutes     Ready in: 15 minutes

4 tilapia fillets - roughly 4oz each.
1/4 cup softened butter
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp celery salt

1.  Preheat oven to broil.
2.  Arrange your tilapia fillets single layer on top.
3.  In a small bowl, mix parmesan, butter, mayo, lemon juice, pepper, basil, onion powder and celery salt together.
4.  Place fish in oven about 4" from element and broil for 3 minutes.
5.  Flip fillets over and broil for another 3 minutes.
6.  Divide parmesan mixture evenly over fillets and broil for another 3-4 minutes.  Fish should flake easily with fork.


  1. yum, that sounds delicious! Here is a link to my favorite tilapia recipe lately (I don't include the olives)

  2. I like that you're posting the recipe at the bottom. When I made your taco soup I had to bring the laptop (still borrowed from Mum, hee :) into the kitchen and scroll up and down your post to make it.

  3. Thank you for putting the measurements down for me, it made my heart happy!!! Seeing as my husband is a big fish fan, he will love this.

  4. I will have to try this. I keep trying to cook fish different ways and I never like it. In fact the last time I cooked fish (tilapia actually) it came out so awful I could only eat a few bites. That could have also had to do with the fact that I had practically empty cupboards and refrigerator and barely had anything to make anything from scratch even. Ack.