A beautiful, delicious, slightly smokey crust, and tender fish–this blackened tilapia recipe makes for incredible tacos, bowls, or salads, and is the perfect recipe to make for people who aren’t sure they like fish. Plus… check out how easy this pan fried tilapia is to make!
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Is tilapia a healthy fish to eat?
There are a lot of things to consider when analyzing how healthy tilapia is. Here are the facts so you can decide if it’s a good option for you:
- Macronutrient breakdown: low in fat, high in protein, and zero carbs per serving.
- Mercury levels: tilapia contains very little mercury, especially when compared to predatory fish like shark and swordfish.
- Farmed vs. wild fish: it’s nearly impossible to find wild-caught tilapia. If you’re okay with farmed tilapia, opt for filets that have been raised in the US, Canada, or Peru as they have cleaner farming practices.
Ingredients You’ll Need for Blackened Fish
The most important ingredient for blackened tilapia is the seasoning blend. You can make your own, or even buy a jar from the store (below is our family’s favorite combination!).
- Blackening seasoning – Paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Adjust the spice level by increasing/decreasing the amount of cayenne added. If buying one from the store, I suggest using Paul Prudhomme’s–he’s the chef who developed and popularized blackening meat!
- Tilapia – although this recipe was written for tilapia, you can substitute your favorite white fish. Great alternatives include cod or haddock.
How to Cook Blackened Tilapia in a Skillet?
The first trick to an incredible blackened fish is the seasoning. The second is the pan. Opt for a heavy-bottomed pan with an even cooking surface (no hot spots!). I love my well seasoned cast iron skillet for this.
- Combine the spice blend.
- Sprinkle on top of the filets and press to adhere.
- Heat vegetable or avocado oil in your pan over medium high heat.
- Add the filets, and sear on each side until they’ve “blackened” and the tilapia filets are cooked through.
How to grill blackened tilapia?
To grill blackened tilapia, you’ll use the same concept as above, but throw your cast iron over the grill grates. Sear on each side until cooked through.
What to eat with blackened tilapia?
We love serving any blackened fish with pineapple or mango salsa and over a bed of roasted vegetables or rice. This dish is also great:
- Served on top of greens for a fresh and delicious salad.
- Used for tacos or burritos, with fresh salsa and shredded cabbage.
- Over any of your favorite grains, like quinoa, farro, or even cauliflower rice.
More Fish Recipes You’ll Love
Blackened TilapiaPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound tilapia fillets
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or avocado oil
- Combine all spices together in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle the spice mix on each side of the fillets, they will be liberally coated. Press to adhere. Allow the tilapia to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before cooking.
- Heat avocado or vegetable oil over medium high heat new large skillet. When’s the oil is shimmering and hot add the fillets, they should sizzle when they hit the pan.
- Sear on each side for 2 to 3 minutes, they should flip easily and have a seared crust on either side.
- Serve with lime juice and enjoy!