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Easy Way to Cook Fish - Best Parmesan Cheese Baked Tilapia Recipe
Baked Parmesan Tilapia!
How Do You Cook Tilapia?
"This tastes too fishy." "I don't like fish very well." Have you heard these statements about fish before? I have. I used to hear that from even my boyfriend, someone I cook for often--but not anymore, not when I make this tasty, easy tilapia recipe. He loves this dish, and goes on about how good it is every time I make it for us. I think he is pleasantly surprised every time how tasty fish can actually be. It seems that he forgets between times that I cook it how much he actually enjoys it. It's a treat every time. I think I've sort of hit a gold mine with this one. This baked tilapia recipe is one that I make often.
Tilapia is a fish that is very easy to cook and hard to mess up. It doesn't take long to cook, and it always tastes good, at least when I make it at home. It's more expensive than whiting filet (one of the cheapest fish you can buy), but less expensive than most cuts of fish. Tilapia is a mild-tasting white fish that is unlikely to turn anybody away. There are many people who may like fish, but who are turned away by fish that tastes too strong or too "fishy." Tilapia is not like that. Tilapia is mild . . . and never overwhelming in smell, nor in taste. At least I haven't found it to be. And that sentiment seems to be a common one.
My Favorite Tilapia Recipe
I came across this particular tilapia recipe many years ago on the internet. I was subscribed to some recipe site, and thus I would receive different recipes every week for various types of foods. I was always looking for different ways to make fish. I loved frying it, but I wanted something healthier--and different.
The recipe I have now is a torn piece of paper, run off from an old printer, tattered from years of use in the kitchen. Years ago, I started noting on my recipes when I made them, who I was with, and what the results were. Was it good? Tasty? Needed a little extra of this or that? So there are scribbles all over this recipe, like so many other recipes tucked here and there in my kitchen.
This particular tilapia recipe, based on my handwritten notes, shows me making this recipe at least once a year since 2005. And my comments on it show that all reports were good, the first comments being "Excellent! Tasty!" This is a recipe you can't go wrong with, as long as you do like tilapia. Maybe you don't even know you like it. Well, it's definitely worth a try.
Since the last time I checked, I have made the recipe much more often than once a year.
Tasty Tilapia Topping!
Ingredients for Parmesan Tilapia
1 1/2 to 2 pounds thawed tilapia filets (My recipe says that orange roughy, cod, or red snapper could be substituted. I would guess that most fish would work.) I just put enough filets to cover the bottom of my 9 x 13 casserole dish. Six of them fit perfectly.
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) butter at room temperature
3 Tbs. mayonnaise
3 Tbs. finely chopped green onions
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
black pepper to taste
dash of hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
Baked Parmesan Cheese Tilapia: Rate this recipe! (I recommend rating it AFTER you try the recipe. I'll bet the rating will be closer to 5 if not higher!) This r
Instructions for Baked Parmesan Tilapia
Prepare your baking dish by spreading butter in the bottom or using non-stick spray (that's what I do) in a 13 by 9 inch baking dish. Lay thawed tilapia filets in a single layer. If you forgot to thaw the filets, stick them in cold or warm water for a few minutes; they will thaw in a very short time.
Brush top of fish with the lemon juice. Put fish in preheated oven of 375 degrees. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until fish starts to flake.
In the meantime, in a bowl, combine the next 7 ingredients: Parmesan cheese, softened butter, mayonnaise, chopped green onions, seasoned salt, black pepper, and dash of hot pepper sauce. Mix up well with fork and set mixture aside.
(Do NOT put the topping on before putting the fish into the oven the first time. Once, when I already had the topping prepared, I forgot to wait until the end. Instead, I put the topping on right after the lemon juice and popped the dish into the oven. While the final product was still good, it was drier and not anywhere near as delicious as normal. So remember to wait on the topping!)
After fish has cooked to point of being flaky, take out of oven and spread cheese mixture on top. Turn oven to broil to brown top of fish, about 3 to 4 minutes. Keep an eye on the tilapia, as baking time will be impacted by thickness of the tilapia. Do not allow to overcook.
Quicker option: Turn oven to broil setting. After oven heats up, place in tilapia. Broil 3 to 4 minutes or until almost done. Take out, and add Parmesan cheese mixture. Then broil another 2 to 3 minutes or untl browned. Keep a close eye on tilapia so as not to burn it.
An even Quicker and Simpler Option for Tilapia
You should be very pleased with this tilapia recipe. If you would like to try an even easier, even quicker tilapia recipe, perhaps the easiest of all, then I have tried such a thing that works great. Take desired amount of frozen tilapia out of bag and place in buttered or sprayed non-stick pan. You can sprinkle a little olive oil or canola oil in the pan as on option if you prefer. Place a lid over the pan of fish, with burner turned to medium heat. Do make sure pan is hot before you put tilapia in it. Cook 3 or 4 minutes before checking fish. If tilapia is starting to turn white, it's time to turn it over.
Sprinkle choice of seasonings on tilapia before turning. A simple option is sprinkled salt and pepper, or perhaps lemon pepper. You can also experiment with your favorite seasonings: garlic salt, dill weed, or cajun seasoning, to name a few. You can even brush the fish with melted butter.
Cook tilapia another 3 or 4 minutes on other side. Add more seasonings on that side if you'd like. When tilapia flakes easily with a fork, it is ready to eat. Be careful not to cook too long, as tilapia--like most fish--is much better when it's not overcooked.
If you're hesitant to cook or eat fish, try this baked tilapia recipe, or even tilapia in other recipes. Tilapia is a mild fish that cooks quickly. Messing up the flavor would be hard to do, too. Try it!