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Quick And Easy Tilapia Recipe

Updated on August 6, 2010
My Border Blend. Make sure you have a big enough container to hold all the spice, and to mix the spices nicely when you shake it up.
My Border Blend. Make sure you have a big enough container to hold all the spice, and to mix the spices nicely when you shake it up.
Uncooked tilapia, seasoned after marinating them.
Uncooked tilapia, seasoned after marinating them.
The tilapia cooking. Yum!
The tilapia cooking. Yum!

You will need


Zesty Italian salad dressing

Olive oil


Border blend

The fish

For this recipe, as the title suggests, we're going to use 1 pound of Tilapia. That should of course be enough to feed two people, but if you have a large family or bigger appetites, just simply double or triple this amount.

I buy my fish frozen, in bulk, at Sam's Club. Typically a 3 pound package of fish will cost around $3.00-$3.50 per pound, which is actually a great price considering even Tilapia will run around $5.99 per pound in the regular grocery store. I love fish. I hate paying high prices for it. So the Sam's Club bulk frozen package is great for me. Plus, each piece of fish is individually wrapped. Use what you need and store the rest.

Marinate the fish

To marinate the fish, make sure you've thawed the pieces. Put two or three capfuls of lemon juice concentrate into the bottom of a glass bowl (or freshly squeezed if you have a lemon handy), then place the thawed Tilapia pieces into the bowl. Pour in enough zesty Italian dressing to cover the fish pieces. Let that marinate for about 30-minutes to an hour. My suggestion? Go for the hour if you have the time. You won't be sorry.

Make your Border Blend

If you follow any of my recipes, you'll notice I use a lot of my own stuff. Perhaps I'm creative. The reality is I'm really cheap. Of course, I do like to experiment as well. Whatever the case, if you've never made your own spice blend before, then here's a great one to start with. I call it Border Blend because it uses spices that are commonly found in Mexican dishes.

Find yourself an empty spice container and we'll get started. Here's what you will need:

3 tbsp. ground cumin

4 tbsp. dried cilantro

1 tbsp. onion powder

1 tbsp. salt

1 tbsp. chilies

Combine all of the ingredients into the spice container, pop the cap back on, and shake it up vigorously. Having a good sized container is important if you are going to mix the spices in the container, you want to have enough room for the spices to combine nicely.

One note as well. If you like hot (I don't) add more chilies to this. 1 tbsp. is barely noticeable. 2-3 tbsp. would really heat this up.

Note: If you use a lot of spices, and especially if you like to create your own blends, buying spices in bulk saves a ton of money as well.

Cook the fish

For this, simply put about 1/2 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tbsp butter or margarine into a large skillet. Once the oil is hot and the butter is melted, add the Tilapia pieces, seasoned on both sides with the Border Blend into the hot pan, and cook on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes per side. When cooking fish like this I like to cook them on lower heat slowly. Fish burns really easy if you're not careful. Plus, this also lets all of the flavors dig nicely into the meat.

Just cook the fish until it's flaky and white.

Serve it all up

I served mine with a homemade rissoto rice dish and a simple vegetable side made with 1 can of French green beans, drained, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, and about 1 tbsp. of imitation bacon bits.


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    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      This was a long time ago! lol! great recipe, one for my cook book! thanks!

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

      I love tilapia, and yes, it is a very versatile fish. I've been buying flounder lately only because it's a bit cheaper right now than tilapia—hey, I'm a man of economy. :) The margarita Tex-Mex version sounds very good. Thanks for stopping in.

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 6 years ago

      Great ideas from you and your followers! I am not really a fan of the fish -- but talapia is very versatile. I've been making a Tex-Mex version with a tequlia marinade (which must also start the cooking process). Just think margarita -- and add it to the marinade.

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      I very much enjoyed this dish. Let me know what you thought of it, and do share if you think there are some things I could do to make it better. :)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 7 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I am so excited about your talapia recipe. I love mexican food and talapia is a favorite of mine. I'm not the most creative cook in the kitchen, so this recipe will be tomorrow nights dinner. Can't wait! A million thanks.

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      Love fish. Never can seem to get enough of it. Just wish the darn price of it would come down a bit. :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This sounds good! The bacon wrapped tilapia also sounds intriguing. We love fish of all kinds and will have to give these recipes a try. Thanks!

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      Hmmm, and here I am invested in a Chinese tiliapia fish farm in Hainan. lol.

      I really enjoy this particular recipe. If you try it out, hope it turns out well. Thanks for stopping in.

    • GeneralHowitzer profile image

      Gener Geminiano 7 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

      Hmmm sounds very yummmy to me SB, hehehe there are also some tilapia in the Philippines and it originated from Africa...

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      Great to see you habee...which reminds me I have some catching up to do. :)

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Oh, yum! I have some tilapia fillets in the freezer, along with all your other ingredients. Thanks!

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      Ann—that's one of the nice things about this one, in that there really isn't much prep at all. For me, the combination of the zinginess from the Italian dressing, and the cumin and the just seems to do it for me. But I AM admittedly biased. :)

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      Pamela—great to see you, thanks for stopping in. :)

      Michael—I wouldn't say "awesome," but I do like to experiment quite a lot. My wife actually gets mad at me sometimes for FOLLOWING a recipe. "It turns out better when you do 'your' thing." I always enjoy the compliment. :) Either I'm one hell of a cook or my wife just likes crappy food. lol

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      maven—glad you clarified. I'd have had great burnt fish. :) Let me know how it turns out for you on the recipe, or if you have any suggestions on ways to improve it, those are welcome as well.

      sheila b—to me it has good flavor, and experimenting around is a lot of fun as well.

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 7 years ago from Virginia

      Tilapia is one of my favorite seafoods and that says a lot considering I barely eat any! This sounds really good, springboard, and not too hard! A plus for sure. Going to bookmark it!

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 7 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Another awesome recipe you whipped up here...I bet your one awesome cook! Thanks for sharing...

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      I love fish and the recipe sounds good so I will try it. Good hub.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

      Mmmm, I love fish, and your spice mixture sounds good. I'll try it.

    • maven101 profile image

      maven101 7 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Springboard...Precook the bacon just before it crisps, then wrap the fish and hold with toothpicks...otherwise you will end up over-baking the fish while waiting for the bacon to crisp...oven at 375 about 10 min...turn, and another 5 min...

      I'm looking forward to trying your scrumptious recipe Friday...Now, back to watching Tiger come from behind at the Masters...Thanks, Larry

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      maven—never thought of wrapping the fish in bacon and baking it, but that sounds absolutely delicious. I've done it with pork...but now you've got me thinking. I've got a ton of fish left in the freezer, and I might just have to do the bacon wrapped thing on my next fish day, which based on this idea may be in just a couple days.

      drbj—Oh, fish is one thing I can't get enough of. One of life's little pleasures IMO.

      entertainment—thanks for stopping by...Tilapia certainly is good. Has a texture something like catfish, but a bit of a different flavor profile. Definitely stacks high on my list.

      POP—kitchen remodels are the most debilitating to be sure. The kitchen in my house is by far one of the most important rooms in the house...aside from maybe the bathroom of course. :)

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      I will try this recipe as soon as I can locate my stove! I am in the middle of a renovation, but it does sound delicious.

    • entertianmentplus profile image

      entertianmentplus 7 years ago from United States

      Awesome hub great recipe I love Tilapia.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Have to admit fish is not my favorite dish but your recipe sounds delish.

    • maven101 profile image

      maven101 7 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Great Hub and great recipe....I usually just wrap tilapia in bacon with lemon pepper and bake in an oven till the bacon is crisp...I'm trying this one next friday ( our fish night )...Thanks for this...Larry

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      greatAmerican—Tilapia, to me, is very good. But then I also like Catfish and Walleye, which Tilapia reminds me of. Salmon is one of my absolute favorites when it comes to fish, though, but at $8.00-$10.00 a pound lately, I just won't buy it very often. This recipe could, of course, be converted to any preferred white fish.

    • greatAmerican profile image

      greatAmerican 7 years ago

      Spring, Looks good I just never could get too excited about tilapia,,