Parmesan Crusted Tilapia with Tomato Sauce

I’ve just come back from a vacation where seafood was plentiful and I really enjoyed it. Still in the mood for more, for my first meal home, I picked up some fresh tilapia fillets and made this great, fast and easy recipe that I found in Fine Cooking magazine. (emphasis on the fast and easy part as I was seriously jet-lagged!).

This is a great way to cook up tilapia and a perfect choice for a dinner when time is tight or energy is low. It’s also the perfect fish recipe for getting non-fish-lovers to love fish (kids!) It almost tastes like Chicken Parmesan.
This is great served with sauteed spinach or zucchini which makes for a healthy and low-calorie meal, too. Just throw the veggies in the hot skillet once the fish is taken out and they’ll only take a few minutes more.

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia with Tomato Sauce


2 large cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp.)
6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 small can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes (or crushed tomatoes will work, as well. This is about 1/2 of a large can. You can freeze any leftover tomatoes in a ziploc bag for later use.)
Pinch of granulated sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs (or dried bread crumbs will work, as well)
3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped parsley
4 6-oz skinless tilapia fillets
1 large egg


In a medium saucepan, cook the garlic in 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil, over medium heat, until it begins to colour, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice, the sugar and a pinch of each of salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, on a large plate, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmigiano, parsley, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
Season the fish with salt and pepper, Beat the egg in a wide, shallow dish. Dip each fillet in the egg and then into the breadcrumb mixture, pressing the coating to the fish to help it stick.

In a 12-inch non-stick skillet, heat the remaining 4 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add two of the fillets and cook until the coating is nicely browned and the flesh is opaque and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Repeat with the remaining fillets. Serve the tilapia warm with a spoonful of the tomato sauce.

Adapted from a Fine Cooking Magazine recipe

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  1. They are, Trish! And … they’re on sale this week at Metro/A & P (if you’re in Canada). I picked up 3 large fillets for $6. So that makes this meal fast, easy, healthy, low-cal and cheap :)

  2. Hey…I am going to be posting a very similar recipe tomorrow. Aren’t those little filets simply divine?

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