Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

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Parmesan Crusted Tilapia made with just six simple ingredients is a fifteen-minute dinner that as delicious as it is easy.

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This easy Parmesan Tilapia topped with a crispy combination of Parmesan cheese, Panko breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, and garlic is an easy dinner that comes together in minutes. Make it with affordable tilapia or swap in another white fish. Tilapia fans will also love these easy Tilapia Fish Burgers and Blackened Tilapia.

Tilapia is one of those fish that's super versatile, like chicken of the sea. No, not the tuna brand, which makes this analogy maybe even more confusing)

You can grill it, bake it, bread it, season it, fry it (if you must), steam it...the list goes on and on. Today's inspiration though came from some Parmesan Crusted Tilapia came from a surprise takeout dish that was so much better than I expected. 

At first glance, the restaurant we chose looked like some hole-in-the-wall greasy spoon but we had heard lots of good things about it from everyone we knew so I thought we'd give it a try. 

Imagine my surprise when I realized how healthy and fresh everything looked! The menu had some staples on it of course (burgers, chicken wings, fries), but also some very healthy options like this baked tilapia. I just knew I needed to try my hand at making it at home and, lucky for me, it was so easy!

Parmesan tilapia with Panko breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese on a plate with fresh herbs.

Ideas for Serving Parmesan Tilapia

I like to serve this crusted tilapia with a side of low-carb pasta or even a variety of the newer kinds of veggie and legume pasta there are available right now (the one made out of chickpeas is delicious!).

Tilapia goes great with roasted veggies like green beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, or a mixture of veggies.

I also think a baked sweet or Russet potato really rounds out a meal made with tilapia and a veggie. Top with Greek yogurt and spices for a low-calorie potato topping if you're worried about having too much butter.

Put tilapia in a high-fiber wrap with roasted veggies and some hummus for a delicious, nutritious fish sandwich option that's baked, not fried.

Also, rice works great with this cheesy-topped tilapia too. White, brown, or cauliflower, whatever you prefer. Another option is to try the steam-in-a-bag pouches of rice. Be careful though not to get too big a portion, those bags hold more than you think!

What is Tilapia?

Tilapia is a warm-water, freshwater fish that's both wild-caught and farm-raised. It's mild in flavor and easy to prepare just about any way you like.

Tilapia has a white, lean flesh and are most commonly found in the freezer section of your grocer's seafood counter.

The fish are very adaptable to crowded conditions and that's why they're so easy to farm in closed tanks. If you have reservations about eating farmed tilapia, look for wild-caught tilapia instead.

Benefits of Eating Tilapia

Not only is tilapia low in calories and fat, it has a whole host of other good-for-you qualities which makes it one of my favorite fish to eat! (Plus, it's so affordable!)

This fish is also high in protein (26 grams in every 3.5-ounce serving), low-carb, and also contains niacin, vitamins B12, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium.

How do you make Parmesan Crusted Tilapia?

First, preheat the oven to 425 degrees, then spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Next, mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, butter, salt, and pepper together.

Lay the fish down on the baking sheet/pan in a single layer. Top with salt and pepper, then add the breadcrumbs/seasoning mixture on top.

Pop this in the oven for 10-13 minutes or until the fish is flaky and cooked through. The breadcrumbs should be browned. If needed, broil the fish for the last 1-2 minutes to brown.

How will you be serving your tilapia?

Can this be made with another white fish?

This recipe works with any sturdy white fish including cod, haddock, o pollock. It can also be used to make salmon, swordfish, or mahi mahi but the cooking time may change depending on the thickness of the fish. 

For those who aren't big fish fans, you can make a version of this with Parmesan Crusted Chicken or Parmesan Crusted Pork

Recipe Ideas and Tips

There are a lot of ways to customize this recipe and make it your own. Here are some ideas:

  • Swap in different herbs or spices to switch up the flavors. Use dried herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, or chives. Make it spicy with Cajun seasoning or blackening seasoning. This is also delicious with lemon pepper, like this Lemon Pepper Tilapia.
  • For more moisture, add a very thin layer of mayonnaise on the fish before adding the breading. This will lock in even more moisture. 
  • If tilapia isn't your preferred fish choice, use another white fish like cod of haddock.
  • Try out this same recipe with shrimp for another yummy seafood dish. 
  • Add some vegetables to the pan to make this a complete meal. Choose veggies like zucchini, summer squash, asparagus, or green beans since they all cook quickly and will be ready in the ten minutes it takes to cook the fish. For other vegetables that take longer to cook, place them in the oven before the fish. 

Tilapia crusted with Parmesan cheese and panko breadcrumbs on a black plate with salad on the side.

More Tilapia Recipes

The Recipe
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Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

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  • 24 oz tilapia (about 6 ounces each, or other white fish)
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 Salt and pepper, to taste

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Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, butter, salt, and pepper.

Parmesan and breadcrumb mixture in a bowl with butter.

Place the fish in a single layer in baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Season with salt and pepper. Add the breadcrumb mixture on top.

Panko and Parmesan coating on tilapia in a baking dish.

Bake for 10-13 minutes until fish is flaky and cooked through. The breadcrumbs should be browned. If needed, broil the fish for the last 1-2 minutes to brown.

Parmesan tilapia baking in an oven with a crispy breadcrumb coating.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 6 oz
Amount Per Serving
Calories 237
Calories from Fat 96
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
Saturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 105mg
Sodium 209mg
Total Carbohydrate 4g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 0g
Protein 35g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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