This easy baked Parmesan crusted tilapia recipe features a flavorful Parmesan crust from only a few everyday ingredients. The perfect weeknight dinner recipe is ready in under 30 minutes.
A quick and easy weeknight recipe with a weekend eloquence. This has become a standard in our home. It is also an excellent fit for any low-carb or keto diet.
It's time to eat more fish. I need to, and so do you. But easier said than done. This is a slight modification of a Rachel Ray recipe.
👨🍳How to make this recipe
- Preheat oven
- Prepare a baking sheet with foil and a coat of oil.
- Wash and dry tilapia.
- Mix topping of Parmesan and seasonings.
- Coat tilapia with oil, then dredge in the topping and pat it on firmly.
- Place on a baking sheet and pat a little more topping on the fish.
- Bake for about 10-12 minutes until flaky.
🐟What is Tilapia?
Tilapia is frequently referred to as "the chicken of fish" due to its mild taste and ease of mass production on farms.
They are generally freshwater inhabiting shallow streams, ponds, rivers, and lakes. Tilapia is native to Africa and the Middle East. However, they've been distributed worldwide, and they're farmed almost everywhere.
While you can attack any farm-raised fish for the method, or any farm product, the facts still support tilapia as a good source of low-fat protein. Tilapia is lower in omega-3 than some wild fish but lower in mercury.
Yes, frozen is fine if fully thawed. I try to toss the package of frozen fish in the refrigerator the day before, which always works great.
Fresh tilapia also works well if you have a good source.
You need a good Parmesan since so much of the flavor is the cheese—quality matters.
I like to get a nice wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano and shred or grate as needed. I use lots of Parmesan, and it will last me for at least six months.
Yes, but it needs to be relatively firm and not more than about ¾ inch thick, or the coating will be done before the fish.
The beauty of home cooking is seasoning to your taste. I generally add a touch of garlic powder for my wife.
Some people will like something like lemon pepper, Old Bay, or cajan seasoning.
It will get a very nice brown and will take 10-12 minutes. The fish will also be flakey if you check. If you are unsure, the internal temperature should be 145°.
🍽️What To Serve with Tilapia?
For a complete meal, a nice starch and a vegetable are needed.
For the starch, baked French fries, stovetop mac & cheese, baked rice, or roasted red potatoes are excellent choices.
Excellent choices for a vegetable side dish are roasted asparagus, roasted cauliflower, or bacon-baked green beans.
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Preheat the oven to 400° convection or 425° conventional. Wash and pat dry tilapia fillets.
Line a baking dish or sheet with aluminum foil and brush foil with oil.
Grate Parmesan if needed.
Mix Parmesan, paprika, parsley, salt, and pepper in a shallow pan.
Brush tilapia with oil on both sides and then dredge in the Parmesan mixture patting the coating on. Place on the baking sheet. Take some of the remaining Parmesan mixture and pat on top of the already coated fish.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes until flaky.
Baked Parmesan Crusted Tilapia
- 1 pound Tilapia
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese - grated fresh if possible
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 400° convection or 425° conventional. Line a baking sheet or baking pan with aluminum foil and brush with olive oil.
- Wash and pat dry tilapia with paper towels.
- Mix Parmesan, paprika, parsley, salt, and pepper in a shallow pan.
- Brush tilapia with oil on both sides and then dredge in the Parmesan mixture and pat on the coating. Place on the baking sheet. Add some of the extra coating on top of the fish.
- Bake for about 10-12 minutes until flaky.
Your Own Private Notes
- You can use fresh or frozen tilapia that is completely thawed.
- Be sure to dry the tilapia well with paper towels before coating.
- The quality of the Parmesan cheese matters a lot in this recipe.
- I like to add a little extra topping just before going into the oven.
- If unsure, fish is done at 145° internal temperature in the thickest part.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Editor's Note: Originally Published December 18, 2010, which was the first year of the blog. The blog has grown 1000X since that time. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.
Great recipe. My wife and I loved it. Our new favorite way to make tilapia. Normally, I use a panko crusted recipe that we have used for years, but this one may take the spot in the rotation, or at least share it. Thanks so much.
Wow! Served at family dinner and you got thumbs up from everyone. Followed recipe to the T except I didn’t have dried parsley and substituted Italian seasoning. Used shelf parm although fresh would have been amazing I’m sure!
Turned out great! I had all of the ingredients on hand. We will have it again. Needed longer to cook in a conventional oven. Thanks.
Made this with fresh Parm. Must have been too moist as it did not stick to the fish at all. Not sure what could be done for this to make it stick better. Perhaps using grated parm rather than fresh would produce better results in terms of adhesion?
It did not come out crispy at all, nothing like the picture! But it’s flavorful.
Thank you for this tasty recipe! I didn’t have parsley, so I used Oregano. I also used some cayenne sprinkled over each piece of tilapia. I added garlic powder, because we love garlic and it was delicious!
This is such a wonderfully flexible recipe. I have also used THAWED fish from Walmart with wonderful results. My husband was die hard grudingly an eater of frozen battered fillets and sticks. I added just a bit of Pablo crumbs to this & he happily ASKS for this now. It can easily handle varying the herbs and come out delicious every time. I have also made it in bigger amounts for groups of the family. Easy, heart healthy & delicious!! Thanks for posting it.
This came out super crispy and flaky. It was super easy...The fish cooked perfectly and the fam LOVED it! Definitely a keeper.
This is very delicious, ( especially if my picky daughter) says “they’re the greatest”!!.. it’s our 4th time making them both with a side salad and rolls. Thank you for posting your recipes.
I'm sorry, but it was nasty. I couldnt eat it. I bought the tilapia at Walmart. The pieces were individually wrapped in its package.
I followed the instructions. There was no crust and too much paprika.
This is the second recipe I’m trying (can’t get enough of your baked filet mignon’s).
What would help me, a beginner trying to cook for my very experienced wife, would be side dish pairing suggestions for each recipe.
Dan Mikesell AKA DrDan
Welcome to the blog.
I have done that a bit with special occasion posts like Thanksgiving and other holidays and recipes targeted at those holidays (who really does sweet potato casserole in the summer?).
I'm on an aggressive blog rewrite (about 25% done) and I will try to do better with suggestions. I did put all the veggies, salad and potato recipes all in the "side dish" category that may help some. https://www.101cookingfortwo.com/category/vegetable/
Good as is ....used smoked paprika instead and added a pinch of cayenne.... awesome dish
I just found your fabulous website! You describe directions so precisely and easy to read. I made your baked chicken breasts last night and they turned out so yummy delicious. I am going to try this baked fish recipe, however, only have frozen cod in the freezer. I will defrost first, but am wondering if the cod texture will hold up to 425 conventional oven. Please advice.
Dan Mikesell AKA DrDan
Welcome to the blog.
Glad you are enjoying it.
The cod should work fine. I have never done this with cod. But if you read the 10-minute rule discussion in the post, you will see that the tilapia is fully or even overcooked a bit to get the crust right. So I would expect the cod to cook well. As you point out, it may be a bit more "fall apart" so handle with care.
Thanks for the note.