This parmesan crusted tilapia recipe is so crispy and delicious! It's gluten free and low carb so anyone can enjoy it. Great for meal prep!
If you're into delicious, hot and crispy, flaky fish, I've got a good one for you today!
Seriously, this tilapia is the perfect fish for non-fish lovers, kiddos or anyone wanting to experience the almond-parmesan crust that makes this dish so memorable.
The best part? Even if you're a total seafood newbie, this crispy tilapia is totally achievable.
You'll start by mixing almond flour, shredded parmesan cheese, spices and lemon zest to use for the breading.
Next, you'll dredge each tilapia filet in the breading mixture, then in beaten eggs, then in the breading mixture AGAIN. This is the key to the crispy crust.
Finally, you'll pan fry the breaded tilapia filets in olive oil on the stovetop. The result is crispy tilapia that will make you never want to cook fish a different way again!
This parmesan crusted tilapia recipe originated on our weekly low carb meal plans so it's served with a tasty, low carb side of red pepper cauliflower rice. If you're not low carb though, there are of course tons of other side dishes that go well with this fish – scroll down for ideas!
Parmesan Crusted Tilapia Recipe
For the Tilapia:
- 4 tilapia fillets (or cod fillets)
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 Lemon
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup olive oil
For the Red Pepper Cauliflower Rice:
- 1 head cauliflower (or 1 bag cauliflower rice)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 T olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- juice of 1 lemon
For the Tilapia:
- In a shallow bowl combine: 1 cup almond flour, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 3/4 tsp garlic powder, 3/4 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, zest of 1 lemon (save lemon for cauli rice).
- In a separate bowl whisk 2 eggs.
- Dredge tilapia in the almond flour mix, then the eggs and again in the almond flour mix until well coated. Repeat w/ the remainder of the fish.
- Heat ½ cup olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add tilapia in batches & cook 2-3 minutes per side until cooked through and flaky.
For the Red Pepper Cauliflower Rice:
- Remove core, leaves, & any dark spots from 1 cauliflower. Make sure it is completely dry & cut into bite size pieces. To a blender add chopped cauliflower in batches. Pulse until you get a rice-like consistency. Don’t overprocess or it will become mushy.
- Finely chop 1 red bell pepper.
- In a saute pan heat 1 T olive oil over medium heat. Add cauli rice & chopped red pepper and saute 3-4 minutes
- Stir in 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning, 1/3 cup Parmesan and juice of 1 lemon.
- Serve fish on top of cauli rice or on the side.
What to Serve with Pan Fried Tilapia
Even if you think cauliflower rice isn't your thing, I definitely recommend giving this version a try. The spices and lemon juice give it so much flavor!
There are of course many delicious side dishes you could serve with pan fried tilapia though. A simple green salad is quite delicious with this meal. Try fresh greens tossed with my lemon herb vinaigrette. The acidity and brightness of the dressing complements the richness of the almond-parmesan crust so well!
If you're not low carb, feel free to simply substitute rice or quinoa for the cauliflower rice as well!
Tips for Success – How to Get the Best Crispy Tilapia
No one wants a mushy crust on their fish! Here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you get the very BEST crispy tilapia every time:
- Mise en Place – Mise en place, or having everything prepped and ready to go before you begin cooking, is always important for a stress-free cooking experience. I find it particularly important with a recipe like this though where the fish cooks quite quickly. Make sure you have all of your dredging ingredients ready to go and a plate to put your cooked fish on before you begin.
- Double Dredge – You'll notice the instructions say to dredge each fillet in the almond flour mix, then in the eggs, then in the almond flour mix again. Don't skip this! This technique makes for the best, crispiest crust.
- Hot Oil – If your oil isn't hot enough, you won't end up with that crispiness you're looking for. Delish has a good tip for making sure it's hot enough. They recommend to stick the end of a wooden spoon in your oil. If no bubbles appear, it isn't ready. If small bubbles begin to pop up where you put the spoon in, it's hot enough!
- Eat Immediately – I love having leftovers and often cook a double, or even triple, batch of something just so we have extra for future meals. This crispy tilapia is really best fresh though. While you of course can eat leftovers, it will not retain that signature crispiness that makes the dish.
What's the nutrition like in this parmesan crusted tilapia recipe?
This low carb parmesan crusted tilapia recipe offers quite a bit of nutrition! This is especially true if you pair it with the red pepper cauli rice. In terms of macros, one serving has about 36.1 grams of fat, 18.9 grams of carbs (6.7 grams of fiber, 12 grams of net carbs) and 39.1 grams of protein. Our low carb meal plans always include macro information as I know it can be important for sticking to your goals with this style of eating.
The recipe has plenty of vitamins and micronutrients as well! Here are some of the highlights:
Tilapia (Choline, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Selenium, Omega-3s)
Tilapia is good for both your heart and bones. It is also one of the most budget-friendly types of seafood!
Almond Flour (Magnesium, Vitamin E, B Vitamins, Antioxidants)
Almonds' high antioxidant content can help fight inflammation. Almonds are one of the best sources of vitamin E which may help prevent diseases like heart disease, Alzheimer's and cancer. Furthermore, the magnesium in almonds may help lower blood pressure in those with high blood pressure.
Lemon (Vitamin C, Citric Acid)
Just one lemon provides 51% of the daily recommended vitamin C. This is important not only to fight colds, but for long term health as studies show consuming produce with vitamin C helps prevent heart disease and stroke. Consuming lemons may also help protect against anemia due to their vitamin C, which helps iron absorption, and kidney stones, likely due to their citric acid content.
Olive Oil (Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Monounsaturated Fats, Antioxidants)
Due to the type of fat it contains, olive oil may reduce inflammation. It also reduces the risk of Alzheimer's, stroke and heart disease. Make sure to get high quality extra virgin olive oil, as it retains more antioxidants and nutrients.
Cauliflower (Vitamin C, Vitamin K, B Vitamins, Potassium, Manganese, Magnesium)
Containing tons of vitamins and nutrients, cauliflower is a great choice to regularly include in your diet. It's particularly high in vitamin C, fiber and certain antioxidants that may slow the growth of cancer. Cauliflower is also high in choline, which is important for brain health.
Bell Pepper (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folic Acid, Iron, Potassium, Fiber, Antioxidants)
Bell peppers provide tons of good-for-you vitamins. The combination of iron and vitamin C in bell peppers makes them particularly good for preventing anemia. They're also highly beneficial for eye health.
Want a pro tip? Choose red! Red bell peppers, like the one in this recipe, offer even more nutrients and can have 1.5 times as much vitamin C and 11 times as much beta-carotene as green bell peppers.
Is this a good meal prep seafood recipe?
Yes! While you should definitely wait to cook the tilapia until you're ready to serve, you can make dinnertime a whole lot easier with some meal prep.
First, chop your bell pepper and cauliflower, if you're not using pre-chopped cauli rice.
Next, you can actually dredge your fish ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to cook. Mix your almond flour-parmesan-spice mixture and whisk your eggs. Then dredge each fillet and store, tightly covered, in the fridge. This makes this crispy tilapia recipe come together so quickly!
I want more easy seafood recipes!
I know some people are intimidated by cooking seafood but it really does make for a perfect weeknight meal. It just cooks so quickly! Here are a few of my favorite easy seafood recipes:
It does not get any simpler than this!
In this quick weeknight recipe, shrimp cook alongside veggies on the stovetop, seasoned with a Cajun spice mix. Delicious dinners don't have to be complicated!
This easy salmon recipe has just 6 ingredients and three of them are olive oil, salt and pepper.
With high quality fish, salt and pepper is often all it needs!
This was one of our most popular new recipes in 2022 and for good reason. The fish cooks in a tasty tomato broth, seasoned with Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. So good!