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tortilla crusted tilapia recipe

Tortilla Crusted Tilapia

Full-flavored and easy to prepare, this crunchy breaded fish is brightened by Cherry Tomato Pico de Gallo and Cilantro-Lime Crema for a festive summer dinner. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Latin
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Calories 680 kcal

Ingredients

TILAPIA

  • 1 -1/2 cups finely crushed tortilla chips (I use a mix of blue and yellow corn)
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder (or more, to taste, if you prefer your fish spicier)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 4 tilapia fillets (6 ounces each)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour , for dredging tilapia
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil , divided

CHERRY TOMATO PICO DE GALLO

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes , quartered
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1 jalapeño pepper , finely chopped (seeds removed for mild)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 -1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper , to taste

CILANTRO-LIME CREMA

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper , to taste
US Customary - Metric

Instructions

MAKE THE TILAPIA

  1. In a dish suitable for breading, mix together crushed tortilla chips, chili powder, ground cumin, and garlic powder. In a bowl, whisk together eggs and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Season tilapia fillets with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Dip into the egg mixture, and then into the seasoned chips, pressing to adhere crumbs.
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil until shimmering (enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan). Add 2 breaded fillets to the pan and cook until fish is cooked through and breading is golden, about 4 minutes per side. (Cooking time will vary by the thickness of your fillets. The USDA recommends an internal cooking temperature of 145 degrees F for fish, or until opaque.) Remove from pan and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Carefully clean pan with a paper towel and repeat process with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and fillets.

MAKE THE CHERRY TOMATO PICO DE GALLO

  1. In a bowl, mix together cherry tomatoes, onions, jalapeño pepper, cilantro, lime juice, and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

MAKE THE CILANTRO-LIME CREMA AND SERVE

  1. In a small food processor or blender, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, cilantro, grated lime zest, and lime juice until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Crema can also be made by hand by finely chopping the cilantro and whisking ingredients together.)
  2. To serve, top each tilapia fillet with a scoop of the Cherry Tomato Pico de Gallo and a drizzle of the Cilantro-Lime Crema. The Pico de Gallo and Crema can be made ahead, but the tilapia is best served immediately.

Recipe Notes

To easily crush tortilla chips, place in a zip-top storage bag and crush with a rolling pin.