Saturday, January 26, 2013

Recipe for Almond and Parmesan Baked Tilapia

Baked Tilapia with an Almond-Parmesan Crust
This Baked Tilapia with an Almond-Parmesan Crust is easy and delicious.

(We're nearing the end of A Month of Daily Phase One Recipes, and I wanted to be sure to share this delicious way to cook Tilapia.  I could easily eat this once a week, even if I wasn't doing phase one!)

For six years this tasty recipe for Almond and Parmesan Baked Tilapia was stuck back in the recipe archives without a photo.  When I finally got around to cooking it for photos, I remembered how this recipe produced some of the the best-tasting Tilapia I'd ever had.  When I told my nephew Jake that we were going to cook Tilapia, he was polite but told me he didn't really like it, but when we ate some with the homemade tartar sauce, Jake was completely amazed at how good it was.   The almond meal and finely grated Parmesan makes a crispy coating on the fish that's also gluten-free and South Beach Diet friendly, and I'm betting this recipe will be a hit with just about anyone who tries it.

Back in 2005 I used butter to dip the fish in so the coating would stick; this this time I made it a bit more healthful by melting together a mixture of my favorite yogurt spread and butter.  Your choice on which to use. 

In a shallow bowl mix together the almond meal, finely grated Parmesan, garlic powder, pepper, and fish rub.  (I highly recommend Szeged Fish Rub if you can find it. I like it so much I buy it in six-packs from Amazon.com.) 

Put the butter/margarine mixture in one bowl and the almond/parmesan mixture in another bowl; then dip the fish first in the butter mixture and then in the almond meal mixture.  I sprinkle the almond meal over and press it on.

For some reason Costco had huge pieces of Tilapia so that one in the back left corner didn't get too much coating, but it was still good.  Bake 20-30 minutes or until the fish is barely firm to the touch and the coating is browned and crispy on the edges.


Almond and Parmesan Baked Tilapia
(makes 3-4 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

Ingredients:
3-4 Tilapia filets, thawed if frozen (This recipe will work best with pieces that are at least 1/2 inch thick.)
1/4 cup melted butter (I used half butter and half margarine)
1/3 cup almond meal (I use Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal
2 T finely grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper (or slightly more lemon pepper)
1/2 tsp. fish rub (optional, but recommended, I use Szeged Fish Rub.)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425F/220C.  Spray baking dish with non-stick spray.

Melt butter and margarine together over low heat.  In a flat bowl big enough to hold the fish, mix almond meal, Parmesan, garlic powder, lemon pepper or pepper, and Fish Rub in a flat dish.

Dip each fish filet in butter, turning to coat both sides, then into almond mixture. Try to get as much of the almond mixture to stick to the fish as you can. (I pressed it down with a fork.)

Bake 20-30 minutes, or until fish is firm to the touch and coating is turning golden brown. The baking time will depend on the thickness of the fish, so watch it carefully. We ate this with homemade tartar sauce,

I would eat this with my homemade South Beach Friendly version of tartar sauce, but it would be tasty with any type of tartar sauce. 


South Beach Suggestions:
The South Beach diet doesn't recommend butter, but in this recipe you're only eating the small amount of butter that sticks to the fish, and (especially if you use a mixture of butter and margarine) I would eat this for any phase of The South Beach Diet.   Nuts are limited for Phase One, so I wouldn't eat nuts for a snack on the same day you make this if you're actively trying to lose weight.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
 
Ten More Tasty Ways to Cook Tilapia
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
World's Easiest Roasted Tilapia from Kalyn's Kitchen
Baked Tilapia with Onions, Peppers, Olives, and Feta from Kalyn's Kitchen
Grilled Fish with Garlic, Basil, and Lemon from Kalyn's Kitchen
Baked White Fish with Pine Nut, Parmesan, and Basil Pesto Crust from Kalyn's Kitchen
Whole Wheat Panko and Almond Crusted Oven Baked Fish Sticks from Kalyn's Kitchen
Tilapia with Pimento Sauce from Simply Recipes
Seared Tilapia with Roasted Garlic Herb Smashed Potatoes from What We're Eating
Tilapia with Tomato, Olive, and Caper Sauce from Never Enough Thyme
Tilapia Fish Tacos from My Colombian Recipes
Phyllo-Wrapped Tilapia from Turntable Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon! counter customizable free hit
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54 comments:

marianne said...

Hi Kalyn--
I love tilapia and I can't wait to try this recipe! Sounds so good! Thanks so much for sharing.

DietKing said...

I just got some Almond Flour/Meal myself--I hadn't thought about fish, though--thanks for the inspiration! Can't wait!

A question for you--have you tried using Almond Flour/Meal in a cookie or cake recipe? Curious...
Adam;-)

Alanna said...

Hi Kalyn - Very pretty site! FYI I do something similar with fish/chicken that uses pecan meal which I get from Sunnyland Farms at http://www.nutsandcandies.com/browse.aspx. Harvest is in October so it'll be available soon. It stores great in the freezer, makes wonderful bread too. Just make sure you'll be home when the package is delivered or the squirrels will gorge! OH DEAR. Alanna

Kalyn said...

Marianne- Thanks for commenting. I love tilapia too.

Adam - Yes, I have made cookies with almond meal a few times. I don't remember where I found the recipe but I will see if I can scare it up and post it here. As I already confessed, I'm not that into sweets. But there was a period about 9 months ago where I had a short-lived cookie making binge.

Alanna - I love the idea of the pecan meal. I'm going to order some. Pecans are absolutely my favorite nuts.

Anonymous said...

OMG!! I made this on Friday, and it was the best thing ever! :) I usually don't cook fish at the house, but this recipe will make me convert. Thank you for all your great suggestions--I'm always trying your stuff.

Molly B. said...

Just wanted to let you know: I found this recipe a few months ago when I had most of a bag of almond meal left over after making my sister a gluten-free birthday cake. Since then, we've had it nearly every week. It is ADDICTIVE! I'm not even a big fan of fish, but wow, this is good. Thanks for posting it.

Lacey said...

As I trudge my way through your South Beach friendly recipes, I find myself opening up to all kinds of new foods! I've had tilapia before, and just made this recipe for the second time tonight. I love to just dice up almonds in my nut chopper instead of using almond meal. They are so crisp and the larger almond pieces add a nice "crunch" to my fish. So good!

Kalyn said...

Lacey, I really like that idea of larger pieces of almonds. Sounds good to me!

Sharon said...

thanks Kalyn! I'll be trying this on tonight. Just what I was looking for!

Kyle and Ali said...

So, so , so good!! Once again, your recipes rock! Only change I made was to finely chop some almonds in the food processor rather than buying the meal (that one small bag of Bob's Red Mill kind you show is $12.50 at the store I go to - and it's not even a fancy store). With that being said though, we will continue to just chop the almonds ourselves. The tiny bit of crunch was delicious! Tasted like the breaded southern fried fish I grew up on!

Kalyn said...

So glad you liked it, and by all means chop up your own almonds to make the almond meal if you have a good food processor. And I need to make this again and update with some photos!

Allison Driscoll said...

Kyle and Ali I don't know where you live but Trader Joes carries an almond meal that is wonderful and not expensive at all.

Mari F said...

Woohoo!! So glad to see my idea brought up an old recipe you have used previously! It is my favorite Friday night dinner :)

Kalyn said...

Mari, I'm going to be making this often too, now that I've tried it again!

Katie said...

Kalyn, I was just looking at this recipe today as I was trying to figure out what to make with the tilapia in my freezer. It's even more appealing now that you have a picture, and I'll give it a shot this week. When I'm breading chicken or fish, I usually dip it in egg rather than butter, but I've always wondered if you can tell a difference at the end. Have you ever experimented with this?

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I like the baking method because (apart from not needing extra fat) you don't have to turn the fish. So many times, with recipes for things that are breaded, when you turn the fish or meat over, all the bread crumbs fall off!

Kalyn said...

Katie, I've dipped things in egg too, but not sure if I can identify any difference. I will say that the coating on this was very tasty (which was probably the butter, lol!)

Lydia, I agree, not turning them is the best way for this.

Priyanka said...

Hi Kalyn ,
You have a lovely space and lots of innovative creations.
And this recipe is a wonderful idea...loved it

Kalyn said...

Priyanka, thanks for that nice feedback.

bellini said...

A crispy coating on fish is better than a piece of cheesecake in my books.

Kalyn said...

Val, I'm a crisp savory girl too!

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Gorgeous, Kalyn! I am crazy about fish and these particular ingredients. Makes me want to run out and buy tilapia. I've used a similar combination of these ingredients for fish and chicken. As you say, they're naturally gluten free and so crisp and tasty. Truly hard to beat in my book. So nice that this method made a new tilapia convert of Jake; that's a testimonial in itself! :-)

Shirley

Kalyn said...

Shirley, glad you like it and I was very happy that it won Jake over as well.

ChichaJo said...

Sounds delicious Kalyn! I make something similar using fish or chicken but never thought to add almonds to the crust...oh yum! Taking notes :)

Joanne said...

I'm so glad you reposted this! I have some tilapia in the freezer that I've been completely ambivalent about making...but now you've gotten me excited about it!

Kalyn said...

ChicaJo, the almonds really add a nice flavor to it.

Joanne, so glad. I'm going to thaw out some tilapia just so I can make it again!

Lin said...

Hi, I made this recipe last night, but in the ingredients you noted "pepper", in the directions you mentioned "lemon pepper"..? (Melt butter and margarine together over low heat. In a flat bowl big enough to hold the fish, mix almond meal, Parmesan, garlic powder, lemon pepper and Fish Rub in a flat dish.)
Soooo, I used lemon pepper and it was outstanding ! Also I used Cod. Highly recommend this to everyone.

Kalyn said...

Good catch, and I think you can use either pepper or lemon pepper. Good to know it's tasty on cod too.

superfood sisters said...

Sounds absolutely wonderful!! Celiac runs in my family so I am always looking for new gluten free recipes! Can't wait to try this one!! Thanks for sharing!

Natalie said...

yum! tilapia is my favourite fish.

Molly said...

I don't use tilapia because I only buy wild raised fish and have only seen this fish farm raised. Is there an appropriate substitute? I love the ground almond meal from Trader Joe's and frequently use it as a substitute for breading.

Kalyn said...

Molly, U.S. farm raised tilapia is rated as a "best choice" by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. But any type of mild white fish would work with this recipe.

Becky at VintageMixer said...

I LOVE any nut-crusted fish recipe! There is a restaurant in Park City (Riverhorse) that serves Macadamia Crusted Halibut and Pistachio Crusted Trout, both are amazing! I'll have to try this one soon.

Kalyn said...

Becky I love Riverhorse; will have to try one of those dishes. I did love this and plan to make it often.

Kalyn said...

I think most any brand of ground nuts would work for this recipe. However I can't publish comments recommending other brands even from they are from people who mean well; that just encourages spam comments on the blog.

Michele said...

This sounds great! I'm wondering if you could just dip the fish in milk, or milk and egg, like Southerners do with chicken. I might give it a try and let you know how it goes!

Michele said...

Hi Kalyn - This sounds delicious! I am wondering if the fish could be dipped in milk or milk and egg as is done in the South with chicken. I feel that using butter really masks the flavor of fish. Might try this tomorrow and let you know how it goes.

Kalyn said...

Michele, I think that would definitely work. Love to hear how it turns out if you try it. The only thing I'm wondering is if the butter or olive oil/butter combo would keep the fish more moist as it cooks.

KimRader said...

Made this tonight and it is AH-mazing! I do not like fish, so I'm always on the lookout for a fish recipe I can tolerate. Well, I ate two pieces, plus cleaned up my kids' plates. My older daughter even agreed it was delicious and she does not eat fish either. I am adding this to my regular recipe rotation. Sooooooo delicious! Thank you!

Kalyn said...

Kim, so glad you liked it!

Soozcat said...

My niece LOVES this recipe, especially with the tartar sauce. We usually make it with basa or swai, both of which are mild-flavored, fine-textured white fish--mostly because they go on sale around here more often than tilapia does.

Thanks, Kalyn!

Kalyn said...

So glad you have been enjoying it!

SixtyIsForty said...

Need this fish dish Kalyn. Sounds so good...perhaps it would work well with Cod filets too. I love fish at least 2 x a week and need more recipes.
Can't wait to try this.

Kalyn Denny said...

Wanda, haven't tried roasting cod but I'm guessing it would work.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I was also thinking about cod, as it's much easier to find at my fish market than tilapia. I'm sure it would be delicious.

everydaymaven said...

This looks so good. I have some wild caught halibut in my freezer that I want to do something new with - i think this would be great!

Kalyn Denny said...

Lydia, would love to hear how it works with cod if you try it.

Alyssa, lucky you to have wild-caught halibut. I'm sure that would be amazing.

Leslie said...

My husband and I first tried this recipe last year when we started the South Beach diet, and it remains one of our favorites!

My slight variation is that instead of dipping and coating on both sides, I stir the melted butter together with the almond meal and spices to make sort of a paste, then place the fish in the baking dish and spoon the mixture on top. I add cheese to the top 10 minutes before the finish so it melts on top. It stays plenty moist, and is much easier that way.

Thanks very much for this and all the other wonderful recipes you share! They've really made following South Beach infinitely more fun and easy - and delicious!

wasabigrrl said...

The best baked fish I've ever eaten. My Mom, the fish hater, loved it and asked me to fix it again. Thanks so much.

Kalyn Denny said...

Wasabigrrl, so glad you both enjoyed it so much!

Leslie Mordarski said...

Oh My God, this is the best! I have been doing atkins for 6 months and love it, but I really wanted to find a way to do "breading" without the bread! Thanks to the Almond flour and parm in this this was honestly the best ever and I think it was even better than traditional breading or batter. I used a little melted butter whipped with an egg for the first dip and then coated in parm cheese, almond flour, and garlic mix. Really yummy - thanks so much!

Kalyn Denny said...

Leslie, glad you enjoyed it!

Jessica Williams said...

My husband and I started SB this week and have fallen in love win your site! We made this tilapia tonight and will keep this in our recipe box for a long time. Our 3 year old ate her whole fillet and said I was "the best cooker". Thanks for putting so much time into your site and I look forward to making more recipes :)

Kalyn Denny said...

Thanks Jessica; I love hearing it was a hit!

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