When I think of Parmesan Crusted Tilapia, I think of my youngest son – he is 21 now. Long before I got interested in the kitchen, my wife would go to the grocery store and by the prepared parmesan crusted tilapia for our son. It was his favorite and probably the only type of fish he would eat. Like so many recipes, before I learned to make them myself, I thought they were hard to make. This is one of those recipes that is not that difficult to make.
With that said, I chose to follow the cooking method that I follow for my Chicken Milanese for this seafood version. I bread the protein and finish it off in the skillet. This method may not be the best approach since the ratio of parmesan to breadcrumbs was 2 to 1. In the Milanese version, the breading is mostly breadcrumbs. Sometimes, I add a little parmesan cheese. Since the coating is mostly breading, it does not stick in the skillet. In this seafood version, the cheese ratio caused the coating to stick to the pan more than I expected. I have recently seen on a cooking show that adding the coated fish to the pan before the oil gets hot will help prevent sticking. Another alternative would be to bake this breaded tilapia in the oven.
Notwithstanding my cooking experience, the dish tasted great. We do not normally think of cheese going well with fish. However, this parmesan breaded coating goes so well on tilapia. Even though the dish is pan fried, it remains very light. I kept the overall meal light by serving zoodles with a simple marinara sauce. All in all, this meal came together pretty quickly. It is also very complimentary. The marinara sauce is naturally paired with the parmesan. Instead of being in or on top of the sauce, it is side by side. Think about those kind of subtle pairings when you put together your dinner menus. It is pretty basic but very rewarding.
The cast of characters and the coating.
The seasoned and oiled tilapia and then coated.
The Parmesan Crusted Tilapia cooking in the skillet.
The final Parmesan Crusted Tilapia plated.
- 4 tilapia fillets
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 - 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 3 tablespoons corn oil
- 1/2 fresh lemon juice
- Whisk Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, paprika, parsley, salt, and pepper together in a bowl.
- Coat tilapia fillets with olive oil and the Old Bay Seasoning.
- Press the Parmesan cheese mixture into both sides of the filets.
- Heat the oil in a skillet on medium high heat.
- Carefully add the fillets after the oil is good and warm.
- Cook 3 - 4 minutes on each side.
- Move to a drying rack for one minute.
- After plating, squeeze on some of the fresh lemon.
- Serve and enjoy!