I’ll Be Hungry In A Few Hours: Sauteed Tilapia

my favorite quick, easy fish dinner

This is, by far, the thing I cook for dinner most often. It’s dead-simple, pretty healthy, easy to cook enough just for one person (or more, if you like), and can be adjusted in a lot of ways depending on how you’re feeling/what’s in your pantry. My main go-to preparation is represented in the recipe below, but I’ve done it a million different ways — serve it on a bed of lemony black eyed peas instead of rice; top it with some avacado chunks, throw whatever other veggies you’ve got lying around into the saute, or change the flavor profiles by adding some ginger. You can really do whatever you want here. But the standard is still my favorite.


  • Tilapia filets (you can use any light white fish really; I’ve used cod before to perfectly fine results. Tilapia just tends to be easy to find and inexpensive.)
  • Grape tomatoes, halved or quartered (or any tomatoes, really; the boxes of grape tomatoes are usually available all year in not-too-bad condition, so that’s my general go-t0)
  • Sugar snap peas, cut into chunks
  • Diced garlic (I usually use 3 or 4 cloves, but I really like garlic)
  • 1-2 shallots, diced
  • Crushed red pepper flakes &/or a fresh chili, diced (to your taste; everybody’s got a different opinion on spicy)
  • Olive oil
  • Course sea salt
  • Brown rice

sauce, saucingHeat the olive oil in a sautee pan. Once it’s ready, sautee the shallots, garlic, salt and chili/pepper flakes (on medium heat so the garlic doesn’t burn). Add your tomatoes and sugar snap peas and let cook for a minute or two, until softened.

Make a well in the center and add your tilapia. Cook on both sides until done (usually about 2 minutes per side).

At some point, cook your rice. I unashamedly have grown to love the Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice. You just tear it to vent, stick it in the microwave for 2 minutes, and it comes out perfect, moist and delicious. It’s lazy rice, and when you’ve already got something coming together quickly on the stovetop, that is a valuable thing. If it didn’t taste great, I wouldn’t use it. But it’s worth trying out. I promise.

Anyhow, serve the fish and it’s sauce on top of the rice. At this point I usually drizzle a little olive oil on top and sprinkle a few more bits of salt.  Pour yourself a glass of sauvignon blanc, fire up the DVR and watch that episode of 30 Rock you didn’t see because you were out drinking. Bon Apetit.


2 responses to “I’ll Be Hungry In A Few Hours: Sauteed Tilapia

  1. Christopher M

    This looks delicious & I look forward to trying it out.

    That said, I feel very strongly that the IFA should enact a blog-wide ban on the term “flavor profile.” It’s jargony and sterile, and there’s almost no situation when “taste” doesn’t work as well or better. I assume this is a malady caught by watching too much Top Chef (if there can be any such thing).

  2. Strangely enough, her use of that term actually clarified something about the way mixing and matching works.

    I’ve now tried this twice, and I think it’s excellent. I’m just learning to cook (see above), and this is a great example of something that feels like a real dish but is actually very easy. I don’t have a lot of those in my repertoire. Thanks Amanda!

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