Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

Easy, tender tilapia with a tasty coating that is ready in no time!

Parmesan crusted tilapia on a plate with broccoli
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Tilapia is a fish that just doesn’t get enough love considering how could it can be. Why not try this Parmesan crusted tilapia and try this recipe to make some tasty fish with a crispy parmesan coating?

Don’t forget to serve your tilapia with The BEST Buttery Garlic Mashed Potatoes! Or if you’re looking for a super quick side dish why not try Air Fryer Baked Potatoes?

Parmesan crusted tilapia on a plate with broccoli

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

Cheese and fish are one of those food pairings that people often think you’re crazy to even suggest until they try it for themselves and then they can’t get enough.

This parmesan-crusted tilapia recipe is the perfect way to introduce people to the idea of pairing fish and cheese together. While strong soft cheeses work great with white fish, the combination is usually too much for people who are doubting this smelly food. Parmesan, on the other hand, sounds a lot more appealing and shows off the potential for cheese and fish dishes.

Even if you’re not trying to convince someone that fish and cheese should be paired together, this recipe is one that you have to try. After all, who can resist flakey white fish with a cheesy crust?

Parmesan crusted tilapia ingredients

Do You Have To Use Tilapia?

If you’re unable to find tilapia at your local grocery store, don’t worry, as you can use almost any white fillet fish for this recipe and it will turn out great.

You ideally want to choose a fish that has a mild flavor and a decently flakey texture. Substitutes such as cod, bass, catfish, and haddock all work great in place of tilapia.

Just make sure that your fish has been completely deboned and that it has been cut into equal size fillets for a more predictable cooking time.

Make sure to check the freezer section of your local supermarkets before you start looking for substitutions, though. Tilapia is one of those things that can be found surprisingly often even in the smallest grocery stores if you look hard enough, because it’s quite cheap and it freezes well.

Parmesan crusted tilapia parmesan mix in bowl

How Thick Should The Parmesan Coating Be?

Coating tilapia is not like coating fried chicken. You don’t want too thick of a crust on your fish, as you should remember that parmesan has a strong flavor that in large quantities can be overwhelming.

At the same time, you don’t want such a thin coating that you end up with exposed pieces of fish or your coating falling off.

For a thorough coating, make sure that you have thoroughly covered each fillet in olive oil, as otherwise the parmesan will just fall straight off.

To make sure that the whole fillet is coated, give it a gentle shake to allow any loose parmesan to fall off. You can then carefully add more oil and cheese mixture to exposed areas for an even covering.

Parmesan crusted tilapia on a baking pan with slices of lemons

How Could You Spice Up Or Change The Flavors In The Coating For Your Fish?

This recipe uses a pretty simple blend of paprika, garlic powder, parsley, salt, and black pepper to help flavor the already super-flavorful Parmesan cheese and fish.

However, there is nothing stopping you from playing around with the spices and flavorings in this recipe.

For example, if you wanted something spicier, why not add in a few dashes of cayenne, or go all-out with some chipotle powder, or even some really finely diced, dried de Arbol chilies?

You could also add a touch of lemony flavor by grating a few lemons’ worth of lemon zest into the Parmesan mixture. The delicate flavors of the lemon will pair beautifully with the Parmesan, making an otherworldly taste explosion, all at the cost of a few lemons and a minute’s worth of zesting!

Parmesan crusted tilapia on a white plate with broccoli

What To Serve Alongside Your Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia

The combination of fish and cheese might make it seem like a complete meal, but this recipe could definitely do with a healthy, filling side to go along with it.

Here are just a few suggestions for what to make to best pair with your fish!

If you’re looking for a super quick side dish that will create almost zero mess to prepare then you can’t go wrong with air fryer green beans. This air fryer green bean recipe can be prepared and cooked in the time that your tilapia is in the oven so that everything is ready to serve at the same time!

For a themed meal, make sure to pair your parmesan tilapia with roasted garlic parmesan Brussels sprouts. You will almost certainly have parmesan left over from your tilapia and this recipe is the perfect way to make sure it does not go to waste!

For a side dish that is a little more filling make sure to pair your fish with this delicious green bean casserole. As a bonus, you can even keep leftover casserole for lunch the next day, so you’re really making two meals in one!

Looking for more delicious Fish recipes? Try these out:

Grilled Halibut

Grilled Tilapia

Salmon Loaf

Parmesan crusted tilapia

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

Easy, tender tilapia with a tasty coating that is ready in no time!
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Parmesan crusted tilapia on a plate with broccoli
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ Teaspoon salt and black pepper (to taste)
  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 1 drizzle olive oil


  • Preheat your oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a flat dish big enough for a fillet to fit, add the Parmesan cheese, parsley, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.
  • Dry the Tilapia fillets with paper towel and place on a dry plate. Coat the tilapia fillet with the olive oil on all sides. Then place a fillet into the Parmesan cheese mixture and press the cheese into it well coating all sides. Place onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake the tilapia in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until the fish is cooked and flakes easily with a fork.
  • Enjoy with your favorite side of vegetables like asparagus, broccoli or green beans.

Recipe Notes

This recipe can be used with most white fish fillets you can buy at the grocery stores.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 479kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 82g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 196mg, Sodium: 1361mg, Potassium: 1104mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 0.4g, Vitamin A: 954IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 484mg, Iron: 3mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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