Cornmeal Crusted Tilapia Recipe

I recently hosted a cooking show, and part of the class focused on healthy entrees. I chose a cornmeal crusted tilapia recipe served with sauteed bell peppers. Tilapia is a fresh water fish whose meat is firm, white and flaky. It has a pleasant mild and sweet flavor, and is reasonably priced in comparison to other seafood. 

Tilapia is now one of the top 10 fish consumed in America. In fact, four ounces of tilapia has just over 100 calories, 21 grams of protein, and no saturated fat or cholesterol. Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch urges that you buy only U.S. farmed varieties, but those farmed in Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Honduras are good alternatives. Avoid tilapia farmed in China and Taiwan.

Cornmeal Crusted Tilapia

Serving Size: 6

Cornmeal Crusted Tilapia


  • 6 tilapia filets (or your favorite fish)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ of a thinly sliced onion
  • 1 seeded and sliced pasilla or poblano pepper
  • 1 thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 thinly sliced green bell pepper
  • ½ cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 small diced tomato
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Toast about 1 cup of cornmeal in a large saute pan over medium heat. After about 2 minutes, set the cornmeal aside in a large 13x9 casserole dish.
  2. Prepare the sauteed pepper topping. Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add thinly sliced onion, sliced pasilla or poblano pepper, sliced red bell pepper and sliced green bell pepper.
  3. After the peppers cook down and becomes soft, add water, Worcestershire sauce, diced tomato, sugar, tomato paste and bay leaf. Stir and simmer about 15 minutes until the sauce thickens up. Keep over very low heat until ready to serve, and season to taste with a bit of salt and pepper. (Whatever sauce you don't use can easily be frozen.)
  4. Season each tilapia filet with salt and pepper, and roll in the toasted cornmeal. Make sure to coat both sides well.
  5. In a large saute pan, heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. When the pan is hot, fry the tilapia until crisp and brown — about 4-5 minutes each side.
  6. Serve with a generous topping of the sauteed peppers and steamed basmati rice.