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Blackened Tilapia


This easy fish dish is on the table in about 10 minutes!

Blackened tilapia is seasoned with a homemade blackened seasoning and panfried for a quick weeknight meal.

plated Blackened Tilapia with rice

What is Blackened Fish?

On a recent trip I was able to enjoy the most amazing blackened fish created for us by a chef in a hotel in New Orleans. Blackened fish was shared by Chef Paul Prudhomme (in New Orleans), and it is well-loved for good reason – it’s very simple and delicious.

This recipe uses tilapia, but any white fish will work.  I use a simple DIY blackened seasoning and rub it over the outside of the fish. It’s then panfried until cooked and browned on the outside, the perfect blackened fish!

How to Blacken Fish

Blackening fish means brushing fish with butter and rubbing it with a blackened seasoning mixture.  The fish is then usually fried in a cast iron pan (but you can make blackened tilapia in the oven as well).

Because of the butter and seasonings, the outside of the fish will turn a dark “blackened” color while keeping it fork tender and flaky inside.

Uncooked tilapia with lemon slices on baking sheet ready to go into ovenUncooked tilapia with lemon slices on baking sheet ready to go into oven

What is Blackened Seasoning?

Blackened Seasoning is a spice mix that creates a delicious crust on fish, chicken, or other meats.  The ingredients can vary from restaurant to restaurant and chef to chef. 

My recipe contains oregano, paprika, and garlic/onion powder. Other optional additions are thyme, smoked paprika, and a pinch of cayenne pepper for some heat.

Bowl of seasoning mix for blakened tilapiaBowl of seasoning mix for blakened tilapia

Holly’s Tips

  • Blackened seasoning can be replaced with cajun seasoning if desired.
  • Use vegetable oil or canola oil, as it has a higher smoke point than olive oil.
  • Double or triple the spice mixture for future recipes.
  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice overtop if desired.
Cooked Blackened Tilapia in baking dishCooked Blackened Tilapia in baking dish

More Fish Recipes You’ll Love

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Blackened Tilapia

Tender flaky tilapia fillets coated with blackened seasoning and pan-fried. 

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 6 minutes

Total Time 11 minutes

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • Combine seasonings & brown sugar in a small bowl.

  • Rub both sides of the fish with the seasoning mix.

  • Heat oil and butter in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.

  • Once hot, add the seasoned fish and a few of the lemon slices and cook 3 minutes per side or just until opaque (do not overcook).

  • Serve with remaining lemon.

To Cook in the Oven

  1. Turn the broiler onto high and place oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat. Line rimmed baking pan with foil if desired.
  2. Add the tilapia fillets and a few lemon slices. Broil for 3 minutes. Flip fish and additional 3-4 minutes until tender and flaky. Do not overcook.
  3. Serve with remaining lemon.

Calories: 265 | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 426mg | Potassium: 592mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 563IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course, Seasonings
Cuisine American
dish of Blackened Tilapia with writingdish of Blackened Tilapia with writing
plated Blackened Tilapia with writingplated Blackened Tilapia with writing
close up of Blackened Tilapia with writingclose up of Blackened Tilapia with writing
Blackened Tilapia in the dish and plated with a titleBlackened Tilapia in the dish and plated with a title





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