Pan-Seared Tilapia in Tomato Basil Sauce

December 31, 2019

Tilapia in a warm and hearty tomato sauce that you can customize with rice, noodles, couscous, you name it.

  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yields: 4 servings


For the Tilapia

2 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 pounds fresh Tilapia, cut into 3 or 4 fillets

salt and pepper

For the Tomato Basil Sauce

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 or 3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1 small jalapeño, sliced

1/4 cup vegetable stock

1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest

salt and pepper


For the Tomato Basil Sauce

1Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add crushed red pepper flakes and garlic and saute for 1 minute, or until garlic is fragrant.

2Add the cherry tomatoes and jalapeño and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re soft and blistering, but still hold their shape, about 12 minutes. Add in the vegetable stock, stir, and allow the mixture to come to a light simmer.

3Stir in the basil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the sauce into a large bowl and set aside for later.

For the Tilapia

1Heat oil in the same pan over medium heat. Season both sides of fish with salt and pepper. Place tilapia fillets in the oil and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes on both side, until it’s cooked through.

2Pour the tomato basil sauce over the fish and reheat quickly. Serve all at once at once with additional chopped basil and rice, or cauliflower rice, or zucchini noodles.

This recipe originally appeared on


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