Crunchy Panko-Crusted Baked Tilapia

Tilapia with Panko coating and peas on plate

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  • Total: 35 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
463 Calories
11g Fat
30g Carbs
57g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 463
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 139mg 46%
Sodium 846mg 37%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 57g
Calcium 102mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This easy panko-crusted tilapia is nicely seasoned with a light mayonnaise and Dijon mustard coating and some basic spices and herbs. The tilapia is baked to crispy perfection in just 15 to 20 minutes. Serve this tasty baked tilapia as the centerpiece of a healthy meal with roasted or baked potatoes and a salad or steamed vegetables.

Panko breadcrumbs originated in Japan and are popular because they keep their shape and crispiness when baked or fried. They also absorb less grease than plain breadcrumbs. They are made from a special type of white bread, without using the crust. If you don't have panko crumbs, feel free to substitute toasted bread crumbs, crushed melba toast, or cracker meal. However, the result won't be quite as crispy and light.


  • 4 tilapia fillets (about 6 to 8 ounces each, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds total)
  • 2 tablespoons ​light mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons honey Dijon mustard (or Dijon mustard)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or about 3/4 teaspoon of seasoned salt blend)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat the oven to 400 F/200 C/Gas 6.

  3. Lightly grease a large shallow baking pan—such as a jelly roll pan—or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

  4. Combine the mayonnaise and mustard; rub the mixture over the tilapia fillets.

  5. In a food processor, combine the panko and fine bread crumbs, paprika, parsley, pepper, onion powder, and salt. Pulse 4 to 6 times to combine.

  6. Pour bread crumbs mixture into a wide, shallow bowl. Dip the coated fillets in the mixture, turning to coat both sides.

  7. Arrange the coated fillets in the prepared baking dish.

  8. Bake the fish fillets for 15 to 18 minutes or until fish is cooked through. The time depends on the thickness of the fillets. Fish will flake easily with a fork when done.

  9. Carefully remove the tilapia fillets to plates with a spatula.

  10. Serve the crispy baked fish and enjoy.

Serving and Storing

Accompaniments for your tilapia can include lemon wedges, remoulade sauce, or tartar sauce on the side. Refrigerate any leftover tilapia. You can reheat it in the oven, air fryer, or a frying pan if you want to try to preserve some of the crispness.

Choosing Tilapia

Tilapia is a mild white fish that is farmed worldwide. Many people who don't like fishy-tasting fish find it a good choice. Due to the thinness of the fillets, you can cook it quickly and give it the sauce or toppings you desire. Besides baking, you can grill it or fry it. Nutritionally, it is low in fat and calories and high in protein. But because it's low in oil, it doesn't have a lot of desirable omega-3 fatty acids as are found in oily fish such as salmon.

Tilapia farms can be polluting, but many improvements have been made in the United States, Canada, Ecuador, and Peru so that Seafood Watch lists their tilapia as the best choices. China, Taiwan, Mexico, and several other locations are "good alternatives."