Crunchy Panko-Crusted Baked Tilapia

Crunchy panko-crusted baked tilapia with green beans on a plate

The Spruce Eats / Nyssa Tanner

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
484 Calories
11g Fat
31g Carbs
65g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 484
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 131mg 44%
Sodium 765mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 65g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 114mg 9%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 971mg 21%
*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.

Accompaniments for your tilapia can include lemon wedges, remoulade sauce, or tartar sauce on the side.

"Mixing fine bread crumbs with Panko gives this fish the perfect amount of crunchiness. An ideal recipe for a weeknight dinner as it cooks very quickly. A mixed spring salad and fresh lemon or lime wedges are the perfect sides for this dish." —Tara Omidvar

Crunchy panko-crusted baked tilapia with salad greens on a plate
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • Cooking spray, for the baking pan

  • 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 tablespoon dried parsley flakes

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or about 3/4 teaspoon seasoned salt blend

  • Dash of pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for crunchy panko-crusted baked tilapia gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Nyssa Tanner

  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F/200 C and lightly grease a large shallow baking pan—such as a jelly roll pan—or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

    Rimmed baking sheet coated with nonstick spray

    The Spruce Eats / Nyssa Tanner

  3. Combine the mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl; rub the mixture over the tilapia fillets.

    Mayonnaise and mustard combined in a small bowl, tilapia covered with sauce

    The Spruce Eats / Nyssa Tanner

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

    Panko and fine breadcrumbs combined with parsley, paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a food processor

    The Spruce Eats / Nyssa Tanner

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

    Tilapia dipped in bread crumb mixture on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Nyssa Tanner

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

    Breadcrumb coated tilapia fillets on a rimmed baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Nyssa Tanner

  7. Bake the fish fillets for 15 to 20 minutes or until fish is cooked through, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Fish will flake easily with a fork when done.

    Baked tilapia on a baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Nyssa Tanner

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

    Crunchy panko-crusted baked tilapia on a spatula on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Nyssa Tanner

About 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. It is low in fat and calories and high in protein, but doesn't have a lot of desirable omega-3 fatty acids, like those that 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; tilapia from China is to be avoided, however.

How to Store Tilapia

Refrigerate any leftover tilapia for up to 3 days. You can reheat it in the oven, an air fryer, or a frying pan if you want to preserve some of the crispiness.