Blackened Tilapia

Blackened Tilapia

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 4 fillets
Yield: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
561 Calories
33g Fat
35g Carbs
42g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 561
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 33g 42%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 92mg 31%
Sodium 2854mg 124%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 10g 36%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 42g
Vitamin C 114mg 571%
Calcium 142mg 11%
Iron 6mg 31%
Potassium 1162mg 25%
*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.)

When you want to make blackened fish for dinner, it's important to start with the best blackening seasoning. This homemade version combines a bunch of amazing spices. Don't be surprised if you are tempted to double the amounts and save some for the next time you crave blackened fish. In addition, if you store the seasoning mixture in an airtight container it makes for a great gift.

This version of blackened tilapia is baked in the oven instead of searing on the stovetop. This means dinner is ready in 20 minutes and cleanup is a breeze. You also won't have to worry about turning on the oven vent or opening a window from the smoke that results from searing on the stovetop. While the tilapia is baking, there's just enough time to make a homemade tartar sauce to serve with the fish.

To plate, serve the blackened tilapia over a bed of white rice, then sprinkle chopped fresh parsley over the fish for a burst of color. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over the fillets just before taking that first perfect bite.


For the Blackening Spice Mixture:

  • 4 tablespoons paprika

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

  • 1/2 tablespoon white pepper

  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

For the Tilapia:

  • 4 (5-ounce) tilapia fillets

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the Tartar Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon capers

  • 1 teaspoon coarse-grain mustard

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For Garnish:

  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped

  • 1 fruit (2-3/8" dia) lemon

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Blackened Tilapia ingredients
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  2. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with nonstick foil.

  3. To prepare blackening spice mixture, stir together paprika, salt, granulated garlic, onion powder, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, dried basil, and dried thyme in a small bowl.

    Blackening seasoning ingredients
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  4. Brush both sides of tilapia fillets with oil.

    Tilapia brushed with oil
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  5. Cover fillets with blackening seasoning on both sides and press to adhere.

    Blackened Tilapia before baking
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  6. Place fillets on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes.

    Blackened Tilapia ready to go in the oven
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  7. Meanwhile, prepare tartar sauce. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, lemon juice, capers, and mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Tartar sauce ingredients
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  8. The fish is done when it is nicely browned and flakes with a fork. Top with chopped fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges and tartar sauce.

    Blackened Tilapia and tartar sauce
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni