Breaded Pan-Fried Tilapia

Pan-fried tilapia

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 6 mins
Total: 16 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: 6 to 8 fillets
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
208 Calories
12g Fat
15g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 208
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 585mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 48mg 4%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 174mg 4%
*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.)

Tilapia is a mild white fish that's easy to find at most grocery stores and is fairly inexpensive. (Look for it frozen and in bulk, for the best deal.) It also happens to be pretty versatile, so it can take well to a variety of flavors and seasonings well. It's an ideal recipe for a busy weeknight—it's quick cooking and on the table in about 20 minutes—that's hard to beat.

Serve this flavorful tilapia with french fries, roasted potatoes, or rice, along with your family's favorite vegetables. Steamed broccoli or green beans are excellent choices.


  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs, or panko breadcrumbs

  • 1/3 cup Creole mustard, or spicy brown mustard

  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise

  • 6 to 8 tilapia fillets

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 dash dried thyme

  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon parsley flakes

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

  3. If using breadcrumbs, proceed to Step 4. If using panko crumbs, put them in a food processor with the seasonings—salt, paprika, onion powder, thyme, pepper, and parsley flakes; process until the crumbs are quite fine.

  4. In a small bowl, combine the mustard and mayonnaise. Generously coat tilapia fillets with the mixture, then coat with breadcrumbs.

  5. Fry the coated tilapia fillets in the hot oil in a single layer, turning carefully after about 3 to 4 minutes. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes longer, or until cooked through and lightly browned.


  • This recipe can be prepared with other types of fish, such as haddock, cod, or pollock. If your fillets are thicker, feel free to pound them down a bit so they flatten. Otherwise, they'll take a little bit of extra time in the pan.
  • Use gluten-free breadcrumbs to make this dish gluten free.

How to Store and Freeze Pan-Fried Tilapia

Wrapped well, this breaded tilapia will keep in the refrigerator for three to four days. You can gently reheat it in a pan, in an air fryer, or on a baking sheet in the oven to crisp it up. Serve it with rice or on top of tangy greens like arugula with a mustard-based salad dressing.

You can also freeze the tilapia. Just make sure it is wrapped well and in a zip-close freezer bag.