Easy and healthy meals like this Smoked Paprika Oven Baked Tilapia are sure to be a crowd pleaser. With a mild taste that compliments any chosen dredge, Tilapia is a great way to introduce fish to the kids.
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I’ve never really been a huge fan of fish. Seafood like lobster and shrimp, oh yes – fish, not so much. Apparently my tastes have changed over the years. There are still some fish I can’t do, especially when they smell really fishey. Tilapia is not one of those fish though. It has virtually no smell to it at all and such a mild taste that you can pair it with just about anything. When cooked correctly, it dainty, light characteristics are just heavenly. You can even pair it with a heavier spice like this Smoked Paprika from Frontier Co-op and it’s not overpowered. It’s like the perfect woman of fish – dainty and elegant, yet can stand up for herself.
I’ve been really into the whole sustainable movement lately. Wait, is it a movement? If it’s not, it should be. And should be one to sweep the nation like ASAP – okay, thanks. Anyhow… that’s one awesome thing about Tilapia if you ask me, it’s farm raised. Now, I’ve seen both sides of the argument. Some people really don’t like the idea of farm raised fish. They think it makes the fish fake somehow or that it makes life worse for the fish being “raised” in an enclosed water system vs. the ocean. Those people are likely not eating the fish.
I am a fan of the farm raised fish bought from places like the local market or Whole Foods. I certainly don’t want to be supporting businesses that are doing shady things, but if the overhead business is happy and reliable like I believe Whole Foods is, then I’m going to trust who they choose as suppliers. With the world population growing, we have a tendency to overstep our boundaries. Fishing is no exception. The farm raised fisheries give us the ability to still enjoy these delectable creatures while giving nature a chance to catch up.
How to season your own baked Tilapia?
When designing any type of seasoning for your fish, it’s best to start with a thick main ingredient or two. Using a form of flour, whether all purpose or coconut etc., will help to coat the fish entirely. Adding cheese to anything is never a bad idea. Here it almost acts as a thickener. The thin Parmesan cheese helps the coconut flour to blend and stick to the fish while providing just a touch of texture. Something fresh is always a great idea. Using Dill in this seasoning was an easy choice for me. I thought about what I wanted to dip my fish in. While tartar sauce is very common around these parts and often includes pickles, I didn’t want anything to overpower the delicacy of the fish. Opting for fresh dill allowed for a hint of that pickle reminiscence and I knew it would pair well with my lemon, sour cream based sauce. For me salt, pepper, and garlic powder are my superhero-treo. I put that combination on everything and use it as a base to build off of. The smoked paprika was a perfect addition to this seasoning. I wanted to give it a little something to push it over the edge. The subtle smokey flavor paired beautifully with the nuttiness of the Parmesan cheese, and the color – well just look at it!
Dredging the fish in eggs first helps the fine seasoning stick to the outer layer. I noticed that in using my farm fresh eggs from Mighty Oaks Farm, I got a thinner layer of egg on the fish and it didn’t slide around. The egg actual stuck to and remained on the fish. Placing the fish on a cookie sheet on top of the sheet pan allows for a better circulation of heat and air. This will allow for a shorter cooking time and no risk of burnt fish.
Tips for cooking fish:
- When cooking frozen fish, it is best to thaw them on a plate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- If you do need to thaw them in a few hours, add them (wrapped in plastic) to a bowl or sink of cold water. When they become pliable, they are ready to cook.
- After thawing, it’s best to open from the package and place them on paper towels. Dab the fish lightly to get any excess moisture off of them. This will help the seasoning stick to the fish.
- Fish should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145F.
My Favorite Tools for the Job
Having a meat thermometer is super helpful when it comes to foods like chicken and fish. You really don’t want to mess around with or risk serving your children under cooked meat. Get yourself a digital, cheap thermometer like this and it’ll do the job just fine.
Smoked Paprika Oven Baked Tilapia
Oh-mega baby! Yes that was totally my lame attempt at a play on words of Omega-3. I know, I know, I should stick to cooking. I’m looking forward to hearing about how much you liked the fish – and how good you felt after eating it! If you try it again and make your own seasoning, I would love to hear what you did. When you make it for dinner, tag me in the stories on Instagram and show me!
I would love if after you try this recipe, because I know you will, go ahead and rate the recipe with 5 stars! Leave me any comments or questions below and I’ll be happy to answer them. And for more tips on feeding your tiny army, join my Facebook Group for busy Moms.
Smoked Paprika Oven Baked Tilapia
This is a super quick and easy meal you can feel good about eating. Take it out of the freezer and place in the fridge 24 hours ahead of time to thaw. Cooking takes less than 20 minutes.
- 6 Fillets Frozen Tilapia
- 1 cup Fine Parmesan Cheese
- 1 cup Coconut Flour
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Dill
- 1/2 Tbsp Garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
Pre-heat oven to 4000F.
2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk well.
3. Crack eggs into another bowl and whisk to break yolks.
4. Dredge Tilapia one at a time into egg mixture, then coating.
5. Place coated fish on cookie rack, on sheet pan.
6. Place sheet pan of fish into the oven for 12-15 minutes or until internal temperature of fish is 1450F. Fish will be white and easily flake with fork.