Tilapia Piccata is a simple and delicious dish that you can make in less than 30 minutes from start to finish! I sear the fish in a pan and then finish it in a delicious bright, lemony butter sauce. It's perfect for a quick weeknight dinner and your kids will love it too!
My Tilapia Piccata is a simple yet elegant dish that will take you less than 30 minutes to make! It’s perfect for a quick weeknight meal.
This dish is a spin on one of my favorite Italian dishes- chicken piccata. Chicken piccata is a delicious chicken dish packed with plenty of flavor from bright lemons and briny capers.
It’s one of my favorite dishes to order at Italian restaurants but the truth is that it’s actually quite easy to make at home. To put my own twist on the dish, I decided to make my version with tilapia instead of chicken.
I’m always looking for ways to incorporate seafood into my family's diet. Seafood is packed with so many nutrients including protein, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Tilapia is a white fish that's readily found in grocery stores. It has a mild flavor so it's a good fish to cook if you're trying to get your kids to eat more fish. It’s also a fairly firm fish so it won’t fall apart while you’re cooking it.
Lightened Up Tilapia Piccata
Most traditional piccata recipes call for large amounts of butter. Butter adds flavor and also helps thicken the sauce.
This is a common cooking technique in French cooking. It’s called monter au beurre, which means to finish or “mount” a sauce with butter. It’s done by swirling pieces of cold butter into a sauce at the very end of the cooking process to give it a glossy, velvety texture and rich flavor.
To cut down on the amount of butter, I add a small amount of flour to the sauce to act as a thickener while it reduces.
Unlike most recipes which often call for several tablespoons of butter, I swirl in only 1 tablespoon at the end. It's just enough to add delicious, buttery flavor.
I also cook the fish in olive oil rather than butter. By making that substitution, I'm replacing saturated fat with the heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil.
Olive oil is one of the main ingredients in the Mediterranean diet, a healthy eating plan that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases. To learn more, read my post all about the health benefits of olive oil and ways you can incorporate it into your diet.
This is a great dish if you're trying to get your family to eat more seafood. But the recipe is easily adaptable and works well with chicken breast or pork tenderloin.
What To Serve With Tilapia
Tilapia is a mild fish so it can be paired with a wide variety of side dishes.
You can also pair this fish with other vegetables, rice, salsa, bread and more. Looking for some more tasty ideas? Read my post the 30 Best Side Dishes for Tilapia.
More Tasty Seafood Dishes
- 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- ¼ cup + 2 teaspoons flour, divided use
- 4 tilapia fillets (about 5 oz. each) can substitute any mild, white fish like flounder, halibut, cod or grouper
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped plus extra for garnish
- Whisk the chicken stock, lemon juice, zest, and 2 teaspoons flour together in a measuring cup. Set aside.
- Season the tilapia with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the remaining ¼ cup flour on a plate and lightly dredge the fillets in the flour on both sides, dusting off any excess. Discard the extra flour. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and add the fish. Cook until golden, about 3 minutes, then carefully flip the filets over and cook another 3 minutes on the second side. Remove the fish and place on a plate.
- Add the garlic to the skillet and cook 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Then, pour the chicken stock mixture and capers into the skillet and cook until the sauce thickens, 2-3 minutes. Lower the heat and stir in the butter and parsley. Return the tilapia fillets back to the pan and spoon the sauce over them. Cook another minute until warmed through. Garnish with extra parsley before serving.