Tilapia Fillets with Tomato, Celery & Lemon

Fish?  Not your thing?  You only eat it if it’s breaded and smothered in tartar sauce?  TRY THIS RECIPE! It’s healthy and ACTUALLY tastes good!  Takes less than 20 minutes from prep to table!

About 3 years ago, I wouldn’t go NEAR fish unless it was cocktail shrimp.  Then I was told I was eating too much red meat and that I needed more fish in my diet.  I slowly introduced salmon, (which I now L-O-V-E) and then tilapia.  Tilapia is the most mild white fish you can possibly try if you’re a first timer.  (I tried cod a few nights ago… didn’t go over well.  So I’ll stick to my shrimp, salmon and tilapia for the time being!)

At first glance, fish can seem pricey, but I’ll share my secret with you…  Buy in bulk!  Of course it will be more expensive if you buy fish fresh from the seafood counter in your supermarket.  I don’t taste much of a difference between fresh and frozen shrimp/salmon/tilapia.  I think it depends on how you cook it.  Make sure you thaw before you cook.  You can get a whole package of frozen fillets that are individually wrapped for about $1.50 a fillet. (Here in Connecticut, that is. But I’m sure it can’t be THAT much different in other places.)  Okay, now, if you went and ordered a tilapia dish in a restaurant, it would be around… $25.00!   …You do the math…

I actually came up with this recipe when my family and I were doing an insane diet.  So it’s healthy and it really is delicious!  The funny thing… I’m not much of a celery fan.  But cooked with the tomato and lemon, I loved it.  The fish takes on the flavor of everything in the pan!  There’s no chance of you ruining this one.  You’ll do great!  Try it out.  I promise this is a no fail dish!

(serves 2) You can easily double or triple the recipe!!

2 tilapia fillets

4 celery stalks

1 yellow onion

2 tomatoes

1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 tsp of salt/pepper

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1. Wash all of your produce.  Dice your onion, celery and tomatoes.

2. In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the onions.  Once they begin sizzling, add the celery.  Sprinkle with half of the salt and pepper and half of the lemon juice.  Stir.  Cover with a lid, or if it’s broken, use the next size lid you have!  Or you can always use tin foil.

3. Pat your tilapia dry with a paper towel.  Then drizzle olive oil, and season with some salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Rub all over the fillet.  Repeat the same steps on the other side of the fillet.

4. The celery should have now been cooking for 3-5 minutes while you were preparing your tilapia.  Add the tomatoes to your pan.  Stir.  Use the handle to shake the pan to make all of the ingredients sit in the pan in an even layer.  Put your lid on and cook for 2 minutes.

5. Now, add your fish.  The tilapia should be nicely resting on top of your bed of celery and tomatoes. Cover with the lid again.  Depending on the size of your fillet, let it cook for about 3-5 minutes.  When you see the outside edges turning white, then you can flip over.  Flip and repeat! The thinner side may break on you.  Not a big deal.  It’s difficult to keep them together.  Sometimes, to make my life easier, before cooking, I cut the fillet in half so I have the thicker and thinner sides separated.  Which, in turn makes it easier to take out the thinner pieces earlier than the thicker pieces since they will be done first!  Get it?

6. When every part of the fish looks white, stick a fork in the thickest part.  If you can break it apart easily, it’s ready!  Or, if you waited tooooo long, like cooked for more than 10 minutes in total, and you can’t pick it up at all without it breaking apart, here’s what you do!  You break the fillets apart with your spatula, and turn it into a mixture of tilapia, celery and tomato!  You can throw that in a taco!  YUM!  That’s why I’m saying… it’s a no fail dish!

If you did manage to keep them whole… congrats!  Proud of youuu 🙂 Add pasta or rice to this dish and you shall be fully satisfied!

Cooking is all about no fear.  What’s the worst that can happen?  Something will burn?  It may happen the first few times.  Just make sure your pan is greased… and that you have an extinguisher nearby….


Keep it classy!

Chef Stef






2 thoughts on “Tilapia Fillets with Tomato, Celery & Lemon

  1. Pingback: Baked Stuffed Tomatoes | RecipeReminiscing

  2. Pingback: Lemon seasoned Catfish | Want-To-Go-Fishing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s