tilapia on a plate

If you are looking for a fresh and exciting way to make tilapia, then we have the perfect inspiration for you. This Parmesan crusted tilapia recipe involves just a little bit of prep work and a few ingredients, making it easy and affordable. Who doesn’t love the sound of that? Tilapia is an excellent fish on its own, but this one has a simple lemon breadcrumb and Parmesan cheese mix that helps elevate the flavor and fun. Breaded fish is always a good idea in our book!

Recipe developer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge came up with this tasty recipe that checks all the boxes. Whether you need something to make for a family dinner or something that will impress a crowd, the recipe is perfect in every single way. Olayinka loves the fact that this recipe calls for baking the fish in the oven as opposed to frying, stating that it’s "more healthy" to do so. "Tilapia is one of my favorite fish," she raves. "It’s a mild fish that doesn’t fall apart so perfect for this recipe." Keep reading for step-by-step instructions.

Gather the ingredients to make Parmesan crusted tilapia

ingredients for parmesan crusted tilapia

This recipe is pretty simple and requires just a few ingredients. That’s great news for you since it will make your trip to the grocery store a breeze. First, you will need a few 9-ounce pieces of tilapia. Next, swing by the condiment section and be sure to grab some mayonnaise. You will also need a cup of lemon-seasoned breadcrumbs.

In addition, be sure to pick up Parmesan cheese. Last but not least, you will need to purchase salt and pepper. Double-check to see if you have some at home already, as they are both commonly used in the kitchen. Once you have everything, you may begin.

Pat dry the tilapia

tilapia on a plate

This recipe requires just 15 minutes of prep time, which begins with this step. Start by grabbing your tilapia fillets from the fridge and unwrapping them on the counter. Using a piece of tissue paper, pat dry the fish on both sides. This method may seem unique, but the whole purpose is to remove the excess moisture from the fish to ensure the mayo and breadcrumbs will stick and not slide off. Once you have done that, put the tilapia on a plate or a work surface that can get a little dirty, because the next step can be a bit messy.

Spread the mayonnaise on the tilapia

mayo on tilapia

Now, it’s time to add the mayonnaise. You may have been wondering what the mayo was for when you picked it up at the store, and now it’s time to find out! Simply use a knife or something similar to spread the mayo on both sides of the fish. This will serve as the glue that helps the breadcrumbs and cheese stick to the fish. It doesn’t really add much flavor to the tilapia and it’s "just the binder," Olayinka says. Be sure to lather both sides well and then you can move onto the following step.

Make the breading and preheat the oven

tilapia with breadcrumbs

Take out a shallow bowl and toss in your lemon breadcrumbs first. If you’d prefer to use panko instead, Olayinka says that’s okay to sub for the lemon breadcrumbs. Then, sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese, followed by salt and pepper. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350 F. That way, it has time to get nice and hot while you finish the rest of the prep work, ensuring that your fish will cook with ease.

Add the breadcrumbs to fish and spray with oil

tilapia on baking sheet

Place your tilapia on a baking sheet, and then sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top of your fish. It should stick well to the mayo. Spray the top of the breadcrumb mixture with spray oil as this will help it brown up nicely in the oven.

Then, pop the fish into the oven and set your timer for 20 minutes. You can go ahead and use the 20 minutes of free time to clean or catch up on other household chores, or just kick back and relax. The waiting is the hardest part, but it’s also easy because it requires no work!

Garnish and serve

tilapia on plate

Once the timer goes off, you can serve the fish. Simply garnish with lemon slices and dill if you wish. This would be great served with a side salad or some rice. Of course, you also couldn’t go wrong with a veggie side like potatoes, steamed broccoli, or even creamed corn. Olayinka recommends storing leftovers in an "airtight container 2-3 days." When you are ready to enjoy the leftovers, simply "pop in the oven again." We hope you enjoyed this fresh and fantastic dish as much as we did, and we know it will be a hit for your crew!

  • 2 (9 ounces) tilapia fillets
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup lemon seasoned breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • cooking spray
  1. Begin the recipe patting dry the tilapia fish with tissue paper. This is so the coating will stick.
  2. Spread mayonnaise on both sides of the tilapia fish.
  3. Mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, and black pepper. Gently place the breadcrumb mixture over the coated fish.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  5. Spray the fish with cooking spray, which will help them brown in the oven.
  6. Cook the fish for 20 minutes in the oven.
  7. Garnish with optional lemon slices and dill, then serve.