Cornmeal Dusted Tilapia with Tomato Basil Sauce

Fish is not something I prepare very often and I’ve really been working to change that. Now that summer is just around the corner (hopefully), I’ve been starting to think of ways to incorporate fish on at least a weekly basis. This dish will be perfect for that, especially since it uses two fantastic summertime items.

The kids loved this too. I think it helped that the fish looked like a chicken dish. In fact, they didn’t even realize it was fish until we told them.

I used tilapia since that is what we had on hand. (Those big bags of frozen tilapia from Sam’s Club are a great deal!) However, I’m sure you could replace that with any other delicate white fish and get equally fantastic flavor.

Cornmeal Dusted Tilapia with Tomato Basil Sauce

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Keyword: Tilapia


For the sauce:

  • 2 large, ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • Handful fresh basil leaves, cut in chiffonade or torn into small strips
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

For Fish

  • 6 tilapia fillets, about 1 pound
  • 1 cup cornmeal seasoned to taste with salt & pepper
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 lemon or 2 T. lemon juice


For the sauce:

  • Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made up to 24 hours ahead.

For Fish:

  • Lightly cover both sides of tilapia fillets with seasoned cornmeal.
  • In a large skillet, melt butter. Cook tilapia in melted butter, 3 minutes per side.
  • Place fish on plates and squeeze lemon over the top. Add tomato basil sauce on top to that. Enjoy!

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