Pan roasted tilapia with tomatillo salsa

A dish with fish topped with a cream sauce and herbs on a bed of vegetables
Recipe credit

USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion

About this recipe



  • 1 pound tomatillos
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 2 serrano or other chiles (finely chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 3 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (chopped)
  • 4 tilapia fillets (patted dry with a paper towel, any inexpensive white fish can be used)


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
  2. To make the tomatillo salsa: (Canned tomatillo salsa can be used instead of fresh)
  3. To prepare the tomatillos, peel back the husk from the smooth green tomatillo skin. Rinse the tomatillos with warm water and cut into quarters.
  4. Place the husked tomatillos, onion, chilies, garlic, and 1 teaspoon oil in the baking pan, stir well and transfer to the oven. Roast about 20 minutes until the tomatillos are soft and dark green. Set aside to cool.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the blender; add the salt, lime juice, and cilantro and puree.
  6. To cook the tilapia:
  7. Place the skillet on the stove over high heat and when it is hot, carefully add 2 teaspoons oil. 
  8. Put the tilapia fillets in the pan, waiting about 30 seconds between additions. Cook about 5–6 minutes, until golden brown on both sides.
  9. Transfer the tilapia to the serving plate and top with generous amounts of salsa. Serve right away.

Tips and variations

  • Add chopped green onions and greek yogurt as an additional garnish.

Nutritional info

Total fat
6 g
Saturated fat
1 g
48 mg
196 mg
Total carbohydrates
9 g
Dietary fiber
2 g
23 g
Total sugar
5 g