Spicy Lime Tilapia

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Summer’s here (well, not officially, but Memorial Day does catapult us head-first into the joys of the season).  Up north, summer can be all-too-fleeting, so getting good meals to the table (or patio) quickly is important as we extract as much fun as we can from each day.

Spicy Lime Tilapia is an easily prepped, quick-cooking meal that combines main dish and vegetable neatly wrapped in a foil packet (reminiscent of summer camp dinners prepared over wood fires).

A word of warning: this dish is indeed spicy, as the name suggests. If serving to kids or anyone not particularly spice tolerant, I would be judicious with the red pepper flakes. Here are some direct quotes from my children during this meal (I used the full amount of pepper flakes the recipe originally called for):

“This really hurts.”

“Eating shouldn’t be painful.”

“Please don’t make this again.”

I like very spicy foods, and this was intense even for my taste. So I empathized with them in their discomfort. (You would have thought tiny burning embers had settled on their tongues, they way they downed milk and bread.)

If you decrease the spice, I think you’ll appreciate the convenience and flavor of this tasty dish (which is good for you, too).  The original recipe called for 1 ½ teaspoons red pepper flakes; I’ve adjusted it to ½ teaspoon below. Serve with a side of fragrant jasmine rice for a complete meal in less than 30 minutes!

Spicy Lime Tilapia
Adapted from www.womenshealthmag.com
(Makes 6 servings)

6-oz. bag pre-washed spinach leaves
1 bundle asparagus tips, washed (should give you 6-9 spears for each packet)
6 tilapia fillets (3-4 ounces each), washed and patted dry
6 green onions, sliced (white part only)
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 limes, quartered
Salt and pepper

Tear six 18-inch sheets of aluminum foil. Combine olive oil and pepper flakes in small bowl to make chili oil; microwave 30 seconds on high.

To assemble each packet, layer ingredients in this order in middle of foil sheet:

  1. 1 cup lightly packed spinach leaves
  2. Asparagus tips
  3. Tilapia fillet
  4. 1/6 of the sliced onions
  5. 1 ½ teaspoons chili oil drizzled over fillet
  6. Juice from 1 lime quarter
  7. Salt and pepper to taste

Bring ends of foil together over food and crimp several times; crimp ends to close packet.

Bake in 450 degree oven for 12 minutes

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About karencooking

  • Agree with both thoughts; grill would definitely be a good option, and I’ve done a similar dish with tomatoes, lemon slices and pepper over the fish – also tasty. Really a pretty versatile dish.

  • This is good with chopped tomatoes on top of the fish. Instead of lime, I’ve used white wine. It’s just an easy way to fix a tasty dinner in these hot months and can be changed around so your family won’t get too tired of the same thing.

  • Sounds delicious! We’ll have to try this, but I’d rather see it on the grill than in the oven with the heat of the summer. 🙂