Oh you fancy huh? Ever go to a restaurant and you see an item on the menu and you feel like, um, that’s SO FANCY?!! Just me? Anyway, that’s me with almond crusted tilapia. I’m immediately impressed whenever I hear anything is almond crusted. Like how did they even do that?!
Crusted with almonds?! Amazing! How long did that take you? Um, like 5 seconds. GUYS! “Crusting” things with almonds is just as easy as using bread crumbs and I dare say so much yummier (not to mention HEALTHIER)!!
Plus, you get to say things like “Tonight I will be serving almond crusted tilapia, sauteed, with undertones of coconut and lemon.” Like I said. Oh you fancy huh.
Oh, almond coconut tilapia. Tangy hints of lemon. Hearty, crunchy almonds. Juicy white forkfuls of tilapia. Thank you for coming into my life. Quick. Easy. Delicious. Plus anyone you cook it for will be majorly impressed at how creative and thoughtful you are with your lemon garnish.
We do a lot of fish in our house, mainly salmon. Salmon is just our default fish. It’s so versatile and we have a million and one salmon recipes.
Sometimes though, I’m standing in the grocery store, in front of the man at the fish counter (naturally donning his captain’s hat) when I say eff it, I’m doing the tilapia. It should be more common for everyday meals, but it’s never my first thought! I mean, it is a tad more expensive than salmon, but really not that much. Give it a go, guys! Walk up to the fish counter and say, “Yes Captain fish man, I will have the tilapia.” YOLO, right?!!
Side note: If you don’t have almond meal, make your own by putting a half cup of almonds in a food processor and process until very fine. My food processor never makes the almond meal as finely chopped as store bought. But, that’s okay for this recipe because it just gives the “crusting” more crunch.
Let’s make some Almond and Coconut Crusted Tilapia:
In a large bowl combine the almond flour, shredded coconut, sea salt, and garlic powder.
Take a tilapia fillet and press it into the almond meal mixture. Really press it down. You may have to flip and press a couple times.
Once it is well coated, place the fish into the pan with 2 T. coconut oil, melted over medium-high heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the underside is a crisp golden-brown. Before flipping, sprinkle the uncooked side with the lemon pepper seasoning and squeeze a drizzle of lemon juice. Watch out for seeds!!
Flip the fish and sprinkle the cooked side with some lemon pepper seasoning. Cook for for a few more minutes until second side is beautifully golden, then remove from pan.
Take a knife and cut into the fish. If it easily flakes away from itself then it is perfectly cooked.
I tried to photograph what “flake away” means, but it’s one of those things that you’ll know it when it happens. To really hit the point home: It won’t be tough to cut into like chicken, but rather a simple butter knife with one slice should be able to pull a chunk of fish off. Ugh, maybe I made it more confusing. It flakes like so…
Wait for everyone to ooh and ahh at your wonderful cooking skills. I personally love the fact that from the time my husband gets home this meal literally takes me 15 minutes to put on the table. I’m pretty sure he loves that too.
- 4 tilapia fillets
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 t. sea salt
- 1/2 t. garlic powder
- 2-4 T. coconut oil, add more to the pan as needed
- 1/2 T. lemon pepper seasoning, McCormicks is a good one
- 1 lemon, leave one half for squeezing and slice the other half into a garnish
- In a large bowl or plate, combine the almond flour, coconut, sea salt, and garlic powder.
- Press the tilapia fillets into the almond meal. Do this a couple times until the fish is well coated.
- Melt the coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the fish to the oil and cook for about 3 minutes until golden brown on the bottom side. Before you flip, sprinkle the uncooked side with lemon pepper and squeeze a bit of lemon juice onto the fillet.
- Once you flip, sprinkle the cooked side with the lemon pepper seasoning.
- When you remove from pan, immediately put a lemon garnish on top, allowing the heat to bring the flavors down into the fish.