A simple 30 minutes or less, one pan fried tilapia and green beans recipe. Perfect for a burst of refreshing and light flavors. This healthy meal is as delicious as it is easy!
I love finding simple and easy recipes that keep me from standing on my feet all day and dirtying every pot or pan in the kitchen. Thankfully this breaded fried tilapia recipe is exactly what I want on my lazy days.
With the refreshing fresh lemon taste and the tilapia breaded with flour and seasonings, every bite packs a flavor that's both light and filling. This is a perfect meal when you don't want something heavy but still want something a little more substantial than a salad.
You're going to love how pretty everything looks once it comes together too! It's definitely a feast for the eyes!
Olive Oil: To help keep the fish from sticking to the pan during the initial searing and cooking. You may need more depending on how many actual fillets you have to work with.
DIY Fish Breading: Mixing a combination of flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder we have a flavorful and simple breading for our fish. Note that you'll most likely not need all of this mixture.
Tilapia: Can't have a Tilapia recipe without the actual fish, right? You can use however many fillets you want and just hold them (after they've been cooked) in a warm spot until the recipe is completed. They may not all fit back into the pan, but that's fine.
Water: When we cook the green beans, this water will help to steam/lightly boil the green beans so they soften and brighten in color. (The water evaporates).
Green Beans: Make sure that they've been washed, trimmed, and ready to go beforehand because this is a time saver during the actual process later.
Cherry Tomatoes: Adding a great amount of color and a little more sweetness and acidity. Use however many you want, if you aren't big on eating them, less is fine!
Lemon: Instead of using lemon juice, I've found that using one sliced lemon in the water while cooking the green beans actually helps to make fresh lemon water that cooks and flavors them perfectly! Not only that, but the yellow rinds look nice in the pan too.
🍽 Equipment Needed
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🍴 Recipe Tips
If you'd like to get your cooked fish to look nice and beautifully golden brown, I've found that the secret is getting a good amount of oil on the fish after the breading process.
If you spray them with nonstick olive oil cooking spray or add more oil to the pan (not too much) then they'll darken and crisp up while cooking. The pieces without as much oil will cook up softer and have an off-white color. Both are fine, but if you're into appearances the extra step I mentioned might be of use to you.
You definitely don't need an entire sliced lemon in the pan with the green beans while they cook- just a few slices (like half) is sufficient. Too much lemon flavor can come from using too much of the lemon, so use the remaining portion for garnishing your healthy pan fried tilapia.
While tilapia might get a bad review from some people, it's actually pretty great. It is high in Omega 3 and protein and is arguably one of the cheaper fish that money can buy.
This dish has everything but a good starch. If you want to add something to serve alongside this dish, simple garlic and herb pasta or light alfredo sauce smothered pasta could be great additions on the side. Even a simple side salad and vinaigrette could be great!
Check out how to make pan fried tilapia and green beans with these simple step-by-step instructions:
- In your skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and allow it to warm and preheat.
- In a shallow dish, like a pie plate, combine the seasonings and flour with a whisk.
- Dip and cover both sides of the fish into the flour mixture. Repeat until all have been coated. Set the floured tilapia on a plate to the side.
- Cook a few fillets (as many as you can comfortably fit) in the skillet until each side is golden brown. About 2-3 minutes per side.
- Remove the cooked fish and place them on another clean plate. Repeat until all fish have been cooked.
- Place half of your sliced lemon, the water, and the green beans in the skillet and then cover the top with a lid. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- Remove the lid, add the cherry tomatoes, and let the water finish evaporating.
- Add the fish back to the pan to warm back up and serve.
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One Pan Tilapia and Green Beans
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 lb tilapia fillets
- ¼ cup water
- ½ lb green beans, fresh and prepped
- 1 whole lemon, sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- Preheat your skillet and olive oil over medium/high heat.
- In a shallow dish combine seasonings and flour.
- Dip both sides of a tilapia fillet in the flour and repeat until all have been coated on front and back. Set them aside on a plate.
- Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown.
- Remove and set aside on a clean plate.
- Add water, half a sliced lemon and the green beans to the skillet and cover with lid. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- Remove lid and add cherry tomatoes. Sir and continue cooking until the water evaporates. Add fish back to pan to warm them up and then serve. Garnish with remaining lemon slices.