Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia Recipe

This Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia Recipe uses jalapeno tartar sauce to put a Tex-Mex twist on breaded and baked fish.

From "The Homesick Texan's Family Table"
October 2014

  • Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia
    This recipe for Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia is a tribute to the traditional breaded and baked fish, and is served with jalapeno tartar sauce.
    Photo by Lisa Fain
  • Homesick Texans Cover
    In “The Homesick Texan’s Family Table,” author Lisa Fain delves into over 100 of her best and favorite recipes to bring Texas to you.
    Cover courtesy Ten Speed Press
  • Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia
  • Homesick Texans Cover

Cook Time: 15-17 min

Yield: 4 servings

A homemade meal shared with family and friends is a wonderful thing. In The Homesick Texan’s Family Table, author Lisa Fain shares more than 100 of her best recipes, which are all made from fresh, seasonal ingredients, and packed with real Texas flavor. This recipe for Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia is from Chapter 5, “The Main Event.”

You can purchase this book from the GRIT store: The Homesick Texan’s Family Table.

Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia

When I was young, once a week my family would eat dinner at the local cafeteria restaurant. It was an interactive dining experience; you grabbed a tray and then slid it down the line, choosing your food as you went along.

Most cafeterias serve up traditional dishes such as roast beef, chicken-fried steak, and enchiladas. One of my favorite dishes at Luby’s, the cafeteria that my family used to frequent, was the breaded and baked fish. This tortilla-crusted tilapia is an homage to that dish, with a Tex-Mex twist.



• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
• 4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 cup finely crushed tortilla chips
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
• 1 egg

Jalapeño Tartar Sauce

• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
• 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
• Salt


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

3.Sprinkle the lime juice on both sides of the fish, then season both sides with the salt and pepper.

4. Stir together the tortilla chips and cayenne on a plate.

5. Beat the egg in a bowl.

6. Dip each fillet in the egg, then roll in the tortilla chips.

7. Place each coated fillet on the prepared baking sheet.

8. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the fish flakes.

9. While the fish is baking, make the tartar sauce.

10. Mix together the mayonnaise, jalapeño chile, garlic, cilantro, and lime juice. Taste and add salt.

11.  Serve the sauce with the cooked fish.

Want more recipes from The Homesick Texan's Family Table? Try these recipes:

Mexican Chocolate Cake Recipe
Bacon-Cheddar Biscuits Recipe With Chipotle Chile.

Reprinted with permission from The Homesick Texan’s Family Table, by Lisa Fain and published by Ten Speed Press, 2014. Buy this book from our store: The Homesick Texan’s Family Table.

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