Past Recipes
Blackened Tilapia

Blackened Tilapia with Tomato Rice and Creamy Cilantro Sauce

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Recipe Details


In this Cajun-inspired dish, Chef Shanna is using blackening spices to add extra zip and zest to tilapia. She's crusting the fish in the classic blend of thyme, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne, then searing it in butter until toasted and crispy. It's served over fire-roasted tomato rice and drizzled with a cool sauce of sour cream, cilantro, lemon, scallion, and garlic.


  • < 600 Calories
  • Stovetop Only
  • Quick Cook

Quick facts

Serving size
Prep & cook time
Cooking Skill
By Chef Shanna

By Chef Shanna

Nutritional info

  • Calories 580
  • Protein 35g
  • Total Carb 48g
  • Total Fat 26g

Given the cook-at-home nature of Plated and natural variation in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details.

Ingredients & Equipment

What we send

  • jasmine rice
    1/2 cup
    jasmine rice
  • fire-roasted tomatoes
    1 can
    fire-roasted tomatoes
  • cilantro
    1/8 ounce
  • lemon
  • scallion
  • tilapia
    10 ounces
  • unsalted butter
    3 packets
    unsalted butter
  • sour cream
    3 packets
    sour cream
  • garlic
    1 clove
  • smoked paprika
    1 teaspoon
    smoked paprika
  • dried thyme
    1/2 teaspoon
    dried thyme
  • garlic powder
    3/4 teaspoon
    garlic powder
  • ground cayenne pepper
    1/4 teaspoon
    ground cayenne pepper

What You’ll Need

  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 6" small pot with lid
  • 12" large nonstick pan
  • blender or food processor (optional)

Cooking Steps

  1. Cook tomato rice

    Cook tomato rice

    In a small pot, combine rice, 1 cup fire-roasted tomatoes and their juices (save remainder for another recipe), ½ cup water, and ½ teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir to combine, then reduce heat to medium low, cover pot, and simmer until liquid is fully absorbed, 10-12 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let stand, still covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff tomato rice with a fork, then cover again to keep warm.

  2. Prepare ingredients

    Prepare ingredients

    While rice cooks, rinse all produce. Roughly chop cilantro leaves and stems. If you have a zester and want to infuse your sauce with even more flavor, zest up to ½ lemon, then halve. Trim and discard scallion root and thinly slice crosswise on a diagonal, keeping whites and light greens separate from dark greens.

  3. Season tilapia

    Season tilapia

    Pat tilapia dry with paper towel, then season all over with spice mix, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper as desired and rub in seasoning.

  4. Blacken tilapia

    Blacken tilapia

    Heat butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. When butter is foamy, carefully add tilapia, standing back in case hot oil splatters. Sear until spices are blackened and fish is cooked through and opaque, 3-5 minutes per side. Remove pan from heat. Transfer blackened tilapia to a plate and set aside until ready to serve.

  5. Make creamy cilantro sauce

    Make creamy cilantro sauce

    While tilapia cooks, in a blender or food processor, combine sour cream, whole garlic clove, cilantro, lemon zest (if using), juice of ½ lemon, scallion whites and light greens, ¼ teaspoon salt, and black pepper; blend until smooth. Alternatively, mince garlic, cilantro, and scallion whites and light greens, then whisk in remaining sauce ingredients until smooth. Use remaining lemon to brighten a glass of water.

  6. Plate blackened tilapia

    Plate blackened tilapia

    Divide tomato rice between serving plates. Top with blackened tilapia and drizzle over creamy cilantro sauce. Garnish with scallion dark greens. Enjoy!

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