Chili-Rubbed Tilapia with Asparagus & Lemon

Chili-Rubbed Tilapia with Asparagus & Lemon

34 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, April/May 2005

Tilapia, a relatively plentiful fish, has the unfortunate reputation of being dull. All it needs is a spice rub, a familiar barbecuing technique that works just as well indoors. You could also use this rub on chicken breasts or toss it with lightly oiled shrimp before cooking.

Ingredients 4 servings

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  • 2 pounds asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic, powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 pound tilapia, Pacific sole or other firm white fish fillets
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Put asparagus in a steamer basket, place in the pan, cover and steam until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a large plate, spreading out to cool.
  2. Combine chili powder, garlic powder and ¼ teaspoon salt on a plate. Dredge fillets in the spice mixture to coat. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fish and cook until just opaque in the center, gently turning halfway, 5 to 7 minutes total. Divide among 4 plates. Immediately add lemon juice, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and asparagus to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the asparagus is coated and heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve the asparagus with the fish.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 211 calories; 10 g fat(2 g sat); 4 g fiber; 8 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 93 mcg folate; 57 mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 2,110 IU vitamin A; 11 mg vitamin C; 55 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 469 mg sodium; 681 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (42% daily value), Folate (23% dv), Iron (22% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1½ fat

Reviews 34

July 07, 2018
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By: foodfiend
My husband said "don't make tilapia any other way". :). I followed the recipe except subbed fresh green beans for the asparagus (and altered the steaming time). Excellent!
March 18, 2017
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By: AnnMarie
I made this one evening because I wanted to do something different with fish. I used cod and tilapia. Added a tablespoon extra chili powder, one teaspoon fresh grated garlic, one tablespoon lime juice and used string beans because that's what I had on hand. My 16 year old added some steamed brown rice to her plate but I had mine just as it is. My palate and tummy were extremely happy. I will definitely be making this dish again.
March 05, 2017
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By: Louise Johnston OBrien
Perfect. Only thing I did was double the spice.. easier rub..covered the pan while cooking a couple extra minutes par side. I need any kind of meat cooked!! Perfect. Tender and yummy. Adding to my recipe box.
February 01, 2017
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By: Sean
Easy and excellent.
January 16, 2017
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By: Jenneth Zettler
The tilapia was simple and delicious! The asparagus was overpowered by lemon. I used 1 bunch of fresh asparagus (about 1 lb) and would 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice at the most. This would have gone nicely with roasted red potatoes or mashed potatoes.
January 07, 2017
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By: Rarjlp3317
Instead of making the rub I just sprinkled the seasoning on the fish and I didn't use lemon at all! It was delicious! Thank You.
January 04, 2017
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By: Erica
I wouldn't put as much lemon juice as it calls for, it made the asparagus to sour.
October 13, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Excellent meal for 2, and I don't cook fish! I liked this recipe, and I'm not a big fish person. It wasn't spicy like I thought it would be, and could have used fresh garlic. I used fresh green beans instead of asparagus, tossing it in the pan with fresh squeezed lemon like the recipe says, and my boyfriend and I really liked it. Nice job, I'll definitely make it again! Pros: Easy, tasty, healthy, clear instructions, cheap, and even a novice can do it! Cons: Definitely needs the lemon for flavor
May 17, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Easy and a hit! This is so easy! I have found that any veggie will work. Don't be put off by the asparagus. I have done it with broccoli and green beans. Will probably try it with kale or spinach at some point. I had to leave out the salt due to low sodium diet. I did deglaze the pan with a little white wine. I felt it needed some liquid and just threw some white wine in and that was good. This is a hit with my whole family. Pros: Easy
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