Chili-Rubbed Tilapia with Asparagus & Lemon

27 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, powder
  • 1/2 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 1/4 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 1/4 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; 2110 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), Potassium (19%), Vitamin C (18% dv).
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2
  • Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat

Reviews 27

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
January 04, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious, Simple and Fast! I used two big fillet of tilapia that totaled one pound and I needed to use more chilli powder and it taste great--not too spicy at all. I served with a creamy parmesean polenta to round out the meal. Turned out amazing! Pros: Easy, quick, tasty, filling, healthy
August 06, 2013
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By: kay S
Easy, quick, yet delicious. My favorite fish recipe ever! Pros: So easy yet delicious
August 04, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
If you have some boring old white fish in your freezer, you can quickly take it out, thaw in a half an hour, and literally be done with this flavorful meal in 40 minutes, thaw to eat! My go to fish recipe. Pros: Super fast, and easy, always have the ingredients on hand Cons: none
April 30, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Yum! Yum! Used same amount of seasoning with 2 lbs of fish.
April 30, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Yum! Yum! Used same amount of seasoning with 2 lbs of fish. Pros: Healthy, tasty, fast Cons: No cons
March 13, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Amazing way to cook fish I have been looking for a new tasty way to cook fish and this was was delicious. I added a side of red skin potatoes with rosemary and garlic. The only thing I would change is to cut down the chili powder. I love spicy food but it was a little much and masked the other great flavors. I would definitely make this again!
February 10, 2013
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By: purple.3ye
Easy and fulfilling Used Cod instead of Tilapia but it still came out great. Maybe on the tad salty side but that could have been my doing. The aspargus came out amazing! I think I liked them more than the fish itself. Pros: Quick prep and cook time, healthy