Tilapia en Papillote

We eat this dish a lot! For several reasons. We try to eat fish once or twice a week and this is so easy and really flavorful. Tilapia is a really bland fish, but it’s perfect for the bold flavors from the lemon, whole grain mustard and capers. This cleans up so easily too! Bake and serve in the paper pouch. Easy peasy. And the last reason we’ve been eating it so much lately is…it’s one of those things that has been so difficult to photograph! So, this last time I decided whatever it was, I’d post it. I mean, this recipe is just too good not to share with you. And really, coming from a girl who’s never, ever been very photogenic…I can’t help but feel a bit of sympathy for this guy.

Just before getting folded up!


Tilapia en Papillote

4 Tilapia fillets
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
1 C. grape tomatoes, halved
2 C. baby spinach
1/2 small red or sweet onion, finely diced
1 T. small capers, drained
juice and zest of one whole lemon (about 1/3 C.)
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 t. whole grain Dijon mustard
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1/8 t. cumin
chopped fresh parsley

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees or your grill on high.

Cut 4 sheets of parchment paper or aluminum foil to about 15 to 18 inches. Lay each sheet out on your counter. Place one fillet centered on the right side of each sheet. Divide the vegetables, up to the capers, over the top of each fillet.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients up to the cumin. Pour about 2 tablespoons over each fillet.

To seal the packet, fold the parchment in half like a book. Take one corner and fold it up toward you then go along the entire edge folding the paper up and over until you’ve sealed the packet all the way around. If you are using aluminum foil, I like to place the fish dead center, then bring up the sides and just fold down to form a canoe shape. Use whatever technique works best for you.

Place the packets on a baking sheet if baking in the oven and bake on the center rack for 15 to 18 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish. If grilling, place the packets on the grill and grill for 15 minutes at a medium high heat.

Remove when done and either serve in the packet or slide the contents onto a dish. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Tilapia en Papillote Served with Baby Kale and Steamed Brown Rice



  • Let’s be honest, the parchment certainly looks impressive and is technically the proper material to use, but aluminum foil is easier to fold and is much quicker when you are in a hurry. I use both. It just depends on how many oooh’s and aaah’s I’m fishing for that night. Fishing? No pun intended there.
  • I change this up sometimes and add whatever veggie is calling to me front the veggie drawer. Slices of green or yellow zucchini in the summer are really good and so pretty. No red pepper in the fridge? I’ve used jarred roasted red pepper instead of fresh…that’s really delicious too!
  • This fish is really good served with rice and maybe some dressed greens.
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