Pistachio-Crusted Tilapia Loins | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pistachio-Crusted Tilapia Loins

Another winning recipe from the book, The Looneyspoons Collection by Janet and Greta Podleski.  in the book, this recipe is described as "restaurant quality fish with a unique pistachio and Parmesan crumb topping." It is easy and delicious.  It really does transform plain old white fish into something flavorful and special. Company special.   

Any thick white fish can be used here in place of tilapia lions. (Keep in mind the nutritional information below was calculated using tilapia loins from Costco, it may change if you use another fish)

I LOVE the tilapia loins from Costco and that is what I used here.  I love them because they are mild, meaty and can be cooked from frozen, making this dish super simple to put on the table even on a weeknight.  When using the tilapia loins from frozen, I cook them at a higher oven than what is called for in the recipe (400 degrees F), leave them in for about 25 minutes. I skip the broiling part to crisp up the breading because the higher oven temperature and extra cooking time does a great job of it without needing the broiler.  Of course, you could also defrost them and use them that way as well.  But I am horrible about remembering to defrost stuff!  So I always cook them from frozen. 

You can also use any nut you like in place of the pistachios.  I've used walnuts in place of the pistachios with great results.  I also think pecans would work well too!  The combination of the nuts and the breadcrumbs make a wonderful crunchy topping for the fish.  Be sure to grind up whatever nut you choose to use in your food processor until they are finely ground, but not powdery. 

Some of the other changes I made to the original recipe are the addition of garlic and the use of a mustard with horseradish.  The garlic gives the crumb mixture just a bit more flavor and the mustard with horseradish allows you to skip adding both ingredients separate. I have also used both fresh and dried parsley and got good results with both.  

I try to serve fish to my family at least once a week.  Not being a fish lover myself this can be really challenging.  I was really happy to find another recipe to transform fish into something my family can enjoy.  Give this recipe a try...I think you will be adding it to your favorite fish recipes too! 

Pistachio-Crusted Tilapia Lions
adapted from The Looneyspoons Collection

Servings - 4   Serving Size - 4 oz. fish w/1/4 of crumb topping   Points Plus per Serving - 7 Points+
Calories - 273.7,   Total Fat - 11.4g,   Carb. - 15.5g,   Protein - 29.9g,  Fiber - 3.3g

1 TBSP olive oil
1 1/2 TBSP deli mustard with horseradish
1 clove garlic, minced
3 slices of reduced calorie multigrain bread
1/3 cup shelled pistachios
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp minced fresh or dried parsley
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
salt and pepper, to taste
16 oz. frozen tilapia loins
1 TBSP unsalted butter, melted

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F if using fish in frozen state.  375 degrees F if using it defrosted or fresh.  

2.  In small bowl, combine the olive oil, mustard and garlic.  Set aside. 

3.  In food processor fit with blade, break up bread into pieces and process into crumbs.  Pour into medium sized mixing bowl.  Add the pistachios to food processor, and process until finely chopped.  Pour into bowl with bread crumbs.  (If using fresh parsley, add to processor and process until finely chopped.  Pour into bowl with bread crumbs and nuts.)  Add Parmesan cheese, dried parsley (if using), lemon zest and some salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Pour the olive oil/mustard mixture into the crumb mixture and mix until moistened.  ( Like you are mixing a crust for cheesecake)

4.  Spray a shallow baking dish with cooking spray and arrange fish pieces in it.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper,  Press 1/4 of crumb mixture on top of each loin.  Drizzle with melted butter.  

5.  Bake in 400 degree F oven for approx. 25 minutes (frozen) OR in 375 degrees F oven for 12 - 15 minutes (defrosted or fresh) or until fish flakes with fork.  If using defrosted or fresh fish, you may need to place in broiler for a  minute to crisp up the topping.  You shouldn't need to do this step if cooking fish from frozen. 


What are your favorite ways to prepare fish at home?  For me, this recipe has become one of my favorites! 


  1. This looks delicious. I love pistachios and combined with parmesan...wow! Tilapia is one of my favorite fish too. I did one similar to this but with chicken, just something else to try :)

  2. Okay, I am going to have to try this, except with mahi mahi, that and chilean sea bass are my two favorite types of fish - too bad the sea bass is $21 a pound! I think my hubs would like this one too!

    Thanks Renee - have a great weekend!

  3. I'm always at a loss for what to do with fish. This looks like something I would really like!


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