Dijon almond crusted tilapia

This dijon almond crusted tilapia is pan-fried, ready in 10 minutes and a healthy, grain free dinner.
almond crusted tilapia

I’ve been jotting down pros, cons and just general thoughts of this whole paleo challenge as the month has gone by so I can hopefully put together a comprehensive (and cohesive) summary post when it comes to an end later this week. And I kid you not when I say one of the pros of this whole thing has been this recipe. Or more pointedly, finally finding a way to enjoy tilapia.

As far as I’m concerned that’s just as much of a pro as having no bloating, clear skin and losing a few inches around my hips & waist.

almond crusted tilapia with dijon mustard

Let’s face it, tilapia is just one boring ass fish. The only thing it’s got going for it is it’s price tag. I usually look at it sitting next to the wild salmon that I buy weekly, mentally debate whether I should spend half the money this time around and just go for it before coming to my senses and remembering how lame it tastes.

For some reason though, I caved last week and bought a single filet. I took it home, sat it on the cutting board and literally said “what the hell will make you taste good?” Don’t judge. Weeks get lonely when you work from home and only have your dog to talk to.

Somehow mustard, almonds and paprika ended up on the counter and the rest is history.

dijon almond crusted tilapia

So transformative I made it again 3 days later.

I’m not saying goodbye to salmon, but this is definitely edging out a meat meal at least once a week. 5 ingredients (I refuse to count salt & pepper as an ingredient), 10 minutes and I promise you’ll never look at tilapia the same again.

4.6 from 8 reviews

Dijon almond crusted tilapia
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A simple 5 ingredient pan-fried tilapia recipe that will completely change your mind about the usually boring fish.
Serves: 2
  • 2 filets of tilapia (about 1 pound)
  • ⅓ cup whole almonds
  • about ¼ cup dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt & pepper
  • coconut oil for pan-frying
  1. Place almonds in a food processor and process until finely chopped. About 20 seconds.
  2. Transfer chopped almonds to a shallow dish. Add paprika and mix together.
  3. Season the tilapia filets generously with salt & pepper.
  4. Spread mustard on both sides of the filet and then transfer to the almond mixture to coat both sides.
  5. Heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  6. Once hot, place the filets in the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes per side or until the fish is cooked through. Exterior should be browned and crispy but not burnt.
  7. Serve warm and garnish with parsley or lemon.


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  1. 1

    I remember seeing your tweet (or was it on FB?) about how you wanted new ideas for salmon. I hear ya. Sometimes I get so bored with the same ol type of protein that I don’t even want it anymore. I think you did something great with this fish though! I started out as a pescetarian and I remember not giving Tilapia enough credit. I used to call it the “why bother?” fish :\ Mostly because I never thought it tasted like anything…or it only tasted like what you put on it. Just like tofu. So really, you found a delicious flavor combo that seems to have worked! And I continue to applaud you on the paleo thing – especially if you’re going to continue with it before your trip!

  2. 2

    Mmm, looks great! I LOVE tilapia, but probably because it’s cheap. This is similar to one of my favorite baked chicken recipes, which is coated in dijon and then crusted with walnuts and rosemary. My favorite pork chop recipe uses dijon, too! Dijon mustard is kind of a miracle worker, I think. :)

  3. 3

    I usually go for the salmon as well, I’ll have to save some money on tilapia next time and try this out!

  4. 4

    I love how you just tell it like it is – tilapia really is the most boring BLAH fish there is. I’ll take your word on this one though – next week when I’m shopping I’m totally bringing home some tilapia!

  5. 5

    Thanks so much for posting this recipe; tilapia really is such a boring fish! I bet this would also be good on chicken breasts.

    Thanks again!

  6. 6

    You’re right – tilapia is just one boring fish, but you made it amazing and delicious! I’m such a fan of fish, so this is absolutely my weeknight recipe. Yum!

  7. 7

    i feel same way about tilapia tooo but seems like this is one great recipe to try, I am so looking forward to read your overall post on this challenge!!!

  8. 8

    I actually really like tilapia so if you don’t and are still saying this is one of the biggest pros out of your challenge, I need to make it immediately.

  9. 9

    That looks really good. My kids are happy to eat it dipped in egg and then panko crumbs and then cooked in coconut oil, but it would be nice to try something different for the hubs and myself.

  10. 10

    The mustard is my favorite part ;)

  11. 11

    This looks amazing!!! Can’t wait to give it a try…I know my sons will love it b/c of the crunchy coating. Thx for sharing!

  12. 12

    There was a time that I hated mustard, but that was before I had Dijon mustard. Hooray for Dijon mustard!

  13. 13

    I am looking for more ways to get fish into my diet, because honestly I am not a fan. But this looks like something I might enjoy!

  14. 15

    I always check out this website to find the best ways to cook tilapia – onlinenutrition. info . My personal favorite is the seering method because it shows a ton of ways to improve your daily diet.

  15. 16

    I tried this recipe last week and it turned out really good. The combination was definitely something I wouldn’t have tried otherwise and I was really happy with the flavor combinations. I had a hard time keeping the crust on cooking it in a pan so when I try this again I think I’m going to bake it. Also thought about switching the mustard out for a flavored Greek yogurt (lemon or mango maybe?) for some different flavors.

  16. 17

    I’ve cooked this recipe twice, and it’s great. Only problem, though, is getting the crust to stay on the fish when I flip it. Any recommendations?

    • 18
      Running to the Kitchen says:

      Hmm…you definitely have to flip carefully (I’ve found a plastic flipper better than a metal one) but the crust definitely stays on for the most part for me. I’d hate to tell you to just do it more carefully as that sounds so obvious, but that’s all I can think of!

  17. 19
    Melanie says:

    Looks delish!
    Could you make this with basa or say..barramundi??
    I don’t have any tilapia but I have all the other ingredients to make this!!

  18. 21

    I just came across this recipe on foodgawker and its so yummy!!! I just had a green salad on the side and it was perfect. Although, wonder if I can cut out the pan frying altogether , has anyone tried oven baking it? Or will I not get the same crunchy crust

    • 22
      Running to the Kitchen says:

      My guess is it would work be just like you said, not turn out as crunchy. Glad you enjoyed it!

  19. 23

    Ps. I made it with frozen hoki! I think it works with any flaky white fish

  20. 24

    I’ve never made tilapia before but I’ve had it served to me before in our lovely college cafeterias so I was a little nervous (can I get some flavor please?!) to try this but I AM SO GLAD I DID.

    My mom had bought me some frozen tilapia that I kept setting aside in my freezer so I finally decided to put it to good use… Found your website by searching “tilapia” on popsugar, which I found from Fitness magazine’s favorite food and nutrition blogs post! You deserve to be on there from this recipe alone. Yum yum yum. Is it bad to have this twice in one day?

    The first filet I cooked didn’t have an issue with the crust falling off but when flipping the second one I was on the phone… leading me to believe that is the source of my issue. I patted my fish dry with a paper towel before adding the dijon. Also, I didn’t add any salt at all and (maybe it was the type of mustard I used) it tasted great!

  21. 25

    I just came across this recipe today when looking for something to do with the tilapia I bought yesterday. This recipe was delicious. Everyone loved it! I also had a hard time keeping the crust on when I flipped it, even using long a plastic spatula, but I just scooped up the crumbles and placed them on top on the plate. Overall, a great recipe so I wanted to say thanks!!

  22. 26

    This is the first time I am on your blog (thanks for telling me about it today). I am planning dinner tonight and I had salmon on the menu. But then I saw this tilapia and said, ‘great, it looks good AND it’s cheaper than salmon!;. So now I changed the menu, I’ll let you know what I think (and what the kids think!). Thanks!

  23. 31

    Hi! This looks WONDERFUL! Do you know how much ground almond meal the 1/3 cup almonds makes? I have almond meal on hand. Thank you!

    • 32
      Running to the Kitchen says:

      It makes about the same amount. Start with 1/4 cup almond meal, you can always add more if needed!

  24. 33

    This was so great! Thank you so much for the recipe. I had 3 filets of tilapia sitting in my fridge and having recently gone paleo I had no idea what to do with them. My husband called it a winner – and he is picky!

  25. 34
    Angel Marie says:

    What brand of mustard did you use?

    • 35
      Running to the Kitchen says:

      Honestly, no idea. Whatever was in my fridge at the time which was likely the cheapest dijon mustard the store had at the time ;)

  26. 36

    I have made this twice now for my family and it has become a staple in my menu rotation. SO AMAZING! Thank you for sharing!

  27. 37
    Tampa Grandma says:

    Loved this recipe. I am not a big fan of fish. Grouper, cod and tilapia are the only fish I eat. My 17 year old grandson, whose primary food source is cheeseburgers ate 4 filets.


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