Grilled Tilapia Fiesta Foil Packs

These grilled tilapia fiesta foil packs are quick and easy. Tilapia and black beans, peppers and corn topped with cheese are cooked in foil packs for easy clean up. Serve with rice and sprinkle with chopped cilantro!

You’ve heard the saying, “good things come in small packages”, right?

Grilled Tilapia Fiesta Foil Packs l

Well I’m here to tel you that even better things come in larger packages… can I get an AMEN?!

With the end of the school year last week and the mere fact I’m currently living in a boxed fortress with our packed boxes ceiling high all that I haven’t packed yet is our grill. Okay, so that may be an exaggeration… but the whole part of living in a house filled to the brim with boxes, is not! You really don’t realize how much stuff you have until you have to fit it all into 3 cubic feet boxes. I think it’s pretty safe to say we won’t be moving again anytime soon!

So with that said. Who needs a little fiesta in their lives? I do, I do!

Since this recipe was first posted, I now use my homemade cajun seasoning for this recipe.

The rice is pretty easy-peasy. Smash a couple cloves of garlic, peel them and drop them into a sauce pan. Add two cups of water, a couple of pinches of kosher salt and a cup of long grained white rice.

Stir and bring it all up to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and place a heavy lid on that sucker. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. After the time is up, remove it off of the heat {don’t remove the lid} and let it sit for at least 5 minutes or until you’re ready to serve.

While all that’s happening… I trimmed off a couple sides to a red bell pepper. Slice them into strips…

… diced them small and then I added them to a bowl with a cup of sweet corn.

I added my rinsed and drained black beans…

Measured and added a tablespoon of green chilies or is it chiles {help!}?

Chopped up some fresh cilantro…

And lastly drizzle in a tablespoon of olive oil and gave it a good toss.

Cheese and fish rarely ever go together. I’m on a mission to break that standard and so with that said…

Grate up four ounces of pepper jack cheese.

Sprinkle a quarter teaspoon of Cajun seasoning on top of the tilapia.

Then top the seasoned tilapia with about 1/4 cup of the fiesta veggie medley and then if you like it spicy sprinkle a quarter teaspoon more of cajun seasoning. 

Next, top with a quarter of the cheese and repeat with the remaining tilapia fillets.

Then bring up the sides of the foil and crimp and then fold the ends up to make a foiled handbag. Yeah that’s right.

Next, place the foil “handbags” on the grill that has been preheated to medium-high, close the lid and cook for 15 minutes.

I had to hurry on inside because a storm was-a-coming. So I watched as the rain drops landed on our grill and sizzled, it was kind of cool… Pat thinks I’m a dork. Whatevs.

Then right before serving remove the garlic pieces and fluff the rice.

Grilled Tilapia Fiesta Foil Packs l

Next, carefully open the grilled tilapia fiesta foil packs being careful not to burn yourself. Use a sturdy spatula to remove the tilapia and gently place it on some of the rice.

Grilled Tilapia Fiesta Foil Packs l

Lastly, squeeze a wedge of lime over the fish and grab your fork!

Grilled Tilapia Fiesta Foil Packs l

The fish should be flaky and flavorful. I particularly love the black beans and the spiciness of the fish. What can I say? I’m a sucker for heat.

Grilled Tilapia Fiesta Foil Packs l

Enjoy! And if you give this Grilled Tilapia Fiesta Foil Packs a try, let me know by snapping a photo and tagging me on twitter or instagram!

Grilled Tilapia Fiesta Foil Packs l

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Yield: 4 servings

Grilled Tilapia Fiesta Foil Packs

Grilled Tilapia Fiesta Foil Packs
Quick easy and the best part is that there's minimal clean up!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 4 fresh tilapia fillets
  • 1 cup sweet corn (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 a red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of diced green chiles
  • 1 small handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces of pepper jack cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
  • a couple of pinches of kosher salt


For the Rice:

  1. Place smashed and peeled garlic in a sauce pot. Add the rice, two cups of water and the salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and place a heavy lid into place. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes and remove off of the heat once the time is up. Let sit for at least 5 minutes or until you are ready to serve. Remove the garlic pieces before serving!

For the Tilapia Packets:

  1. In a bowl combine the corn, diced peppers, black beans, green chilies, chopped cilantro and the olive oil. Stir.
  2. On a couple pieces of foil {one piece if using heavy duty} place the tilapia in the center. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of Creole seasoning. Top with 4 or so tablespoons of the veggie medley and sprinkle with another 1/4 teaspoon of the seasoning {totally optional}. Top with a quarter of the shredded cheese.
  3. Bring up the sides of the foil and crimp and then fold the ends up to make a foiled handbag. 🙂
  4. Set the foil packs on the grates a preheated grill set at medium-high and close the lid to cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the foil packs from the grill. Carefully open and remove the tilapia with a spatula. Place the tilapia on a couple spoonfuls of the rice and squeeze a wedge of lime over top. And serve with a little more of the chopped fresh cilantro if desired.
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27 Responses to “Grilled Tilapia Fiesta Foil Packs”

  1. #
    Julia {The Roasted Root} — June 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    This is brilliant! You are a grilling queen, I tell ya! I love tilapia and a zesty salsa with grilled tilapia sounds perfect for a fun and easy meal. I haven’t grilled much fish because I was worried about it falling through the grill, making a mess, etc….but your foil packets are super user friendly! My friends and family would love this!

  2. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — June 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    so i know i’m crazy but i’ve never been the biggest fan of tilapia…but i’m thinking with all that flavah and some extra cheese i would be TOTTTTTTTTALLY on board 🙂

    • simplyscratch replied: — June 22nd, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

      Heather my husband doesn’t like fish unless it has some kind of beer batter or cornmeal crust… and he ate this in no time!

      Have a great weekend friend! 🙂

  3. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — June 22, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Oh dear GOD, yes.

  4. #
    Cassie — June 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Fun! We love that Creole seasoning. These sound awesome Laurie!

  5. #
    RavieNomNoms — June 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Wow! All the colors are on that just pop don’t they?! It looks so great! I wish I was having this for dinner tonight! I am stuck with leftovers from the week haha

  6. #
    April — June 22, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Yum! And chiles (no “i” needed).

    • simplyscratch replied: — June 22nd, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

      Thanks April! 🙂

  7. #
    DB-The Foodie Stuntman — June 22, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I like this dish conceptually because the technique of cooking seafood on a pouch isn’t new. In fact, the French call it en papillote or “in parchment” but I like this dish because you’ve managed to fuse some Latin flavors.

  8. #
    Kari@Loaves and Dishes — June 22, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Good things come in small packages…but larges packages are simply more fun!

  9. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — June 23, 2012 at 3:22 am

    Oh my, what a dish! I seriously love everything about it. And I’ve been meaning to make foiled pack foods for so long! And btw, I only use jalapeno monterey jack – it’s the best cheese out there!

  10. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — June 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    We are moving in a couple weeks, and I still need to pack. Half of it is still packed because this was just a temp stop while finding a house, but still – really not looking forward to living in boxes again!
    What a great, healthy and beautiful dinner.

  11. #
    Kelly — June 23, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Love the idea of adding topping to the grilled fish. Not a big fan of black beans though, so any other suggestions? Of course the cheese. And garlic to rice, brilliant.

  12. #
    Courtney — June 23, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Yummy! This is on the grill right now- can’t wait to eat!! The best part is, I had “topping” leftover, so I’m thinking of other ways to use it- chicken, salad, wrap, etc.

  13. #
    Heather V — June 24, 2012 at 2:18 am

    I want to make this, for sure! We’re out of propane, though. Do you think I could just use the broiler instead?

  14. #
    Our Kitchen Inventions — June 24, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    This is a definite to add to the summer grilling list. Love the corn combo. We do a lot of Foil Handbags and tonight ours will be filled with mushrooms and ‘taters with a bit of olive oil…hmmm! I’m feeling a bit hungry!! Too much food talk and pictures. Can’t wait to try the fish.

  15. #
    angela c — June 25, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    This looks so yummy! I heart tilapia and black beans! I don’t have a grill right now, but could this be done in the oven? Under the broiler?

  16. #
    Chery — June 26, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    this look delicious congratulations

    and its chiles by the way … grettings from mexico… ajua!

  17. #
    andrea — June 29, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    So many evenings I have no idea what to make for dinner until I come to your site. I made this tilapia this evening-LOVED IT!! Thanks for your recipes! (The Panzanella was great too!!)

    • simplyscratch replied: — July 1st, 2012 @ 12:06 am

      Yay! Glad you enjoyed it Andrea!! 🙂

  18. #
    Our Kitchen Inventions — August 21, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Finally made the Tilapia this weekend and posted it on our blog today. Thanks for the recipe and yummy dinner idea!

    Susan and Wade

    • simplyscratch replied: — August 22nd, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

      Awesome! Heading over to check it out now 🙂

  19. #
    SpecialK — September 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    I live in NYC and don’t own (or know how to operate) a grill. I broiled the foil packs on high for about 15 minutes and the tilapia turned out amazing. Thanks Laurie!

  20. #
    Rachael — January 18, 2013 at 1:14 am

    Just made this tonight, but used Mahi Mahi (VERY mild fish). This was awesome!! It will be a staple at my house. Yum!

  21. #
    alexis o — June 5, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    I am soo excited to make this for me and my boyfriend tonight! I loove cooking fish in foil packs it gives it such a delicious flavor. But I was wondering at what temperature I should cook it if im doing it in the oven??

  22. #
    Heidi Olson — March 19, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Just made this recipe and it was amazing! Simple to make, healthy and absolutely delicious!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 25th, 2019 @ 10:49 pm

      I’m so glad, Heidi! Thank you for taking the time to make this recipe and leave a review! ⭐️

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