I love this Cajun Tilapia! The flavorful combination of my homemade Cajun spice blend and this homemade lemon tarragon tartar sauce is out of this world.
You guys, you guys, YOU GUYS!
Do I have a tasty recipe for you! First let me just say that I’m a huge tilapia fan. Okay-alright, so I love all fish types equally, but I lurve this particular fish because it’s family-friendly. Meaning, everyone in my family will eat it. Which is something I can’t say about salmon (boo-hoo). #iblamemyhusband.
As you know, I’m an even bigger fan of quick and easy dinner recipes that take 10 minutes in the oven. The fact you broil the fish on foil that can be tossed in the trash afterwards so there’s essentially ZERO dishes… is a straight-up perk.
There’s one last thing I have to say: this is super yummy. AND easy. annnnnd I could eat it every single day of my life. Basically this recipe is an all around winner-winner-Cajun-tilapia-for-dinner situation
Okay, bye. (let’s make some tartar!)
First add 1/2 cup of mayonnaise (store bought or homemade) into a pretty bowl. Because why not?
Then add in 1/4 cup of finely diced dill pickles.
Then 1 tablespoon diced shallots and 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest… add more if you like it real, real lemony.
And finely mince up 1 teaspoon fresh tarragon leaves…
…and 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley.
Go ahead and taste and season with a pinch or two of kosher salt. I added a bit of black pepper because I like my things peppery. Real, real peppery.
Lastly, give it a stir and refrigerate until you’re ready to dollop it onto some Cajun tilapia filets.
Speaking of Cajun. Are you ready for the Cajun marinade slash rub slash amazingness? Okay, good. Measure 3 tablespoons of safflower oil into a shallow dish.
Squeeze in the juice of 1 whole lemon.
Add in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
Add in 1 teaspoon paprika and 3/4 teaspoon of both garlic powder and oregano (I rub it in my fingers to break it up somewhat)…
…then measure and add in 3/4 teaspoon of dried thyme, onion powder and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt.
Finally whisk to combine.
Then dip. Dip. Dip.
Next, place the four Cajun slathered tilapia filets, bottom side facing up, onto a lightly oil and foil-lined sheet pan and slide it under your preheated broiler for 5 minutes. Carefully flip and slide the fish back under the broiler for 4 to 5 more minutes.
You’ll know the fish is ready when it’s opaque and flakes easily.
Ps. those crispy edges are my favorite.
So is that tartar sauce.
So is eating off the pan.
Goodness gracious, this tilapia recipe is fabulous! The flavorful combination of my Cajun spice blend, flaky tilapia and this homemade lemon tarragon tartar sauce is out of this world. The fish is melt-in-your-mouth tender, light and a smidgen spicy while the tartar sauce cools it down a tad while still enjoying the bright lemony and fresh herbaceous flavors. Are you sold on this or what??
And the leftovers? Out. Of. This. World.
Bottom line is: tartar sauce and forks are a must. Lemon wedges, parsley garnish and plates are totally optional.
Cajun Tilapia + Lemon Tarragon Tartar Sauce
The flavorful combination of my homemade Cajun spice blend and this homemade lemon tarragon tartar sauce is out of this world. The fish is melt-in-your-mouth tender, light and a smidgen spicy while the tartar sauce cools it down with its bright and fresh flavors. Are you sold on this or what??
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 9 to 10 minutes
Total Time: about 25 - 30 minutes
FOR THE TARTAR SAUCE:
1/2 cup Mayonnaise (homemade or store-bought)
1/4 cup finely diced Dill Pickle
1 tablespoon finely minced Shallot
1/2 teaspoon grated Lemon Zest
1 teaspoon minced fresh Tarragon
1 tablespoon minced fresh Parsley
Salt and Pepper, to taste
FOR THE TILAPIA:
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Safflower Oil, divided
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
1 teaspoon Paprika
3/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
3/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
3/4 teaspoon Dried Oregano
3/4 teaspoon Dried Thyme
3/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
4 fresh Tilapia Filets
FOR THE TARTAR SAUCE:
In a bowl combine mayo, pickle, shallot, lemon zest, tarragon and parsley. Stir, taste and season with salt and pepper before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating until ready to serve.
FOR THE TILAPIA:
Pull the tilapia out of the fridge to take the chill of 20 minutes prior to cooking. Prehate oven to broil and line a large, rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil. Drizzle a teaspoon of safflower oil onto the foil, using your fingers to coat the pan evenly.
In a shallow dish combine: oil, lemon juice, cornstarch, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper and cayenne. Whisk to combine.
Dip the tilapia filets into the Cajun mixture. Use your fingers to coat each filet evenly. Place fish, bottom-side facing up, onto prepared pan. Broil the tilapia for 5 minutes before carefully flipping and broiling for 4 more minutes or until fish is cooked through and flakes easily.
Serve with Lemon Tarragon Tartar Sauce and forks.