Food, Main Dishes, Pescetarian

Tilapia Piccata

Tilapia Piccata | Killing Thyme

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The first time I had a chicken piccata wasn’t until after I’d met my husband; it’s his favorite dish. Needless to say, I’ve made it for him countless times and I’ve fallen in love with the bright and briny flavors myself. Because it’s just so damn scrumptious, I knew I had to come up with a good pescetarian spin on the dish so that I, too, could dig into a piccata in all of it’s lemon-y fresh goodness.

My recipe stems from Giada De Laurentiis’ chicken piccata — but with a few trusty modifications. Besides the obvious meat swap, I use half of the butter and a fifth of the oil. I use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock, and I add some wine or beer into the mix for extra flavor. If you want to skip out on the booze, no worries; you can replace it with broth.

Tilapia Piccata | Killing Thyme

Tilapia Piccata

My first attempt at a pesce-friendly piccata was with shrimp. It was divine, but maybe as it’s own thing: a Shrimp Pasta With Lemon Caper Sauce type of thing. It just didn’t bring the essence of a true piccata dish to the table. After that, I attempted the dish with a fillet of cod. Again, it was good, but the representation of the dish was lacking. I needed a flat fillet that was similar to the usual butterflied chicken breasts, dredged in flour, and easy to plop on top of fresh pasta. So, I moved onto tilapia, and Great Caesar’s Ghost! NAILED IT. It’s exactly what I was looking for.  I think triggerfish would work well in this dish too, and it might be worth giving halibut a shot — but tilapia? Winner winner no-chicken dinner.

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Tilapia Piccata

Capers, lemon and fresh parsley bring bright + briny flavors to this pescetarian twist on an Italian classic.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Killing Thyme

Ingredients

  • 4-6 oz tilapia fillets
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Flour for dredging
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup capers drained
  • 1/4 cup beer or wine see notes
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 TBSP fresh parsley chopped + more for garnish

PASTA:

  • 9 oz fresh linguine or pasta of your choice

Instructions

  1. Season the fillets with salt and pepper, dredge them in flour shaking off any excess flour, and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat 2 TBSP of butter and olive oil over moderate heat.
  3. Once the butter has melted, place the fillets into the pan and cook for 4 minutes.
  4. Carefully flip the fillets over and cook for another four minutes. When done, remove and set aside. The fillets should be lightly browned on both sides.
  5. Add the remaining TBSP of butter to the pan and let it melt.
  6. Once melted, add the lemon juice, capers, beer or wine, veg broth and approx. 1 TBSP of parsley.
  7. Bring to a low boil, stirring occasionally, for approx. 5 minutes. The sauce should thicken a bit. If you find you need more sauce, gradually add veg broth until you're satisfied.
  8. Reduce the heat and transfer the fillets back to the saucepan, spooning the sauce over the fillets to coat. Transfer back to a plate.
  9. Prepare your pasta as per the packages instructions.
  10. Once the pasta is ready, dump into the sauce pan and toss to coat in the sauce.
  11. Serve the pasta topped with a tilapia fillet and garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Recipe Notes

If you don't want to use beer or wine in this recipe, simply replace it with vegetable broth.
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2 Comments

  • Reply Gourmet Vegetarian Taco Hot Dogs - Killing Thyme July 10, 2017 at 3:26 pm […] of ways to “fish-ify” several meaty faves; I’ve turned chicken piccata into tilapia piccata, jerk chicken tacos into jerk fish tacos, and steak salads into substantial shrimp […]
  • Reply Sweet Chili Salmon Skewers With Cucumber Ribbon Salad + Lime Ginger Dressing - Killing Thyme April 26, 2017 at 9:08 am […] most cases, I have an aversion to lemons in or on my savory food unless it’s Tilapia Piccata or hummus. Oddly enough, I obsess over limes — to the point where I can’t stop smelling […]
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