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Pesto Parmesan Tilapia

Pesto, Parmesan and a touch of lemon make a crispy crust and delicious flavor.

April 10, 2017

The amazing flavor combination of pesto, Parmesan and a touch of lemon create a crispy crust and raises a humble Lenten fish dish to elegant heights. So simple, dinner is ready in less than 30 minutes and cleanup is a breeze!

Serves four. 


  • 4 six-ounce tilapia or other white fish fillets
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto
  • 2/3 cup grated (not shredded) Parmesan cheese, or more if needed
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 medium tomato, cut in small dice, for garnish


  1. Heat oven to broil and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Lightly coat foil with olive oil.
  3. Lay out fillets and drizzle with just enough olive oil to barely coat. Brush to cover evenly. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle Parmesan evenly over each fillet to cover, at least two tablespoons per fillet.
  4. Broil fish on middle rack for about 10 minutes, until cheese is browned on top and fish is no longer translucent.
  5. Remove fish from oven, top each filet with pesto, a splash of lemon juice and a dash of zest, and top it all with diced tomatoes and a light dusting of Parmesan. Serve immediately.

Cook’s note: Tilapia is generally farmed fish. You can check for sustainability on