Basil Pesto Tilapia

Basil pesto tilapia is quite simply one of the easiest nutrition rich meals that you can make in a flash. These two crucial steps willensure that the fish and pasta come out perfect. Who knew that simply frying fish and tossing pasta with sauce would result in a sensational meal.

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Basil Pesto Tilapia is simplicity at its best

My wife and I were on vacation at Key West with our two little ones. We were staying at a timeshare location with a fantastic view of the ocean, it was like heaven on earth. We wanted to spend as much time as possible at our location soaking in all of its beauty, so we decided to make food at the condo rather than going to a restaurant. The problem for us was it was difficult to decide what to buy and make for only a few days at the condo. We were without our fully stocked kitchen with all the spices and condiments needed to make a proper meal. We had difficulty deciding what we could make without needing to buy a handful of extras. The solution came to us when we were out shopping.

At the grocery store we were trying to decide what to make. We were on vacation, by the ocean, and we wanted some sort of sea food or fish to go along with the occasion. We also wanted something elegant to eat that would match the atmosphere of our environment. We probably thought of several meals to make, but the problem was always some spice or condiment that we did not have and did not want to buy and have it would go to waste. We wanted to make something simple that would require minimal effort. As a stroke of luck, I saw in the deli area basil pesto. We put two and two together and thought that basil pesto pasta and fried fish would pair well with white wine. This met all of our requirements of being easy, not requiring excess ingredients, affordable, elegant, and to our surprise sensationally delicious. The night we made this recipe was memorable, romantic, and enhanced our experience of being in such a beautiful place. Today when we make basil pesto tilapia we remember fondly, that evening in Key West and can almost feel like we are there again.

Basil Pesto Tilapia crucial step # 1

If you fail to do this, almost quite certainly the tilapia will not turn out. There is a small problem when trying to batter fish. The flesh of fish is a little slippery and doesn’t like to stick well to batter. The solution is simple. When ever trying egg batter something you need to give egg something to stick to otherwise it will just slide off. The first step to get egg to stick to the fish is to flour the fish. The flour dries up any moisture on the flesh of the fish, and serves as the foundation for egg to stick. Dip the fish in egg and once egg is stuck to the flour, and the flour is stuck to the fish, we then flour the fish again. After frying this results in a light and crispy texture. What most people don’t know is that you need to let the fish rest about 3 to 5 minutes with the flour on the fish, this gives the flour time to bond to the fish. Then you need to let the fish rest in the egg batter for another 3 to 5 minutes, this gives the floured fish time for the flour to make a second bond to the egg. Finally, when you flour the fish the second time, let the fish rest for another period of 3 to 5 minutes to give the egg and flour time to bond yet again.
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Basil Pesto Tilapia
Basil Pesto Tilapia
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Basil pesto tilapia is quite simply one of the easiest nutrition rich meals that you can make in a flash. These two crucial steps will ... read more
Basil Pesto Tilapia
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Rating: 0
Rate this recipe!
Basil pesto tilapia is quite simply one of the easiest nutrition rich meals that you can make in a flash. These two crucial steps will ... read more
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Servings Prep Time
people 10minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
people 10minutes 10minutes
Print Recipe

  1. Gather the ingredients for making basil pesto tilapia. Then read the about the tips here.

  2. Place 4 to 5 quarts of water in a stock pot on high heat.

    Basil Pesto Tilapia - Salting the pasta water
  3. Lay out the tilapia on a paper towel and pat the fish to absorb excess moisture.

    Basil Pesto Tilapia - Drying the fish with paper towels
  4. Season the fish with salt and pepper.

    Basil Pesto Tilapia - Seasoning the fish with herbs and spices
  5. Flour the fish top and bottom, and shake off excess. Let fish rest in the flour five to ten minutes.

    Basil Pesto Tilapia - Flouring the fish
  6. Whip eggs while you are waiting for the floured fish to rest.

    Basil Pesto Tilapia - Preparing an egg wash
  7. Egg batter the fish, and let the fish rest two to three minutes in the egg. The dredge the fish back in flour a second time.

    Basil Pesto Tilapia - Battering the fish in flour then egg
  8. After dredging fish for the second time in flour, let the fish set for two to three minutes before beginning to pan fry.

    Basil Pesto Tilapia - Battering the fish with flour and egg
  9. When water boils add the pasta and cook according to package directions.

    Basil Pesto Tilapia - Preparing pasta according to package directions
  10. Add enough oil to a cast iron frying to submerse the fish half way. Place burner on medium heat. When the temperature of the oil is between 325 and 350 degrees, add fish to frying pan.

    Basil Pesto Tilapia - Frying the tilapia on both sidess
  11. Cook the fish unit golden brown on each side.

    Basil Pesto Tilapia - Frying the tilapia on both sides
  12. When noodles are done, strain the noodles but do not rinse.

    asil Pesto Tilapia - Boiling noodle until tender
  13. Add noodles back to stock pot immediately and add the basil pesto sauce. Mix the basil pesto into the noodles throughly.

    Basil Pesto Sauce
  14. Plate the noodles in a bowl and set over the top the fried tilapia.

    Basil Pesto Tilapia
Nutrition Facts
Basil Pesto Tilapia
Amount Per Serving
Calories 731 Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38g 58%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 19g
Cholesterol 93mg 31%
Sodium 406mg 17%
Potassium 51mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 66g 22%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 2g
Protein 28g 56%
Vitamin A 3%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 11%
Iron 25%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Notes

Chef Tips: Making great Basil Pesto Tilapia

This restaurant quality meal is very simple to make.  The key is to make everything precisely the way described in this article. Please read carefully about the crucial steps I discussed above before diving into the recipe. Also using homemade basil pesto sauce with these additional tips will go a very long way toward making your meal even more delicious. Try to time everything to come together at the end. Boil the pasta while the fish is frying. If someone can help you they can strain the pasta while you are finishing the fish. Add the basil pesto sauce to the top of the fish, use the remainder basil pesto sauce in the pasta, plate and serve while its warm.  We love this recipe and we hope that you enjoy it too.

Be sure to use a stock pot that is large enough to boil the noodles, its best too use lots of water (5-6 quarts) in a stock pot that has a heavy bottom. I use a stainless steel stock pot for making noodles. I avoid using nonstick stock pots for recipes that don't need them. It saves on their wear. Aside from that cooking food on high heat can damage nonstick pots.

Serving Size = 4oz Tilapia, 4oz Pasta

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