Blackened Tilapia with a Pineapple Salsa

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Pan-seared Blackened Tilapia with delicious and simple pineapple salsa.

A plate featuring blackened tilapia served with pineapple salsa, rice, and black beans, presenting a flavor-packed and delicious meal.

The Best Blackened Tilapia

Because we can’t get enough of this pineapple chicken, we’re revisiting the components from that meal with tilapia. While the salsa is pretty much the same, we’re switching up the base and blackening some fish instead of marinating chicken.

A bowl of pineapple salsa with the addition of fresh cilantro leaves, enhancing the flavor and presentation of this zesty salsa.

Mixing black beans, red onions, and rice together to create a flavorful and hearty meal base.

Time-Saving Tips

  • Pre-Cut Pineapple: Buy pre-cored and skinned pineapple for convenience. It’s often ripe and not much pricier when in season. Alternatively, use a pineapple corer/slicer to save time, especially if you frequently eat pineapple.
  • Pre-Cook Rice: Cook a large batch of rice at the start of the week. Use it in various recipes like chicken stir fry, coconut curry chicken, or mango chicken.
  • Use a Juicer: Since this blackened tilapia recipe requires a good amount of lime juice, a simple and affordable juicer or citrus reamer can save time and effort, particularly if you often use citrus juice.

The finished blackened tilapia, pineapple salsa, and rice base combined to create a mouthwatering and flavor-packed meal, ready to be enjoyed.

Serve Blackened Tilapia With

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Blackened Tilapia

5 from 4 votes
Pan seared Blackened Tilapia with delicious and simple pineapple-cilantro salsa.
A plate featuring blackened tilapia served with pineapple salsa, rice, and black beans, presenting a flavor-packed and delicious meal.
Print Recipe

Blackened Tilapia

A plate featuring blackened tilapia served with pineapple salsa, rice, and black beans, presenting a flavor-packed and delicious meal.
5 from 4 votes
Pan seared Blackened Tilapia with delicious and simple pineapple-cilantro salsa.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword blackened tilapia
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 2 -4 servings
Chelsea Lords
Calories 925kcal


  • 3 tablespoons finely diced jalapeño pepper separated (~1 large jalapeno)
  • 1 medium red onion, divided dice one half to get 1/2 cup and then thinly slice the other half to get 3/4 cup
  • 1 bunch cilantro separated
  • 3 juicy limes separated
  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice + water to cook in
  • 2 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil separated
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeño pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans drained and rinsed
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 3 cups (~18 ounces) diced pineapple
  • 1 pound (~3 fillets) tilapia
  • Cuban-inspired mojo seasoning (I use Simple Truth Organic)


  • PREP: We're going to use a lot of these ingredients for the rice and then again for the salsa! Dice a jalapeño to get 3 tablespoons. Halve a red onion. Cut half of that half into thin strips to get about 3/4 cup. Finely dice the other half to get 1/2 cup. Finely dice cilantro to get 3/4 cup (for salsa; measure 3/4 cup loosely and then finely dice) and 2-3 tablespoons (for rice). Zest and juice limes to get 4 tablespoons juice and 1 teaspoon zest. Cut the remaining lime into wedges to serve alongside plates.
  • BLACK BEAN RICE: In a small pot, cook rice according to package directions. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a large nonstick pan (the same one you’ll use for the fish later on), and heat to medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add 1 tablespoon diced jalapeño and the thinly sliced red onion (3/4 cup). Saute, stirring frequently, until softened. Add garlic and stir for about 30 more seconds. Add in black beans and stir until warmed through,, 2-3 more minutes. Remove from heat and then add black bean mixture to the cooked rice. Add the juice of 1 lime (2 tablespoons lime juice) and 2-3 (or to taste) tablespoons diced cilantro. Season rice mixture to taste with salt and pepper (I use about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Toss and taste for seasoning; adjust according to personal preference. Cover to keep warm and set aside.
  • PINEAPPLE SALSA: (SEE NOTE 1) Zest and juice 1 lime to get 2 tablespoons juice and 1 teaspoon zest (avoid the white pith). Add to a bowl along with the 3/4 cup diced cilantro, remaining 2 tablespoons diced jalapeño, remaining 1/2 cup diced red onion, and diced pineapple. Add salt and pepper to taste (I add about 1/4 teaspoon salt and a generous pinch of pepper). Stir until combined and set aside.
  • TILAPIA: Heat 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in the large NONSTICK pan (the same one used for the beans/jalapeno) over medium-high heat. Pat tilapia dry with a paper towel, season all over with 1-2 teaspoons mojo spice mix (to taste preference, we use about 1 and 1/2 teaspoons), 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired, and then gently rub seasoning on all sides of the fish. When oil is shimmering, add tilapia. Fry (working in batches as needed) until browned on the bottom, 3-5 minutes. Flip and cook until spices are blackened and fish is cooked through (opaque and flakes easily with a fork) about 3-5 more minutes. Remove fish from the heat. Season if needed with additional salt.
  • TO SERVE: Divide the rice evenly between plates and add tilapia right on top. Generously spoon pineapple salsa on top of everything. Serve with fresh lime wedges (drizzle lime on right before serving) and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Note 1: You will likely have more pineapple salsa than needed to top the fish, but we like a lot on top! Or, you can finish off the extra salsa with chips. You can halve the pineapple salsa recipe, but I like it as written, so I don't waste the rest of the veggies.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 925kcal | Carbohydrates: 129g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 132mg | Potassium: 1372mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 880IU | Vitamin C: 220mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 3mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


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5 from 4 votes

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    OMG!! I made this for dinner. It was amazing!!! I added corn to the beans and red bell pepper to the pineapple salsa, it was beautiful and delicious! ???? oh and supper quick!

    1. YAYY!! I’m soo happy to hear this! Those additions to the salsa sound amazing! Thanks for the tip! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I don’t like fish but decided I’d try a fis recipe once a week to try new food. I LOVED this! I’ll definitely be making it again!

  3. 5 stars
    I’d give 6 stars if i could. This was wonderful! We licked the platter clean! This will
    be my go-to tilapia recipe from here on. Thanks for such a fresh and easy recipe that uses staple ingredients! And no grilling! 🙂

  4. Hey Chelsea,
    I’ve discovered Tilapia and we love it, only the frozen Parmesan crusted we’ve been buying has so much salt!
    Your recipe is even higher in salt. How can I reduce the salt in this? Would I just add 1 tsp. of mojo and add no other salt?

    1. Hey Catherine! Yes, feel free to reduce the salt in this to personal preference. If you’re concerned from the nutrition label, I do think the sodium amount in the nutrition facts are off a bit; the calorie counter I use counts black beans before being rinsed off which drastically increases sodium count. If you rinse the black beans, you’ll reduce the sodium by a lot

  5. 5 stars
    This was good! My husband has done keto for the last 6 months, but hit a plateau so I’m migrating him to an endomorph friendly diet to include a few “good” carbs. I substituted riced cauliflower for the rice and used chicken (because I didn’t have tilapia on-hand). It turned out very well! Definitely keeping this recipe!

  6. Probably the most confusing recipe I’ve ever read. The way it’s written makes it seem much more confusing than it is. Haven’t even finished making dinner yet because it’s taking me so long to read and reread.

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