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Blackened Tilapia

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
Calories 925kcal
Author Chelsea Lords


  • 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!


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.


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