First of all, I want to apologize for not posting a blog last Friday per usual. I spent all of last week in South Padre Island, TX being a dumb college student on spring break– aka eating nothing but Whataburger and Pizza Hut ordered to our hotel room for a week. It was one hell of a time, but I don’t think I’ll ever be back. The minute I got home, I craved vegetables and some sort of substantial meal, which inspired me to make this dinner my first night back.
The dining hall was closed for spring break and I wanted to make myself something healthy for dinner, since my body hadn’t really gotten any nutrients all week. Every so often (aka very rarely), the dining hall in my dorm serves this awesome parmesan crusted tilapia. They always run out of it, so you have to get there pretty early to score some. You would think that they would take note and serve this crowd favorite more than every few weeks, but apparently not. I took it upon myself to figure out how they make it.
I decided to completely wing it (with the exception of looking up how long to bake tilapia, because, you know, I’m not trying to eat uncooked fish) and make this meal. I added roasted veggies because, duh, they’re good for you. It ended up being way quicker, easier, and cheaper than I ever thought. In fact, it cost a whopping $7.19 for two servings and I made it all in the same pan. Score. Here’s how I did it:
Parmesan Crusted Tilapia + Roasted Veggies
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (fresh is best)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tilapia fillets
1 yellow zucchini
1 green zucchini
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Cut off the tops + bottoms of both zucchinis. Cut both in half lengthwise, then again crosswise, making half-circle slices.
3. Cut cherry or grape tomatoes (it’s really whatever you prefer, I don’t really see the difference) in half.
4. Place zucchini + tomatoes on half of a baking sheet; spread out enough so they’re just barely overlapping.
5. Drizzle veggies with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
6. In a shallow bowl, combine Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, paprika, salt + pepper.
7. Place tilapia fillets on the other half of the baking sheet. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
8. Dredge the tilapia fillets in the bowl with the cheese mixture, making sure to coat both sides. I find it a bit easier to press the cheese mixture in lightly with your fingers.
9. Place tilapia fillets back on the second half of the baking sheet, sprinkle the remaining cheese mixture on the vegetables if you’d like. (I’d recommend it, because a little cheese on your veggies couldn’t hurt)
10. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the fish is completely white in its thickest part.
Obviously, this recipe can be made with whatever veggies you want but I do have to say the tomato + zucchini combo was pretty awesome. This is a great recipe if you’re looking for a cheap, quick dinner with minimal ingredients. I’m looking at you, fellow college students.