Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia with Tartar Sauce & Cajun-Spiced Vegetable Rice

Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia

with Tartar Sauce & Cajun-Spiced Vegetable Rice

40 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

For this Southern-style dish, you’ll coat flaky tilapia in naturally sweet cornmeal, then pan-fry the fillets to achieve a delightfully crunchy, flavorful crust. Even more bold flavor comes from a vibrant medley of spiced rice mixed with celery, carrots, and creamy white beans served underneath—all topped with a dollop of tangy tartar sauce for cooling contrast.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    780 Cals (est.)
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ingredients
Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia with Tartar Sauce & Cajun-Spiced Vegetable Rice
Title
  • 4 Tilapia Fillets
  • 1 cup Jasmine Rice
  • 1 15.5 -Ounce Can Cannellini Beans
  • 2 stalks Celery
  • ¾ lb Carrots
  • ¾ cup Low-Fat Milk
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsps Tomato Paste
  • ¼ cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 cup Cornmeal
  • ¼ cup Sweet Pickle Relish
  • 2 Tbsps Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Cajun Spice Blend (Smoked Paprika, Ground Yellow Mustard, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Whole Dried Oregano, Whole Dried Thyme & Cayenne Pepper)
Prepare the ingredients & make the milk mixture:
1 Prepare the ingredients & make the milk mixture:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. To make the milk mixture, in a large bowl, combine the milk and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine and set aside at least 10 minutes to meld the flavors. Peel the carrots; halve lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Halve the celery lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Combine in a bowl. Drain and rinse the beans

Make the vegetable rice:
2 Make the vegetable rice:

In a large pot, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the prepared carrots and celery; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the tomato paste and spice blend. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Add the rice, a big pinch of salt, and 2 cups of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, without stirring, 16 to 18 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff with a fork. Add the drained beans and worcestershire sauce; stir to combine. 

Coat & cook the fish:
3 Coat & cook the fish:

Meanwhile, place the cornmeal on a large plate; season with salt and pepper. Pat the fish dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Working one piece at a time, thoroughly coat the seasoned fish in the prepared milk mixture (letting any excess drip off), then in the seasoned cornmeal (pressing to adhere). Transfer to a separate plate. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the coated fish. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until lightly browned and cooked through* (if the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil before flipping). Turn off the heat.

Make the tartar sauce & serve your dish:
4 Make the tartar sauce & serve your dish:

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and pickle relish. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the cooked fish over the vegetable rice. Top the fish with the tartar sauce. Enjoy! 

Tips from Home Chefs

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Prepare the ingredients & make the milk mixture:
1 Prepare the ingredients & make the milk mixture:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. To make the milk mixture, in a large bowl, combine the milk and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine and set aside at least 10 minutes to meld the flavors. Peel the carrots; halve lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Halve the celery lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Combine in a bowl. Drain and rinse the beans

2 Make the vegetable rice:

In a large pot, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the prepared carrots and celery; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the tomato paste and spice blend. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Add the rice, a big pinch of salt, and 2 cups of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, without stirring, 16 to 18 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff with a fork. Add the drained beans and worcestershire sauce; stir to combine. 

Make the vegetable rice:
Coat & cook the fish:
3 Coat & cook the fish:

Meanwhile, place the cornmeal on a large plate; season with salt and pepper. Pat the fish dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Working one piece at a time, thoroughly coat the seasoned fish in the prepared milk mixture (letting any excess drip off), then in the seasoned cornmeal (pressing to adhere). Transfer to a separate plate. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the coated fish. Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until lightly browned and cooked through* (if the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil before flipping). Turn off the heat.

4 Make the tartar sauce & serve your dish:

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and pickle relish. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the cooked fish over the vegetable rice. Top the fish with the tartar sauce. Enjoy! 

Make the tartar sauce & serve your dish:
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