Pan-Poached Tilapia with Lemon Caper Sauce is a 25-minute foolproof recipe for any weeknight dinner. Forget about gluten free and sugar free, let’s talk about the tender, flaky fish, the salty capers, and the sweet tomatoes. And you can be sure I’m drizzling it all with a smooth, succulent, buttery sauce.
You guyssss. I wrote this post once already and published it and promoted it and everything, but then my site got hacked and this post was deleted along with a bajillion other tiny little things that turned into an html, DNS, server, host nightmare. I was able to recover almost everything, thanks to my savvy backups. But Pan-Poached Tilapia with Lemon Caper Sauce was lost to me forever.
I can’t even remember what I wrote about. I wish I could duplicate it instead of starting from scratch. I’m sure it was super cohesive and intelligent and grabbed your attention from the get-go. I know that my words had your mouth watering and that you got straight out of your seat to make Pan-Poached Tilapia with Lemon Caper Sauce.
I’m sure that I wrote about tender, flaky fish and poaching as foolproof cooking method for keeping anything moist and juicy. And I told you about my go-to heated seasoning: equal parts chili powder, paprika, and cayenne. Although, to be fair, I left a little cayenne out of this one to keep it light. I must have written about my love of capers. They are salty, squishy little things — fun to roll around on your tongue. They give a little burst when you sink your teeth in. The sweet tomatoes, the bitter arugula. And the sauce. Surely I wrote about the smooth, succulent, buttered sauce.
Lastly, I’m pretty sure I would have mentioned that you can get this on your table in just 25 minutes. It’s a recipe for two (because I’m just one person and then I like to have a day of leftovers), but you can easily double or triple for a double date, a family of six, or maybe you just have a big appetite. Or maybe because I’m telling you your gonna really, really like it and the recipe tripled is perfect for a week’s worth of lunches.
Pan-Poached Tilapia with Lemon Caper Sauce
Pan-Poached Tilapia with Lemon Caper Sauce is a 25-minute foolproof recipe for any weeknight dinner. It's gluten free and sugar free too!
- 1 3/4 cups water divided
- 1/4 cup dry quinoa
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 6-ounce tilapia fillets
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 3 cups arugula
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon capers rinsed and drained
In a small sauce pan, combine 1/2 cup water, quinoa, and garlic. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Take off the heat and add olive oil, basil, and salt, to taste.
Meanwhile, rub each side of the tilapia filets with chili powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Place a medium-size nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil. Add tilapia and tomatoes, cover and cook 3 minutes. Add arugula, recover, and cook until tilapia flakes easily with a fork, about 2 minutes.
When ready, divide quinoa between two plates. Then, reserving the liquid in the skillet, remove the tilapia and vegetables and divide between the plates. Whisk butter, lemon juice, and capers into the reserved liquid until butter has melted. Season with salt and pepper, if desired and drizzle over tilapia.
Remove skillet from heat and add butter, lemon juice, and capers. Whisk until butter has melted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, then drizzle over tilapia to serve.
Whitney @ To Live & Diet in L.A.
Such a beautiful dish!! The fish looks perfect – can’t wait to try this!
Thanks Whitney! It’s good with all the different flavors going on!
This looks like a favorite Italian dish I haven’t had in years. Love capers! 🙂
Hmm… interesting! I’m loving capers too. I think they are an acquired taste, but once acquired, I’m all in!
What a beautiful dish! Perfect for this time of year.
Thanks Elisa! Yep – nice and light, spring flavors!
This looks so lovely! Defintely on my list to try
Thanks Abbie – if you’re like me, that list is super long!
Mm this fish looks delish!
Thank, Stacey – delish and healthy!