Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia over Orzo Pasta with Vegetables in a Light Butter Sauce

I had a version of this dish while dining out a couple of weeks ago. It was very light and flavorful. I did of course know how I would put my spin on it for my families’ liking along with a healthier take in creating the sauce. The sauce is light and creamy with hints of lemon.  Lemon Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil is being used and can be purchased on-line at Spicewood Food Company.  One final note, cheese and fish at times do go well together. Serves 4.


Pasta and Sauce
8 oz. of orzo pasta
1 tablespoon of Lemon Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil or regular olive oil and lemon juice
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 cup of diced red onions
1 can of light coconut milk
2 tablespoons of Smart Balance brand butter or regular butter
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 bunch of asparagus ends removed and sliced on a angle
1 – 14 oz. can of corn drained
2 Roma tomatoes diced
1 lb. of tilapia- about 4 fillets rinsed and drained
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of cornmeal
1/4 cup of olive oil


Cook orzo per package directions. Set aside. In a large skillet heat oils over medium high heat and add red onions. Sauté until slightly browned. Add coconut milk, butter and kosher salt. Sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Add sliced asparagus and corn to skillet, lower heat and let simmer while preparing fish.

Combine cornmeal and Parmesan cheese on a medium sized plate. Pat each tilapia firmly into mixture until evenly coated. Heat olive oil in a large size skillet over medium heat. Add fillets and sear until browned on both sides. About 3 – 4 minutes per side, for a total time of 6 – 8 minutes. Cooking times will vary depending on the size and thickness of your fish. Right before plating, add the orzo pasta and diced tomatoes to the sauce. Mix until well combined. Dived pasta and sauce evenly onto 4 plates and top with a tilapia fillet. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Suggested Beverage

Try Wente Vineyards Morning Fog (Livermore Valley), Irony Chardonnay Vintage (Napa Valley), Sebeka Chardonnay Vintage 2006 Western Cape, Africa), Skinny Dip New Belgium Beer (Ft. Collins, CO) or Flensburger Brauerei Gold Premium Lager Beer (Germany).

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