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Pan-Fried Tilapia with Baby Spinach

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Pan-Fried Tilapia with Fresh Salsa

Pan-Fried Tilapia with Baby Spinach

Jessica Braider
The inspiration and method for this simple recipe came from chef Chris Hoge, owner of the local Washington, D.C. gourmet food store, Chris’ Marketplace (and crab cake maker extraordinaire).
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings


  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced, about 1 tsp.
  • 9 - 12 oz. baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 lemons
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 lbs. tilapia or other mild white fish fillets
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper


  • In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté it until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the spinach, cover the pan, and cook the spinach, stirring occasionally, until it is wilted, 3 - 5 minutes.
  • Uncover the pan and sprinkle the spinach with the juice of half of a lemon and season it with salt. Remove it from the heat, cover the pan, and set it aside.
  • In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Place the fish fillets in the pan and press them down with a spatula to ensure each fillet is completely touching the pan. Cook the fillets 2 - 3 minutes per side until they are lightly browned.
  • After flipping the fish, sprinkle the fillets with the juice of another half of a lemon, and season them with salt and pepper. Put a scoop of spinach on each dinner plate, and top it with the tilapia. Serve the dish with lemon wedges.


Do Ahead or Delegate: Peel the garlic, juice one lemon and cut the other half lemon into wedges.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Season the fish and spinach with lemon pepper seasoning or cayenne pepper before serving.
Tip: When squeezing half a lemon or lime directly over food, use a fork to loosen the pulp so you can get more juice out of it, and squeeze it with the cut side facing up so the seeds don’t fall out, or use a hand citrus juicer like this one (affiliate).
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 180, Total Fat: 7g, 10%; Saturated Fat: 2g, 7%; Cholesterol: 70mg, 23%; Sodium: 85mg, 4%; Total Carbohydrate: 2g, 1%; Dietary Fiber: 1g, 2%; Sugar: 0g; Protein: 26g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword 30 Minutes (or less) Meals, Company/Entertaining, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Gluten-Free, Kosher, Low Carb, Low Fat, Low Sodium, Main Dish, No Added Sugar, Nut-Free, Spring, Summer, Super Scramble Express (20 minutes or less total)
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