Tortilla Crusted Tilapia

5 from 2 votes

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

A salty, flaky crunchy coating and a slightly spicy, creamy sauce turns fish filets into a family friendly dinner.

Tortilla Crusted Tilapia

Pan Fried Tilapia with Tortilla Crust

I rarely make promises about fish recipes, because I know that if someone is fish-resistant (especially a kid), there are no guarantees in life, or at dinner. But if I were going to go out on a limb for a fish dish in terms of money back offers, I might pick this one.

Tortilla Crusted Tilapia

Rarely, RARELY, have I experienced such immediate success with a fish dish in my house than this Tortilla Crusted Tilapia with Sriracha Sauce.  Seconds were requested.  It was requested for later that week.  This is such a good example of how when you match a food that kids like (eg, tortilla chips) with a food that needs a bit of support (eg, fish), sometimes brilliant things happen.

Tortilla Chip Crust

Panko crumbs are usually my go-to for crusting up things like chicken breasts, fish, or pork chops. But the birth of this dish was just a bag of tortilla chips that had been pummeled a bit, and held more broken bits than whole chips.  I decided to keep going and pulverize all of them in the food processor.  And then I decided to use them to coat filets of tilapia, which is very readily available — make sure to look for fish that is farmed sustainably. And then I served it up with Sriracha Mayo and the case of the fish dish that everyone loves was closed.

Tortilla Crusted Tilapia

Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia: A salty, flaky crunchy coating and a slightly spicy, creamy sauce turns fish filets into a family friendly dinner.

Tweet This

What to Serve with Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia:

The Sriracha sauce is divine, but this would also be fantastic with Tropical Fruit Salsa, Peach and Roasted Pepper Salsa, Citrusy Mango Ginger Salsa, or Horseradish Sauce.

Tortilla Crusted Tilapia

Other Fish Recipes:

Pin this now to find it later

Pin It
5 from 2 votes

Tortilla Crusted Tilapia

A salty, flaky crunchy coating and a slightly spicy, creamy sauce turns fish filets into a family friendly dinner.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 People
Save this recipe!
We’ll send it to your email, plus you’ll get new recipes every week!


  • 1 bag tortilla chips
  • 4 8-ounce pieces tilapia
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil olive oil, or canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Sriracha Mayo


  • Place the chips in a food processor and pulse until they are finely crushed but not ground to a powder.  You still want a bit of texture.  You can also place them in a large sturdy zipper top bag and use either a rolling pin, a bottle of wine, or some other heavy blunt item to gently whack away at the bag until the tortillas are well crushed.  Cut each fillet down the middle (you will see a dividing line).
  • Heat half the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  In a wide shallow bowl beat the eggs with the pepper.  In another wide shallow bowl place the tortilla crumbs.
  • Dredge each filet, starting with the larger, thicker halves, in the egg mixture, making sure each piece is completely coated.  Then dredge in the tortilla crumbs, making sure each piece is well coated.  When the oil is hot, add the four thicker filets, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until the outside is golden brown and the fish is cooked throughout, adjusting the heat as necessary.  Transfer them to a paper towel lined plate to drain.  heat the remaining oil and cook the smaller fillets, which will probably only take 5 minutes per side at most.   Drain those on paper towels as well.
  • Serve hot with the Sriracha Sauce.


I had some chip crumbs I didn’t want to go to waste, which is how this was born! Usually panko are used, but the chips add some fat and salt.


Calories: 350kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 40g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 249mg, Sodium: 154mg, Potassium: 574mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 238IU, Calcium: 42mg, Iron: 2mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Emily says:

    I made this last night and it was a big hit with hubby and daughter! It will definitely become one of the regulars in my rotation.

    1. Katie Workman says:

      So nice to hear. It will be on the menu in our house this week– we have several half bags of tortillas left over from last night’s superbowl festival!

  2. Sally says:

    I did something very similar to this recently using cod. I added guacamole and coleslaw for kind of a deconstructed fish taco. It’s one of my favorite meals recently.

    1. Katie Workman says:

      that sounds awesome!