If you haven’t noticed, my past few recipes have been a bit more decadent than I normally make (for better or worse, ha!) Because it was SO hot today and I had to work late, I decided on a simple pan-seared tilapia salad with a nice, creamy herb dressing.
Tilapia is SO easy to make and it’s a really affordable option. I personally prefer pan-seared tilapia over baked tilapia because it doesn’t take long for tilapia to overcook, so pan-searing it gives you a bit more control.
This pan-seared tilapia salad is super easy to prepare but tastes really expensive despite using easy-to-source ingredients. Adding a few of the herbs from the dressing to the tilapia salad ties the two together really well! This recipe also allows a lot of customization – first of all, you can add or remove herbs as you like to create new flavors, OR you can also replace the sour cream and mayonnaise with greek yogurt for a healthier option!
Skill Level: Easy
Time to Make: 30 minutes
Ingredients for Simple Pan-Seared Tilapia Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing
2 tilapia fillets
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
CREAMY HERB DRESSING
½ cup mixed fresh herbs (such as chives, basil, dill, and/or fresh parsley. Basil and chives will be used in the salad below, so they are recommended as 2 of the herb options for the dressing! I used a mix of dill, chives, and basil!)
¼ cup mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt)
¼ cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (more or less depending on your desired consistency)
1 small shallot
2 teaspoons lemon juice(From half a fresh lemon)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups loosely packed salad greens (such as mesclun mix or chopped romaine lettuce)
8 ounces cherry tomatoes
½ English cucumber
1 tablespoon fresh chives
10 basil leaves
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice (From half a fresh lemon)
Salt and pepper
Prepare The Fish: Before beginning the recipe, pat the tilapia dry and season with salt, pepper, and paprika and set aside.
Prepare the Creamy Herb Dressing: First, lightly chop the chives and then peel the shallot. Next, add the herbs, scallions, and shallot to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. After that, add the mayonnaise and sour cream and lemon juice and then pulse until smooth. Slowly add the extra virgin olive as you pulse the dressing until the dressing is smooth and creamy. Taste and season with salt and pepper. After the dressing is seasoned to your tastes, transfer to a serving bowl and chill until ready to serve.
Prepare the Salad: Halve the cherry tomatoes. Thinly slice the cucumber. Mince the chives and tear the basil leaves into small pieces. In a large salad bowl, first combine the tomatoes, cucumber, chives, and basil and then add the olive oil, lemon juice, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and toss to combine. Set aside.
Prepare the Pan-Seared Tilapia: Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium skillet until very hot. Add the tilapia fillets and cook for 3-4 minutes per side (without moving) until cooked through. The tilapia is done when it flakes easily with a fork. Remove the skillet from heat.
Finish the Salad: Right before serving, add the salad greens to the bowl with the tomatoes and cucumbers and toss to combine.
To Serve: Divide the salad between plates and place a warm tilapia fillet on top. Drizzle with the creamy herb dressing. Enjoy!