Hands-On Time
15 Mins
Total Time
30 Mins
4 servings (serving size: 1 fillet and 1 cup polenta)

Discover the wonders of smoked paprika with this easy and economical fish dinner. Creamy polenta complements the full-flavored fish.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare polenta, bring milk to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually add polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat, and cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese; cover and keep warm.

Step 2

To prepare the fish, heat a large nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Combine oil, paprika, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a bowl, stirring well. Rub fish evenly with oil mixture. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add fish to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

Chef's Notes

The tilapia can be prepared either in a grill pan on the stove or over the coals on an outdoor grill.

Ratings & Reviews

LisaBauman's Review

May 02, 2011
I can't say anything about the polenta (I'm not a fan), but the fish was fabulous. This recipe has great flavor and is so easy and quick to make. This is one of my go to dishes. It is easy to over cook the fish, so keep an eye on it.

JasonM's Review

March 05, 2009
I used regular polenta because I prefer the texture and didn't mind spending an extra 5-10 minutes. I was able to slowly simmer the polenta while doing everything else. I love smoked paprika, but I felt that it did very little to enhance the flavor of the tilapia. I even added a little bit of onion powder to the seasoning mix, but it did little to brighten up the blah. So, the pairing of a very "blank canvas" (the polenta) with this also very mild seasoning on the tilapia made for a very bland combo. I served this with a side of steamed greek-seasoned spinach -- incidentally the spinach out-flavored everything else about the meal. It did all look nice on the plate, though.

KeepontryingM's Review

June 18, 2011
So easy

LauraVA's Review

August 15, 2010
This is fantastic! I doubled the spice rub as suggested by other reviewers and it formed a quasi-crust that was delicious. I am a big fan of Polenta/Grits when done right. Try 2 C water + 1 C FF Milk per cup of dry polenta. Watch the salt and add as you taste. A little bit of butter goes a long way, but adding it will make the world of difference (polenta without butter will be very bland). This will be repeated!

carolinablonde's Review

October 08, 2009
The tilapia is excellent but the polenta... no. I recommend having some sort of potatoes instead. Just a personal preference, though, and maybe we didn't do it quite right (although we followed the recipe). We served with creamed spinach. We will use leftovers for yummy fish tacos!

ESmith6's Review

August 28, 2011
Delicious! I love the combination of the smoky, hot tilapia and the creamy, cheesy polenta. I did add about 1/2 tbsp. of butter to the polenta and used freshly grated parmigiana reggiano (probably a bit more than the recipe called for). I also took the advice of another reviewer to use 2 cups water and 1 cup skim milk.

bjane1's Review

January 30, 2012
Great seasoning for mild tilapia. Served with whole wheat couscous, grilled zucchini, and grape tomatoes. (I'm not a fan of polenta.)

kapoth45's Review

November 04, 2010
GREAT meal. The marinade/sauce for the fish is super easy and adds the right amount of flavor without overpowering the fish. We served with green beans and polenta, although I'll probably make couscous on the side for the next time. Definitely on my list of go-to's.

flambe99's Review

July 20, 2010
I loved this dish! After reading the reviews, I chose not to make the polenta but served the fish over brown rice instead. I used 1 lb of frozen tilapia, thawed, and the rub was just the right amount. My fillets must have been smaller than the recipe called for, because I only needed to cook 1-2 min each side. I made Asparagus Spears With Garlic Aïoli (Oxmoor House Jan 2001) for a side and used the smoked paprika on that as well. A nice glass of chardonnay finished off this wonderful dinner.

carolfitz's Review

February 18, 2011
Simple, quick & easy. We always cut tilapia filets in two, to avoid overcooking the much thinner side. The recommended sauteed broccoli rabe was very good but maybe a little too assertive?