Pan-Seared Tilapia

See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.

Pan-Seared Tilapia cooks up quickly and easily in a skillet on the stove.  This delicious fish recipe is a fast and healthy option for dinner. 

tilapia on plate with rice and vegetables

Pan searing the tilapia forms a delicious crust that is perfect for any flaky white fish. To sear the tilapia, preheat a tablespoon of olive oil on medium to medium-high heat in a non-stick pan. Rise and pat dry your fillets and season with salt and pepper. Place the tilapia in the preheated pan. Cook time will depend on the thickness of your tilapia but should take between 3-5 minutes per side.  You want to brown the outside without overcooking the tilapia. Tilapia is cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.

Pan searing is a delicious and easy way to cook fish, try it with other flaky white fish or even salmon. I like tilapia because it’s affordable and cooks really quickly. You might also enjoy my baked tilapia recipe. Serve with a side of brown rice and vegetables like zucchini, broccoli, carrots or your favorite vegetable.

close up of tilapia on plate with rice and zucchini

On warm summer days, a fresh melon salsa transforms this tilapia into the perfect and refreshing summer dinner. The sweet melon satisfies my sweet tooth, at least temporarily.  Maybe I can resist dessert and keep this strictly a healthy dinner or not.


Pan-Seared Tilapia with Melon Salsa

Pan-Seared Tilapia cooks up quickly and easily in a skillet on the stove.  This delicious fish recipe is a fast and healthy option for dinner. A melon salsa on top makes for a perfect and refreshing summer meal.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword pan seared tilapia
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings 4
Calories 232kcal


For the Fruit Salsa

  • 1 cup chopped cantaloupe
  • 1 cup chopped honeydew melon
  • ¼ cup finely minced red onion
  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 juice of one lime
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper


  • 1 ½ pounds tilapia fillets
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


For the Melon Salsa

  • In a medium bowl, combine cantaloupe, honeydew melon, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir gently to evenly distribute everything. Set aside.

Pan Searing

  • Rise the fillets and pat dry. Season tilapia with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  • Working in batches if necessary, place tilapia in the heated skillet and cook until browned on both sides and cooked through (145 degrees F), about 3-5 minutes per side depending on thickness.
  • Divide tilapia between 4 plates, spoon the melon salsa on top, and serve with your favorite sides.


Serving: 1/4 recipe | Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 123mg | Potassium: 749mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1442IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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