It’s been way too long since we discussed brown butter.

Brown Butter Tilapia with Toasted Basil Butter Breadcrumbs I

In fact, I think it’s been almost a month and in Jessica Time, well that’s like… ages. Too long.

Brown Butter Tilapia with Toasted Basil Butter Breadcrumbs I

So in terms of discussing, I guess I’m just going to tell you that I made this tilapia and drizzled some brown butter on top. I still cooked it in coconut oil but with that little extra drizzle of flavor? ohmahgah. And then I made some of those garlic brown butter bread crumbs and added a tiny bit of dried basil and threw it on top and just… yes. Right now I’m all about just tossing breadcrumbs on things instead of encrusting them entirely. It’s just easier.

Or maybe I’m just lazier.

I can’t decide.

Brown Butter Tilapia with Toasted Basil Butter Breadcrumbs I

In other news, when is the world going to reward me with a new episode of Nashville? I can’t take this waiting nonsense. In other, other news, I finally got a curling wand – like a curling iron without the clamp? – and yeah, totally infatuated. Love it. I’m just about three years behind the trend, so that’s awesome. And in final other news, yesterday I watched the pope stuff while painting my nails. This felt so odd, yet I completely justified doing such an inappropriate non-work task during work hours since I was watching real life news and not reality TV trash. And – if we’re being honest, watching Josh Elliot. Such is life.

Okay that is all for today. Carry on.

Brown Butter Tilapia with Toasted Basil Butter Breadcrumbs I


Brown Butter Tilapia with Basil Butter Breadcrumbs

Yield: serves 2-4

Total Time: 30 minutes


4 fresh tilapia filets
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons brown butter
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/4 teaspoon dried basil


Add breadcrumbs to a small saucepan over medium heat and toast until golden, about 3-4 minutes. Turn off heat and immediately stir in garlic, dried basil and 1 tablespoon of brown butter. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season tilapia with salt and pepper.

Add coconut oil to the skillet and once melted, add in tilapia. Cook 2-3 minutes per side, or until slightly golden or opaque. Remove from heat. Right before serving, drizzle with remaining brown butter and breadcrumbs.

Brown Butter Tilapia with Toasted Basil Butter Breadcrumbs I

P.S. as boring as this looks… it’s so good.

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55 Responses to “Brown Butter Tilapia with Toasted Basil Butter Breadcrumbs.”

  1. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 14, 2013 @ 6:57 am

    I just got done with a late night cooking session and I was….browning butter! Except I was making chocolate things, not fish :) Your basil breadcrumbs sound like they’d be incredible on this! Or on anything…mmm, so good!


  2. #
    ashley - baker by nature — March 14, 2013 @ 7:15 am

    Dang girl! You make tilapia look REAL good.


  3. #
    Not Only Sugar — March 14, 2013 @ 7:17 am

    Ilove this fish…

    Not Only Sugar


  4. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — March 14, 2013 @ 7:24 am

    Curling wand? No clamp? If you’re way behind the trend, then I’m way, WAY behind! I need to investigate one of these magical things that you speak of!


  5. #
    Tieghan — March 14, 2013 @ 8:22 am

    You totally got me started with browned butter… I can not top using it with everything! This fish looks delicious!


  6. #
    Jessica@stuckonsweet — March 14, 2013 @ 8:30 am

    I’m always trying to find ways to make fish taste good…looks like brown butter it is! Ditto about Nashville – why can’t they just play an episode a week?


  7. #
    Little Kitchie — March 14, 2013 @ 8:39 am

    Brown butter and those breadcrumbs make everything right.


  8. #
    Katriel — March 14, 2013 @ 8:52 am

    It’s been a couple weeks now since a new Nashville came out! What’s going on? When will they be back?


  9. #
    Ashley — March 14, 2013 @ 9:21 am

    I think you would love cooking with Ghee! It’s like an intensified version of butter. mmm


  10. #
    Carly @ Snack Therapy — March 14, 2013 @ 9:29 am

    I don’t like fish, but you now have me thinking about soaking panko in brown butter and just eating it like that.


  11. #
    Christine @ Cooking with Cakes — March 14, 2013 @ 9:49 am

    So glad you included your link to how you make brown butter, because I’ve got a question!

    I’ve tried several times to create brown butter using light versions – think Smart Balance & Balade – and every time I’ve done so I’ve had less than awesome results. In your experience do you need to use the real thing in order for the whole brown butter scheme to work?


    • Jessica — March 14th, 2013 @ 9:50 am

      oh yes! you most definitely have to use the real thing. it has to be pure butter. the good thing is that a little goes a long way. i don’t consider using a tablespoon or 2 unhealthy if the rest of the meal is good for you!


  12. #
    Lora — March 14, 2013 @ 10:14 am

    I’m so curious about switching to coconut oil, but I’m worried about the flavor. I can’t get any real answers as to whether the food tastes like coconut.


    • Jessica — March 14th, 2013 @ 10:19 am

      i personally don’t think it makes food taste like coconut at all. not one bit!


      • Lora — March 14th, 2013 @ 10:23 am

        Great! That definitely eases my mind. I like coconut, but my husband isn’t a fan. Tilapia is a weekly regular for us, so I’m excited to introduce this recipe. Thanks!

  13. #
    Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots — March 14, 2013 @ 10:16 am

    mmm this looks good and the butter sounds amazing! I had maple bourbon butter last night and it was to die for!


  14. #
    Kelly — March 14, 2013 @ 10:31 am

    I think with this recipe I could finally talk my boyfriend into eating fish!! :)


  15. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — March 14, 2013 @ 10:49 am

    I totally was just reading this while I ate leftover tilapia for breakfast (I know…) and was kind of coveting yours instead!


  16. #
    Jesse — March 14, 2013 @ 11:21 am

    ok, i’m officially ready to try coconut oil now:)


  17. #
    Marcie @ Flavor the Moments — March 14, 2013 @ 11:40 am

    That fish looks so moist and delicious, and with those toasted breadcrumbs, even better!


  18. #
    Amanda — March 14, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

    I totally need this fish tonight! It sounds wonderful :)


  19. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — March 14, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

    I really like using coconut oil – this sounds delish!


  20. #
    Jenna @ — March 14, 2013 @ 2:38 pm

    Ohh! Looks good!

    I have to admit, I do the reverse of what you did while watching the pope coverage. I have my trash tv on and am doing work stuff at the same time to justify whatever brain candy I am indulging in.


  21. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — March 14, 2013 @ 4:07 pm

    Breadcrumbs are like bacon and sprinkles – they make everything better! :)


  22. #
    Sharla — March 14, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

    I’ve been on such a tilapia kick lately – this sounds perfect! And I want a curling wand!!! (also way behind on pretty much ANY trend)


  23. #
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — March 14, 2013 @ 5:37 pm

    I think we should all get on board with the sprinkling of bread crumbs… dredging is toooo much work! These sound great :)


  24. #
    Eileen — March 14, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

    Who says that tilapia looks boring?? I think it looks amazing. Love the brown butter–I haven’t made any in far too long!


  25. #
    Casey — March 14, 2013 @ 7:38 pm

    I was seriously hoping you would post a pie recipe for Pi(e) Day today, 3-14! Need me some pie. :)


  26. #
    tracy {pale yellow} — March 14, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

    No worries, this meal does not look boring at all. Tilapia is delicious and the brown butter sauce makes it look amazing! I can’t wait to try it for dinner one night.


  27. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — March 14, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

    You are the queen of tilapia recipes. Seriously.


  28. #
    Jess — March 14, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

    I still have yet to try brown butter…

    Some Snapshots Blog


  29. #
    Lauren @ Dallas Duo Bakes — March 14, 2013 @ 11:17 pm

    Wow, that tilapia looks soooo good. I bet the browned butter is amazing!


  30. #
    Gourmantine — March 15, 2013 @ 6:31 am

    I’ve always cooked tilapia in more Asian inspired dishes, but brown butter sound fabulous!


  31. #
    Mary — March 15, 2013 @ 7:51 am

    Thanks – always looking for new fish recipes during Lent.


  32. #
    Alyssa — March 15, 2013 @ 9:07 am

    It is the simple things that are sometimes the most delicious :-)


  33. #
    Tina — March 15, 2013 @ 9:30 am

    Oh nashville! I find myself dreaaaaaming about it and am seriously restless until it comes back to us! Also, I LOVE this recipe. Brown butter with the tilapia its such a flavor punch. You’re awesome!


  34. #
    FashionEdible — March 15, 2013 @ 11:05 am

    I’m a big fan of fish, especially after having the best salmon (while visiting the Caribbean, no less). Low in calories, high in flavor and healthy!

    This brown butter recipe looks absolutely delicious.


  35. #
    karie engels — March 15, 2013 @ 11:34 am

    Beautiful and delicious!


  36. #
    Chels R. — March 15, 2013 @ 1:50 pm

    Tilapia is something my husband and I have been wanting to familiarize ourselves with. We generally go for other fish, but this one is generally inexpensive, so this looks like a great recipe to try!


  37. #
    Vicki Bensinger — March 15, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

    Your tilapia looks so moist and delicious. I like that you’ve added basil to the breadcrumbs adding a nice dimension to this dish. I haven’t cooked fish in coconut oil, I”ll have to try that.


  38. #
    Audrey — March 16, 2013 @ 2:10 am

    I have all of these ingredients in my house right now. Thanks for deciding what we’ll have for dinner tomorrow night!


  39. #
    L. Rowan McKnight — March 17, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

    Mmmm, yum. Anyone who knows food (and especially tilapia, my fave) does not think that looks boring. It looks painfully delicious. And by painful, I mean not in my mouth right this instant.


  40. #
    JanetFCTC — March 17, 2013 @ 10:34 pm

    I am pretty sure that just sucking up brown butter with a straw would be tasty but pairing it with fish has got to be outstanding!


  41. #
    Ayelet — March 24, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight – OMG yummy! Even my picky kids ate it :) Thanks for another great recipe!


  42. #
    Laura — March 26, 2013 @ 10:20 pm

    My goodness! So I have been searching (with no success until now) for a recipe that actually makes white fish taste good. And this is it!! I love the health benefits of fish, but typically just stick with salmon because it has flavor. But this is a white fish recipe with flavor!! I actually used swai instead of tilapia because it was on sale, but I think they’re similar types of fish, right? Thank you for this!!


  43. #
    angela @ another bite please — March 27, 2013 @ 3:53 pm

    i think i could use brown butter everyday it is so good..and with tilapia can’t wait to try!


  44. #
    Chelsea L. Rector — March 31, 2013 @ 3:18 pm

    Making this tonight with roasted sweet potato! I’ll be putting pictures up on my blog if anyone wants to see how it turned out! (:


  45. #
    sherrikw — April 10, 2013 @ 10:04 pm

    Made this recipe tonight using flounder instead of tilapia because that was what was on sale at the grocery store. It was delicious. My husband declared it was one of the best things he’s eaten in a while. I doubled the recipe because I have hungry men in my house. I served it with jalapeno hush puppies, homemade cole slaw and crispy rice. (I took leftover rice, sauteed it in a little brown butter in an iron skillet, then put it under the broiler until it was very crisp.) Delicious!


  46. #
    Whitney — June 24, 2015 @ 6:55 pm

    I know this post is a few years old but I HAD to comment on it. We made this the other night and WOW. It was so delish. It tasted exactly like fish you’d get from a restaurant. We did a good quality tilapia fillet from Whole Foods which I think made it even tastier. We didn’t use the breadcrumbs because I am allergic to gluten but it was just as good I assume. :) Thank you so much.



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