Tilapia Burgers with Watermelon Salsa + Avocado.
I’m not sure. I have no idea. I lost all track of time yesterday because as I was attempting to get my fill of trashy weekday reruns, my husband clicked to his full DVRed queue of Duck Dynasty. Duck Dynasty?, I thought. Oh cool. Maybe it’s something like The Mighty Ducks. Like a final Mighty Ducks movie that I never got to see. Man I loved those movies. I totally knew Pacey was hot before like, Pacey was hot.
Anyway? This whole Duck Dynasty thing? Definitely not the Mighty Ducks. I mean, definitely. I am scarred. For life. And shockingly this is SOMEONE”s favorite show. Like so favorite, that he references it constantly and quotes it 63 times a day. I feel like I’m living inside Duck Dynasty, besides the whole… well… just google it.
One of the only tasks I managed to accomplish was making a healthy lunch, and I was hopeful that it would lead to leftovers for some dinners this coming week. The temperature has been warm here, like summery warm, like TOO summery warm because you know it’s too good to be true and next week it will be like 36 degrees outside. But who cares. Live in the moment! We were craving something fresh but filling, something wholesome but fun.
A few weeks ago I picked up some mahi mahi burgers at Whole Foods and honestly… have been eating them like they’re going out of style. I was super hesitant at first but I ended up LOVING them. So much so that I ate one every single day last week. Mostly covered in guacamole. Sometimes covered in BBQ sauce. Next time covered in crispy onion straws. And I’ve been wanting to make them myself but here in, um, tropical Pittsburgh, I don’t always have the easiest access to that fish. It takes planning and strategy and patience to find that fish, all qualities that do not enter my brain.
I was afraid the tilapia would be weak in flavor and too light for a burger, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I pulled inspiration from my BBQ salmon burgers and simple crab cakes, hoping that a mesh of the two would lead to big taste. These burgers are in a word – hearty. We both thought the texture nearly resembled ground chicken or turkey and while the flavor was bursting, it is mild and neutral enough to take on another topping. Like say, ketchup. Which you know my husband was just dyyyyying to squirt on top.
But after I begged him to try it with the salsa stacked on top, streaming with lime juice and crunching with crispness, that red condiment stayed firmly in the fridge. That is huge.
That says… well, everything.
Tilapia Burgers with Watermelon Salsa + Avocado
makes 6 burgers
1 1/2 pounds fresh (or frozen and thawed) tilapia
2/3 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg + 1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup cubed watermelon, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
the juice of 1 lime
whole wheat buns
Add tilapia to a food processor and pulse until chopped. Transfer to a bowl and add egg, panko, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder and basil. Mix until combined, then form tilapia into patties (form tightly with your hands, trying to prevent cracking). Heat a skillet oven medium heat and add half of the olive oil, then cook patties until golden on each side, about 3-4 minutes. Repeat with remaining burgers.
While burgers are cooking, combine watermelon, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice with a pinch of salt. Once burgers are ready, serve on toasted buns with avocado slices and salsa on top.
And then I accidentally on purpose deleted the entire DVR.
159 Comments on “Tilapia Burgers with Watermelon Salsa + Avocado.”
I had watermelon salsa for the first time recently, Jessica. It is SO good! Pair it with avocado and a tilapia burger and I’d be in heaven. PS: I’ve had mahi mahi burgers from WF before too… soooo dang good.
Duck Dynasty? Can’t say I’ve ever heard of it, but it sounds…interesting. :-?
These burgers, on the other hand, actually are interesting! I love the idea of a watermelon salsa. Mmmm…so summery! :-D
Those Mahi burgers from Whole Foods are SO good! The salmon burgers are good, too. The tuna burgers taste like cat food. Which is good or bad, depending on how you feel about cat food.
These burgers look really good – I normally pass on tilapia but I’ll definitely try them in a burger form.
Good to know – I almost bought the tuna burgers but opted for another box of mahi mahi ones.
Duck Dynasty. . Yeah. I DVR it. So what??? And yes, ah, I watch it religiously. Ya gotta a problem with it!!?? Hehe! I love that show….wrap me up in redneck heaven!
:O You didn’t!!! Duck Dynasty is a tragedy of a show but a man has to have his loves.
I love the idea of a fish burger. I don’t know what it is but the thought of ketchup with fish makes me want to gag. My husband always squirts it on breaded fish type dishes and I just don’t get it. Yuck!
I’m about to whip up your crab cakes and your chickpea chicken soup. I can’t wait! Have a good one.
Oh goodness do I know what you’re talking about. “I totally knew Pacey was hot before like, Pacey was hot.” I was *in love* with him on those Mighty Duck movies- such a stud! My husband and I were having this conversation about a week ago actually.
PS- the tilapia burgers must be out of this world with that salsa!
ooh what a fabulous burger! I LOVE the toppings you used!
I think you just 1 upped fish tacos
I can’t wait to get my hands on some watermelon.
PS: I always liked Dawson more than Pacey–am I the biggest dork ever, or what?
Yum! Thanks for all the inspiration! Using appetizer recipes for my birthday this weekend. Crazy feta won the crowd over last time so it mayyyy need to make an appearance once more. Best wishes from Sweden!
I love salmon burgers but never thought of a tilapia burger, great idea!
I want to eat this salsa with a spoon.
Peeeeerfect! I know a blogger that was looking for a tilapia recipe and this just showed up. I’m sending it to her asap!
Good call on the DVR.
To quote Gru, “It was accidentally maliciously destroyed.”
You know I HAD to stop reading, open another page, and google Ducks.
Love the watermelon salsa idea.
And it’s so funny you made salsa with avocado in it because just yesterday the idea to add diced avocado to my salsa came to mind and I’ve been dying to do it ever since!
Oh my goodness, these sound fantastic!!! I’d have thought the same thing about the tilapia being too mild but I’m glad you tested it. Absolutely can’t wait to try these… and next time I’m at Whole Foods, I’m totally treating myself to some mahi mahi burgers!
Duck Dynasty?………Duck Dynasty?? After googling it and finding out what it actually is, the name really does throw you off. But anywho, I had never heard of watermelon salsa and now I want to drop everything and go make it………be back later! ;)
PACEY! I will never get over Pacey.
That salsa sounds so refreshing! Perfect topping for these yummy burgers!
That sounds really yummy! Can’t wait to try it out!
I was sitting here thinking “there is no way a human could bite through all those layers” and then you went above and beyond with that awesome bite shot! Apparently it was possible ;)
I have also been subjected to Duck Dynasty and it’s awful. While I can make it through Ax Men and Swamp People, Duck Dynasty is too much.
These sound just DIVINE!!! That salsa especially :) YUM!
These look great!!! I’ve never heard of Duck Dynasty and I’m sort of scared to Google it now.
These burgers sound out of this world, I can’t wait to make them! I just invented a refreshing cucumber and fresh lime cocktail that will be the perfect compliment.
burger perfection in this post, in my opinion. love everything about these.
Haha….I’ve never heard of Duck Dynasty. Now I know to avoid it.
I just decided, in my next life, I’m coming back as your permanent house guest. Or neighbor. Or taste tester. Take your pick.
I made some fried tilapia this weekend, but these burgers sound so much better!!
Yay!!! No use of the ketchup – that IS huge!!
I don’t know, this “Duck Dynasty” sounds just as exciting as that horse racing channel.
If I ever come over to your house for lunch we’ll make sure that the TV stays OFF!
haha. Yep, Pacey was totally awesome, before Pacey. I think I have tried the same mahi burgers at whole foods that you speak of. I used to get them to personally make my sister gluten-free salmon burgers and they were awesome! Those people at whole foods are soooo special. Gotta love them!
Girl. I love the idea of smashing Tilapia into a burger… it’s not much good all on its own anyways. Watermelon Avocado Salsa pretty much goes well with everything, right? This will be fun for summer.
Mr. How Sweet needs to grow a duck dynasty beard!!!
OMG!! Give Duck Dynasty a chance! It is SO hilariously funny. Jase and Si make the show. They are funny beyond words. We DVR it at my house and can’t WAIT to watch it every week. In fact they played a series of re-runs last night and I stayed up WAAAAaaaaaaaaYYyyyyy passed my bedtime watching! LOVE Love love the show!!
I don’t think I even want to know what that show is about. This story is a perfect example of why I think every household needs a “multi-room” DVR. :)
Wow, these burgers look great for summer! I’m always looking for alternatives to ground beef when it comes to burgers (I’m just not a huge fan). The watermelon salsa looks so refreshing, too – I’ll be using it as a topper for fish tacos.
Watermelon salsa…YUM. I’ve seen Duck Dynasty – not a huge fan – it can be OK (I prefer swamp people)….but I have to say – when I see them I think ZZ Top.
Oh gosh those burgers look good! I was going to request you come up with a recipe for fish nachos, sounds wierd, but not. Kind of like open-face fish tacos if you will.
I love the sound of this! As someone who lives relatively close to the sea, I am curious to see what kind of fish I could substitute in this straight from the Gulf… that had hopefully been caught that day…
Awesome recipe! I can’t wait to try this! And the WF mahi mahi burgers sound DANGEROUS.
Watermelon Salsa is all you have to say and you caught my attention. Looks fabulous and perfect for summer!
Thanks for the watermelon salsa. I’ve been looking for ways to use up watermelon as my local produce guy has some local (his farm) watermelons 2 for $5. They are so tasty!
Oooo, I’ve never had tilapia in burger-form. This looks utterly delightful!
I can’t tell you how much I love white fish. Tilapia in tacos…in eggs…every which way, any type of seasoning or method of cooking. In a burger? Had never thought of this and it’s just GREAT! I love the idea and your salsa looks soooo fresh…refreshing with a little kick. YUM!
This sounds delicious and love the watermelon salsa idea. So light and healthy too.
i had the BIGGEST crush on pacey in mighty ducks. he was so hot then…
well, before he was actually Pacey. obvs
I went to pin this recipe and I got an error message from Pinterest with a case sensitive code to type. The message said, “Something looks a little fishy.”
Good pun, Pinterest. Well played.
Yum! Looks like a fabulous lunch! Make it for me?
Never would have thought of tilapia in a burger. Sounds great!
I wish this was lunch. Instead I’m having coffee. :(
Fish, melon, and avocado? I would eat some of that RIGHT NOW. Perfect for the encroaching hot temperatures!
Due to my recent surgery, drippy, greasy burgers are a no-go. Possibly forever. I want to weep and mourn, but recipes like this give me hope. A burger doesn’t have to be fatty bovine to be tasty! Thank you for sharing!