There are so many reasons to try this baked tilapia and veggies recipe! It’s easy to prepare ahead of time, and the mess is self-contained because the fish and veggies are cooked inside of a parchment paper pouch!
The French term for this technique is “en papillote,” which is a term used for oven steaming fillets in a packet with aromatic ingredients. We just call it smart cooking!
We used tilapia filets because of their light and fluffy texture—plus they’re not ‘fishy’ like other varieties, making it more palatable for kids (and adults) who are being introduced to seafood for the first time.
The finished product yields fish and veggies that are juicy and flavorful! You can eat this meal alone—ahem, don’t forget that parchment paper keeps the cleanup easy—or serve on a bed of rice and a side of chopped salad.
Baked Tilapia with Veggies Recipe
- 5 tilapia filets
- 1 tsp dried herbs, like dill, oregano, or basil
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1 zucchini, sliced ⅛" thick
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced 1/8" thick
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 15 grape tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper
- garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- Place a rack in the center of the oven then preheat to 425 degrees. Tear off 5 square sheets of parchment paper—if your parchment paper roll is 12" wide, tear off a 12" long piece. Fold each sheet in half to clearly mark the center then open it back up and lay flat.
- Place one tilapia fillet in the center of the paper, on one side of the fold. Season the tilapia with salt, pepper and a sprinkling of dried herbs, then place a few lemon slices on top of the fish.
- Divide sliced vegetables into 5 equal portions then top each fish with one portion of vegetable and parsley. Season vegetables with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Place 1 generous teaspoon of butter on top of the fish and veggies then fold paper shut.
- Seal the packets by matching the top and bottom sheets then fold upward—pressing to seal the edge. Continue this process all the way across the opening, crimping and sealing the paper similar to how you would seal a calzone. At the end of the process, you’ll have a ‘tail’ of excess paper—simply fold it under the packet. This process does not need to be uniform or perfect in any way. The objective is to seal in the juices, causing steam to cook the fish and vegetables and yield a juice that will serve as a yummy sauce.
- Arrange tightly sealed fish and vegetable packets on a baking sheet then bake for 12–15 minutes. Remove from oven then serve fish and veggies still in the paper. Be careful when opening them—the steam is hot! Enjoy!
If you are cooking out on the grill, just replace the parchment with aluminum foil.