Tortilla Crusted Tilapia with Lime-Chipotle Crema

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I made this tilapia the other day when my dad came over for dinner.  I was looking for something fast and simple since I knew I already had the tilapia in my fridge.  I went into the pantry and noticed a bunch of unused hard taco shells.  I decided those shells would make the perfect crispy and crunchy exterior on the tender and flaky tilapia.  I ended up baking the tilapia and serving it topped with vinegar laced cabbage slaw, tucked into corn tortillas and drizzled with the lime-chipotle crema for fish tacos.  However, this recipe is just as good as main course served as is with the lime-chipotle crema.

Breaded and ready to hit the oven...

Breaded and ready to hit the oven…


Crispy and delicious looking...

Crispy and delicious looking…

Tortilla Crusted Tilapia with Lime-Chipotle Crema

Tortilla Crusted Tilapia with Lime-Chipotle Crema

Tortilla Crusted Tilapia

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Recipe type: Appetizer, Entree


  • 6 – 8 hard corn tortilla taco shells
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 4 tilapia filets
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 chipotle, from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 tbsp. minced cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice


  1. Pre-heat to 375 degrees.
  2. Place taco shells in a re-sealable plastic bag, seal and crush using a meat mallet or rolling pin, until broken down into coarse crumbs.
  3. Add cumin, paprika, salt, black pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper to a small bowl. Mix well.
  4. Season the tilapia with some of the spice mixture.
  5. Place flour, eggs and taco shell crumbs onto separate shallow plates or pie tins.
  6. Season flour with a few pinches of the spice mixture.
  7. Dredge each filet into, the flour, shaking off excess, then the egg and finally the taco shell crumbs. Press taco shell crumbs evenly onto each filet.
  8. Season the filets with the remaining spice mixture.
  9. Place fish on a lightly oiled sheet pan and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until fish flakes easily.
  10. Meanwhile, whisk sour cream, chipotle in adobo, cilantro and lime juice in a small bowl. Whisk in a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste, adjust seasonings as necessary and keep refrigerated until ready to use.
  11. Remove fish from oven and drizzle with chipotle-lime crema. Serve immediately.

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