Healthy One Skillet Meals for Two – Pan Seared Almond Crusted Tilapia & Garlic Snow Peas
If you love the convenience of one sheet pan meals and recipes, it’s time to give one SKILLET meals a try! This Parmesan and almond crusted tilapia is one of my favorite healthy dinners for two because it’s so quick and easy. I get my pan fried tilapia filets AND a side of garlic snow peas cooked together, at the same time, all in one skillet!
Both components only need about 10 minutes in the pan to cook, so I can have my skillet meals ready to serve in under half an hour total. And, I’m left with just the one skillet to wash! Most importantly, these healthy almond crusted tilapia filets turned out to be unbelievably tasty. Perfectly crisp on the outside, but still deliciously juicy on the inside!
Since pan seared tilapia doesn’t need to cook for very long, the fish is less likely to become dry and rubbery like it might in the oven. And, the simple parmesan and almond flour coating helps to lock in the moisture and flavor! It makes for a deliciously salty, savory, flaky bite that pairs beautifully with the umami goodness from the garlic snow peas.
Then, for a sweet-and-tangy twist, I like to top my almond crusted tilapia filets with a simple mango rhubarb salsa! Of course, feel free to omit if you’re not a fan, or if you want to keep your one skillet meals as simple as possible. But, I do highly recommend it—the vibrant flavors from the lemon, lime, and mango really brighten up this tilapia dinner in an irresistible way!
Crispy Pan Fried Tilapia WITHOUT Flour or Grains??
Whether you call this a pan fried tilapia recipe or a pan seared tilapia recipe, you’re right! In reality, it’s at the sweet spot somewhere in between. Crispy and comforting like you’d expect a pan fried breaded tilapia recipe to be, but it’s just as light and wholesome as a pan seared filet!
I’d say this recipe definitely shows you how to pan sear tilapia on the stovetop, as opposed to a traditional pan fry. And we’re using just a drizzle of oil, which is far less then you’d typically need for traditional pan frying. But, unlike pan searing plain old fish filets, these almond crusted tilapia filets crisp up beautifully on the outside!
Pretty much, they’ve got the texture of breaded and pan fried tilapia WITHOUT flour or breadcrumbs. Instead, the ‘breading’ for this almond Parmesan crusted tilapia recipe is made of just almond flour, grated Parmesan cheese, and a few simple spices. Which keeps these healthy skillet dinners totally gluten free and grain free!
Bonus: without that usual breaded coating, this almond crusted tilapia recipe can be a great low carb dinner option, too. On its own, without the side of snow peas or the salsa on top, each 6-oz almond Parmesan crusted tilapia filet has only 13g net carbs! In that delicious middle ground between indulgent and fuel-filled, these one skillet meals are a MUST try.
How to Make Almond Crusted Tilapia Skillet Meals
First things first, start by prepping your mango rhubarb salsa. Since these one skillet meals only need about 10 minutes in the pan, you’ll want that salsa ready to serve on top of your almond crusted tilapia while it’s warm!
In a large bowl, combine your chopped rhubarb, mango, cherry tomatoes, red onion, diced jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and salt.
If you’ve never had rhubarb, it’s totally delicious and an awesome addition in a fruit salsa! Rhubarb looks just like a vibrant reddish-pink celery stalk and it has a the same satisfyingly crunchy texture. And, rhubarb is highly nutritious—with loads of bone-building vitamin K, calcium, and dietary fiber!
You can eat rhubarb raw, and its fresh, tangy flavor pairs wonderfully with sweet ingredients like strawberry (i.e. strawberry rhubarb pie) or the mango in this salsa. Most importantly, those sweet, tangy flavors are the perfect complement for the Parmesan tilapia and all of its salty, savory goodness! It seriously takes this meal to a whole new level of YUM.
Set that salsa aside or pop it in the fridge while you prepare the coating for your tilapia filets. In a flat, shallow dish—ideally large enough to fit a tilapia filet—combine almond flour, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Give that all a whisk to integrate and set aside for a moment.
Before coating your tilapia filets or firing up the stove, prep your garlic snow peas. In a large bowl, drizzle the snow peas with a bit of oil, add minced garlic, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss that together with your hands so everything is coated, and now you’re ready to grab your skillet and cook!
How to Cook Tilapia on the Stove – Pan Seared / Pan Fried
First, heat a large pan or skillet (I used a 12-inch nonstick pan) over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Add a drizzle of oil or the cooking fat of your choice (i.e. ghee, butter, etc.) and allow to heat/melt in the pan. You want that pan and your cooking fat to be good and heated before adding your almond crusted tilapia filets so they get a nice sear!
Once it’s heated, press each tilapia filet into the Parmesan and almond flour mixture to coat them on both sides. Use your hands to sprinkle and press on the coating as needed to cover any areas that are lacking.
Then, add both almond Parmesan crusted tilapia filets into your hot pan and cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Do your best to keep your tilapia on one side of your large pan, or orient the filets in a way that leaves room for the snow peas!
On the other side of the pan, add those seasoned garlic snow peas—it’s fine if they’re in a bit of a pile and not spread in a flat layer. I chose snow peas for these skillet dinners because they’re thin and cook quickly, making them a great option to saute alongside a quick-cooking fish like tilapia. And, I love when they’re not totally tender but still have a slight crunch!
Stir those garlic snow peas regularly (as best you can) so they can all spend some time against the heat of the pan.
After 3 minutes have passed, flip your almond crusted tilapia filets to cook on the other side. That coating should be a nice golden-brown color when you flip them! You can let them cook for a bit longer if you like—just know that cooking for too long can cause your tilapia to dry out.
Cook the fish for another 3 minutes or so, until the other side of each filet is crisp and nicely browned.
Healthy One Skillet Dinners for Two in Under 30 Minutes?!
Remove the pan from the heat and—in less than 10 minutes—these healthy dinners for two are DONE cooking!
As the saying goes: bada bing, bada boom.
I like to finish the whole dish off with lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten up the flavors. And, for a fun crunchy element, I mixed some toasted slivered almonds in with my snow peas.
Now you can grab your mango rhubarb salsa out of the fridge, get your plates, and these one skillet meals are ready to serve! Top each almond crusted tilapia filet with a generous helping of that gorgeous fruit salsa and DEVOUR.
With loads of satiating protein and healthy fats, plenty of nutritious veggies, and healthy carbs from that rhubarb salsa, these skillet dinners are filled with just as much fuel as they are flavor. And how can you beat one pan meals for two, that are ready in 30 minutes or less?!