Spicy Blackened Tilapia Rice Bowls


Cinco de Mayo is coming up this week and this dish is a little more unique (and healthy!) than your average Mexican taco or quesadilla: blackened tilapia on a bed of brown rice, then topped with a mixture of corn, beans, fresh pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, cilantro, and a squirt of fresh lime juice! The result of the combination of all those ingredients was amazing flavor in every bite! There is quite a bit of heat from the seasoning on the fish, so if you prefer less spicy food, use less seasoning on the tilapia. This meal is very filling and low in fat, as long as you don’t go overboard on the toppings. You can substitute quinoa for the brown rice and use frozen or fresh fish, depending on what you have available. From start to finish you can certainly have this rice bowl ready and on the table in 30 minutes. The rice/quinoa will take the longest, so be sure to cook your grain first. The tilapia will cook in a matter of minutes, and it should not take long to chop up fresh cilantro and assemble the bowls. This is sure to be a family favorite–my husband does not typically like tilapia very much and loved this spicy version!

Spicy Tilapia Rice Bowls


  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 tilapia filets (or other fish filet of your choice)
  • 1/2 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels (sliced off the cob is the best)
  • 1 red onion, diced (optional)
  • 1 red pepper, diced (I omitted)
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • cooked brown rice (I used about 2 cups)
  • fresh cilantro, avocado/guacamole, shredded cheese, light sour cream, pico de gallo/salsa, or lime for topping
  1. Mix the spices together in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over both sides of the fish filets. (I like to season my fish a LOT, but just sprinkle on however much looks good to you.) Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat, heat a drizzle of olive oil. Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the fish filets to the pan. Grill the fish on each side for 3-4 minutes, checking the middle for doneness (fish should be completely white and flake apart easily). Remove fish filets and set aside.
  3. Add corn, red peppers if using, and onions to the pan with no additional oil. Heat over high heat for several minutes WITHOUT stirring to get a brown/black roasted look on the outside. Repeat for several minutes (stir, wait, stir, wait) until everything is tender-crisp. Add the black beans and heat through.
  4. Layer rice, corn/bean mixture, and fish in a bowl – or mix everything together in the skillet. Top with any of the toppings listed above!

Serves: 6. Nutritional Information per Serving (without toppings): Calories: 329. Fat: 6g Carbs: 40g Protein: 31g Sugar: 4g Fiber: 8g

WW Points +: 8 Old points: 6


Recipe adapted from pinchofyum.com