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Paula Deen’s Zesty Grilled Tilapia

By March 12, 2010April 20th, 2011Cats, Food, Kitchen, Main Courses, Recipes

When I don’t have time to compile my own recipes, I definitely like sampling the flavor and personal stylings of other chefs/cooks. I’m not a celebrity chef fan-kid, but it’s nice to once and a while learn new flavorings and methods to bring out ingredients that I might not myself know.

So when my husband linked me to Paula Deen’s Zesty Grilled Tilapia, I was baffled. Where’s the butter? Where is the jolt of heightened cholesterol from merely reading through the recipe? This recipe contains no butter, and nothing I felt I had to substitute. I had to try this recipe, because if Paula Deen can do reasonably healthy, we might be near the apocolypse.

NOTE: It was our plan that we do this on the grill, as during the day the weather was lovely. There is this saying that if you don’t like the weather in Missouri then just wait five minutes, and it’s totally true. So we improvised and completed this recipe inside. We’re versatile!


  • 6 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for brushing
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Mango Coconut rice (recipe to follow)


1. Place the fish in a large nonmetal dish. Whisk together the 6 tablespoons oil, the orange zest, orange juice, ginger, hot sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the fish. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes.

2. Brush the fish with additional olive oil. Grill until fish just flakes when tested with a fork, about 5 minutes per side for each inch of thickness.

Felix was enjoying the free smells, suspiciously unwilling to move from the
side of the stove.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large mango, peeled and cubed


1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil.

2. Add the coconut milk, water and salt; bring to a boil. Stir in the mango. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer about 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.

3. Remove the rice from the heat and fluff with a fork. Place a clean, dry dish towel over the pan, cover with the lid, and let steam 5 minutes before serving.

Right after I took this picture Felix attempted to get the fish by knocking the stand over. Fish and rice everywhere. Needless to say, I employed the 5-second rule and it was still very good. Light, full of vitamin C and citrus and perfect for a March day when you want to jump-start Spring. If Paula Deen can go healthy, I’m pretty sure anyone can.


  • Sheena says:

    This does look good. I might try to make it for my parents… or maybe just my mom, as my dad isn’t a fan of mixing fruit with savory flavors. I am trying to do new recipes as I need to get rid of the meat in my freezer before the long drive home. Tomorrow? Turkey meatloaf muffins for dinner. Let’s hope it comes out 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    How long are you going to be in Texas?

  • Sheena says:

    No clue how long. Maybe a month, maybe the rest of my life. The way my job search is going I am seriously considering joining the military in the next year if a job option doesn’t turn up. My parents want me to get a job in Texas so that I am closer to family/friends and won’t be so lonely.