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Tilapia with Mustard-Thyme Sauce
and balsamic kale salad with parsnips

Active: 40 min Total: 40 min
We made some updates to this guest-worthy meal that was first featured in 2017. There are a few moving parts to this meal, so get the parsnips roasting before you work on the fish and salad. Everything should come together at the same time.


Tilapia with Mustard-Thyme Sauce:
  • Shallots - 2 cloves , diced
  • Flour, all-purpose - 1/4 cup
  • Thyme, dried - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
  • Tilapia - 4 filets (sub any white fish)
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Butter - 3 Tbsp
  • Stock, any type - 3/4 cup
  • Mustard, Dijon - 1 Tbsp (use large grain if you have it)
  • Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Balsamic Kale Salad with Parsnips:
  • Kale, curly leaf - 6 oz , stems removed and leaves finely chopped (sub baby kale)
  • Vinegar, balsamic - 1 Tbsp
  • Honey - 1 tsp
  • Oil, olive - 2 1/2 Tbsp
  • Parsnips - 1 lb , cubed
  • Foil - for baking
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Butter - 1 Tbsp
  • Panko breadcrumbs - 1/3 cup


  1. Shallots / Kale - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating / parsnips roasting before continuing with prep.) Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make vinaigrette - Whisk together vinegar and honey. Add olive oil while whisking. Season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Make tilapia seasoning - Combine flour, thyme, salt, and black pepper. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  4. Parsnips - Cube parsnips. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  5. Tilapia - Rinse and pat dry. (Can be done 1 day ahead)

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  1. Heat oven to 500F / 260C.
  2. When the oven is heated, spread parsnips out on a sheet pan and cover tightly with foil. Steam parsnips in the oven for 10 minutes to get them started cooking. (Watch this video for tips.)
  3. Remove parsnips from the oven and discard foil.
  4. Turn the oven’s heat down to 375F / 191C.
  5. Toss parsnips with cooking oil (portion for salad) and season with some salt. Return to oven and continue roasting, shaking the pan halfway through cooking, until parsnips are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Once you’ve returned parsnips to the oven, heat a large saute pan or skillet with butter (portion for salad) over medium heat. When butter is melted, add panko and saute until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer panko to a bowl.
  7. Return pan to medium heat. Add oil (portion for tilapia).
  8. Season tilapia on both sides with seasoning mix and transfer to heated pan. Sear tilapia on both sides until golden brown and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes total. Transfer tilapia to a serving platter with sides (to help keep the sauce contained when you add it later). Cover the fish to keep it warm.
  9. Return pan to heat and add butter (portion for tilapia) and shallots. Saute until shallots are soft, ~2 minutes.
  10. Whisk stock and mustard into shallots. Simmer until sauce reduces slightly but can be spooned over fish, 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk in lemon juice. (Note: The only thing that helps this sauce to thicken is the flour that is left in the pan after searing the fish, so don't worry if it doesn't thicken much. It will flavor the fish as you pour it over top.)
  11. Pour sauce over fish.
  12. Toss together kale, parsnips, and vinaigrette. Sprinkle panko over top of salad.
  13. Serve fish with salad on the side. Enjoy!



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