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Almond Crusted Tilapia
with zucchini and sweet pea risotto

Active: 35 min Total: 45 min
With a little bit of prep this meal is simple but feels guest-worthy.
Smarts #1: The texture of the almond crust will vary depending on the type of almonds and how finely you chop them. In photos, we purchased sliced almonds and then finely chopped them by hand - it gave the fish lots of crunch. You can also pulse the almonds in a food processor for a more finely chopped texture or purchase almond meal which will have very little crunch.
Smarts #2: The risotto could be made in the Instant Pot. For tips, join the Cook Smarts Instant Pot Facebook Group.


Almond Crusted Tilapia:
  • Almonds, sliced or slivered - 3/4 cup , finely chopped
  • Chives - 1 Tbsp , chopped
  • Soy sauce, low-sodium - 1 Tbsp
  • Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
  • Mayonnaise - 2 tsp
  • Honey - 1 tsp
  • Foil - for cooking
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Tilapia - 4 (sub any white fish)
Zucchini and Sweet Pea Risotto:
  • Onions, medium - 1 , diced
  • Zucchini - 8 oz , grated
  • Peas, frozen - 1 cup
  • Butter - 2 Tbsp
  • Rice, Arborio - 1 cup
  • Stock, any type - 3 1/2 cups
  • Cheese, parmesan (opt) - for serving , grated


  1. Onions / Almonds - Dice onions. Finely chop almonds (or pulse in the food processor). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make crust - Finely chop chives. Combine chives, almonds, soy sauce, mustard, mayonnaise, and honey.
  3. Zucchini - Grate zucchini onto a paper towel or clean dish towel. Gently squeeze out excess liquid.
  4. Fish - Line a sheet pan with foil and brush with oil. Spread fish out in a single layer. Season fish with some salt and pepper. Spoon crust on top and gently press it down onto the fish to help it stick.
  5. Peas - Defrost peas.

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  1. Heat oven to 425F / 218C. Place one rack in the upper third of the oven and one rack in the lower third.
  2. While oven warms up, heat an oven-safe Dutch oven with butter over medium heat. Add onions and zucchini with a pinch of salt. Saute until onions are softened, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in rice and cook until rice is lightly toasted, 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add stock and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover risotto with a lid and transfer to the lower rack in the oven. Bake until all of the liquid is absorbed, ~20 minutes.
  6. When risotto is about halfway through cooking, transfer sheet pan with fish to the upper rack of the oven and bake until it flakes easily with a fork, 8 to 12 minutes (depending on thickness).
  7. When risotto is done, remove it (careful - it will be hot!) and stir in peas. Season with some salt and top with cheese (if using).
  8. Serve fish with risotto on the side. Enjoy!



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