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Southwestern Tilapia
with quinoa saute / avocado cream

Active: 40 minTotal: 40 min
20161114 southwestern tilapia nm 5.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

With Southwestern spices, serve this tilapia over a saute of quinoa, pinto beans and corn. Avocado cream offers a rich and creamy addition, perfect for topping the dish or dipping carrots!


  • Quinoa, uncooked - 3/4 cup
  • Stock, any type - 1 1/2 cups
Southwestern Tilapia and Quinoa:
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Paprika - 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander - 1/4 tsp
  • Cumin - 1/4 tsp
  • Bell peppers, any color - 1, chopped
  • Green onions - 2 stalks, chopped, green and white parts separate
  • Tilapia - 1 lb
  • Beans, pinto (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can, drained and rinsed
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
  • Corn kernels, frozen - 1/2 cup
  • Cooked quinoa (ingredients listed separately) - ~2 cups
  • Lime juice - 1 tsp
  • Baby carrots - 1/2 lb
Avocado Cream:
  • Avocados, medium - 2
  • Sugar - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Yogurt, plain or Greek - 1/4 cup
  • Lime juice - 1 Tbsp

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  1. Make quinoa - (Skip if quinoa was already made ahead on Monday.) Combine quinoa with stock and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil covered. Lower heat, keep covered, and cook until liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat when finished to prevent burning / sticking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make spice mix - Combine salt (the portion for the tilapia), garlic powder, paprika, coriander and cumin. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Bell peppers - Chop bell peppers. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  4. Make avocado cream - Halve avocado and scoop out flesh. Blend sugar, salt (the portion for the avocado cream), yogurt, avocado and lime juice (the portion for the avocado cream) in a blender (or use a hand blender) until smooth. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  5. Green onions - Chop, keeping green and white parts separate. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  6. Season tilapia - Rub tilapia in half the spice mix (reserve the other half).
  7. Beans - Drain and rinse.


  1. Heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add first part of cooking oil and then bell peppers. Saute until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add corn and saute until defrosted. Add reserved half of spice mix and white part of green onions and saute until spices are fragrant, ~1 minute more.
  3. Pour quinoa and beans over vegetables and saute until quinoa is coated in spices. Taste and season with some additional salt and pepper, if needed. Transfer quinoa to a serving bowl and top with lime juice and green parts of green onions.
  4. Wipe out pan if needed and return to medium-high heat. Add second part of oil and then tilapia to heated oil.
  5. Cook fish for 1 1/2 to 3 minutes on each side, depending on thickness of fillets. (Add a splash of additional oil if needed, to prevent fish from sticking.)
  6. Serve some of the avocado cream over the tilapia and quinoa. Serve the rest with baby carrots for dipping. Enjoy!

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This meal has 39 reviews

Really tasty! Used rice instead of quinoa and it turned out fine.

By: Jenna
Posted: Oct 30, 2018
Diet: Original

We felt like doubling the spice mix would have helped, but this was still quite yummy.

By: Jenna
Posted: Feb 08, 2017
Diet: Original

I really enjoyed this! So did 4-year-old. The avocado cream is yummy. Husband doesn't love tilapia though.

By: Karin
Posted: Dec 12, 2016
Diet: Original

The tilapia was good but I really liked the quinoa.

By: Kate
Posted: Nov 29, 2016
Diet: Gluten-free

Another winner. We used cod.

By: Carolyn
Posted: Nov 26, 2016
Diet: Original

Kids (12 and 14) loved it. One even scoffed about the fish but then really enjoyed it.

By: Laurel
Posted: Nov 17, 2016
Diet: Original