I think I’m on a seafood kick (and no, not the “I see food, I eat it” kind….although that is probably debatable as well.). We’ve had fish twice in one week, and we had fish last week. That almost never happens. Twice in one month would be shocking. But twice in one week definitely sets a record for our household, considering that I can’t even remember the last time we had fish at home before that.
So, I hope you like seafood because this is my second “fishy” post in one week. If not, be of good cheer, I rarely ever post about seafood. With my monthly meal planning that I recently started, I decided to put seafood on the menu twice. Then, when I made this tilapia, I made a bigger batch and had leftover crabmeat for another meal. Hence all the seafood.
On to this dish…
Crab-Stuffed Tilapia is one of my all-time favorite seafood dishes. I’m not a big fan of shellfish (unless it’s in crabmeat kind of form), and I don’t really like “fishy-fish”, so tilapia is perfect for me. I love the flavor of the crabmeat mixture, and if I see this dish on a restaurant menu I will almost always order it. (Unless it’s a bit pricey, then I go for the chicken.)
So it’s a wonder that I have never made it at home until now. I guess I always assumed that it was really difficult since it tastes so good. That makes sense, right? Good tasting food = difficult. Or not…
This Crab-Stuffed Tilapia was much easier than I expected and was oooooh so full of flavor! While I didn’t calculate the cost, I can tell you it was much cheaper than paying $16-20 for it in a restaurant. Oh the joys of home-cooking. I promise that I’m not being sarcastic. It really is superb and better than you would get in most restaurants. …I think my next “fishy” project will be recreating the stuffed flounder with a lemon cream sauce from one of my favorite seafood restaurants.
Easy Baked Crab-Stuffed Tilapia
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 celery rib, finely diced
- 2 Tablespoons red bell pepper, finely diced
- 4 Tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 cup crabmeat, drained
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning
- 6 – 4 ounce tilapia filets
- Salt to taste
- Paprika to taste
- In a skillet, melt 2 Tablespoons butter and saute onion, celery, and red pepper in butter until tender. Remove from heat. Mix in crabmeat, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, egg, and seafood seasoning.
- Divide crabmeat mixture between each of the fish filets and place a large dollop on each filet, roll it up, and secure it with toothpicks. Place seam side down in a greased baking dish.
- Melt remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter and drizzle over filets. Sprinkle with salt and paprika to taste. (I was quite generous with the paprika and pretty much lightly covered all of the filets.)
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350° for 20-30 minutes, or until fish flakes easily when touched with a fork. (There is a large range in the bake time because when I cook it in my little electric oven, it cooks it much faster and is done in about 20 minutes. However, if you are using a traditional oven, I would bake it on the longer end.) Remove toothpicks and serve immediately.