Seared Tilapia with Mango-Watermelon Salsa

Seared Tilapia with Mango Watermelon Salsa

I often get asked how I am inspired for some of the recipes I share on this blog. Sometimes inspiration comes from spotting a fun ingredient at the farmer’s market- sometimes it comes from a recipe passed along from my family or friends. While I love experimenting and coming up with recipes on my own, I also really enjoy seeing what others are making up and putting my own spin on it.

I recently had a hankering for tilapia, and remembered a post I had seen on my food blog pal Joanne’s blog, Fifteen Spatulas. You may remember I made Joanne’s Parmesan Peppercorn Bread a few months ago- since that was such a success, I decided to try one of her recipes again!

Joanne’s original recipe called for avocado alongside the mango in place of watermelon- however, I unfortunately selected an avocado at the grocery store that wasn’t quite ripe yet. So, I went for the next best thing in my fridge- watermelon! Surprisingly, this sweet and crunchy fruit went perfectly with the tart creaminess of the mango- and made for a great contrast in texture and flavor.

As you’ve probably noticed- I’ve had my fair share of obstacles in the kitchen, but desperate times often lead to delicious meals!

Seared Tilapia with Mango Watermelon Salsa

Inspired by Fifteen Spatulas
Serves 2


  • 2 6oz tilapia fillets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 ripe mango, diced (about 1 cup).  To learn how to dice a mango, check out this site.
  • 2 tbsp minced red onion
  • 1 jalapeno chile, minced, or any other desired chile
  • 1 cup watermelon, cut into 3/4″ cubes
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • fresh cilantro for garnish (optional, but wish I had had this)


1) Start by preparing your coconut rice. If you have a rice cooker, add the rice, coconut milk, and water and click start- easy as that. If you don’t, start by boiling the water and coconut milk in a pot, then add the rice and cook on low for about 20 minutes, till the rice is cooked but sticky. Then, go buy a rice cooker.  🙂

2) Next up, the salsa.  Combine the mango, red onion, jalapeno, watermelon cubes, and lime juice in a bowl.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and then let it sit while you work on cooking the fish. Imagine all those juices from the mango, watermelon, and pepper melding together to make an insane tasty love child. This is what will happen.

Mango Watermelon Salsa

3) Take your tilapia filets, and dry them off with a paper towel. As Joanne notes, “water is the enemy of a good brown sear”- truer words have never been spoken. Season the tilapia generously with good, kosher or sea salt and pepper- this is all the seasoning the fish will get, so you can be a little liberal.

4) Heat up a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add the oil, and lay the tilapia fillets in the pan, and cook for about 2 minutes on each side- understanding that this may vary depending on the thickness of the fish. What you want is a nice, golden crust on each side. Move the tilapia to a plate, and top with the mango watermelon salsa.  Serve alongside the coconut rice- and enjoy!

Seared Tilapia with Mango Watermelon Salsa

Thanks to Joanne of Fifteen Spatulas for another awesome recipe!

Happy Eating 🙂

4 thoughts on “Seared Tilapia with Mango-Watermelon Salsa”

    1. Thank you so much Alli! I just checked out your blog, and love it- it sounds like we have a lot of the same tastes, especially re: the titles of our blogs! 😉 om nom nom nom

  1. I know that this recipe was posted years ago but I just found it today and I must say that I’m impressed. It’s super easy to make and super yummy! I didn’t have a lime so I used lemon juice instead. I am definitely making this again and often. I made the fish my usual way by sautéing it with yellow onions and bell peppers and followed the recipe for the mango watermelon salsa. Thanks!!!

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