Spicy & Simple Mediterranean Tilapia

Spicy Mediterranean Tilapia is a great weekday meal. The sauce is bold and flavorful. All the flavors from the sauce infuse with this delicate light fish for a beautiful taste and texture without any of the guesswork. This light and bright dish that can be served along with Greek Style Lemon Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus with Garlic and Lemon or a Simple Salad.

Simple to make tomato sauce with layered flavors from bright and fresh ingredients. Layer the sauce in a casserole dish. Place the marinated fish on top along with some sliced lemons and fresh feta. Simply cover and bake. Flavors infuse into the fish as it steams in the oven. Giving it light and flaky texture.

There is no fish smell or sticking to the pan with this dish. This dish takes away all the guesswork associated with the cooking of fish that many people struggle with. A simple, easy, and foolproof way to introduce more fish into your diet. 

Mediterranean Diet:

The Mediterranean Diet is known as one of the healthiest diets in the world. Comprised of healthy fats, vegetables, and lean proteins. It is not about restriction but about eating simple food made with good quality and clean ingredients.

Spicy Mediterranean Tilapia is all about the ingredients:

  • Tomatoes – Plum tomatoes and cherry tomatoes are listed in the ingredients, however, beefsteak tomatoes or even canned tomatoes can be used. If using canned tomatoes, add a touch of sugar and make sure you cook the tomatoes long enough to ensure the canned taste is gone.
  • Onion– Half a large red onion sliced into half-moons.
  • Garlic– Sliced and not minced. I was scared that minced garlic might burn by the time the onions are cooked. I also think they look more sophisticated in this dish and provide nice bites of flavor.
  • Chili– Calabrian red chili. You can substitute with red chili flakes to your taste.
  • Capers– Whole capers without any brine
  • Olives– Unpitted black Kalamata olives quartered.
  • Feta– Bulgarian feta which is softer in texture but you can use any kind. Larger chunks of feta are better than a crumble as the feta softens when it bakes and the creamy bites are divine.
  • Lemon– Zest a full lemon and juice half a lemon. Cut two slices of lemon to garnish (if desired)
  • Parsley– Rough chop fresh parsley, if you only have dried parsley I would add to the sauce but omit as a garnish. You can also garnish with fresh dill or fresh oregano.
  • Paprika– Smoked, Spicy, or Sweet Paprika can be used. 
  • Cumin– Ground cumin powder and not seeds. 


What is tilapia?

Tilapia is an inexpensive and mild-flavored fish. Tilapia is a white flesh that is tender and somewhat firm with a flaky texture.

How to make Spicy Mediterranean Tilapia

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Sprinkle salt and lemon on tilapia to marinate at room temperature in which you prepare the sauce.
  • Start with a good quality olive oil. This dish uses simple ingredients therefore good quality ingredients are a must.
  • Heat up the olive oil with some sliced onions, garlic, and chilies. This will allow the oil to infuse with flavor. You can omit the chili or adjust to your flavor preference.
  • Once the onions have softened, add the tomatoes and cook until tomatoes soften.
  • Add spices, capers, olives, and lemon juice and combine.
  • Add salt and adjust flavors.
  • Ladle sauce in a casserole dish.
  • Place tilapia on top of the sauce and feta.
  • Crumble feta over the sauce.
  • Top fish with the rest of the sauce and sliced lemon. 
  • Cover casserole dish with lid or aluminum foil.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. 
  • Remove and garnish with fresh herbs.



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Spicy & Simple Mediterranean Tilapia

  • Author: hungrygirlinqueens
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Mediterranean
  • Method: Stove Top/ Oven
  • Cuisine: Seafood


Spicy and Simple Mediterranean Tilapia is a perfect weekday meal. Simple make the sauce on the stovetop and steam the fish in the oven. Quick, easy, healthy and delicious!




  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • ½ large red onion, half moons
  • 3 plum tomatoes tomatoes, diced (2 cups diced tomatoes)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, or another cup of diced plum tomatoes 
  • 4 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 red chili, sliced 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp capers
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup pitted olives, halved 
  • 2 fillets of tilapia 
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon or more to your liking
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/8 feta crumbles, optional 
  • Fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Pat dry the fish fillets and season with salt and lemon. Let sit covered while you prepare the sauce. 
  3. In a medium sized pan, heat up oil. 
  4. Add onions, garlic and chilis. 
  5. Once onions have softened, add tomatoes and cook down. 
  6. Season with salt pepper, cumin and paprika and continue to cook down. The tomaotes should be fully cooked down and creating a cohesive sauce. 
  7. Add capers, olives, lemon juice and lemon zest and cherry tomatoes. 
  8. Ladle mos tof the sauce into the bottom of a casserole dish. 
  9. Sprinkle feta over the sauce and place fish on top of the feta. 
  10. Top fish with res tof the sauce and lemon slices. 
  11. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. 
  12. Srrinkle with fresh parsley and serve. 

Keywords: spicy mediterranean, tilapia, seafood, fish, tomato sauce

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