5 from 3 votes
Blackened Tilapia with Homemade Spice Rub
This blackened tilapia recipe is not for the weak! It's spicy, with bold flavors. For those of you who think healthy eating is boring, think again!
Servings: 4 people
Results and timings may vary when adjusting servings
Prep Time
2 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
7 mins
Nutrition Facts
Blackened Tilapia with Homemade Spice Rub
Amount Per Serving
Calories 225 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 20%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 56mg 19%
Sodium 1808mg 75%
Potassium 489mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 23g 46%
Vitamin A 55.9%
Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 4.7%
Iron 13.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
*Note: Nutritional information is estimated and varies based on products used.
  • 1 pound tilapia fillets should be 4 fillets, fresh or thawed (according to package directions) if frozen
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Spice Rub:
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper more or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon salt more or less to taste
  • lemon juice to taste
  1. Combine paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, dried oregano, dried thyme, celery seed, and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside. 

  2. Gently dab tilapia with a paper towel to remove some of the moisture.

  3. Cover generously with your spice rub, making sure to press it in with your finger tips.
  4. Gently shake off any extra rub and set aside. You can let the rubbed fish rest at room temperature for up to 20 minutes.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes

  6. Once hot, add in a tablespoon of oil, turn to coat the pan, and immediately add in 2 of the tilapia filets.

  7. Cook on one side for about 2-3 minutes. Flip, add in a another half tablespoon of oil, and cook for another 2 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. 

  8. The tilapia will be opaque and can be flaked with a fork. The outside will be VERY dark. 

  9. Remove tilapia from the pan, squeeze lemon juice generously over cooked fillets.

  10. Repeat with remaining tilapia and serve!


I always buy frozen tilapia in bulk. I then defrost only what I need for dinner that night. This rub recipe is for 1 pound of tilapia, but if you don't want to make a pound of tilapia, make what you like, and save leftover rub in an airtight container in your fridge!

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