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Entree, Seafood |240 calories per serving|40 minute recipe

Peppered Tilapia with Caramelized Onions and Spinach

This content was last updated on January 14, 2020

A nutrient-dense, one-skillet recipe that you can whip up with minimal mess. Tilapia is packed with protein, vitamin B12 and selenium. Spinach adds a healthy dose of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and may reduce cancer risk. Prepare this meal when you want a simple yet delicious weeknight dinner.


  • 4 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 1 lb tilapia, 4 fillets
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 10 oz baby spinach
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 Spanish onion, very thinly sliced
  • Olive oil cooking spray
Per serving: 240 calories, 13 g total fat (2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 55 mg cholesterol, 8 g carbohydrates, 25 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 410 mg sodium, 2 g sugar, 0 g added sugar.


  1. Put peppercorns in re-sealable plastic bag. Lay bag on cutting board and pound peppercorns using a mallet or rolling pin until coarsely crushed.
  2. Sprinkle both sides of fillets lightly with salt. Sprinkle and press crushed peppercorns on both sides of fillets. Set aside.
  3. In large bowl, toss spinach with 1 tablespoon oil until leaves glisten.
  4. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach and cook until leaves collapse, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Transfer spinach to large plate, cover to keep warm and set aside. Wipe out pan and set aside.
  5. Using same bowl, toss onions with 1 tablespoon oil.
  6. Return skillet to medium-high heat and cook onions, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add onions to plate with spinach.
  7. Wipe out skillet and coat with cooking spray. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil.
  8. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add fillets and cook until browned and crusty on bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Using wide spatula, turn fish and cook until white in center at thickest part and flakes easily with fork, 3 to 4 minutes.
  9. To serve, arrange spinach in bed on each of four dinner plates. Place fish on top and arrange onions over fish.

This recipe contains cancer fighting foods:

This recipe was specially crafted to support cancer prevention and survival. It adheres to AICR's Cancer Prevention Recommendations. Learn more about our recipe guidelines.

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