Costa Rican Tilapia

Vickie Parks


This recipe is from Costa Rica (Central America). It's baked tilapia with a side of rice. The tilapia is great, but the rice is awesome. Plain white rice is flavored with Costa Rican staples such as black beans, cilantro and a sprinkling of spices. But the best part is that it gets a citrus boost from fresh oranges sliced into bite-size pieces.


☆☆☆☆☆ 0 votes

25 Min
20 Min


  • 3 Tbsp
    fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp
    olive oil, divided
  • 4 Tbsp
    finely chopped cilantro, divided
  • 4 tsp
    minced garlic, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp
  • 6
    tilapia fillets, about 5 ounces each
  • 3/4 cup
    long-grain rice
  • 1 cup
    chopped onion
  • 2 medium
    oranges, peeled and sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 28-oz can(s)
    diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 15-oz can(s)
    black beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp
    dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 tsp
    black pepper
  • 1 pinch
    chili powder, or to taste

  • ·
    lime slices (or lime wedges)
  • ·
    orange slices (or orange wedges)
  • ·
    chopped cilantro

How to Make Costa Rican Tilapia


  1. For the marinade: Combine lime juice, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp cilantro, 1 tsp garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, and sugar in a small bowl. Add the fillets and marinate for 15 minutes, turning once.
  2. While tilapia is marinating, cook rice according to package directions.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  4. For the bean mixture, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet with high sides over medium heat. Add onion and remaining 3 tsp garlic, and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add remaining 2 Tbsp cilantro, oranges, tomatoes, beans, oregano, 1 tsp salt, black pepper and chili powder. Cook, uncovered, until hot, about 7 or 8 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Transfer cooked rice to a 9x13-inch (or 3-quart) baking dish. Add the bean mixture, and stir gently to mix the beans and rice together. Place fillets, overlapping slightly, on top of the beans and rice layer, and spoon the marinade over the fillets. Bake about 16 to 20 minutes or until the tilapia easily flakes when pierced with a fork.

Printable Recipe Card

About Costa Rican Tilapia

Course/Dish: Fish
Main Ingredient: Fish
Regional Style: Latin American

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