Pan Fried Tilapia with Bacon Recipe

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Avatar Author's default profile picture Team Published: February 4, 2020 Modified: May 31, 2021

Have you ever tried pairing a fried tilapia fillet with bacon rashers? It’s time to discover this unlikely yet enticing combination. Incorporate a mildly flavored tilapia fish with a slab of salty bacon and discover a captivating combination. To compliment and complete this mildly delicious dish, try making our butternut squash risotto for your starch. If you love tilapia, you’ll surely love grilled tilapia with lemon butter sauce! 

Tips for Making Fried Tilapia with Bacon

Tilapia has such a mild taste that there are so many ways to amp up its flavor. Many combinations of ingredients and spices will work well with it. Take note of our five helpful tips to help get you started with this easy tilapia recipe.

  • Seasoning makes all the difference. Season the tilapia fillet with as much salt and pepper as you want then dredge it in flour for a golden-brown crust. Make sure to wipe the fillet first with a paper towel before dredging so it doesn’t get soggy while cooking.
  • Make sure the oil is hot enough before placing your fish fillets. Wait until the oil starts to bubble a bit. It’s a go when you hear popping sounds coming from your skillet or pan. You can opt to use a cast-iron skillet as it takes longer to heat up and will help avoid burning the tilapia fillet.
  • Have something citrusy on the side. You can prepare lemon wedges on the side once your fish is cooked, or you can squeeze some lemon juice onto the fish before cooking. This will help lessen any fishy odors and flavors to make way for a clean, neutral flavor.
  • Add some garnish to your dish. Sprinkle a handful of cilantro, parsley, basil, oregano, or tarragon on your fried tilapia fillet to add a fresh pop of color and aroma. 


How To Make Pan Fried Tilapia with Bacon

Combine a milky fried tilapia fillet with salty and savory bacon in one dish for a rendezvous of flavors you’ve never had before.

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
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  • 2 lbs tilapia fillets
  • 1 lbs bacon rashers, lardon
  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 lemon wedges
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • coarse salt
  • ground pepper


  1. In a large skillet, saute bacon over medium heat for roughly 5 to 8 minutes, until it turns brown but not too crispy.

  2. Add the onion and continue sauteing for at least 10 minutes until caramelized, stirring constantly. Set aside and keep warm.

  3. Season your flour with salt and pepper, then dredge the tilapia with this seasoned flour.

  4. Heat up oil and butter in a hot skillet. Shallow fry the tilapia until fully cooked and golden brown on all sides, roughly 5 minutes per side.

  5. When the fish is ready to serve, top your bacon mixture onto your tilapia.

  6. Garnish with green onions and lemon wedges. Serve and enjoy together with potato fries and sauteed vegetables.

Recipe Notes

In this recipe, we used potato fries and sauteed vegetables (consisting of corn, carrots and green peas) for the sides. But feel free to serve potatoes and mixed vegetables that are done to your preference.

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Commonly Asked Questions

What is the best fish to pan-fry?

There are lots of great options for fried fish such as tilapia, alaskan cod, catfish, halibut, trout and striped bass. They’re perfect for breading and can be cooked at high temperatures. Stay away from a few fishy options with steak-like texture- tuna, salmon, swordfish and shark. Because of the density and thickness of these types of fish, when breaded and deep-fried they tend not to cook in the center. Plus the high heat can make them dry. 

Is fried tilapia good for you?

Tilapia is an excellent source of the highly sought-after omega-3 fatty acids and is impressively high in protein. It is also rich in vitamin B12, phosphorus, selenium, and potassium. Many people love tilapia because it is relatively affordable and doesn’t taste very fishy. Frying tilapia, however, may lessen its nutritional value. For a healthier alternative, give this easy baked tilapia try!



Fried tilapia and bacon may seem like an odd combination, but you’ll realize how delicious it is once you try this recipe. Drizzle your favorite sauces and tilapia seasoning as this recipe goes with almost anything!

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