Macadamia Crusted Tilapia with Mango Pineapple Salsa

Do you ever have one of those weekends where come Sunday night, you don’t really know what the heck you spent the entire weekend doing? Kind of like when you read a page in a book and when you get to the end, you have no idea what you just read? That was me this weekend. I don’t think I did anything. Aside from cooking, grocery shopping, and lunch with the hubs, I did a whole lot of nothing. I wasn’t feeling too hot on Friday night and ended up going to bed really early. I know, I’m so wild.

Oh, and how annoying is it when you have a recipe all planned out and when you get to the store, they don’t have one of the ingredients you need? I had that issue with this recipe. My original plan was to use mahi, but the store had none. Sigh. I called two other grocery stores and neither of them had mahi! What. The. Heck?! Since I already bought all of my other ingredients the previous day, this recipe WAS going to happen. So, I surveyed the fish they did have and decided on tilapia, which actually worked really well. This dish is nice and light and really refreshing with the mango pineapple salsa! I served it over some rice with a hint of lime and with some roasted plantains! Yum!

Macadamia Crusted Tilapia with Mango Pineapple Salsa


For the fish:

  • 4 tilapia fillets (about 6 ounces each)
  • 1 1/4 cups macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 can light coconut milk (can also use regular milk)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • salt

For the salsa:

  • 1 1/2 cup mango, diced
  • 1 1/2 cup pineapple, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 tbs. cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 tbs. chopped jalapeno pepper (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or cover a large baking sheet with foil. Add the nuts and bread crumbs into a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely crushed. Pour the mixture into a shallow bowl.
  2. Pour the milk into a separate shallow bowl. Dip each fillet into the milk and then dip into the nut and bread crumb mixture. Place on the baking sheet. Sprinkle salt on top of each piece of fish. Drizzle some of the fresh lime juice over each fillet. Spray the top of each piece with cooking spray. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until a light golden brown.
  3. While the fish is baking, prepare the salsa. Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix to combine. Serve over the fish.
All images and text ©



  1. I know what you mean about the weekend. Luckily, I don’t have class on Mondays, so my weekend is not quite over yet. The perks of college life :D Love the pairing of mango and pineapple in this recipe. Looks delish.

  2. This looks like this Friday’s Lenten dinner! Question…what could I substitute for macadamia nuts! I am only allergic to them and walnuts…would pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds, pine nuts..or even coconut flour/flakes be acceptable options?–The salsa looks fresh and amazing…Thank you for any enlightenment and thank you for this beautiful spring offering..

    • Hey Donna, I think almonds would work well. And coconut flakes would be great too. I wanted to actually do a combo of coconut flakes and the nuts, but my husband doesn’t like them. I hope you like it! It is perfect for Lent!

  3. I have those “mindless” weekends all the time. Or maybe I’m just getting old and I can’t remember. :) LOL! Yes, it’s annoying to go to the store and not have what you are looking for….but then again this recipe looks perfect to me. What a great combination of flavors! It looks tropical and yummy! :) Have a great week~ Ramona

  4. Wow. This looks too good. My mouth is already watering.

  5. I saw this on IG last night and couldn’t wait to see the recipe. I love fruit salsa with fish. Yum!

  6. I had that exact kind of weekend this weekend. Kind of bittersweet, though, since it was a relatively lazy one! :) Thanks for sharing this great idea for tilapia! Looks so delicious and super flavorful.

  7. While I don’t really love mango, I love it in salsa! This looks great! I would have never thought to use macadamia nuts to coat the fish. Great recipe and great pictures!

  8. Seems like almost all our weekends are that way, especially for the last couple of months when we have been up to our ears in a seemingly endless stream of work that has consumed us entirely. What a lovely recipe and so refreshing, now that spring – and soon summer is on it’s way, the freshness of mango and pineapple salsa is perfectly tempting. It is crazy making when you have your culinary heart set on specific ingredients and have to settle for what’s at the store, but mahi or tilapia, this is delicious. Great photos, too!

  9. This is a very creative post. I especially like the coconut milk being used as a batter for the fish. Also, lots of tropical elements you pulled together that makes this one a winner. Delicious post!

  10. I hate it when I have the perfect recipe planned out, and then discover that one of the key ingredients is sold out all over town. Grrr.
    Too bad about the mahi mahi, but I must say that I would’ve never guessed that tilapia was the backup plan. It sounds delicious! Love the combination of fruits and macadamia… I can practically taste the Hawaiian sunshine from here! :)

  11. Oh this looks delicious! The flavors remind me of a tropical vacation :)

  12. Im salivating! This looks and sounds so delicious and springy!! I can’t wait! I love the combination of fish and citrus!

  13. This looks so good. My husband would love this recipe. I’m going to have to make it for him. Thanks for sharing.

  14. This is SOOO fabulous. Nicely done….I love how light it looks even though it is crusted. So fresh and delicious!

  15. Tilapia is just as good as mahi-mahi and you can never go wrong with it. Just look at how perfect this dish turned out! The macadamia crust sounds really good.

  16. This is so beautiful!! I am in love with the colors and flavors; awesome post!

  17. Tilapia is a great substitution. The picture looks like it was served in a restaurant. Such a great recipe and right in time for spring. Yum!

  18. This looks absolutely succulent Stephanie and, funny enough, I was just commenting on an almost identical recipe this morning over at Eat, Play, Love… how unusual!

  19. The weekends go by so fast that I never know what happened in the last 2 days. It’s so frustrating.

    I can’t believe all 3 places didn’t have mahi mahi. I have those days too when all the places in the world don’t have the 1 thing I’m looking for. Ridiculous, right?

    Either way, this tilapia looks AH-MAZING. It looks perfectly crusted and the salsa sounds so refreshing! Well done!

  20. I hate when the store doesn’t have the ingredients that I need! I usually go in to freak out mode and just start thinking of other things to make. Good job on this recovery though! This looks stunning!

  21. Beautiful! Macadamia crusting sound like such a perfect way to enjoy fish :)

  22. Love a good relaxing weekend with nothing every once in awhile. Too bad you were a little under the weather for part of it though.
    This looks amazing! I love the idea of macadamia nuts…I just happen to have a ton in the freezer!

  23. Mmm, love that you used macadamias in the crust here!

  24. I hate it when the grocery store doesn’t have all that I need! I really like tilapia, and yours sure looks delicious with the salsa on top!

  25. I have many weekends like that…including the early to bed Fridays. I think we are so busy during the week it takes both weekend days for our minds to catch up. Great dinner! It reminds me of a vacation on a plate.

  26. Yumm this looks like a wonderful dinner dish!

  27. I did that a couple of weekends back and I’m craving another hibernation weekend (it’s only Monday… wahhhhh).

    Love that pineapple salsa. I could eat it by the spoonful!

  28. This looks wonderful! Absolutely love this fish dish – gorgeous and looks so delicious!

  29. Looks great your salsa! Whats Mahi?
    I hate it too when I cant find a an ingredient, I end up wasting time searching all shops without getting it. sometimes I am lucky but the product is expired. happens so often here…

    • Hey Helene. Mahi is a fish. It’s similar to tuna in that it has a steak-like texture. It’s really good, but not always available and can be a little pricey!

  30. Wow, this is so tempting….tilapia crusted with nuts and yummy salsa of fruits on top!!! Great!

  31. I love talapia and this looks just lovely. I will have to make this soon. I have a surprise for you. Come check it out.

  32. That fish looks amazing! And yes, I sometimes have those weekends–you look at the to-do list and realize it hasn’t become any shorter!

  33. Stephanie…..I had EXACTLY one of those weekends, too! Although I must admit, you were far more ambitious than I! I hate when I have to visit several stores just to find that one elusive ingredient! But I love a woman who thinks on her feet and the tilapia seems to be a perfect switch here. I’m so excited for the pineapple salsa….I think that would make a great accompaniment to so many things I plan on grilling now that the warmer weather is arriving! Hope you are feeling better, and that by the time you finish reading this comment….you remember who I am! -grin- Just kidding! : )

  34. Glad you made this recipe happens!!! I have searched for mahi mahi here in NoLa and can’t find it, so usually settle for tilapia. I would have had to make the same change!

  35. I love this with the tilapia! And, honestly, sometimes I love relatively uneventful, unproductive weekends. I feel like my time away from work has been so busy lately…I’m looking forward to a lazy weekend!

  36. Sorry you weren’t feeling well. It sounds like you needed quiet weekend. Costco sells amazingly meaty pieces of tilapia that would be perfect with your salsa.

  37. Pinned this & cannot wait to make it! Sounds so good with the mango pineapple salsa!

  38. Good morning, I featured this recipe on my blog today, it looks great! Thanks for allowing me to share. Here is the link

  39. Coconut milk in the macadamia nut/panko breading? Genius. I’ve had the macadamia nut breading at restaurants but never at home– it looks pretty easy, thanks for the recipe. You probably saved a fair bit getting tliapia instead of mahi-mahi, and I’m sure it was delicious with the breading and the salsa (plus the grilled plantain– another nice tropical touch). So I’d say in the end it was a win!

  40. Pingback: Easy Tilapia with Strawberry Salsa

  41. Pingback: Adding Fish to Your Diet | Food Snob St. Louis

  42. Pingback: Week 13: Seafood Frenzy FridayCarrie’s Experimental Kitchen |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.