Pan Fried Tilapia over Green Rice topped with Mango and Avocado Salsa

Lent fish dish

Are you looking for a meatless dish to prepare during Lent? Or a light yet flavorful meal to whip up for a springtime get-together? How about a quick and easy recipe to serve right before Holy week? Look no further. This pan fried tilapia goes great for any occasion. And nothing goes better with tilapia than this mango and avocado salsa!

Although the list of ingredients might seem overwhelming, don’t let it scare you away. This dish is perfect when you’re in a bind for time. And the addition of the salsa brings it all together into a delicious meal.

Lenten fish dinner

Tilapia is the fourth most consumed fish in the United States. It’s a simple, light fish that pairs well with just about anything. However, I wanted to jazz it up a bit by topping it off with an exotic mango and avocado salsa. The creaminess of the avocado goes hand in hand with the crunchiness of the onions. Throw in notes of citrus from the mango and voila! You got yourself an amazing dinner for the whole family, right in front of you.

I paired the fish with green rice, but you can serve it with a side salad or another grain—it’s up to you. Now I’m sure you’ve heard of white rice and brown rice, but are you familiar with green rice? Made with salsa verde or canned green enchilada sauce, cilantro, and parsley gives the rice a beautiful earthy green color, this mild but flavorful rice does the trick in balancing out the rest of the ingredients.

My kids, not to mention my hubby, were a bit skeptical to try this recipe, as fruit on fish just doesn’t seem appealing. However, after just one bite, they were already talking about getting seconds. Note: The salsa can also be made the day before to allow for more time with family or to celebrate the holiday.

A refreshing dish perfect for spring or to serve during the Lenten holiday, it takes only an hour to make and is perfectly complemented with a delicious salsa and a side of green rice to add spice to any boring tilapia recipe. Let me be the first to tell you that this meal is amazingly mango-licious. Try it for yourself.

Tilapia and green rice

Pan Fried Tilapia over Green Rice topped with Mango and Avocado Salsa

A flavorful dish perfect for spring or to serve during the Lenten holiday, it takes only an hour to make and is perfectly complemented with a delicious salsa and a side of spicy green rice.


Green Rice: 

  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 white onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 ½ cups Salsa Verde or 1 (28-ounce) can Las Palmas green enchilada sauce, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup long-grain or basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving (optional)

Mango and Avocado Salsa:

  • 1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped
  • 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 serrano pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Pan-Fried Tilapia:

  • 1 pound tilapia fillets
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter


Green Rice:

  • In a blender, combine cilantro, parsley, onion, garlic, and 2 cups enchilada sauce and 1 cup water. Season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth, 15 seconds.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add rice and stir until rice is slightly toasted for 2 to 3 minutes. Add enchilada sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until sauce is absorbed, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let sit, covered, 5 minutes. Add lime juice and fluff with a fork.

Mango and Avocado Salsa:

  • Combine the chopped mango, red onion, avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, and serrano pepper in a bowl. Add the lime juice and olive oil and toss gently. Add salt to taste. Set aside and let all the flavors come together at room temperature. 

Pan-Fried Tilapia:

  • Rinse tilapia fillets and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Mix flour, garlic salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Dip fillets in flour mixture and coat both sides.
  • Heat butter in skillet over medium heat until hot. Add floured fillets to skillet and pan fry for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden.

To Serve:

  • Place fillets on green rice, spoon warm enchilada sauce, and mango and avocado salsa over fish before serving. Serve with lime wedges.
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Recipe developed for Las Palmas Sauces. Opinions are my own.

Photography by Jeanine Thurston