Spinach And Cheese Stuffed Tilapia is an easy recipe I created for Whole Foods Feast Of The 7 Fishes that combines spinach and cheese into a savory filling for tender tilapia.
Have you ever heard of the Feast of the Seven Fishes? I hadn’t until last week. From my understanding, it’s a Southern Italian tradition that involves a meal of seven different seafood dishes served on Christmas Eve. I am told that typically one of the dishes served will include Baccalà (a dried and salted cod), calamari or smelt.
I was provided with a gift card to use toward my purchase at Whole Foods Market. Please note that any personal opinions reflected in this post are my own and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.
The folks at Whole Foods challenged me to create my own fish recipe. My Mom and husband are crazy about fish, so I accepted. Not having much experience with cooking fish, I wanted to come up with something simple yet tasty. There was a decent selection of fresh fish to choose from but I wasn’t exactly sure what I was making. The man behind the counter was very nice and offered to help me. I also discovered there’s lots of helpful info on the Whole Foods seafood page, including information on sustainability and some recipes as well.
In the end I went with a fresh tilapia, with the thinking that since it’s on the mild side I could use any different amount of ingredients with it in my recipe.
Since I was making fish, something the husband loves, I decided that I wanted to create something that incorporated another favorite of his, spinach. I thought that making a filling with the spinach and some cheese might work well. So here’s what I came up with. It took about 10 minutes of prep and another 30 to cook.
Spinach And Cheese Stuffed Tilapia
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- large mixing bowl
- 2 small to medium sized mixing bowls
- measuring spoons
- meat tenderizer
- baking dish
- 2 lb tilapia (I used fresh, never frozen, tilapia from Whole Foods)
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 12 oz frozen microwaveable spinach
- 3 oz shredded cheddar cheese
- panko seasoned bread crumbs (I didn’t measure this but would estimate it to have been maybe 2 cups)
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 400 f.
Microwave the spinach according to the instructions. Mine took 5 minutes on high.
Combine the softened cream cheese, spinach, onion powder and garlic powder in a bowl and mix well.
Using the flat side of a meat tenderizer, pound the fish until it’s thin enough to roll. A rolling pin might work if you don’t have a meat tenderizer like this.
Place the eggs (yolks broken) into a bowl. Place the panko bread crumbs into another bowl.
Dip each piece of tilapia into the eggs. Then coat the tilapia with the panko bread crumbs. (I don’t have any photos of this part, I needed both of my hands.)
Spray the inside of a large casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Place one piece of tilapia into the dish. Get a spoonful of the spinach and cheese mixture and place it in the center of the tilapia. Don’t let the filling go all the way to either end or either side or it will squirt out when you roll it.
Strarting with one end, roll the tilapia up carefully, using a toothpick to close it.
Bake at 400 f for 30 minutes. Remove from oven when turning golden brown. (Sorry, the photos at this stage are awful.)
Remove from oven and serve immediately. I served this with spinach pasta, rice would also work very well.
Both my Mom and husband really enjoyed this meal. My Mom said it was better then some of the fish entrees she’s had out in restaurants. Hubby had several pieces, and excitedly informed me that the leftovers wouldn’t go to waste because he’d eat them the next day. It didn’t even take that long, four hours later he was heating some of them up. I will be making this again. When I do, the only thing I will be changing is the coating on the tilapia – next time I will give it a double coating of the panko bread crumbs for more crunch.
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