Tilapia with Olives, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes

Feel free to use any tender white fish fillet with this recipe, for example cod or red snapper.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, 1/4 inch slices, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup sliced cremini or button mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup green pimento-stuffed olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tilapia fillets (6 to 8 ounces each)


1 Cook the onions and garlic: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.

Sautéing onions and garlic for tilapia recipes tilapia recipes - making pimiento

3 Make the sauce: Add the canned tomatoes and their juices. Add the sliced mushrooms, chopped olives, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer.

4 Add the fish: Lay the fish fillets gently on top of the onion tomato olive mixture and spread a little sauce over the fish.

tilapia fillets in pan with tomatoes onions mushrooms

Return to a simmer (it's just the juices from the tomatoes that are simmering). Lower the heat to low and cover the pan.

Cook or 8 to 10 minutes or until the fish easily flakes when tested with a fork.

4 Serve: Use a wide spatula to lift the fillets from the pan to a serving plate. Spoon sauce over fish.

Serve with rice, and/or crusty bread.

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  • Frances

    No leftovers. The entire family enjoyed this. I didn’t have green olives so subbed capers, otherwise made as directed and served over rice. Delicious!


  • Joyce

    I had to make some modifications as I had a 28 ounce can of tomatoes and the picture looks more like diced tomatoes than crushed. I used a 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, probably 2 cups of mushrooms and then left the rest the same. The flavours (sorry from Canada) are great! Served with rice to complete the meal.


  • Kelly

    This dish is really flavorful and easy to make! I followed the recipe exactly and my husband raved over it. The prep is simple and the cooking is fast.

    I served it along with grilled artichokes and a lemon aioli (also on this site). Try it tonight!


  • Savanna

    Loved it! Served it over cooked spinach and topped with grated Parmesan. Thank you!


  • Orville Hale

    Made it today per the recipe with the addition of 1 tablespoon capers and it was fabulous!!! All the flavors are complimentary and it’s so easy to make. This will become a go to recipe for me. Thanks Elise!!!


  • Christine Tithecott

    Made this last night (with a few tweaks) and it was fantastic! Added some capers and red peppers, and served over orzo with feta cheese and dollop of greek yogurt. thanks!


  • Mary Lou

    Making this tonight. My husband said it smells good and that’s just the sauce.

  • Karen Cushing

    This is much like a recipe that I make regularly, but I use black sliced olives and I add a couple of big handfuls of fresh spinach (it cooks way down). I’ve also added garbanzo beans. I use whatever fish I have – my favorites are Cod or Mahi Mahi.

  • Arianne

    Made this using rockfish, as we were eating the hubby mentioned that the only thing that could make out better would be feta, voila!! It’s amazing! Been following you for years, first time commenting, love your page, thanks for all the inspiration!!


  • Christine

    This is great! Tastes absolutely fantastic!


  • sexy me

    OMG! This was so good. I shared it with my co-worker and we made it again the same night and her family loved it. We will make it again and again. My family enjoyed it so much they were upset I didn’t make enough to have leftovers. Now it’s one of my favorite meals. Thanks.


  • Karen

    I really like the texture of tilapia, but recently there were some concerns about fish coming from China which is where all the tilapia seems to come from (at least at my grocery store).

    Does anyone have any more current information about fish coming out of China?

    Seafood Watch from the Monterey Bay Aquarium recommends that you buy tilapia raised in the US, not China where pollution is a problem. ~Elise

  • cherie

    I love this dish. So easy, you can’t go wrong with tilapia.


  • elizabethk

    I will definitely be trying this, it looks wonderful. I buy tilapia all the time – but really (really) dislike the flavor it imparts to the entire dish. I have attempted to soak it in buttermilk — but I can always taste that funky flavor. Maybe using lots of lemon or curry would help. I am a total seafood gal, so it is unusual that I have issues with this fish ;-)

    That’s weird, perhaps your source of tilapia is not getting them fresh enough? Tilapia should have a mild flavor. Sometimes I think it can taste a little “muddy” if it’s cooked skin-on, or isn’t perfectly fresh. ~Elise

  • Jenn

    I make this dish quite frequently and enjoy it, always! Plus it is very easy to make. The last time we made the dish we used a can of fire-roasted spicy diced tomatos and it added a really nice spice to the dish.


  • Kerri

    I made this for dinner tonight and it came out supremely good! This is a perfect recipe for tilapia.


  • lynnmarie777

    We had this for dinner tonight WE LOVE IT! Very mild fish. It would be great even without the fish!


  • tina

    This was great. I changed it a little. I used flounder and tomato sauce. Very good recipe. Thank you. :-)

  • Sammy

    First to Elise–thank you for such a beautiful and inspiring site. I have been a reader since 2004 but have never ventured away from the computer to the kitchen. Now that I have my own place, I’m teaching myself to cook.

    I made this dish last night. It was my first time cooking tilapia. I agree with previous posters that the fish definitely had a bit of a “funky” flavor. The sauce was really nice though, would definitely try it again using a different fish.

  • Steve K

    What a concidence – I saw this recipe today after trying something similar for dinner last night. One thing I did a little different was adding about a teaspoon of smoked Spanish paprika and juice from 1 lemon to the sauce. I didn’t add olives, either, although it sounds like a great addition.

  • Joanna

    I read your blog almost every day, and I love it! I also plan to make several of your recipes – they all look so good! I made this one last night, and my family loved it! :)
    Thank you for sharing your family recipes, and I hope that once my husband and I have a family of our own, we can share some of these with our family as well. :)

  • Matt

    Nice recipe. Thanks for digging it out of the archives.

    I made it for dinner this evening, as the local market had Tilapia on sale. Served it over whole-wheat couscous, with some roasted saffron-scented cauliflower.

    Very delicious, everyone thought.

  • Ursula

    Yay! I’m always looking for a tasty alternative to breaded tilapia. And this is something that my very finicky husband should enjoy!

    To the previous poster, someone suggested to soak tilapia in plain milk with a dash or two of tabasco to get any “funk” out.

  • Darren

    Tilapia is a tasty fish but be aware that it is high in omega 6 fatty acids relative to omega 3. I mention this because my mother has rheumatoid arthritis and high amounts of omega 6 can promote inflammation. Most people probably won’t have a problem but others may.


    This looks like a quite tasty recipe. I may try it with striped bass

  • Joyti

    I tried this dish with some capers and smoked Spanish paprika added, side of basmati rice – turned out really well and was so quick.

  • Soma

    Lovely Recipe. We have Tilapia quite often, atleast 3 times a week.. sometimes just gril it, sometimes tandoor & sometimes curry. This is a real simple flavorful recipe, sure to give it a try!

  • Leisureguy

    One problem with farmed tilapia is that it has very low levels of omega-3 and very high levels of omega-6. Much the same is true of farmed catfish, the culprit in both cases being the feed (mostly grain). Wild fish (including sardines, herrings, and other prey fish) are high in omega-3 and low in omega-6. Check out this article in Science Daily from last year.

    I find it easy to eat quite a bit of fish without eating tilapia or catfish.

  • Wendy

    OMG! There is soo much tilapia and other fish here in Canada, at least in Montreal there is. I find it odd that some weren’t able to find it. Anyhow this is a great recipe and its soo easy to make. I didn’t have mushrooms or olives so I replaced that with capers and added a little bit of white wine for extra taste. It turned out great! This will become a regular! Might try it with Halibut next time, Thank you Elise!

  • n8

    I am definitely trying this tonight but…

    My favorite tilapia recipe is:
    Sauté tilapia in a little oil with salt/pepper and a healthy dose of garam masala (spicy spice found pretty much anywhere), remove fillets, keeping crumblies from fish in the pan, add 1 can diced tomatoes w/ chiles, some cilantro, and more garam masala. Cook for a few minutes then serve over fish over rice. Mix up some lemon juice and cilantro in plain yogurt to take away the heat.

  • Sarah

    Made this dish last night for a light low-carb dinner and it worked really well. Don’t generally like dishes that can be a little bit overpowered by olives so reduced the amount in the recipe a little and it was still very nice. The Tilapia also is super fish that isn’t too flaky at all. Will definately make again.

  • Lori

    I made this recipe last night for dinner and it was just delicious!! I’d never eaten Tilapia before and was surprised to see my grocer had it. The presentation of this dish is also spectacular, so it would be a wonderful dinner to serve company! I didn’t change a thing in the recipe and will definitely make it again and again!

  • Sally Han

    This is such a versatile recipe — definitely one of my favorites! I add chorizo, capers and red pepper flakes to mine. I don’t usually add salt since the chorizo, capers and olives have enough sodium to flavor the dish. This works well with chicken too!

    Love the site — keep up the great work!

  • Kim

    This looks great. Tilapia is a delicate white fish. I think it is similar to sole. It is readily available at Trader Joe’s. It is sustainable, since it is a freshwater farmed fish, although I assume it does not have the same health qualities as deep ocean fish. But it makes it a wonderful choice for fish lovers! I also like to coat it with lemon juice mixed with olive oil and top it with a mixture of panko bread crumbs and ground macadamia nuts, and bake for 30 minutes at 350.

  • Cris

    Elise, these are so popular here in Brazil, nice recipe… You can also roll it, fill it with a ricotta pesto and bake it… I always add fresh lime juice.