Pepita Crusted Tilapia with Tomatillo Cream Sauce and Cilantro Potatoes

 Welcome to our St. Patrick’s celebration!!  Last year I was graciously invited to participate in a St. Paddy’s Food Parade hosted by The Daily Spud.  A new year! A new tasty parade!

Join in on the celebration by visiting The Daily Spud on March 17th for the parade of wonderful St. Paddy’s dishes sure to get you in the spirit!

Last year I featured salmon  along side creamy potatoes.  This year I challenged myself to do the same with a different approach.  Pepitas, Tomatillos, Cilantro and Serrano  an explosion of bright green flavors sure to rev up your day! Enjoy! Sweet Life

Pepitas ~ pumpkin seeds, roasted are a typical snack in Mexico. Can be found unsalted or salted and are generally used to make mole sauce Pipian.  I love to use them in granola, over oatmeal or as in this case breading.

Pepita Crusted Tilapia

by Vianney Rodriguez

By Sweet Life
serves 4

  • 4  tilapia fillets (6oz)
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • salt
  • pepper
  • baking spray
  1. Preheat you oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place pepitas and panko in a food processor and pulse until pepitas are coarsely ground.
  3. Place pepita breading mix into shallow dish and mix in cumin, oregano.  Season to taste with  salt and pepper. (I leave the salt and pepper to your judgement, as you can purchase roasted salted pepitas and avoid salt all together).
  4. Spray you baking sheet and set aside.
  5. Place you eggs in a shallow dish alongside pepita breading mix.
  6. Dip your fillets in egg and dredge in the pepita breading, place on baking sheet.
  7. Spray tops of fillets and cook in oven for 8-12 minutes.


Pepitas are coarsely grounded with panko to provide a crunchy full flavored breading for tilapia.  Tomatillos are blended with crema, serrano and cilantro for a bright green sauce to drizzle over your fillet.  Potatoes are crusted then bathed in a brothy green mix of cilantro and serrano to serve with you tasty fish! 

Tomatillo Cream Sauce

makes 2 cups

By Vianney Rodriguez

By Sweet Life

  • 6 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1/2 serrano split, seeds removed and diced
  • 1/2 onion diced
  •  1/2 cup crema mexicana or heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Place tomatillos in a saucepan and cover with water.
  2. Bring the pan to boil, reduce heat and cook for about 8 minutes.
  3. Drain the tomatillos, place in blender add serrano, onion, crema or whipping cream and cilantro.  Blend until smooth.  Add a bit of water if the blender has trouble moving. (water does nothing to the flavor.)
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve over tilapia and garnish with pepitas.

Last year’s dish click here for the recipe.


Cilantro Potatoes

serves 4

By Vianney Rodriguez

By Sweet Life

  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 serrano (left over from tomatillo sauce) seeds removed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup stock, your choice vegetable or chicken
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  1. Place diced potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. In a blender add serrano, cilantro, stock. Blend until smooth.
  4. In a large skillet over medium high heat add oil.
  5. Drain potatoes well and add to skillet.
  6. Allow the potatoes to crisp on each side, this can take 5- 8 minutes.
  7. Add blended cilantro mix, salt and pepper.
  8. Cook until almost all the liquid is evaporated into potatoes.
  9. Serve with Tilapia

Love this dish? Grab my feed for a new recipe each week in you inbox, it’s easy!!



  1. says

    YUM YUM YUM! I love the idea of this recipe. I cannot wait to try it. Do you have a great earthy deeply delicious and complex mole sauce? I have not seen you post it. Have you? I would LOVE to have a really great one to try to make.

  2. says

    Bonnie…I can actually picture you and your girls creatively putting that tree together…or did you come up with it all by yourself? Too adorable…great image to have kept during the green event ;o)

    The last capture of your dish says it all…verrrry appetizing indeed.

    Ciao for now,

  3. says

    Awesome feast!!! Love the use of the pepitas! And your cilantro shamrock made me smile! (Are you maybe a little bit Irish? Would love to claim that idea as my own!!!)

  4. says

    Green and festive but Texan – awesome!
    I love cilantro and I could see it tasting great on some creamy potatoes. Pepitas in the breading is where you get me on this one though. Great Idea!

  5. says

    What a great replication of a green clover with the cilantro leaves. I love the flavor and brittleness of pepitas, and I can imagine that it adds a great texture to the fish fillets. Also, how perfect is it that the potatoes are colored green by the cilantro!

  6. says

    Man…I want to go to Mexico. I know so little about Mexican cuisine—but I’m learning little tidbits here and there from your blog ;] Pepitas eh…I like the sound of those cilantro potatoes–what a nice pile of green stuff.

  7. says

    Hi darling,
    Another amazing suggestion. Looks so delicious!!
    I tried the lavender brownies and have to tell you that they are amazing and everybody loved them. I will publish the pictures on my blog next week and I’m already inviting you to have a look. Thanks for the fantastic recipe!!
    Hope you have a lovely weekend,

  8. says

    roasted pepitas so does remind me of Mexico, snacking along the way as we ventured down dusty roads…. this is a great fish recipe, one I will truly appreciate and enjoy making

  9. says

    This is a fabulous plate! Love the tomatillo sauce, the pepitas in the breading and the cilantro potatoes (incidentally we have similar potatoes in lebanon with cilantro and garlic, to die-for). I also love the design you made with the cilantro and pepitas of a shamrock, too cute!

  10. says

    This is definitely not your average meat and potatoes meal! I love how you took the concept and ran with it, though, infusing it with your favorite flavors. They happen to be some of my favorite as well! Delicious.


Leave a Reply

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

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge