Chili Macadamia Crusted Tilapia

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The last night we were in Hawaii, we went to the nicest restaurant at Turtle Bay. I wasn’t familiar with most of the items on the menu but this one really stood out to me. The restaurant used fresh caught sea bass rubbed in chili spices and crusted it in macadamia nuts. This one was a winner!

Crusted tilapia with rice and asparagus on a white plate.The last night was my absolute favorite night. It was so nice to be away in beautiful Hawaii with the hubby. It was so relaxing and we had the time of our lives. Our room was right on the beach with a hammock right outside. We would lay in the hammock right next to the ocean and relax under the stars. We even saw a shooting star! Doesn’t that sound like perfection?

Photos from Hawaii drinks, hammock, sunset.This is totally making me want to go back!! Anyway back to life and back to reality! Did I just get that song stuck in your head? 🙂

I wanted to create the same flavor as the delicious fish that I had at the restaurant. It seemed pretty simple to make and the spices mixed with the sweet macadamia nut flavor was to die for. The great thing about fish is that it cooks so quickly. And when it is pan seared, it gives the fish a beautiful crust and amazing flavor!

White plate with macadamia crusted talapia and asparagus.

More amazing recipes from Hawaii Week:

Pineapple Cheesecake Dessert Bars

Dole Pineapple Whips

Hawaiian Style Garlic Shrimp

Slow Cooker Kalua Pulled Pork

Hawaiian Hamburger Steaks

Chili Macadamia Crusted Tilapia

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Delicious pan seared tilapia that is crusted with a chili spice and macadamia nuts.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 4 Servings


  • 4 Tilapia Fillets or fish of choice
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbs olive oil


  • In a food processor, pulse the macadamia nuts until fine but slightly coarse. In a small bowl, combine macadamia nuts, panko crumbs, chili powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt and pepper. In another bowl, whisk the egg and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Dredge each tilapia fillet in the egg and coat in the macadamia spice panko mixture.
  • Carefully place the tilapia fillet in the heated pan, and sear on each side 2-3 minutes or until brown on each side and cooked through.


Serves: 4

Calories428kcal (21%)Carbohydrates9g (3%)Protein38g (76%)Fat28g (43%)Saturated Fat5g (25%)Cholesterol126mg (42%)Sodium484mg (20%)Potassium644mg (18%)Fiber2g (8%)Sugar1g (1%)Vitamin A770IU (15%)Calcium58mg (6%)Iron3mg (17%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chili macadamia crusted tilapia, tilapia, tilapia recipes
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. This Chili macadamia crusted tilapia is one of my families all time favorites and it takes just minutes to prepare and cook. I bake ours instead of pan frying just because I dislike the smell it leaves in our kitchen when I pan fry and it’s a bit healthier. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. This tilapia has become our favorite tilapia recipe. Thank you for sharing a delicious new idea that surpasses the traditional bakes by far.
    Thank you.

  3. I have been trying to find instant cheesecake pudding mix where I live , western canada, with no luck.can you tell me who makes it.I know it isn’t made by kraft foods because I checked.I would really like to try it if I can find it.Thank you

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