One Skillet Tilapia in Burst Tomato Wine Broth

This One Skillet Tilapia in Burst Tomato Wine Broth is everything I’ve ever wanted in a summer dish.

This light and fresh tilapia dish comes together in less than 30 minutes.

I have a confession to make. Despite the Mr. and I’s deep love for seafood (as evidenced by our choice in vacation spots), I rarely make it at home.

I know, I know. I don’t know what my problem is. The truth is, I’ve always been a bit intimidated by seafood. It seemed finicky, difficult to prepare, and overly complicated. But after the raging success of the Margarita Shrimp, I realized I’ve been missing out on one of the easiest, most flavorful, and healthiest meal options available to me.

So I’m diving into the world of fish, shrimp, mussels, and all their other water dwelling cousins with gusto. Since I haven’t cooked much seafood in the past, I’m teaching myself as I go, and inviting all of you lucky ducks to be my kitchen buddies!

This tilapia showcases the best of summer tomatoes and comes together in 25 minutes.

If this tilapia dish is any indication, there’s not a whole lot to learn. This is one of the easiest meals I’ve made all summer and I couldn’t be more excited about it. The whole thing is made in a single skillet, and the taste? Ohhhh, sweet Moses, the taste. It is all I’ve ever wanted out of a summer meal.

Let me explain. This dish is all about the broth. And nothing makes a better broth than July tomatoes plucked fresh from the garden. The broth starts with shallots and garlic (a promising start, wouldn’t you say?) sauteed in oil until they start to get a little browned and caramely. Then the tomatoes are thrown in, the pan is covered, and you wait. Over the course of the next 10 minutes those bright cherry tomatoes will heat up until they finally burst, letting all their sweet juices into the pan.

Light and fresh this Tilapia in burst tomato wine sauce is the perfect summer meal.

A good broth is all about layering flavor, so to the caramelized shallots, tangy sweet tomato, and aromatic garlic we add a generous pour of white wine and a little chicken broth. The fish is laid right on top of the mixture, given a good squeeze of lemon juice, and poached until tender and flaky.

The whole process takes about 20 minutes, and while the fish gets just right, you can chop up the topping– a fresh flourish of parsley, mint, and lemon zest.

{One Skillet Meal} Flaky Tilapia over Garlic Tomato Wine Broth

Guys? I don’t even have words to tell you how much I love this dish. I mean garlic, lemon, and wine is a no brainer, but the refreshing bits of mint and the caramely shallots really put this over the edge. It’s the ideal summer meal. Easy. Light. Made with the freshest in-season ingredients. And you don’t even have to turn the oven on.

Ya know, I think I’m going to like this seafood at home thing.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • About 15-20 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tilapia fillets
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped spearmint
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until shallots are starting to brown, 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt. Add the bay leaves and tomatoes, cover the pan, and reduce heat to medium low. Cook until tomatoes burst, about 10 minutes, shaking the pan every few minutes to keep the onions from burning.
  2. Uncover the pan and stir in the wine and broth. Allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes. Lay the tilapia fillets on top of the sauce, squeeze the lemon juice over them, then sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and poach until the fish is cooked through, 8-10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the topping by mixing together the chopped parsley, mint, and lemon zest.
  4. To serve, plate each fillet with a good amount of tomatoes and sauce then top with the parsley mixture.

Recipe heavily adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine


  1. 10 out of 5 stars!!

    Hi Courtney!

    I know you posted this recipe forever ago but I bookmarked it last week, waiting for a night to make it. I hate when people post about how they change a recipe but the way I changed it doesn’t matter, because I kept the broth the same and it is fantastic. Instead of fish, I poached mussels in the sauce and poured over a bowl of linguine. I’m weird about the skins of tomatoes so subbed the cherry tomatoes for petite diced tomatoes and a couple large ladels of marinara, along with a bottle of clam juice. I know that means less sweet savory tomato flavor, but hot dang, it still had so much flavor. Everything else stayed the same.

    I have finally found the perfect broth for saucy seafood pasta!!! I’m Italian and have always been so disappointed at restaurants when it comes to sauces and broths like this. And for years I’ve never been able to make my own, it’s either too tomato-ey, too thick, too flavorless, only tastes like wine, etc. etc. I am so thankful for your recipe and that I was able to build such a perfect base for the linguine and the exact texture, thickness, and flavor of the broth that I’ve always wanted. I had to put it all away in the fridge as soon as it cooled down because I could not stop eating it like a soup.

    Such a great comfort food for me and I will use this for many years (God willing!) to come 🙂 Thank you so much!! I have a date night this weekend with my partner and I think I’m going to make it again so he can try it too!

    1. I’m so glad this turned out for you, and I LOVE the idea of using the sauce for mussels. I will definitely be trying that!

  2. Delicious! Generally, we followed the recipe as is and doubled it. Extra garlic because that’s what we like. We put in 5 tilapia fillets. We used mint and parsley from the garden. I had to make an emergency run to the store for some dry white wine. I chose a Pinot Grigio from New Zealand. We decided to add a couple sides; basmati rice and a kale salad with fresh peaches drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. All the flavors were so good together! So, we didn’t really use the broth. However, that meant the leftovers turned into a soup. This couldn’t have turned out more perfectly because yesterday when we made this it was sunny and hot, and then a cold front storm came in last night and left several inches of snow, so the soupy leftovers will go great on this day-after-Labor-Day-winter!

  3. I’ve been thinking about this dish since I first saw it a few days ago. Putting it on my menu plan for next week. I have some grape tomatoes I need to use up, and this will be perfect. They might be a little over-ripe by then, but I don’t think it’ll matter for this dish. Can’t wait to taste it!

  4. We tried this for supper tonight and it was YUM-OH!!! My first ever success with fish! I usually overcook it under the broiler or in the oven. Poaching it in this delicious sauce kept it very tender and moist. It looked so fancy on our plates that I could hardly believe it was home-made. Thanks for posting this and challenging me to not give up on fish.

  5. Holy Tilapia – This is PERFECT! Anything that begins with garlic and shallots is PERFECT! The wine, the tomatoes… Hot damn… I need to make this!

  6. I love seafood but I seldom cook them at home too. Think the main reason is that it’s difficult to shop for fresh or good fishes nearby. And a good piece of salmon or tuna fillet is very expensive.
    Your tilapia looks really great, soft and juicy! The sauce sounds light and delicious, great for summer!

  7. I never make seafood at home either. My husband won’t eat it! I will have to make this sometime for myself 🙂

  8. You know me, I’m not into seafood, but this easy lemon garlic tomato sauce seems like it would be incredible over pasta!

  9. I say you did a pretty good job for someone who’s getting into the cooking fish at home deal! This looks fantastic! Save me a piece, I’ll be by later. 🙂

  10. I rarely cook fish, either – the scales and everything freak my out! But if I can get straight up filets, I don’t mind so much!

  11. Looks like you conquered your fear quite well. I’ll be your kitchen buddy if I get to eat this regularly. Love. It. And gorgeous!

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.