Easy Poached Tilapia with Tomato Wine Broth

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This Easy Poached Tilapia is made in less than 30 minutes. Super tender and flaky fish is paired with a rich, savory burst tomato broth and fresh herbs for the perfect summer meal.

Poaching Tilapia: A Foolproof Dinner Idea!

Tilapia filet poached in tomato broth with fresh parsley and mint.

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.

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 us.

So we’re diving into the world of fish, shrimp, mussels, and all their other water dwelling cousins with gusto. So far we’ve learned that cooking seafood in foil is a fabulous way to ensure it turns out tender and juicy, whether it’s Grilled Tilapia in foil or Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa.

Now, we’re adding poaching to the list of foolproof ways to cook an amazing fish dinner.

Here’s Why You’ll Love Poached Tilapia

  • So easy– This is one of the easiest and quickest dinners you’ll prepare all summer, I promise.
  • Made in a single skillet– No need to dirty multiple dishes! This comes together in one pan!
  • It. Tastes. So. Good.– Always the most important thing on the list, this tilapia just tastes fantastic! It’s super savory, but still nice and light, and the lemon zest and herbs give it such a fresh, summery finish!
Poached tilapia on a white plate, topped with parsley mint sauce.

Ingredients Needed

This recipe starts with the broth, and boy, is this broth something! You’ll need shallots, garlic and olive oil, plus a whole bunch of cherry tomatoes. We make this recipe a lot when our cherry tomatoes are overflowing in the garden, but you can pick up any variety of red or multicolor cherry tomatoes at the store.

To the caramelized shallots and tomatoes, you’ll add a dry white wine, a little chicken broth, and a final squeeze of lemon juice.

You’ll also need fresh or frozen tilapia fillets. Just keep in mind the frozen tilapia will take 5-10 minutes longer to poach.

Finally, finish the dish with fresh parsley, mint, and lemon zest.

How to Poach Tilapia

  1. Make the tomato wine poaching broth. 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, deglazing any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the fish. 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, 7-9 minutes.
  4. Make the herb topping. Meanwhile, mix together the chopped parsley, mint, and lemon zest.
  5. Serve. Plate each fillet with a good amount of tomatoes and sauce then top with the parsley mixture.
Poached tilapia on top of a tomato wine broth on a white plate.

What to Serve with Poached Tilapia

This tilapia pairs beautifully with Skillet Green Beans, Air Fryer Asparagus, and Sauteed Spinach and Onions.

The tomato wine broth is excellent served over pasta as well. Choose a long, thin pasta like linguine or spaghetti for the ultimate slurping.

Finish the meal with some crusty French bread for dipping!

FAQS

What does poaching in cooking mean?

Poaching is a way of cooking food partially submerged in liquid. It’s a very gentle cooking method that’s great for delicate foods, like white fish.

Generally, poaching involves simmering a liquid like broth, wine, or milk then adding the food and cooking, covered, so both the liquid and the steam cooks the food.

Can you use a different kind of fish?

Absolutely. Any kind of white fish will do very well with this method. Try substituting the tilapia for cod, snapper, or mahi mahi.

Is tilapia a healthy fish to eat?

Yes, like most kinds of fish, poached tilapia is a great source of protein and includes important vitamins and minerals like choline, niacin, vitamin B12, and selenium. It’s also a great source of Omega-3s!

Is there a substitute for wine?

If you prefer not to use the wine, substitute chicken broth with a splash of white wine vinegar.

Tilapia poached in a tomato and white wine broth, served with fresh basil and mint.

More Seafood Recipes to Try

If you prefer your seafood in sandwich form, try these Air Fryer Cod Sandwiches or our Chipotle Shrimp Sandwiches.

For quick dinners, we also love these Steak and Scallops, Honey Soy Salmon, Honey Garlic Shrimp Packets, and Sheet Pan Shrimp Tacos.

Tilapia filet poached in tomato broth with fresh parsley and mint.

Poached Tilapia in Tomato Wine Broth

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This easy Poached Tilapia is cooked in a savory caramelized shallot, tomato, and wine broth then topped with fresh mint and parsley for a light, bold summer meal.

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 2-4 tilapia fillets
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 Tablespoons chopped curly parsley
  • 1 Tablespoons chopped spearmint
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest

Instructions

  1. Make the tomato wine poaching broth. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium low 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, deglazing any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the fish. Sprinkle both sides of the fish with Kosher salt and pepper. 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 and flakes easily, 7-9 minutes.
  4. Make the herb topping. Meanwhile, mix together the chopped parsley, mint, and lemon zest.
  5. Serve. Plate each fillet with a good amount of tomatoes and sauce then top with the parsley mixture.

Notes

If poaching frozen tilapia, add 5-10 minutes to the cooking time.

Cod or other white fish can be substituted for the tilapia.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 459Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 130mgSodium: 442mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 3gSugar: 16gProtein: 62g

Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.

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34 Comments

  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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  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. ๐Ÿ™‚

  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!

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