Crispy Baked Coconut Crusted Tilapia

Here's the Dish

Crispy coconut crusted fish… Those words are typically used to describe a fish fillet that has been breaded and deep fried, which has ‘unhealthy’ written all over it! Fortunately, you can now enjoy all of these amazing flavors in a healthy and crispy-crunchy-satisfying way with this Dashing Dish recipe! If you have never tried or been a fan of fish, I highly recommend tilapia! It is a mild white fish loaded with heathy Omega-3′s without the ‘fishy’ flavor that can be found in some seafood. I have even tested this recipe out for a few friends that don’t ‘love’ fish, and it received rave reviews!


The estimated total time to make this recipe is 20-25 minutes.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil, (for easy clean up), and set a wire rack on top. Spray the rack with non-stick spray. (Note: A wire rack allows for both sides of the fish to get crispy without the need to flip the fish mid-way through cooking. If you don’t have a wire cooling rack, simply place the fish on a baking sheet and gently flip halfway through cooking.)


In a small bowl, combine the coconut coconut flour, panko bread crumbs, and the seasoning. In a separate small bowl, add the egg whites and lightly beat with a fork.


Start by dipping each tilapia filet in the egg whites, followed by the coconut/breadcrumb mixture. Cover each piece of fish completely in the coconut/breadcrumb mixture and press lightly, so the coating adheres. Once coated, gently place each piece of fish on the wire rack. Spray each piece of fish lightly with non-stick cooking spray. (This makes the crust extra crispy!) 


Bake fish for 18-22 minutes, or until coconut crust is lightly golden brown and the fish fully cooked, (it will be white and flakey in the center). Enjoy!


2Tilapia Fillets, (about 1/2 lb or 4 oz each)
1/4 cupCoconut flakes, (I used unsweetened)
1/4 cupPanko breadcrumbs (or breadcrumbs of choice)
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
1/8 tsp Pepper
1 tbsCoconut flour (or oat flour, or flour of choice) 1
1 Egg white
Optional: 1 pkt stevia added to the breadcrumb mixture for a slightly sweet/salty taste

1 Coconut Flour is one of the most divine ‘undiscovered’ ingredients that I use all the time to make low carb/gluten free baked goods! It is high in fiber, protein, and low in carbs and calories. It makes very moist breads, cakes and muffins! Take note that it instantly makes any batter very thick, so a little goes a long way! I buy mine at whole foods or online on Amazon.

Oat flour is really simple to make at home! Just put some old fashioned oats in a blender or food processor, and blend until oats reach a flour consistency! I make a big batch and keep the extra in a Tupperware for easy baking! Note: Use gluten free oats if gluten sensitive!

Katie's Tip!

One of my favorite things to serve with this dish is an apricot glaze! Simply microwave some low sugar apricot jam in a small bowl for about 30-45 seconds until it 'thins' out, and pour on top (or along side) of the fish when it comes out of the oven!

Nutrition Breakdown

2 Servings (1 tilapia filet per serving)
194 Calories per Serving
6 g Fat per Serving
8 g Carbohydrate per Serving
1 g Fiber per Serving
2 g Sugar per Serving
28.1 g Protein per Serving
5 WWP+*

*Weight Watchers Points per serving


Katie said:

Just made these and they were pretty good! I love the coconut and panko and the crunch it gives on top the fish! The coating didn’t have quite the intense flavor as I expected, so I sprinkled with a little curry powder and it was really good! Love the apricot on top too! Thanks, will definitely be making this again!

September 8th, 2012 — 6:06pm  |  Reply

Anna Aliza Rosenbaum said:

made these today and they were delicious! thank you!

September 12th, 2012 — 2:29am  |  Reply

Lindsay Lee said:

Made this for dinner tonight with your Crispy Baked Parmesan Green Beans. It was amazing!!! Even my picky 3 year old son loved it!

November 1st, 2012 — 6:23pm  |  Reply

orville davis said:

Thanks for what you do, I’ve made 4 of your recipes so far, and each one has been great.

December 3rd, 2012 — 9:54pm  |  Reply

Whitney Kint said:

I’m not a huge fan of coconut, what could I substitute for that?

March 13th, 2013 — 3:14pm  |  Reply

Dashing Dish said:

this recipe is really all about the coconut…try my fish sticks for a different option with fish! :)

March 13th, 2013 — 4:36pm  | 

Sabrina said:

Curious question. Is there any way to make this crispy (without frying it) without using the bread crumbs and the flour? I’m on a carb restricted diet and i tried it using just the coconut with a no go. any suggestions?

April 15th, 2013 — 12:14pm  |  Reply

lisa said:

use almond, coconut or cashew flour/meal

April 11th, 2014 — 12:49pm  | 

tim said:

tried this tonight, easy to make, tasted quite good, maybe my rack doesn’t raise up enough, but after 18 minutes, the fish was done, but the bottoms were still soft and white, ate it anyway, will probably go with the baking sheet and flip method.

April 19th, 2013 — 7:32pm  |  Reply

Amy said:

I REALLY want to try this but we cannot do breadcrumbs…not even gluten free unless they are not made with rice flour. Could almonds ground in a food chopper make a good replacement for the Panko?

August 10th, 2013 — 9:49am  |  Reply

Dashing Dish said:

Yes! Great idea.

August 12th, 2013 — 11:55am  | 

Deana said:

Gluten free rice chex cereal makes a great panko crust!

November 5th, 2013 — 5:48pm  | 

dave said:

Crushed Rice Cereal works very well too. Chex or Krispy works well for the crunch

July 5th, 2014 — 10:52pm  | 

Marybeth said:

I think that would work! I’ve used just a mix of fine almond flour, fine coconut flour and coconut flakes or shredded coconut. It’s really great!

July 9th, 2014 — 4:59pm  | 

Kayla said:

Just one question, will frozen tilapia filet work for this recipe? I have some in the freezer and would love to try this recipe tonight. Thanks!

September 4th, 2013 — 3:58pm  |  Reply

Dashing Dish said:

yes! just be sure it is fully thawed first! you can thaw it by placing it in your fridge overnight!

September 5th, 2013 — 12:13pm  | 

Tara Martinez said:

My husband raved about these! Absolutely delicious. I used orange marmalade for the glaze because that’s what I had and it was a great touch! Thanks for another awesome recipe!

December 28th, 2013 — 10:44pm  |  Reply

Audra Penner said:

I’ve been making this about every two weeks for the past six months and I still havent gotten tired of it! I put homemade peach jalapeno jam on top. So yummy!!

January 7th, 2014 — 1:11am  |  Reply

Riley said:

Can you prep these and freeze them for baking at a later time?

January 29th, 2014 — 11:38am  |  Reply

Dashing Dish said:

i worry that they would have a hard time getting crisp.

January 29th, 2014 — 11:43am  | 

Stephanie said:

this sounds so delish. I bought some fresh grouper yesterday, I’m thinking this might be the winning recipe to use it on for dinner. Have you ever used grouper with this recipe?

February 12th, 2014 — 5:19pm  |  Reply

Dashing Dish said:

i havent, but i think it would work great!

February 12th, 2014 — 9:49pm  | 

Ellen Penner said:

Hi…I might be blind, but it appears the recipe doesn’t mention the coconut flakes outside of the ingredient list …I assume it’s meant to be added to the coconut flour Panko mixture, but that’s just a guess. Perhaps you could clarify? thanks

March 13th, 2014 — 12:52pm  |  Reply

Dashing Dish said:

sorry just fixed that :)

March 14th, 2014 — 3:26pm  | 

Penny said:

Hi there,
I was just wondering how far I advance I can make this. Can I coat and refrigerate? Should I bake and then heat an hour later?

Thanks for your help!

April 13th, 2014 — 2:26pm  |  Reply

Dashing Dish said:

this is one of the recipes i wouldnt make in advance…the breading will get soggy

April 13th, 2014 — 5:58pm  | 

Scarlet said:

Instead of Panko Bread Crumbs can you use oat flour?

June 16th, 2014 — 7:01pm  |  Reply

Dashing Dish said:

i would say that almond meal would be a better swap out :)

June 18th, 2014 — 10:32am  | 

Chrystal said:

I made this dish a couple nights ago and have to say it was FANTASTIC!!! Seriously, my boyfriend and I eat fish more than anything else and he swears it was the best Tilapia he’s ever eaten :) Thanks for the recipe! I loved the idea of cooking on the baking rack too.. Genius! It made the fish crispy like it was fried minus all the grease. Tonight, I’m trying the same baking-rack method for eggplant parm.. hopefully it will turn out just as crispy! Got this recipe bookmarked now!

June 18th, 2014 — 7:24pm  |  Reply

Anna said:

Does this recipe works in the toaster oven instead of conventional oven?>

July 9th, 2014 — 12:16pm  |  Reply

Mary said:

Thank you so much for this delicious recipe! I made it last night (& the first time I ever made fish “from scratch” other than catching & fileting it! LOL); it was definitely a hit! I also took your suggestion to serve it with apricot jam, even more delicious! :)
Note: my store didn’t have unsweetened coconut in stock, so I used sweetened & just omitted the stevia. I also didn’t have coconut flour (not sure where to find it), so I just used AP.
But that’s what I really like about your recipe; if you don’t have it, you can make do with what you do have (& you provide great “substitutes”) – thanks again!

March 3rd, 2015 — 9:55am  |  Reply

Debbi B said:

Would cod work well?

May 6th, 2015 — 6:01pm  |  Reply

Dashing Dish said:

im sure! :)

May 6th, 2015 — 6:41pm  | 

Dashing Dish said:


May 7th, 2015 — 11:53am  | 

Alexie said:

Can I use coconut that has already been crisped? Or it has to be white just shaved coconut..

June 23rd, 2015 — 1:59pm  |  Reply

Dashing Dish said:

it will most likely burn, but you could try baking it covered in foil so it doesnt get more brown! :)

June 23rd, 2015 — 7:15pm  | 

Singing Mel said:

Soaked the fish in some milk with pepper after cleaning and drying it. Then over to some fresh egg, I substituted the panko for ritz and ground up the cocoanut in a food processor. Placed as directed on a rack and 24 minutes later had a great light dinner for the family. What a great recipe and an easy meal. Try with baked plantain for a play on fish and chips. Thanks

July 6th, 2015 — 11:46pm  |  Reply

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