Fancy Fish aka Tilapia en Papillote 

So I meant to write this post yesterday, but honestly the training bug bit me and I just couldn’t resist it. You guys get it. 

Full disclosure My husband and I don’t really like fish. I eat it because it’s healthy, and because you’re hard pressed to find a lower calorie lower fat and higher protein well… Protein. 

We are trying to expand our seafood horizons by trying new varieties but I usually stick to tilapia and try to season it to make it as unfishy as possible. 

Also there is plenty of controversy surrounding Tilapia and how it’s raised.  All I can offer is it is up to you to research these things and if you are in any way unformfortable eating it, feel free to substitute a different fish. 

This recipe may seem a little daunting at first since it sounds so fancy.  Keep in mind that translated from French it means “in a paper bag”, and the method, though a little tedious, is actually quite simple. It’s also very easy to substitute these ingredients based on what you have on hand. You do however need parchment paper which I find most non bakers don’t keep around. It is readily available at the supermarket. 

Tilapia en Papillote aka Fancy Fish

Recipe Yield: 4 packets (this could feed 4 people with another side dish for sure) but on its own I’d say two servings) 

4 Tilapia Filets around 3-4 oz each 

1 lb fresh green beans, cleaned 

1 shallot, sliced thin 

1 lemon, zest and juice 

Kosher salt 

Black pepper 

  • Mix beans with sliced shallot, zest and juice and seaon with salt and pepper 


1 fresh tomato, diced 

1/2 C kalamata olives, halves 

4 tsp drained capers 

4 tsp basil, chopped 

4 lemon halves 
For sauce: 

4Tbl balsamic vinegar 

2tsp whole grain mustard 

2 Tbl olive oil 

1Tbl honey 

2tsp parsley minced (I have totally used dried parsley as well)

  • Whisk all the sauce ingredients together until combined 

in the pic you see two lemons halved. i threw thise on the grill while cooking the fish

Preheat Oven to 400°F or Fire up the gril on medium high heat. 

To assemble

  • Cut sheets of Parchment paper  into circles around 4 times the size of your fish filet  it should be large enough that once your fish and veggies are placed in the center to can cover over it with any side 
  • Spray the parchment paper with non stick spray or brush with olive oil. 
  • Place green bean mix in the center of 4 payments circles 
  • Top with tilapia, and seaon the fish with salt and pepper 
  • Top fish with tomatoes, capers, olives and sprinkle with basil 
  • Top each stack with 1/4 of the sauce 

  • The hardest part is wrapping the fish in the paper, so I made a video instead of trying to explain it via text

To Cook: This method essentially steams the packet.  The heat creates steam which fills up the bag, and cooks the fish and veg delicatley. 

For the Oven:

Bake at 400°F  on a baking sheet about 12-15 minutes. The paper will be brown and crispy so don’t worry! 

For the grill:

  • wrap the paper pouches in foil the same way you wrapped the fish in paper 
  • Preheat the grill to medium high and place fish on the grill 
  • Cook 12-15 minutes (maybe longer based on your grill) 

Allow the packets to rest a few minutes before cutting open.  If you’re having carbs on the side this would be awesome with roasted potatoes which you could have in the oven at the same time. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s