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Spice-Rubbed Tilapia with Tomatillo, Black Bean & Mango Salad

Scott Phillips

Servings: four.

Tomatillos look like small green tomatoes surrounded by a papery husk. They’re common in Mexican cuisine, and their refreshing flavor is great either raw or cooked.


  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 lb. tomatillos, papery covering discarded, fruit rinsed and small diced
  • 1 ripe medium mango, peeled, pitted, and small diced
  • 1/2 cup small-diced red onion (from about a quarter of a large onion)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 11/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 skinless tilapia fillets (about 4 oz. each)

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on four servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 500
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 250
  • Fat (g): 30
  • Saturated Fat (g): 4
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 11
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11
  • Cholesterol (mg): 90
  • Sodium (mg): 440
  • Carbohydrates (g): 32
  • Fiber (g): 7
  • Protein (g): 32


  • Put a heatproof serving platter on a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 200°F.  
  • In a medium bowl, combine the beans, tomatillos, mango, red onion, lime juice, 1/3 cup of the vegetable oil, cilantro, and a few grinds of black pepper; toss gently. Let the salad sit at room temperature while you cook the fish.
  • Mix 1/4 teaspoon black pepper with the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt. Rub both sides of the tilapia fillets with the mixture. In a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Cook two of the tilapia fillets until lightly browned and the flesh is opaque and cooked through, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the fish to the platter in the oven to keep warm while you cook the remaining two fillets. Transfer the fillets to the platter, and spoon half of the salad on top. Serve with the remaining salad on the side.

For a different spice combination, try rubbing the fish with Old Bay Seasoning. And for other salad combinations, try chickpeas or red beans in place of the black beans, and red tomato or cucumber in place
f the tomatillo.


Rate or Review

Reviews (7 reviews)

  • dh0257 | 02/19/2019

    This is a very good recipe! Easy and just the right amount of heat.

  • cozette | 05/25/2014

    As I was making this, I was having reservations about having tried it. Like others, I had never used tomatillos and also my husband and I don't care for cilantro, but the flavors were wonderful. I cooked Black Turtle Beans using FC's Chickpeas with Bay Leaves and Herbs as a guide. I like the idea of adding tomatoes and corn to the salsa. All in all, this is a keeper. Will make again.

  • groovyodonnell | 05/12/2014

    Great recipe! This one is a keeper for sure.

  • c8lin | 07/01/2013

    Delicious, fresh meal for summertime! I hadn't cooked with tomatillos before, and they were the perfect addition to this salsa. Thanks for another weeknight favorite!

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