Note: This recipe was originally published April 15, 2017 and has been updated.
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This Cajun Roasted Red Pepper Tilapia is deep flavored goodness. White and flaky fish, cooked in a mild sweet and spicy Cajun red pepper sauce. This recipe pairs perfectly over pasta, rice, and squash.
If you’re buying roasted red peppers in a jar, stop!
If you have an abandoned cast iron skillet, cuddle that baby!
Hi Friends! HAPPY EASTER WEEKEND!
I can not believe I have never taken the 40 minutes to roast my own peppers. It is so incredibly easy and it takes nearly no work at all. Cast iron skillets! Why!? Why are they becoming so forgotten about in the kitchen? They are incredible! I have recently made it my goal to love my cast iron more. The clean up and extra attention is so worth it.
Here we are–
At some point I came across a roasted pepper sauce made with all the items “on the other side” and for the life of me, I can not recall where it was. Red Bell Pepper season is typically July- September but my local grocer has bulked their supply which has helped with the price. Plus, wherever these sweet peppers are coming from, they totally know what they’re doing. They have been perfect! I thought transferring a classic sauce into a “Paleo friendly” recipe would be a great Good Friday project. Why not go out with a bang on the last Friday of Lent?
Since my sister-in-law, Kara, introduced me to all things Cajun, I have not been able to have enough! Cajun spices are 100% me and I want seasoning on EVERYTHING. I want all the Cajun food and Zydeco music! Earlier this year I planned on sharing a grain free Crawfish Étouffée for Fat Tuesday but since Étouffée is my favorite, I want to make sure it is absolutely perfect! I was able to take tails home from a crawfish boil a few weeks ago so I am on it!
Cajun Roasted Red Pepper Fish
This recipe is dairy and grain free and packed with flavor. We opted for a standard white fish on sale but I am certain this would be perfect with shrimp, scallops, crawfish tails, and even chicken! The natural sweetness from the bell peppers and the coconut milk is balanced just enough by the Cajun seasoning and onions. If you love spice, feel free to go a little heavier on the cayenne pepper.
I sincerely hope you try this recipe. I absolutely love it and am already envisioning everything I can smother this sauce with. As always, if you do happen to make this baby, please let me know! I would love to hear your thoughts or suggestions.
Happy Easter, friends!
Other Cajun Inspired and Fish Recipes
- Paleo Crawfish Étouffée
- Creamy Dill Salmon
- Garlic Parsley and Shrimp Lettuce Boats
- Pan Seared Cilantro and Lime Tilapia
- Cashew-Kale Salmon
What I Used to Make This Recipe
Cajun Roasted Red Pepper Tilapia
White and flaky fish, cooked in a mild sweet and spicy Cajun red pepper sauce. This recipe pairs perfectly over pasta, rice, and squash.
- 3 red bell peppers (stems removed, seeded, and pepper cut in half)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon ghee (grass-fed butter)
- 1 yellow onion (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk (I prefer the Thai Kitchen brand)
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (mindful of those containing added sugar and non Whole30 compliant ingredients)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, or less, depending on your spice preference)
- 1/4 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1-2 dashes black pepper
- 2 tilapia fillets (or other white, lean, and flaky fish such as black sea bass, catfish, flounder, orange roughy, red snapper, etc.)
Preheat your oven to 500°F. Place the bell peppers on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes.
Remove peppers from the oven and let them cool completely. Remove the skin of the peppers by gently pulling the separated skin but still leaving some of the charred/over-cooked skin. The goal is to remove as much of the skin as possible while still having a charred flavor.
In a blender or food processor, combine the roasted peppers and water. Blend on low until smooth.
In a large skillet, heat ghee on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, take the raw edge off. Pour in the roasted red pepper sauce into the skillet and stir.
Once incorporated, Slowly stir in the coconut milk. Season the sauce with the Cajun spice, Cayenne Pepper, Nutritional Yeast, salt, and pepper.
Pat dry the fish and season both sides with a pinch salt and pepper. Slowly place fish into the skillet.
With the fish in the skillet, increase the heat bringing the sauce to a slow boil. Continue cooking until the fish is cooked through and flaky, about 8-10 minutes. Serve with spaghetti squash or a vegetable of your choice.
*Although only 2 fillets are photographed, the sauce is easily enough for 3-4 servings. Sauce works really well when serving with spaghetti squash or pasta.