Baked Tilapia in Foil - Caribbean Style

April 12, 2021
Tired of doing a lot of work in the week to make dinner? This baked tilapia in foil is your perfect delicious meal option. Fillets of tilapia fish with veggies of corn, okra, potatoes, corn make this is the perfect one-shot dinner. Easy and full of flavor.

  
  
Foil packet showing baked tilapia with corn, okra, potatoes

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Sometimes we just don't feel like spending too much time in the kitchen cooking. As much as my kitchen is my sacred space to relax, I just can't always be in there all day or night getting a weeknight meal together. Some of my other really quick favorites are pasta in coconut milk, and quinoa rice.

I always want my dishes to be tasty regardless of how quickly it cooks or tedious the process of preparing is. And this dish does not miss on this.

So I present to you one of my quick options, that I sometimes even make ahead of time.

A packet of well-seasoned tilapia wrapped in a piece of foil, filled with delicious veggies, then baked quickly in the oven. This can also be done in your air fryer or even be put on your grill.

What are foil packets?


Cooking in a foil packet is just a method of cooking any meat or vegetable in a tightly sealed tin foil. This allows steam to cook the contents. What is great about this and makes it a healthy option is the fact that not a lot of oil or butter is needed and it isn't being fried in any way.

  
Ingredients for fish packet: fish, okra, corn, carrots, chive


What I love about this meal is that I can just about use anything I can find in my pantry/kitchen in the packets. It requires minimal ingredients. Or it can also become filled with fancy things.

At the most basic level, the main ingredients are:
  • Tilapia - You can use frozen tilapia fillets if you don't have access to fresh. You can also use any other white fish. I sometimes use fillet snapper, whittling, trout. I also do a whole red snapper
  • Corn
  • Okra/ochro
  • Baby potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Chive
  • Thyme
  • Butter
  • Salt/black pepper
  • Green onions
Other instruments would be some aluminum foil cut into pieces large enough to wrap the fish and the other ingredients, a baking sheet, and cooking twine/thread (optional)

But do not be limited to these. Other suggested fillings can include zucchini, christophene, cherry tomatoes, lemon slices, onions, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, or even frozen mixed veggies packs.

How to wrap foil packs


The steps for this is not an advanced process. It's quite easy, especially when you have all your additions already out and ready to go.

You can make it a production line in this order:

Foil
Seasoned fish
Butter
Additions - corn, potatoes, etc
Baking sheet

Season up your fish, as you prefer. I always use my green seasoning and a few squeezes of lime or lemon juice and let that sit for a little. If not that seasoning, then generous amounts of black pepper and salt (I use kosher salt most times) or even fish seasoning powder.

If you are a first-time foil pack maker here is a little step-by-step of how I package these packs. And check out my video of it on Instagram.

Have your sheets of foil cut out and set to the side before starting assembly. It would save you time and also be less messy once you start.

Once the fish is seasoned, add about a tablespoon of butter to your foil. Garlic butter or lemon-lime butter would be a great addition. But regular butter is also good.

This helps the fish not to stick too much when baking. If you have a nonstick foil that is also a good option. But the butter also adds a layer of flavor.

Then place your fish on top of the butter, horizontally because you want to make sure there is enough room to make a tent. Now you can add your other ingredients.

You don't want to put too much of anything in there. Depending on the size of the slice and the type of fish would determine how much.

  
Steps on how to layer the fish for wrapping. Fish on top of the foil, then with the ingredients.


Tilapia is a lighter fish, but fillets of snapper are usually thicker and can take more things.

If you are using slices of lemon add them last and make sure they are thin. In fact, the lighter things (thyme stalks, dill, parsley) should be added last.

Raise up the longer sides and make a tent with it and then roll them down, then roll the ends in. You don't want to do it too too tight or too loose. Be careful when folding that you also don't punch any holes in the foil so that juices run out when baking.

As you make packets and close them add them to your baking tray until all are complete. If your tray cannot take all the packets in a single layer, then use another one or a baking pan. Don't layer them.

You can then either put them to bake in your preheated oven, in your air fryer, or throw them on the grill.

I have used the same cooking times for any device I use to cook these. 350 for 25 minutes. Obviously, if you happen to have really thick pieces of even veggies the time can vary.

You can carefully unwrap a packet and use a fork to check your fish for doneness.
  
Wrapped foil packets ready to be baked in a baking tray

Can you make tilapia packets ahead of time?


Yes, you can make these ahead of time and store them in your freezer. Or a day before and have them in your fridge to get ready to bake.

I make these in big batches and store half of it in my freezer so I can just grab out a few packets for a meal.
  
Baked foil packets of fish out of the oven on a black baking sheet.



Can you freeze foil packets?


Once you have layered and wrapped your packets and made sure the ends are sealed, you can place them into the freezer.

They do not have to be set separately. I like to put as much as I can into a gallon freezer bag and put them flat to freeze. I label it with the date.

They are best used in 3 months' time.

How to reheat or heat packets that are frozen


If you happen to bake and have leftover these can be placed in the fridge for up to two days to be used.

I heat my oven to 350 degrees then toss them back in for about 10- 15 minutes.

If coming from the freezer (never baked before), you do not have to put them in the fridge to defrost before baking them. You can put them directly into the oven to bake. This option though does produce a bit more liquid in the packet when baking since some of the veggies may get ice on it from the freezing process.

Give the baking process an additional 10 minutes or so to make up for the fact that it's baking from frozen.

I am allergic to foil what can I use?


If you happen to be like my cousin and allergic to foil, or just rather stay away from using aluminum with your food. A good replacement is to use parchment paper.

This bakes just as well as it does in tin foil. Just make sure that you fold down the long sides then crumple the sides closed tightly so that it doesn't have any gaps. I use string to tie the ends when using parchment since it doesn't have that hold.

What to serve with my tilapia?


Most times I eat this just by itself. Or just with a glass of wine. Depending on how much I packed in there. But it can easily be paired with some delicious sides or even with bread to dip up the great sauce it makes.

Here are some great recipes to consider:


The amazing flavor of this simple dish is just what you need for weeknights. These tilapia foil packet meals are just great dinner options regardless of if you are at home or even out camping.

It's a great option to add to your weekly recipes.


Opened packets of fish in foil with veggies







Baked tilapia in foil, tilapia packets, seafood packets
Entree, Dinner, Seafood
Caribbean
Yield: 4
Author: Renz @ HomeMadeZagat
Tilapia in Foil

Tilapia in Foil

Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 55 Min
Baked tilapia in foil is your perfect delicious meal option. Fillets of tilapia fish with corn, okra, potatoes, corn. Easy and full of flavor

Ingredients

Equipment needed

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In the center of a sheet of foil, spread one tablespoon of butter
  3. Add fish
  4. Then layer on some corn, potatoes, okra, chive, thyme (remember you need to share it over the 4 packets)
  5. Fold up the long sides and roll down
  6. Roll in the sides to seal
  7. Place in the baking tray and repeat till all packets are made.
  8. Place in oven and bake for 25 minutes
  9. Serve hot
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Renz HomeMadeZagat
Renz HomeMadeZagat

Hi guys, I’m Renz. I am the chief cook and bottle washer here at HomeMadeZagat. I am here sharing Caribbean recipes that I grew up eating and new ones I’ve fallen in love with over the years. I just want to showcase the amazing diversity of Caribbean food and that everyone can recreate these dishes.

Comments

  1. Homèmadezagat that fish dinner is a must try for me. Will report offer, it looks really delicious.

    ReplyDelete

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