Tilapia en Papillote {Tilapia Baked in Parchment}

I learned how to make this romantic recipe for baked tilapia en papillote in culinary school a few years ago. The fancy shmancy name threw me into fits of hysteria (yes, I can be a teensy bit overly dramatic at times), because I thought fancy shmancy meant “difficult to make”.  Turns out, I was incredibly wrong!

En papillote is a simple French term that means “in parchment”.  Tilapia for two (fresh or thawed from frozen will work), seasoned with herbs, butter and lemon, then baked to perfection inside of a heart-shaped piece of parchment paper.  Healthy, beautiful, delicious, and romantic… grab your apron and I’ll show you how easy this is to make!

 Tilapia en Papillote (Tilapia baked in parchment) - This healthy fish recipe makes a perfect romantic dinner for 2 because the parchment paper is shaped just like a heart! Get the recipe from @itsyummi

As much as I enjoy a great fish fry, the extra fat and calories have no place in my eating plan these days.  But I’m a discriminating eater… I need FLAVOR in my food, especially where white fish like Tilapia is concerned.  It can be disgustingly bland without the addition of some fresh herbs and spices.  

Typically, herbs like thyme. lemongrass, or dill are used to flavor fish, but I really love the flavor of rosemary, and besides that, it makes a gorgeous garnish. By wrapping the fish up inside of parchment paper, you’re effectively steaming it in its own juices. Add a little melted butter and fresh herbs, and you’ve got a party goin’ on! Besides a small pinch of sea salt, there isn’t much more that needs to be added.  Of course, it shouldn’t stop you from creating a great veggie ensemble inside that packet of love.  Toss in some asparagus spears, zucchini, sliced cherry tomatoes, onions, or anything else that your stomach is hungry for.  You’ll end up with a heart shaped packet of love!

To make the parchment packet, we need to whirl back in time to elementary school. Remember those Valentine’s Day cards you made in art class? Same technique applies here. Fold a piece of parchment paper in half, but rather than cutting a nice curved edge, cut it slightly angled. That way the edges will seal up more easily for you.

parchment paper for baking tilapia en papillote

Next, lay slices of lemon on one side of the parchment paper. Be sure to leave room around the edges so that you can fold everything up into a nice tight package.  Rub both sides of the fish with softened herb butter, set it on top of the lemon slices, and add fresh herbs of your choice on top. If you want to add raw veggies to your packet, now would be the time.  Then, fold the parchment paper together again and starting at the pointed bottom, start making small folds all the way up and around the edges of the packet.

Place the packet on a baking sheet and cook at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  The easiest (and prettiest) way to serve them is to place the entire sealed packet on a dinner plate and let each person use a knife to slice the top of their packet open.  What they’ll find inside is delicious, romantic food love!

Tilapia en Papillote (Tilapia baked in parchment) - This healthy fish recipe makes a perfect romantic dinner for 2 because the parchment paper is shaped just like a heart! Get the recipe from @itsyummi

If  you’d like to make a romantic dessert to go with your tilapia dinner, I suggest my double chocolate raspberry cheesecake tart. If you’re trying to keep things healthier, then go with my chocolate cherry cheesecake bites. Smaller portion sizes for the big win (and no double chin!)

Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Cups - Get this bite sized dessert recipe from ItsYummi.com

I hope you love this healthy tilapia recipe!

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1 reviews

Baked Tilapia en Papillote (in parchment)

Prep Time 5 min Cook Time 12 min Yields 2

Tilapia en Papillote is a simple, healthy, and romantic dinner recipe. Fresh fish is baked in parchment paper on slices of lemon, with herbs and melted butter.

Ingredients

    Directions

    1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F
    2. Fold 2 sheets of parchment paper (each approximately 12 inches long) in half. Use scissors to cut each piece into the shape of a heart. Lay the open heart shaped parchment on a clean work surface. Using the crease as the center of your paper, place sliced lemons on the left side of each heart.
    3. Use your hands to rub herbed butter on both sides of fish fillets, then place fillets on top of lemon slices. Add one rosemary sprig on top of each fish fillet. Fold right side of heart over the left side.
    4. Starting at the pointed end of the parchment, make small folds up and around the edges of the paper to completely seal the contents inside.
    5. Place packets on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F. for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer sealed packets onto plates. To open, use a steak knife to make a slice down the center of each packet. OPEN CAREFULLY, as steam will escape once it's been opened!
    6. Serve and enjoy!
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    If you make this recipe, I'd love it if you'd share a photo and/or give your feedback over on my Facebook page, Cooking with Chef Bec!
    Tilapia en Papillote (Tilapia baked in parchment) - This healthy fish recipe makes a perfect romantic dinner for 2 because the parchment paper is shaped just like a heart! Get the recipe from @itsyummi

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    61 Replies to "Tilapia en Papillote {Tilapia Baked in Parchment}"

    • Andrew Hopkins January 13, 2016 (3:32 am)

      It Looks yummy, and so simple!

      • Chef Bec January 14, 2016 (12:05 pm)

        Thank you so much, Andrew!

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    • Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen February 11, 2014 (4:22 pm)

      I love cooking fish in parchment paper. It always comes out so moist. This dish looks and sounds fabulous!

    • Family Foodie February 11, 2014 (1:01 pm)

      This recipe looks fabulous — as a huge fish lover, I can’t wait to try it!

      • Chef Becca February 11, 2014 (4:46 pm)

        I hope you try it and love it, Isabel! It’s one of my favorite fish preparations

    • Laura February 10, 2014 (4:13 am)

      I remember the first time I made a papillote dish, I was in love. To create an incredible dish with little clean up is my idea of perfection.

      • Chef Becca February 10, 2014 (6:33 am)

        I’m with you, Laura…the less clean-up the better 🙂

    • Stacy February 10, 2014 (2:42 am)

      “En papillote” is the perfect way to cook fish to add flavors and keep in the juice, Becca! I love your beautiful tilapia!

    • Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats February 9, 2014 (7:43 pm)

      Wow Becca, this is seriously the most beautiful fish I have ever seen. LOVE it! So romantic and definitely a wow dish! Pinned. 🙂

      • Chef Becca February 10, 2014 (6:37 am)

        Thank you for such a sweet compliment, Krista!

    • Small Talk Mama February 9, 2014 (6:02 pm)

      Becca, this sounds wonderful. I love fish and am always looking for new (and easy) ways to cook it. I will definitely try this one.

      • Chef Becca February 9, 2014 (6:24 pm)

        YAY! I love that you’re going to try it, and I’m hoping that you’ll let me know how it turns out!

    • [email protected] Cooking with Curls February 9, 2014 (5:19 pm)

      Looks delicious, and so simple! 🙂

    • Manu February 9, 2014 (4:42 pm)

      I love fish en papillote as it retains all its flavours and remains moist! Great idea for any romantic dinner!

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    • Cindys Recipes and Writings February 9, 2014 (4:13 pm)

      I love tilapia with lemon and herbs. Simply delicious!

      • Chef Becca February 9, 2014 (4:16 pm)

        I love it, too, Cindy! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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    • Tara February 9, 2014 (12:10 pm)

      I love cooking fish en papillote, it turns out so nicely, yours looks wonderful!!

    • DB-The Foodie Stuntman @ Crazy Foodie Stunts February 9, 2014 (12:05 pm)

      You know, I’ve cooked fish using this technique in the past and I’m surprised it hasn’t caught on here in the United States because it’s easy and very tasty, but I have a question: Whenever I’ve included them in the parchment, I haven’t been able to cook vegetables fully through without overcooking the fish. Any suggestions?

      • Chef Becca February 9, 2014 (1:30 pm)

        I know what you mean about the veggies requiring extra cooking time, which dries out the fish. I’ve done a couple of things to avert the problem. I cut hard veggies like carrots very thinly (actually, if you cut them into julienne strips, they turn out fabulously!) or I par cook thick and/or hard veggies like asparagus. Soft veggies like zucchini and cherry tomatoes never seem to be a problem.
        I hope that helps!

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    • Karen @ Baking In A Tornado February 9, 2014 (11:42 am)

      I’ve had fish prepared this way back home many times and just love the simplicity of just playing to the fresh flavors. Now I think I may have to try to make it myself.

      • Chef Becca February 9, 2014 (11:49 am)

        Ohhhh, I hope you do try it, Karen! It’s just SO delicious and healthy!

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    • Courtney @ Neighborfood February 9, 2014 (11:30 am)

      This looks incredible. I don’t cook fish nearly enough which makes no sense because it’s so simple. I’ll definitely be adding this to my dinner menu soon.

      • Chef Becca February 9, 2014 (11:32 am)

        It’s so simple, you can almost make it with your eyes closed, Courtney! Enjoy… and thanks for visiting!

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    • Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious February 9, 2014 (10:33 am)

      Fish in parchment is so elegant, and makes a wonderful presentation at the table when you unveil it!

      • Chef Becca February 9, 2014 (11:33 am)

        I agree, Dorothy! Thanks for stopping by to comment!

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    • Katy February 9, 2014 (10:13 am)

      This is one of my go-to Summer dishes, but it makes a great Valentine’s meal – especially with the heart-shaped parchment!! Rosemary and lemon sounds like such a fragrant, delicious combination. Thank you for a great recipe!

      • Chef Becca February 9, 2014 (10:14 am)

        Thanks, Katy! I think fish is a perfect year-round meal!

    • Jennifer February 9, 2014 (9:52 am)

      Fish in parchment paper is the way to go! It looks elegant and always tastes good! I LOVE the rosemary — just beautiful!

      • Chef Becca February 9, 2014 (10:08 am)

        Thanks so much for the nice comment, Jen!

    • Susan February 9, 2014 (9:40 am)

      I am not crafty enough to cut a heart out of parchment, it’s probably because you are looking at a lefty who basically was forced into learning how to use scissors with her right hand. Doomed to cut crooked for the rest of my life. Anyway, it still looks delicious!

      • Chef Becca February 9, 2014 (10:10 am)

        Your comment made me giggle out loud, Susan! If you only knew how many feet of parchment paper I had to waste before I had a useable heart! 😉

    • Liz February 9, 2014 (9:11 am)

      Becca, I’m so glad to see you sharing a Sunday Supper post! Especially such a delicious entree! Thanks for the super tutorial, my friend!

      • Chef Becca February 9, 2014 (10:12 am)

        I’m glad that I’ve rejoined the group, Liz! Thanks for the sweet compliment ♥

    • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers February 9, 2014 (8:48 am)

      Yummy! What a romantic, simple meal! I just love it!!

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    • Renee February 9, 2014 (8:16 am)

      The heart shaped parchment is the perfect touch to make this elegant meal for Valentine’s Day.

      • Chef Becca February 9, 2014 (8:40 am)

        I think so, too, Renee! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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    • Alice // Hip Foodie Mom February 9, 2014 (7:17 am)

      I’ve always wanted to bake fish this way! can’t wait to try this Baked Tilapia!! looks so delicious!!

    • Nichole C February 9, 2014 (7:16 am)

      Mmm, I love preparing fish this way!

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    • Shaina February 9, 2014 (6:50 am)

      I love a dish that sounds difficult only turns out to be really simple!

      • Chef Becca February 9, 2014 (8:50 am)

        Easy recipes for the win, Shaina! 🙂

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