Fried tilapia sandwich wiht sliced tomato and fresh spinach on a square white plate with a white towel behind on a wooden surface (with logo overlay)

The Best Crispy Pan Fried Tilapia Sandwich Recipe

Tilapia is great for a quick weeknight meal since it doesn’t take long to thaw. This fried tilapia sandwich is easy to make and keeps us full.

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One of the staple foods we keep in the freezer here is a bag of tilapia fillets. Yes, I know tilapia isn’t the best fish, but I don’t like fish that’s very…. fishy. Tilapia is mild, easy to cook, and doesn’t have the scales to worry about on it. It’s perfect to make a quick Fried Tilapia Sandwich.

In other words, tilapia is great for those nights when we need a really quick dinner but forget to take something else out. It’s rare that we actually schedule any tilapia meal in our weekly meal plan because it’s always our backup plan.

When we were visiting my family in Florida a couple of years ago, my dad made us each a fried tilapia sandwich for dinner one evening. They were so simple, yet so delicious!

As with most meals lately, the boys won’t always eat this. But they have been such picky eaters recently. I’m not surprised. And, in typical kid fashion, they may love something one night but then claim they don’t like it the next.

Sometimes, I find that if they help make dinner, they are more likely to give it a try. They like helping with this because it gets their hands messy. And what kid doesn’t like to get messy with permission?

Justin and I really like fish sandwiches for a quick and easy meal that will still keep us full throughout the evening. The ingredients are ones that we always have on hand making this a simple dinner for us. Of course, we may also be preparing a PB&J for the boys, but that’s beside the point.

You can add toppings to the sandwich if you like. I prefer mine plain. But Justin likes to add a slice of tomato and spinach to his when we have it.

Side and Garnish Suggestions

  • French fries
  • Potato chips
  • Coleslaw mix
  • Potato salad
  • Tomato slices
  • Pickle relish
  • Lemon juice or lemon zest
  • Spicy slaw
  • American cheese
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Creole seasoning
  • Slice of cheddar cheese

Tips for Making the Best Fried Fish Sandwich Recipe

  • If your fish fillets are still dripping with oil, place them on a plate with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. Or lay on a wire rack to let the oil drip off. 
  • The best fish sandwich is made on your favorite bread. We used whole wheat bread but you can also use brioche buns or another soft bun. 
  • If you want a spicy kick, try adding a dash of hot sauce or tangy tartar sauce to your sandwich. 
  • Choose the fish that’s best for you. Any white fish will make a delicious fish sandwich. We like tilapia, but you can also try a North Atlantic cod fillet, bass, grouper, snapper, catfish, or haddock fish filets. 
  • Plain or regular breadcrumbs have the most mild flavor. Another option is Panko breadcrumbs which are a Japanese bread crumb. Panko is thicker so will give a more crispy crust. 

Fried Tilapia Sandwich Step by Step


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 lb tilapia fish fillets
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • 4 slices bread
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise


Thaw the tilapia according to directions. I find that it only needs about 5-10 minutes out of the freezer to thaw enough to work with. You don’t want it too warm.

In a large skillet, over medium heat, warm the olive oil. While it’s warming, set out three shallow bowls or plates to set up a dredging station. The first should have the flour, the second eggs, and the last contains the breadcrumbs.

Two round white plates with flour on one and breadcrumbs on the other next to a round white bowl with whisked eggs all on a black and white marble surface

Take each tilapia fillet and dip it in the flour then eggs then breadcrumbs. Make sure it gets completely covered at each step.

Round white plate with a fillet of tilapia on top of a bed of flour next to another white plate with a tilapia fillet covered in breadcrumbs with a round white bowl to the side with whisked eggs all on a black and white marble surface

Place the fish in the hot oil and cook until it’s flaky and white inside and golden brown on the outside. Season the fish as it cooks with the onion powder, garlic powder, and parsley. Make sure to flip the fish at least once while it fries.

Two fillets of tilapia seasoned in a nonstick skillet on a black and white marble surface

Toast the bread and spread mayonnaise on one side of each piece.

Three slices of toast with mayonnaise on them with a fourth piece of toast with a butter knife covered with mayonnaise on a bamboo board next to a white square plate with cooked tilapia all on a black and white marble surface

Place each cooked fillet between two pieces of bread and serve immediately. The fish will cool very quickly and can make the bread a bit soggy, so you want to eat it as soon as possible.

Fried tilapia sandwich wiht sliced tomato and fresh spinach on a square white plate with a white towel behind on a wooden surface (vertical)

Fried Tilapia Sandwich Leftovers

Storage: If you have leftovers, I suggest storing the fried tilapia separately from all of the pieces of the sandwich. You don’t want any excess oil in the fish to soak through the bread. Store the leftover fried tilapia in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

Reheating: Reheat the tilapia in an air fryer or toaster oven or in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through.


Originally Published On: March 24, 2016

Last Updated On: November 14, 2023

Fried tilapia sandwich wiht sliced tomato and fresh spinach on a square white plate with a white towel behind on a wooden surface

Fried Tilapia Sandwich

Tilapia is great for a quick weeknight meal since it doesn't take long to thaw. These fried tilapia sandwiches are easy to make and keep us full.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Main Dish
Dietary Needs:
Cooking Method:
One-Pan Meals
Servings: 2 sandwiches
5 from 3 votes


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 lb tilapia fillets
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • 4 slices bread
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise

Recommended Equipment


  • Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet
  • Put flour and bread crumbs on 2 separate plates and egg in a bowl
  • Bread the fish by covering in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs
  • Place fish in heated oil to fry, flipping at least once
  • Season fish while cooking
  • When fish is cooked, put some mayonnaise on the bread then the fish in between
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Nutrition Facts
Fried Tilapia Sandwich
Amount Per Serving (1 sandwich)
Calories 933 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Fat 32g49%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 280mg93%
Sodium 912mg38%
Potassium 987mg28%
Carbohydrates 91g30%
Fiber 6g24%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 68g136%
Vitamin A 238IU5%
Calcium 223mg22%
Iron 8mg44%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutrition content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.

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22 thoughts on “The Best Crispy Pan Fried Tilapia Sandwich Recipe”

  1. It’s a good move when you need to make a quick sandwich and have ingredients around to spice it up. The much maligned Tilapia has its place in the kitchen, for sure.

  2. I’m the same way – most fish is too fishy-tasting! But tilapia is actually edible. I’ve never thought about putting it on a sandwich – and with mayo, yum! – but I’m craving it now!

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