Tilapia with pinot noir sauce on a round white plate next to a fork and a glass of red wine on a white surface (with logo overlay)

Tilapia with Pinot Noir Red Wine Sauce

Tilapia with Pinot Noir Sauce is an easy tilapia dinner that packs a lot of flavor. Top fried tilapia with a pinot noir sauce for a 20-minute meal.

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Tilapia with Pinot Noir sauce is based on a recipe from the 100 Days of Real Food Fast & Fabulous cookbook. I was skeptical about this at first because I am not a big wine person. But Justin wanted it so I figured I would give it a try. And I’m so glad I did!

Since the alcohol cooks out of the sauce, it just leaves it with a rich flavor instead of the taste of the wine. We used tilapia for this meal. The original recipe called for salmon. I think either would work, I just prefer tilapia. You know this is a winner when both boys finished theirs and asked for more!!

Every now and then, when we go grocery shopping, Justin likes to grab a bottle of wine. We don’t drink often, but it sure does add to certain meals. And of course, when we have certain dishes, a glass of wine with dinner goes well. Since this recipe only uses half a cup of wine, you have plenty left over to serve with dinner. Or, if you have more people to feed, you’ll want to scale up the Tilapia with Pinot Noir meaning you won’t have as much extra.

About the Ingredients

Whole Wheat Flour

For this recipe, I like to use whole wheat flour to help keep it a healthier meal. You can also use all-purpose flour, though, if needed. 


Tilapia is our preferred white fish for most fish dishes. It’s mild in the fishy flavor but still has some taste to it and is a flaky fish. 

Salt & Black Pepper

Season lightly with a bit of salt and pepper to bring out the taste. 

Olive Oil

I like to cook with olive oil when I can. If you don’t have olive oil you can also use a tablespoon of butter. Go for unsalted butter to make it a healthier option. 

Pinot Noir

The main flavor in this tilapia recipe comes from the Pinot Noir. If you don’t have Pinot Noir, you can substitute for another lighter red wine such as Lambrusco or Gamay. For a bolder flavor, try Cabernet Sauvignon.

If you don’t want to buy an actual bottle of wine, most stores also sell cooking wines. You can find red cooking wine in the same aisles as cooking oil. I’ve bought white wine, red wine, wine vinegar, and sherry this way before, all meant for cooking, not drinking. But, if you like wine with dinner, then you can certainly use a regular bottle as well. Either works and will both give a similar flavor.

The only difference between cooking wine and drinking wine is usually in the quality. Cooking wines aren’t as high quality as drinking wines. For those under the drinking age, you can purchase cooking wines since they aren’t for consumption. This also means they are available in dry counties and if you go to the store before noon on a Sunday (our grocery store won’t sell alcohol before then).

Fresh Parsley

Top the fish with some fresh parsley to finish off the dish. If you don’t have fresh parsley, dried parsley will work as well. 

Tilapia with Pinot Noir Sauce Step by Step


  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 pound tilapia
  • Salt & black pepper
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Pinot Noir
  • Fresh parsley (to garnish)


To start this recipe, you’ll want to coat the fish before frying it. Put the flour on a shallow plate. Lay the fish in the flour on each side. Turn over a few times until the fillets are well-coated.

Two white plates on a wooden surface, one with a single filet of tilapia, the other with tilapia resting in flour

In a large non-stick skillet, over medium heat, warm four tablespoons of olive oil or any cooking oil. Place the breaded tilapia fillets in the warm pan. Cook for about 3-5 minutes. Carefully flip the fish. Cook the other side until it is cooked through.

Skillet with two fillets of tilapia cooking over a gas stovetop

Remove the tilapia from the pan and cover it to keep it warm. Add the Pinot Noir wine to the pan and increase to high heat. If you are working on a gas stovetop, it’s recommended to turn off the flame when you are pouring wine since it is flammable and can make a fire if any spills. Cook until the wine is reduced by half. This usually takes about 3-4 minutes.

Skillet with pinot noir simmering over a gas stovetop

Serve the red wine reduction sauce warm over the fish, garnish with parsley, and enjoy!

Tilapia with pinot noir sauce on a round white plate next to a fork and a glass of red wine on a white surface (vertical)

Tilapia with Pinot Noir Sauce Leftovers

In my opinion, cooked fish does not keep very well. The most I’ve done with leftover fish is to save it for use in something like fish cakes the next day.


Originally Published On: March 20, 2017

Last Updated On: May 26, 2024

Tilapia with pinot noir sauce on a round white plate next to a fork and a glass of red wine on a white surface

Tilapia with Pinot Noir Sauce

Tilapia with Pinot Noir Sauce is an easy tilapia dinner that packs a lot of flavor. Top fried tilapia with a pinot noir sauce for a 20-minute meal.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Main Dish
Servings: 4
5 from 9 votes


  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 pound tilapia
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup pinot noir
  • parsley (to garnish)

Recommended Equipment


  • Combine flour, salt, and pepper on a plate and coat fish
  • Warm oil in large skillet over medium heat
  • Add fish and cook for about 3-5 minutes or until browned on the bottom
  • Flip and cook the other side, continuing to flip as needed until cooked through
  • Remove fish from heat and cover
  • Add the wine to the pan and increase heat to high
  • Cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 3-4 minutes
  • Serve sauce over warm fish and garnish with parsley
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Nutrition Facts
Tilapia with Pinot Noir Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 307 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 56mg19%
Sodium 59mg2%
Potassium 396mg11%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Protein 24g48%
Calcium 16mg2%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* 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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28 thoughts on “Tilapia with Pinot Noir Red Wine Sauce”

  1. 5 stars
    I wouldn’t have thought to use a big red like Pinot Noir with tilapia! But you make it sound so good – I need to get out of my fish=white wine rut.

  2. Not a big wine fan on some foods but this might be interesting with salmon. The Pinot Noir is an interesting pick on wine which will give it an interesting taste. Thanks for sharing.

  3. It’s so great to find a recipe everyone in the family loves. I always think white wine with fish, but this is a great take.

  4. 5 stars
    Your recipes are always the bomb.com 😍 gonna need to try this as it infused two of my faves. Tilapia and wine ❤️

  5. I never would have thought of pairing a red wine with a light fish like that, but acidity is one of the keys to wine and food pairing. Being a wine lover, I enjoyed going through your blog. Keep it up the good work.

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