Habanero & Green Pepper Crusted Tilapia

Several months ago, we hosted our first BBQ since arriving in Rwanda for two friends of ours and their two boys. Looking through our cookbooks for inspiration on what to cook, we found a Weber recipe for a California Burger with Avocado Mayo. Since several of the ingredients weren’t available here, I adjusted the recipe and made it my own using habanero peppers instead of poblano peppers. For one of our friends who doesn’t eat meat but enjoys fish, I crafted up similar ingredients to flavor a piece of tilapia for her. It was such a hit that my husband and I have been making it ever since both on the grill and pan-fried. For someone who doesn’t like spice, I am finding more and more ways to use habaneros in recipes to share with my friends who love spicy food. This fish really takes the flavor without being overwhelmingly hot so it is great for everyone and can be adjusted if you want a hotter or a more mild version.

Habanero & Green Pepper Crust

Habanero & Green Pepper Crusted Tilapia


  • Small mixing bowl
  • Paper towels
  • Large skillet


  • 2 tilapia fillets
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of finely chopped habanero
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Habanero & Green Pepper Crusted Tilapia Over Farro Salad


  • In a small mixing bowl, combine olive oil, lime juice, habanero, green pepper, cilantro, and salt and pepper.
  • Pat dry the tilapia filets and then brush on the habanero mixture. Make sure ingredients are evenly spread across the fish.
  • In a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add fish to the skillet. Cook for 4-5 minutes each side until the fish flakes apart.

{A Hint of Ginger: Grilling option}: This recipe also cooks very well on the grill. To prevent the fish from sticking to the grates, lay the fish on aluminum foil sprayed with Pam.