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Sauteed Tilapia and Garlic Smashed Potatoes with a Red Pepper Butter Sauce

Sauteed Tilapia and garlic smashed potatoes with a red pepper sauce

How do you get your kids and teenagers to eat fish? Bribe them? Promise them that you will cook liver and onions next time their friends come over for dinner if they don't eat their fish tonight?  Bring your kids to the wet market and let them kill their own fish?  What is a mom supposed to do?

Sauteed Tilapia and garlic smashed potatoes with a red pepper sauce

My teenagers are not so big on fish and if they ask what for dinner and if I say fish you can bet that they have said, EWWW!, YUCK! WHY ME?  Here are some tricks I have learned. Most kids dislike strong flavored fish so pick a mild white fish that is very fresh and takes on flavors of the sauces or other attributes of the dish. Other fish that seem to work well with my kids are firm fleshed fish such as sword fish and tuna, I think it is a texture thing as well. Blackening spices, frying with a batter, or putting a yummy sauce on top to help them forget they are eating fish always helps as well. Maybe, you can try hypnotism or telling them it is chicken and let me know how that goes for you.

Sauteed Tilapia and garlic smashed potatoes with a red pepper sauce

You must disguise the fish!  I hide mine under a lovely red pepper butter sauce mounded on a huge plate of garlic smashed potatoes. Believe it or not it worked and they came back asking for seconds.  They say that that one enjoys their food first by site, then by smell as lastly by taste. I used to my full advantage the use of site to really tantalize my teenagers into taking their first bite and then I had them hook, line and sinker...

Sautéed Tilapia and Garlic Smashed Potatoes with a Red Pepper Butter Sauce (Serves 4 adults or 2 hungry teenagers)

Ingredients for Sautéed Tilapia:

  • 4 tilapia fillets or other mild white fish
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground Cajun seasoning or adjust to taste
  • 1/4 cup flour for dredging (another way to hide the fish- optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Ingredients for Red and Yellow Bell Pepper Butter Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 green onion sliced thinly
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh red pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh yellow pepper
  • 1/2 cup butter/margarine (or dairy free margarine)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken or fish stock (gluten free, if you like)
  • 1 teaspoon parsley finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch in 1 teaspoon of water dissolved
Ingredients for Sautéed Asparagus
  • 1/2 pound of green asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
Ingredients for Garlic Smashed Potatoes
  • 8 medium peeled and quartered red potatoes
  • enough water to cover potatoes in pan to boil (depends on pot size)
  • 3 peeled whole peeled garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter/margarine
  • 1/2 cup milk warmed (or soy milk)
  • 1/4 parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoon finely chopped chives
  • salt and pepper to taste

Step 1. Make the Red and Yellow butter sauce. In a small sauce pan heat oil and add, onions, peppers, and garlic and cook until slightly softened.

Step 2. Add white wine, chicken stock and butter and cook over low heat for about 2 to 5 minutes.

Step 3. Add parsley, salt and pepper and if you want a dash of cayenne pepper. Adjust seasonings as needed.

Step 4. Bring sauce up to medium heat. Slowly add just enough of cornstarch and water mixture just until slightly thickened for a creamy sauce. Set aside.

Step 5. Make the Garlic Smashed Potatoes. Place potatoes and garlic in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender. Drain well. Add the butter, milk and salt; mash. Stir in Parmesan cheese and chives. Set aside and keep warm.

Step 6. Saute the Asparagus. Trim the ends off the asparagus. Place one tablespoon olive oil in frying pan and add asparagus, salt and pepper and saute for about 2 minutes until just fork tender and still bright green and then add grated lemon zest and give a quick toss and remove from pan, keep warm and set aside.

Step 7. Saute the Tilapia or white fish. Wash and dry fish. Sprinkle both sides of fish with Cajun seasoning and salt and pepper (if you want to coat the fish in flour do this now and then shake off excess, optional). Place 1 tablespoon olive oil in pan and get hot. Place tilapia in pan and sear bot sides of fish for about 3 minutes or until fish is light and flaky. Remove from pan and set aside.

Step 8. Making the master piece and stacking your plate. In the middle of your dinner plate, place one large scoop of garlic smashed potatoes and flatten slightly. On top of the potatoes place about 4-5 sautéed asparagus across.  Then place one tilapia fillet on top of asparagus and then drizzle entire dish with several spoonfuls of red and yellow butter sauce. Garnish with chives and enjoy!



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Healthy World Cuisine (HWC) Magazine is committed to provide a lifestyle traveling culinary experience featuring fresh ingredients, easy recipe preparation and culinary enjoyment. READ MORE...

Sauteed Tilapia and Garlic Smashed Potatoes with a Red Pepper Butter Sauce

By HWC Magazine  , , , ,

October 19, 2011

  • Yields: 4 Adults or 1 Hungry Teenager


tilapia fish -

cajun seasoning -

red bell pepper -

yellow bell pepper -

butter -

white wine -

asparagus -

lemon zest -

potatoes -

milk -

parmesan cheese -

chives -

garlic smashed potato -

red pepper butter sauce -


  • Goodness, your kids are so lucky they get to eat food like this! When I have kids, I hope they will appreciate my food as well. Sometimes my husband and I talk about it, and I think to myself, what if my kids trade the “fancy” sandwiches I make them for someone else’s peanut butter and jelly???? HAHAHA.

    • Dear Joanne, you are so right and so funny! I am certain that there is some type of auction each day at the lunch table at school for trading sandwiches and snacks! KIDS!

  • Anonymous

    Tilapia, my favourite fish, along with salmon, trout, sardines, monkfish, red snapper, grouper, cod, tuna etc etc etc Love the delicate sauce!

    • Thanks for stopping by. I also love fish and that is why having picky teenagers really puts a cramp on my cooking style. So my pursuit to find new fish recipes that even picky teenagers will eat continues…. take care

  • Oh my goodness! Would you just look at that magnificent dish. Mash and fish with buttery sauce are my childhood favourites!

    • Dear Martyna, Thank you! I wonder if you could somehow put that fish, potato, butter sauce combo into your cylinder shape? Let me know how that goes. (Thanks for the pink October month reminder on your website!!!) Take Care

  • Thanks for your visit, and pleased to discover your blog. You asked about the blue rice, I have no clues. Maybe the flower used to color it could be unique to Malaysia. its the first time I saw it.

    • Dear Three-Cookies. Thanks for your response and for stopping by my website. I will ask some of my international friends and see if they know the mystery to the “blue rice”. I will get back to you with any new discoveries.

  • I’d gladly fill your kids’ spots at the table and eat all of that up! I adore fish, and used to make tilapia quite often. It’s not regularly sold fresh here, but you really have made me crave it.

    • Dear Yasmeen, you are so very sweet! I know it is difficult to find tilapia here as well but feel free to exchange with grouper, cod or any other white fish you like and can get fresh. (We have the wet markets here so I usually just take a look at what looks fresh and happy swimming in the tanks) Take Care.

  • This is beautiful – very nicely presented!

    • Thank you Taryn. Your a med student and awesome food blogger- busy girl!! Looking forward to reading more recipes from HAVE KITCHEN, WILL FEED. Have a great weekend.

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