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Baked Tilapia with Caramelized Onion Lentils

Baked Tilapia with Caramelized Onion Lentils recipe is a quick 30 minute cozy meal topped with crispy kale and perfect for a dinner party or weeknight meal
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 432kcal
Author: HWC Magazine


Stove-Top Lentils

  • lentils (dals) - 1 cup (we used brown lentils)
  • water - 2-3 cups (start out with 2 cups of water and add more water as needed to keep the lentils submerged in water during cooking process)
  • bay leaf - 1 whole leaf
  • olive oil - 1 tablespoon
  • onion - 1 small chopped
  • cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
  • garlic powder - 1 teaspoon
  • salt and pepper - to taste
  • tomatoes - 1 cup chopped (we used cherry tomatoes)
  • cilantro (coriander) - ¼ cup chopped roughly

Fried Kale

  • olive oil - enough to cover the bottom of a small frying pan or pot
  • kale - 2 cups chopped (washed and dried well)
  • salt - to taste

Louisiana Cajun Tilapia

  • olive oil spray - to cover the bottom of your baking sheet
  • tilapia fish - 4 fillets (or any light fish of choice)
  • olive oil - 1 tablespoon
  • Louisiana cajun seasoning - 1 teaspoon (or to taste)
  • cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
  • garlic powder - 1 teaspoon
  • salt and pepper - to taste
  • lemon juice - juice of a lemon (extra to garnish)


  • Wash your lentils and pick over for things that do not belong. Add lentils, water and bay leaf to a medium pot. Bring lentils to a gentle boil and then turn down to a low simmer and cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes just until the lentils are tender. Do NOT salt the water. You may need to add up to another cup of water to the lentils during the cooking process to keep the lentils covered in water. Drain your lentils of excess water and remove bay leaf.
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  • While your lentil are cooking, add olive oil in a frying pan and add your chopped onions and cook over medium low heat until caramelized and deep golden brown. Season to taste.
  • Add the caramelized onions, cumin powder, garlic powder, tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste and cilantro and mix well. Set aside and keep warm.
  • Spray your baking sheet with a little cooking oil. Place your fish fillets on the baking sheet and drizzle a little oil oil on top, season with Louisiana Cajun seasoning, cumin powder, garlic powder, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Bake tilapia in oven for about 10-15 minutes or no longer opaque and flake easily with a fork.
  • In the meantime, make your flash fried kale. Make sure you wash and dry your kale well. Did you use your hair dryer to dry your kale. It works like a charm. In a small pot or frying pan, add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the roughly chopped dry kale and cook over a medium high heat until crisp up and turn a dark deep green color- about 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon and allow to drain on a plate lined with a napkin. Season with salt as soon as you take it out of the frying pan.
  • Assemble your Baked Tilapia with Caramelized Onion Lentils. Scoop ¼ of your delicious caramelized onion lentils on a plate. Top with a perfectly cooked tilapia fillet, drizzle with a little extra lemon juice and then on top of the fish add your crunchy flash fried kale. Serve warm and enjoy!


There is nothing worse than mushy lentils! Here are some hints that work for us when cooking with dried lentils.
1) Always rinse and pick over the lentils to check for little stones and things that do not belong.
2) Do not salt the lentils while you are cooking them. Salt can make the exterior coating come off the lentils and make them mushy.
3) Lentils are cooked as soon as they are tender. Do not overcook.
4) Cooking them on the stove top with a 2:1 ratio of water:lentils and a bay leaf is delicious. I cook them uncovered and at first bring them up to a gentle boil and then turn down to a gentle simmer and they are done in about 15-20 minutes.
5) We usually have to add more water at some point during the cooking process just to keep the lentils covered in water.
6) Lentils are like a blank canvas and take up any flavors you add to it. Caramelized onions, garlic, cumin, tomatoes and cilantro is a rocking combination. You have the delicate sweetness from the caramelized onions, the earthy flavor of the cumin, the juice from the bursted tomatoes and freshness of the cilantro. You can any flavors you desire.
Have you ever used your hair blow dryer to dry your kale???? Now don't laugh as it works like a charm. Weird-YES. Odd-YES..the neighbors are looking at you oddly...YES. However, what they don't know is you are now on the awesome KALE hack for getting dinner or snacks on your table faster. Blow drying your kale allows you to flash fry without getting splattered. If you bake your kale for a healthy snack, blow drying your kale makes it crunchy and delicious.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 432kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.7g | Protein: 55.6g | Fat: 5.9g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 150mg | Potassium: 1766mg | Fiber: 16.5g | Sugar: 3.8g | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 6mg