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Costa Rican Tilapia Recipe

Baked Costa Rican Style Tilapia With Pineapples, Black Beans, and Rice

Next time you're in the mood for some Latin cooking, branch out with this sweet and sour Costa Rican tilapia recipe, courtesy of Cooking in Pajamas.

Even those people who do not like fish will love this recipe! There is not a hint of "fishy-ness" in this dish. Tilapia is a beautiful, meaty, yet mild fish. By marinating it in a flavorful mix of citrus juices, cilantro and garlic, you are adding a lovely sweet and sour tang to it. Then, the fish is set atop a rice mixture that is loaded with spicy-sweetness.

My son, Joey, who is not a huge seafood fan exclaimed, "I don't really like fish or cilantro or fruit mixed in with my food, but this is really good!" Well, I like fish, cilantro and fruit in my dinner, so you can imagine how much I liked it! This dish is quick and easy enough to have on a busy weekday, but it is also elegant enough to serve to company, not to mention, it is very healthy. I know you are going to love it!


See what goes into this healthy meal when you keep reading.

Baked Costa Rican Style Tilapia With Pineapples, Black Beans and Rice

(based on the recipe of Ingrid Hoffman)

1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 (5 to 7-ounce) tilapia fillets, rinsed and patted dry
2 cups jarred or homemade tomato salsa
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups diced fresh pineapple
2 limes, thinly sliced


Combine the rice and chicken broth in a pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and has absorbed all of the liquid, about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, oil, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, the garlic, and sugar; season with salt and pepper. Add the tilapia fillets to the marinade, turning to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.

Stir together the cooked rice, salsa, beans, pineapple, and remaining 2 tablespoons of the cilantro in a 2 or 3-quart baking dish. Remove the tilapia from the marinade, reserve the marinade, and lay the fish fillets over the rice mixture, overlapping if necessary. Pour the reserved marinade over the fish. Shingle the lime slices over the fish. Bake until the fish flakes easily, is opaque, and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving.


  • Cut the pineapple into a small dice so you do not get huge hunks of pineapple on your fork. Or, used canned crushed pineapple.
  • Use brown rice to more fiber and nutrition.
  • Add some fresh corn to the rice mixture.
  • Double the amount of the marinade so you will have more to pour over the entire dish before cooking.
  • Make the rice mixture and the marinade early in they day.  Save until you are ready to cook dinner.

Want more? Start following Cooking in Pajamas, or start your own food blog. You could wind up featured here.

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