You can whip up this meal fast and has a punch of heat and flavor.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
15 mins
total:
30 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the penne, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink.

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  • While the pasta cooks, combine the melted margarine and garlic in a shallow dish. Place the flour in another dish. Dip the tilapia filets in the garlic butter mixture and then immediately coat with the flour. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the fish in the oil until golden brown, turning once, about 5 minutes total.

  • Pour the cream, lemon juice, and remaining garlic and margarine mixture into the skillet. Stir in the jalapenos, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook until sauce has reduced slightly and fish flakes easily with a fork; about 2 minutes. Mix the baby spinach into the sauce and cook until wilted. Stir in the chopped tomato and the cooked pasta.

Nutrition Facts

578 calories; protein 32.1g 64% DV; carbohydrates 45.9g 15% DV; fat 30.2g 46% DV; cholesterol 61.4mg 21% DV; sodium 844.2mg 34% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (108)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
06/16/2010
This is a yummy recipe however I made a few changes. Instead of the penne pasta I used boil in a bag white rice. I also added some cilantro in for taste. And instead of heavy cream I used 2% fat milk. My fish began to crumble when I put the other ingredients in so I stirred everything in except for the rice and created a gumbo-like mixture. I forgot to put in the spinach but it turned out delicious anyway. I placed the mixture over a bed of boil in the bag rice because I have not perfected my rice cooking skills. It turned out excellent. It reminded us of a Pappadeaux menu item. My husband was extremely pleased and I will most definitely make this again. Thank You Read More
(35)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
07/15/2011
I don't see how anyone can cook 4 pieces of fish in 2tbs of oil. I should have made an adjustment but decided to follow the recipe's measurements since no one mentioned it. The flour just caked up in the pan. I made it again minus the flour a nd added more oil but would still only give this one star Read More
(2)
152 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 108
  • 4 star values: 28
  • 3 star values: 11
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
06/16/2010
This is a yummy recipe however I made a few changes. Instead of the penne pasta I used boil in a bag white rice. I also added some cilantro in for taste. And instead of heavy cream I used 2% fat milk. My fish began to crumble when I put the other ingredients in so I stirred everything in except for the rice and created a gumbo-like mixture. I forgot to put in the spinach but it turned out delicious anyway. I placed the mixture over a bed of boil in the bag rice because I have not perfected my rice cooking skills. It turned out excellent. It reminded us of a Pappadeaux menu item. My husband was extremely pleased and I will most definitely make this again. Thank You Read More
(35)
Rating: 5 stars
10/01/2011
This dish (with a few modifications) is absolutely one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten. If you're browsing this site looking for something to do with those fillets you've got in the freezer, STOP LOOKING NOW!! You've found it! First of all, I recommend serving it over rice instead of pasta. I've tried both, and rice just seems to fit better. Secondly, the amount of liquid listed in the recipe is nowhere near enough. I use 2/3 cup cream and 1/3 cup lemon juice (for 4 fillets). I also use more jalapenos, enough to fill 1 cup when diced. Usually that amounts to about 4 largish ones or 6 smaller ones. Finally, the listed amount of cayenne pepper might be a little too strong for some people, especially with the increased amount of jalapenos. I use 1/4 teaspoon and it still packs a nice punch without burning your mouth off. Follow the directions as listed, except mix together the sauce ingredients (except the spinach and tomato) in a measuring cup FIRST. If you add them all the skillet one by one, mixing them will be impossible without breaking up the tilapia. When mixing in the spinach later, add a little bit at at time to make mixing it in easier. Put the rice (or pasta) on the plate first, then top it with the sauce and fillets. Finally, I recommend sprinkling the chopped tomato over top of the fillets after they're on the plate. That way the tomato pieces will stay firm, and plus it adds a lot to the presentation. Bon appetit! Read More
(28)
Rating: 5 stars
02/09/2010
This was a delicious dish. We loved it. The next time I make it I will make double the sauce because it is so great. That is the only thing I would change though - very tasty and has a kick to it. Read More
(23)
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Rating: 4 stars
10/05/2010
I just finished using a portion of this recipe i omitted the pasta & spinach i added seasoned panko to my batter used an entire can of jalapeno (minced in my food processor) and drained most of the oil before adding the ingredients for the sauce. The sauce makes the dish so don't let it be absorded by pasta and spinach. Put your veggie on the side and enjoy the jalapeno sauce on the fish! I paired it with the southwestern roasted corn recipe also found on this site. Got rave reviews!! Read More
(20)
Rating: 4 stars
02/08/2010
Great recipe the fish came out crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. The flavor was delicious. Pasta didn't really seem to go with it. There was very little sauce left over after pan frying the fish. Maybe I messed up somewhere but I would have preferred the fish with some couscous or rice instead. Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
10/04/2010
omitted the jalapenos doubled sauce recipe with 1/2 cream 1/2 whole milk. it was phenomenal. thank you Read More
(8)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/11/2011
Very good! Next time I will make it with shrimp because the fish doesnt hold up. I added some cajun seasoning to it for extra flavor. Thanks for sharing! Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
03/02/2012
I've made this at least 3 times since I found it and we love it! I serve the fish over brown rice and spoon the spicy cream and tomatoes over it instead of mixing everything together. And even though we love spicy I cut the cayenne in half and it still has a good kick for us. My super picky husband loves this dish. Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
10/14/2010
very very tasty used whole wheat pasta and tortilla crusted talapia. Added chopped cilantro at the end with the tomatos. I agree you need to double the sauce recipe Read More
(6)
Rating: 1 stars
07/15/2011
I don't see how anyone can cook 4 pieces of fish in 2tbs of oil. I should have made an adjustment but decided to follow the recipe's measurements since no one mentioned it. The flour just caked up in the pan. I made it again minus the flour a nd added more oil but would still only give this one star Read More
(2)