Scampi Tilapia – $5 Dinner Challenge

I dug some tilapia fillets out of the freezer. I bounced out to the garden to pick some fresh parsley from the garden, thinking I was going to do the same old Lemon-Dill Tilapia thing (that’s my fall back for when I’m feeling uninspired)…but of course, I opened the fridge to grab the lemon juice…and the garlic bulb practically jumped off the shelf!

Parsley, lemon juice, garlic…Scampi, of course!

Snatched the butter (dairy-free margarine, really) and off I went to make a little something to pour atop the tilapia fillets.

Ended up being fairly simple. And oh my heavens, tasty too!

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Scampi Tilapia

Yield – 4 servings

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Cooking Time – 15-20 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice ($.60)
  • 12 oz. bag frozen tilapia fillets ($2.99)
  • 1/4 cup butter/margarine ($.25)
  • 3 large garlic cloves ($.15)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice ($.05)
  • Fresh parsley from the garden
  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 oz. bag of peas ($.88)


  • Cook the brown rice as directed on package.
  • Put the tilapia fillets into a greased, glass baking dish.

  • Melt the butter/margarine.

  • Crush the garlic and add to the melted butter with the lemon juice and chopped parsley.

  • Pour over the fillets. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until fish is white and flaky in the middle. (Be warned…your house will smell uh-mazing while the scampi tilapia is baking!)
  • Cook the peas as directed on package.
  • Serve Scampi Tilapia Fillets with Brown Rice and Peas.

Cost $4.92

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  1. says

    That sounds yummy! What brand of dairy-free margarine are you using? I need to find one because one of my kids is about to start an elimination diet.

  2. Shonda says

    Just the inspiration I was needing! Spent the day at the pool and I wanted something easy and light – found tilapia in the freezer and came to your website! I did have to substitute couscous and steamed green beans! Thanks so much for the delicious recipe!

  3. karen says

    fish looks yum! I do noticed that when you buy frozen fish you are NOT getting your money’s worth. (as in vaccum packed) and that makes me REALLY mad. :(

  4. Holly says

    Thank you for this Talapia recipe! I was just wondering how I was going to prepare my fish for tomorrow’s dinner, when I found your post! I can’t wait to try it!

  5. says

    You have inspired me! I never make fish because I feel like I really don’t know how to tell if it is really done. My husband would absolutely love it if I would fix some for us! This dish looks very yummy! :)
    Does tilapia have bones you need to be concerned about?

  6. Elizabeth says

    Do you cook the fish from frozen? Or does it have to be thawed? (Because if it’s frozen, I know what I’m having for dinner tonight!)

  7. Genessa says

    I do a similar tilapia using Johnny’s Great Caesar Garlic Spread and Seasoning (huge jar from Costco). The kids love it.

  8. says

    I started a blog a month ago and $5.00 dinners is my Monday topic. How funny to find an entire blog dedicated to this today! Now I have a much better resource than my very simple minded tastebuds :-)


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