Recipe: Moroccan Grilled Tilapia with Mango Chickpea Salsa

Dinner Recipes, Seafood Recipes

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Tilapia is such a delicious, mild and easy-to-make fish. And grilling tilapia means dinner just got even easier. This grilled tilapia gets a Moroccan twist thanks to the spice blend we use called ras el hanout along with a delicious mango chickpea salsa all over a big scoop of delicious couscous.

The warm spices, sweet and zippy salsa, and comforting couscous all come together to make the perfect bite in this delicious Middle Eastern dish. Grilled tilapia is low-fat, low-calorie, but still has tons of flavor.

Tilapia makes for a very healthy protein source with even fewer calories and less fat than salmon. It’s a milder-tasting white fish which means that even those who don’t love seafood, may find tilapia to be appealing. Tilapia is also a cheaper fish to purchase than some others making it an inexpensive meal option.

As mentioned, we’re using ras el hanout in this recipe, a delicious Moroccan spice blend. It’s super easy to make yourself, with spices you likely already have in your kitchen, or you can purchase it from your local grocery store (or Amazon!). You can use the seasoning dry and sprinkle it over the fish, or we like to add a bit of olive oil to make a paste and spread it on the filets.


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    How To Grill Tilapia

    Grilling tilapia is so easy! The only thing you have to watch out for is the fish falling apart since fish is typically more fragile than other proteins. To keep it together, you can do one of two methods:

    1. Grill Pan or Fish Pan: this is the method we used. A grill pan has much smaller holes and thus prevents your fish from falling apart and being lost to the grill. Use a nonstick grill pan for even easier handling or just brush with a bit of oil before placing the filets.
    2. Foil Packet: If you don’t have a grill pan, you can easily grill tilapia in a foil packet. Just rip your tin foil into rectangle shaped pieces slightly larger than the pieces of fish. Wrap them up and the foil will keep it all together.

    How Hot Should The Grill Be For Tilapia?

    Preheat your grill to a medium-high heat for grilled tilapia. About 400-450 degrees should be perfect.

    Cooking Temperature of Tilapia

    Tilapia should be cooked until it reaches 145 degrees. However, if you don’t have a meat thermometer, you’ll be able to tell it’s done when it flakes easily with a fork. When grilling tilapia, it only takes about 4 minutes per side.

    Can You Cook Tilapia From Frozen?

    It happens to the best of us (maybe even while making this recipe 😉), you plan tilapia for dinner and then forget to thaw your filets beforehand. Ideally, it’s nice to pull your filets out of the freezer and thaw in the fridge overnight, however you can grill tilapia from frozen! Trust us, we tried it.

    If your tilapia is still frozen, just pat it with a paper towel to dry. Other than that, prepare as directed. It just might take a couple of minutes longer.

    Other Cooking Methods For Tilapia

    If you prefer a different method than grilling tilapia, you can also make this same recipe either by pan-searing or baking in the oven.

    To pan-sear, simply heat a nonstick skillet with about a tablespoon or so of butter. Sear a couple of minutes on both sides until cooked through.

    To bake tilapia, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place in a oven-proof rimmed baking sheet or glass dish and cook for 12-15 minutes.

    What To Serve with Grilled Tilapia

    Bowls of mango chickpea salsa with grilled tilapia on grill pan

    Grilled tilapia is delicious on its own, but it’s nice to make some additions to make the meal more filling. Tilapia is delicious over some hearty brown rice or farro. Or in this case with a Moroccan spin, couscous pairs delightfully. We used a quick-cooking box of garlic and olive oil couscous which made for a perfect filling base.

    We also love to serve this Moroccan grilled tilapia with a mango chickpea salsa. It provides the perfect sweet bite with the mango, filling and fiber-filled chickpeas, some zippy lime juice and zest and a sprinkle of cilantro for some nice color and flavor. It’s the perfect fresh salsa on top of the warming flavors on the tilapia.

    Tip: if you can’t find fresh mango, you can use cubed frozen mango. Just allow it to thaw before adding to the salsa.

    Total Time: 20 minutes

    Yield: 4 serving(s)


    • 4 tilapia filets, fresh or thawed
    • 1 tablespoon ras el hanout
    • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
    • For the mango chickpea salsa:
    • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 mango, diced
    • Squeeze of lime & zest
    • Handful chopped cilantro
    • Pinch of salt
    • To Serve
    • 3 cups prepared couscous, or other grain


    1. Preheat grill to 400-450 degrees.
    2. While you wait for the grill to heat, combine all salsa ingredients and toss together. (Optional: toast chickpeas in a skillet with a sprinkle of additional ras el hanout) Set aside.
    3. Combine ras el hanout and olive oil to make a paste. Use more or less oil to your desired consistency.
    4. Spread over fish and place on grill pan or in tin foil packets.
    5. Grill 4 minutes per side or until cooked through.
    6. Serve tilapia over couscous with a big scoop of salsa and an extra squeeze of lime. Yum!

    Nutrition Information Per Serving

    Calories: 406

    Protein: 33 gram(s)

    Fat: 7 gram(s)

    Carbohydrates: 51 gram(s)

    Fiber: 6 gram(s)

    Sugar: 7 gram(s)

    Cholesterol: 50 milligram(s)

    Sodium: 433 milligram(s)

    From the kitchen of:

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