This Pan Seared Tilapia and Shrimp with Lemon Cream Sauce recipe is a quick and tasty way to enjoy two types of seafood in one dish. The fish and shrimp get a rich, creamy touch from the lemon cream sauce, making every bite full of flavor. It’s perfect for when you want something special but easy to cook, bringing a bit of the sea’s freshness straight to your plate.
Why We Love This Easy Dinner Idea
- Quick and Easy: With a total time of just 20 minutes, this recipe is perfect for a fast and delicious meal, making it ideal for busy weeknights or last-minute dinners.
- Flavorful Combination: The mild, delicate taste of tilapia paired with the slight sweetness of shrimp complements the zesty and creamy lemon sauce, offering a nice mix of flavors that are sure to please.
- Versatile and Fancy: This dish is not only simple to prepare but also has an elegant touch, making it suitable for both a regular family dinner and special occasions when you want to impress your guests.
Complete list of ingredients with quantities and instructions is located in the recipe card below
- Tilapia Filets: Tilapia is a mild, white fish that’s perfect for absorbing the flavors of the sauce. It’s also rich in protein and low in calories, making it a healthy choice. Any other white fish fillets can be used here such as walleye, cod, haddock, and even salmon works.
- Shrimp: Use large deveined shrimp for this recipe, you can leave the tails on or remove them as we did.
- Half and Half: This adds creaminess to the lemon sauce, giving it a rich texture and flavor. It’s lighter than heavy cream but still offers a luxurious feel to the sauce.
- Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice brings a bright, tangy flavor to the sauce.
- Parmesan Cheese.
How To Make Pan Seared Tilapia and Shrimp
- Prepare the Seafood: Start by arranging the tilapia filets and shrimp in a large skillet that you’ve greased slightly to prevent sticking. Season the seafood with salt and pepper to enhance their natural flavors.
- Cook the Seafood: Heat the skillet over a medium flame. Cook the seafood, flipping halfway through the cooking process. The shrimp should turn a nice pink color and become opaque, while the tilapia should turn white and flake easily when it’s fully cooked. Tilapia and shrimp cook very quickly so do not walk away.
- Make the Lemon Cream Sauce: While the seafood is cooking, prepare the lemon cream sauce. In a small saucepan, whisk together the half and half, lemon juice, garlic powder, and paprika. Heat the mixture over medium heat until it starts to bubble gently.
- Add the Cheese: Once the sauce begins to bubble, reduce the heat to low. Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Continue stirring frequently as the sauce simmers. It’s ready when it has thickened to your liking. If you accidentally thicken it too much, add a splash of milk or half and half.
- Assemble and Serve: Once the seafood is cooked and the sauce is ready, it’s time to plate your dish. Arrange a tilapia filet on each plate, top with the cooked shrimp, and generously drizzle the lemon cream sauce over the top.
- Pat the Seafood Dry: Before cooking, pat the tilapia and shrimp dry with paper towels. This helps to remove excess moisture, ensuring that the seafood cooks evenly and gets a nice sear in the pan.
- Don’t Overcook the Seafood: Keep a close eye on the cooking time for both the tilapia and shrimp. Overcooked seafood can become tough and lose its delicate texture. Shrimp cook quickly, turning pink and opaque when done, and tilapia should flake easily with a fork.
- Whisk the Sauce Thoroughly: When making the lemon cream sauce, whisk the ingredients well to avoid lumps. You want a smooth, well-emulsified sauce.
- Simmer the Sauce Gently: Let the sauce simmer on low heat to thicken it without burning or curdling. Stirring it often prevents sticking and ensures a smooth, creamy consistency.
- Serve Immediately: This dish is best enjoyed fresh. Serve the tilapia and shrimp hot from the skillet, topped with the warm lemon cream sauce.
- Adjust to Taste: Don’t hesitate to tweak the seasoning in the sauce or the amount of lemon juice to suit your taste.
Storing and Reheating
- Refrigeration: Place any leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate. The seafood and sauce should ideally be stored separately if possible. Consume within 1-2 days for the best quality and safety.
- Freezing: It’s generally not recommended to freeze this dish. The creamy sauce may separate and the texture of the seafood can become rubbery once thawed and reheated.
- In the Oven: Reheat the seafood gently in the oven. Preheat the oven to a low temperature, around 275°F (135°C), place the seafood on a baking dish, and heat until just warmed through. This method helps to prevent the seafood from drying out or getting overcooked.
- On the Stovetop: For the sauce, gently reheat it in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent the sauce from separating or sticking to the pan. If the sauce has thickened too much in the fridge, you can thin it with a little bit of milk or water until you reach the desired consistency.
- Avoid the Microwave: Using the microwave can cause uneven heating and may affect the texture of the fish and shrimp, making them tough, and can also cause the creamy sauce to separate.
Remember, when reheating any food, ensure it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to be safe to eat.
This dish is perfect for when you want something a bit special but still easy to make. After you’ve tried it, feel free to share how it went. We’d love to hear what you think, so go ahead and leave a rating and your thoughts on the recipe. Enjoy your meal!
Pan Seared Tilapia and Shrimp with Lemon Cream Sauce
- 3 tilapia fillets
- 12 large raw shrimp deveined
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a large, greased skillet, arrange the tilapia filets and shrimp. Sprinkle both with salt and pepper for seasoning. Cook over medium low heat for about 10 minutes, turning the seafood halfway through. The shrimp should turn pink and opaque, and the tilapia should become white and flaky.
- Prepare the Lemon Cream Sauce: While the seafood is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan, whisk together the half and half, lemon juice, garlic powder, and paprika. Place the pan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a slow boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Whisk in the Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir the sauce frequently and continue to cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until it thickens to your desired consistency.
- Plate each tilapia filet and top with four shrimp. Generously spoon the warm lemon cream sauce over the seafood before serving.
- Dry the Seafood: Pat tilapia and shrimp dry before cooking for the best sear.
- Monitor Cooking: Watch the seafood closely to prevent overcooking.
- Stir the Sauce: Keep stirring the sauce for a smooth consistency.
- Gentle Reheat: Warm leftovers slowly to maintain texture and flavor.
- Season to Taste: Adjust lemon and seasoning based on your preference.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.