Open Arms of Minnesota

Weekly Recipe #345: Grilled Lemon Pepper Tilapia & Squash Packs

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By: Stephanie Grindeland, 2018 Diet Tech Intern – Normandale Community College

When I was growing up, I lived in California. I had a beautiful vineyard in my backyard and regular access to fresh fruits and vegetables. One of my fondest memories of California is when my dad would go fishing on the ocean and bring home fresh and delicious fish for dinner. Nothing beats freshly caught fish from the coast! He liked to keep food simple and we did the aluminum foil packet dinners often. It requires very little preparation, is easy to throw on the grill, cooks quickly and keeps the fish nice and moist while allowing the flavors of the vegetables to complete the dish.

This simple and easy dish is packed with flavor and healthy fats. Most fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, the “good fats” for your body. These fats are anti-inflammatory and help reduce cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fish per week. Even more, fish is an excellent source of protein along with healthy fats. Any other white fish can easily be substituted in this recipe (examples include halibut, cod, pollock and sole).


Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 pound tilapia fillets
  • 2 tsp. dried basil leaves
  • 1 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 3 medium zucchini, cut into small chunks
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 pound mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil


  1. Heat up the grill.
  2. Cut heavy-duty aluminum foil into 18- x 12-inch sheets, then spray each sheet with cooking spray.
  3. Cut fish into 4 serving sizes (about the size of a deck of cards) if needed. Place one piece of fish on each piece of foil and sprinkle with 1 tsp. basil, ½ tsp. of lemon pepper and ½ tsp. salt.
  4. Arrange chopped zucchini, bell pepper and mushrooms on top of the fish fillets. Sprinkle with remaining basil, lemon pepper and salt. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.
  5. Fold the foil over the fish and vegetables so the edges meet. Seal edges, making a tight ½ inch fold and then fold again. Make sure there is space on the edge inside packet for air circulation and expansion.
  6. Cover and grill packets on medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork and vegetables are tender-crisp.
  7. Place the foil packet on a plate, cut a large X into the foil and pull foil back. Enjoy!


For 1 serving: 199 calories, 24 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 9 total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 56 mg cholesterol, 263 mg sodium


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