Lemon Foil Fish and Mango Salsa


When my husband sees tilapia, lemon and foil on the counter around dinner time he gets really excited. My foil fish is probably one of his favorite meals, so simple to make and very versatile.

As a child my mother never cooked fish at home. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I understood why…

Fish is difficult to cook. In a pan it falls apart, on an open rack in the oven it makes the whole house smell and frying, well it’s cooking with a large vat of oil, nuff said.

But fish is so versatile, good for you and amazingly tasty. Restaurants are expensive and fast food is gross so the only option was to figure it out. I ran across this foil technique several years ago. It was originally listed as way to make fish tacos but the flavors were all wrong. After a couple of failed attempts, I came up with the current spice blend. It’s great for fish tacos, with dirty rice or alongside Greek green beans. Oh and the best thing, the house doesn’t smell of fish!


4 Tilapia filets, thawed

1 medium to large lemon, quartered

4 sheets of 6 – 8” long foil, must be big enough to encompass filet

Onion Powder

Garlic Powder


Sea Salt



  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lay all 4 foils flat on the counter. Sprinkle lightly with onion, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. I don’t measure. Part is intuitive, part is preference and part is practice. My husband prefers more garlic and I prefer more onion flavor.
  3. Place the tilapia filet in the center of the foil. Using a handheld juicer, squeeze the juice from ¼ of the lemon onto the fish.
  4. Sprinkle seasoning on top as before: onion, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper.
  5. Pinch edges together, rolling down the foil to make a baking pouch.
  6. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes. Bottom of the pouch should be warm/hot. Serve with tortilla and Mango Salsa (see below).

Mango is my new obsession. It’s sweet, handles spices and bakes like a dream.

Where have you been all my life? No matter, I’m quickly making up for lost time.

This salsa is more like a fresh pico than smooth salsa. It uses fresh jalapeno which is complemented nicely by the sweetness of the mango. Don’t be alarmed by the cucumber. It provides structure and are mild enough not to affect the flavor. My hubby won’t eat cucumbers and didn’t realize they were in there until I told him. Just trust me.

By the way, mangos are in season and more recipes are on the horizon!


2 medium mangos – peeled, pitted and diced

½ medium-large purple onion, diced

½ medium cucumber, seeded and diced

1 small tomato, diced

1 jalapeno, finely diced

½ bushel of cilantro, finely diced

Juice of 1 lime


  1. Combine all veggies into a bowl. Add lime and stir. Serve with chips, fish or my favorite, a spoon!

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Comments: 6

  1. Jeanne-Marie May 11, 2011 at 9:39 am Reply

    Hey Melissa!

    I’ve really been enjoying your posts! I wanted to share something with you on fish I thought you might like. I grew up eating fish in my family and my Dad would cook it. He was a boyscout and grew up on te Middissippi gulf coast so seafood was a huge part of their diet. He learned to make foil packs (very similar to what you did here).

    We would place the fish with a piece of butter, onions, bell peppers(all the colors), and salt, pepper, and garlic powder on a sheet of tin foil. Then he would make a packet making it into a square and making sure there were no openings so that the steam would collect inside and cook the fish. If you do it right you’ll notice the packets puff up when they are cooking. Now my dad would put them under coals to cook. However I put my packets on a cookie sheet in the oven at 450 for 10min. It steams the fish and veggies and it’s amazing! Just thought I’d share :)

  2. Sebastian September 17, 2011 at 5:59 am Reply

    Keep up the good work, you have a nice blog here with a lot of good information! When you post something new, I’ll visit your blog again and follow it.

  3. mls August 14, 2012 at 5:54 am Reply

    excellent website

    • Jennis October 18, 2012 at 5:00 am Reply

      Great article but it didn’t have evryething-I didn’t find the kitchen sink!

    • Frank October 20, 2012 at 2:04 am Reply

      Melissa, I loved all the vendors! I diitnefely would feel Blessed to win anything from any of them But because I have a heart for Photography, I would say I loved yours the best. You do a super job..enjoyed looking through all your pics and all the expressions that you were able to capture!!! Photography tells the best story ever!!!!

    • Dakota October 20, 2012 at 3:31 am Reply

      that is how i cook all the time in glass baking dihses, but just make sure you cover the edges also. plus sometimes while cutting or serving it out you can rip the bottom and it gets all over anyway-so be careful.

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