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Hot Of The Grill: Grilled Pesto Tilapia

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Chef Natalie Schwab, the culinary demonstrator for Johnson & Wales University, shows us how to make Grilled Pesto Tilapia.

Fresh ingredients are provided by King Soopers.

Grilled Pesto Tilapia


  • 2 tilapia filets
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp of your favorite fish seasoning, or simply salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup of prepared pesto, you can also make your own
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup grape or cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 3 tbsp. green onion thinly sliced.Instructions:
    1. Remove Tilapia from the refrigerator, rub on both sides with olive oil and season with fish rub, and let the fish come to room temperature.
    2. Preheat the grill to medium
    3. While the grill heats and the fish comes to room temperature, cut grape tomatoes in half and slice green onions.
    4. In a small bowl combine the homemade pesto with the lemon juice and stir to combine. Set aside.
    5. Tear off four squares of foil, stack them up to make two double pieces, and spray the inside of the foil with non-stick spray or brush with olive oil.
    6. To assemble, put a piece of fish on top of each double piece of foil, spread about 2T pesto over each piece of fish, and scatter half the tomatoes and green onions over each.  Fold the foil around the fish, tightly sealing the ends.
    7. Cook fish on the hot grill without turning until the fish is cooked through and the pesto, tomatoes, and green onions are wilted and have formed a flavorful sauce.  Approximately 12-14 minutes.


    Fresh Pesto



    • 2 cups fresh basil
    • 4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
    • ½ cup olive oil
    • ½ cup pine nuts
    • ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
    • Salt and pepper to taste


    1. Wash basil leaves if needed and spin dry or dry with paper towels. Put basil leaves and sliced garlic into food processor that's been fitted with the steel blade and process until basil and garlic is finely chopped, adding oil through the feed tube as you process. Make sure to stop and scrape down the sides every once in a while to ensure even blending.
    2. Add pine nuts and cheese to the chopped basil mixture and process 1-2 minutes more, until the pesto is mostly pureed and well mixed.
    3. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper and pulse a few times more.
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