Recipe: Mustard-Baked Tilapia With Apple Sides

Apple quinoa and apple salsa perfectly complement mild white fish.

apple quinoa photo by asia bradlee

All photos by Asia Bradlee

For many Bostonians, visiting a local orchard and dragging home a heaping bag of freshly picked apples is a go-to fall activity. To help you use up your bounty, I created two apple recipes that pair perfectly with a fresh piece of fish.

If you can’t find tilapia, sub in any type of firm white fish, such as cod. I chose to use Granny Smith apples for the side dishes because of their tart flavor and bright green color, but any variety works. These recipes make enough for two people, so if you’re cooking for a bigger group, double or triple the ingredients.

Mustard-Baked Tilapia


Two tilapia filets
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbs dijon or whole-grain mustard
1 tsp honey (optional)


Whisk together the apple cider vinegar, mustard, and honey, if using. Place the fish in a bowl or plastic bag and cover with the marinade. Let it soak for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Bake the fish for 20 to 25 minutes.

Apple Rosemary Quinoa 

Protein-packed quinoa and dried rosemary create a healthy, whole-grain side. White quinoa brings out the fall colors of the other ingredients, but red or multi-colored quinoa would also work. Feel free to swap the walnuts for your nut of choice.


2 cups quinoa
3 tsp dried rosemary
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1 apple


Cook the quinoa according to package directions, being sure to rinse first. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, chop the apple into small squares. Mix together the cooled quinoa, rosemary, walnuts, and fruit. Serve with fish.

Apple and Black Bean Salsa

This salsa uses apple and radish to add some crunch to the fish. Tomatoes or cilantro would also make great additions.


1 can black beans
1 apple
1/4 cup red onion
1/2 cup chopped radishes


Dice the apple and onion. Mix with the black beans, red onion, and radishes. Serve atop the fish.

Apple Salsa photo by Asia Bradlee