10 Best Tilapia Substitutes


Fish is a healthy and nutritious food that most of us enjoy. There are many varieties of fish that are considered a delicacy. In almost every grocery store or fish market, you have the opportunity to choose from the many fresh fish that is sold.

One of those is the tilapia fish. It’s a very popular fish that is commonly used in the US and Canada. Tilapia is part of the cichlid family and is a lean fish with a firm texture.

You can catch this type of fish in the wild. It has a lot of Omega 3 fatty acids, which makes it very healthy to eat. However, what if you are unable to find it or want to try something else, is there an alternative?

Can I use other types of fish as substitutes? Absolutely! You can use alternatives like Catfish, Striped Bass, Bream, Red Snapper, Flounder fillets, Rainbow Trout, Branzino, Lake trout, Sole fillets, and Mullet.

Scroll down to find out more about each fish.

Substitutes for Tilapia Fish

Check out the list of the best alternative fish that you can fry, instead of tilapia fish and use in many recipes.

1. Catfish


A very common fish that will be a good alternative to Tilapia fish is the catfish. This is a type of fish that has a very firm texture and a very unique taste.

Catfish fish has a very mild, sweet, and moist taste and it is preferred more than other fish types. It is very healthy with Omega 3 and vitamin B12.

Make sure to choose ones that are caught and farm-raised because they are considered to be cleaner and to have less fish smell and flavor.

2. Striped Bass

Striped bass

Another fish that can be found in the wild as well as farmed in the Striped Bass, which is a very good substitute for Tilapia. Whichever option you choose to buy, they are very delicious with a sweet and briny taste and no hints of fish smell or taste. Their flesh is white and flaky with fat. When cooked, you don’t even have to add any additional butter but a bit of oil.

The difference between farmed and wild ones is the texture. The wild striped bass has a firmer texture, but both can be a good alternative to tilapia.

3. Bream

Also known as Abramis brama, a type of fish that is another alternative to Tilapia fish. This is a type of fish that is commonly used and prepared as part of European cuisine.

It comes from the carp family and can be found in many lakes and slow rivers. Bream fish is a deep-bodied fish that has flat sides and a small head, it’s silver with a brown back.

Tilapia and bream are from different families, but they are still similar. Bream fish are considered to be very tasty. They have a very clean and meaty texture. Use it as filets or fry it.

4. Red Snapper

Red Snapper

Red Snapper fish is one of the many that is considered a good replacement for Tilapia fish. They have a similar texture and flavor.

Red Snappers are considered healthy and contain a lot of Omega 3. Actually, they are very delicate, moist, and sweet. When shopping, opt for the raw snapper filet. It is slightly pink and features a yellow hue.

5. Flounder fillets

Flounder fish comes from the flatfish species found on the bottom of oceans. They can be purchased as whole fish or thin fillets.

However, the fillets are the alternative that you need for Tilapia. This type of fish has sweet tones and a very delicate texture with low levels of oil and most.

6. Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout fish is an interesting and delicate fish with a nutty flavor and a tender flesh, which is flaky and soft.

They have a is white, pink, or orange flesh. However, the colors fade during the cooking process. The texture is not very firm, so you can use it as a substitute in many recipes.

7. Branzino


One of the fish that found its way on our list is the Branzino fish that’s present in the European seas. It is a flaky fish with a mild sweet flavor.

The mildness of this fish fits well with many Southeast Asian ingredients and fennel or tomatoes. Use in many recipes that require tilapia and make a nice dish.

8. Lake trout

You can find this type of fish in many markets. It lives in the lakes and has a different taste depending on its location.

It has an off-white cloud and this is because it has a fat content. Lake trout are fatty and greasy fish. You can use them in different manners.

9. Sole fillets

Another healthy option that is a good swap for tilapia is the sole fillets. They have high levels of vitamin B12 and other vitamins and minerals.

There are 3 types of soles including the common sole, Dover sole, and the black sole. Use any of them as a substitute for tilapia. They have a sweet taste and a delicate texture.

10. Mullet

Mullet is available in the Gulf of Mexico. It is a great substitute for tilapia thanks to the nutty flavor and moist and firm texture. It contains a high level of oil, vitamins, and minerals.

Related Questions

Is Cod a good substitute for tilapia?

Cod is a mildly firm fish that is very similar to tilapia. Therefore, it’s the ideal replacement for this fish in any dish. But keep in mind that cod cooks slower than tilapia because it’s thicker.

Is tilapia a good substitute for salmon?

Absolutely! They’re both popular, healthy, and contain a lot of protein. The best part? They have low nutrients. You can use them as a substitute for one another in different recipes.

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