Blackened Tilapia with Black-eyed Peas and Grits

After a sort of family reunion in Charleston, South Carolina, I got into a big time southern cooking wave. Going off the Creole/Southern vibe, I came up with this variation of a meal that my dad made a few times when I was growing up. Fresh tilapia makes a huge difference – I got mine from Costco and filed them here – but tilapia filets from the store will still be good. Feel free to adjust the amounts on the blackened seasoning, what I have here is general estimates but I didn’t write it down when I was actually doing it.

Tilapia w/ Black-Eye Peas and Grits

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 4



  • 4 Tilapia filets
  • 1 t Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 t Cayenne
  • 1/2 t Thyme
  • 1/2 t Oregano
  • 1/2 t Garlic powder
  • 1/2 t Cumin
  • 1 t Paprika

Black-Eye Peas

  • 1 can black-eye peas drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 yellow onion diced
  • 2-3 stalks celery diced
  • 2 jalapeños fine dice
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed then chopped
  • 1/2 shallot fine dice
  • 2-3 strips bacon optional, chopped
  • 1/2 chicken stock
  • Cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cayenne pepper


  • 1 package instant grits
  • Water
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper



  • In small saucepan, follow measurements for instant grits. I believe I did 2 c water and 1/2 c grits. Season with salt and pepper once cooked. Add knob of butter once plated.

Black-eye Peas

  • In saucepan over medium/medium-high heat, add bacon. Cook for until brown and mostly cooked through. Add onion, celery, jalapeños, garlic, shallot. Sauté for a 3-5 minutes. Season with cumin, cayenne, pepper – the bacon is already salty so tread lightly with the salt. Add chicken stock, then peas. Turn to simmer and let cook/reduce for 10 minutes or so.


  • Combine seasonings in small bowl. Then sprinkle over fish.
  • In large cast iron over high heat, add 1 T olive oil, then seasoned fish. Cook for less than a minute a side – I didn’t keep track but was probably close to 30 or so seconds.
Keyword beans, fish, peas, tilapia