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Spice-Rubbed Grilled Tilapia

Paprika is so much more than a little dusting of color for your deviled eggs and potato salad!

Smoked paprika, Pimenton de la Vera, has a smoky quality and taste I really like for a robust dish.  It’s the Spanish cousin of the more popular sweet Hungarian paprika.  
Smoked Paprika, Pimenton de la Vera, La Tienda the Best of Spain photo credit
Sweet Hungarian Paprika, Vspicery photo credit

Unlike Hungarian-grown paprika, in which red peppers are slowly sun-dried into a rich, fruity flavor, with no heat, smoked paprika is made from dried pimento peppers that have been smoked over an oak fire, and then ground into a fine powder for a woodsy smoky flavor.  

Smoked paprika can be sweet or hot ~ a little goes a long way ~ add it to grilled or roasted seafood, meats and stews, or ~ make sinister deviled eggs!

I saw this recipe, loaded with good seasonings, in our local newspaper, The Northwest Herald. Herbs de Provence is a classic blend of herbs from the sunny South of France, which includes thyme, savory, fennel, basil and lavender.  It’s equally good on roasted chicken and in sauces. 

This rub was exactly what the tilapia was begging for:

It gave the fish plenty of flavor that both Bill and I liked.  It’s good ~ give it a try!

Spice-Rubbed Grilled Tilapia


Cooking spray
2 pounds tilapia fillets
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons herbs de Provence
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper


Lightly spray tilapia with cooking spray.
Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
Rub spices into fish fillets.
Grill over medium heat until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Serves 4



  1. Pam, We both like Tilapia and the smoked paprika would definitely 'pop' it up a bit. Spicy would be good for both of us. It's strange but I can't stand pimentos...until they're dried and crushed into paprika! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  2. I am Hungarian. I use all kinds of paprika, from mild, sweet to HOT.
    And I love it all. It's one spice you will never see me without. But then,
    I was raised on it. Good good stuff.

    1. Me too. I really love a sweet paprika mixed with a good organic cayenne. Oh man. Toss in some Kosher salt or some good sea salt, and it's heaven on chicken. I have a post coming up with pictures of that one. No recipe, just slap it all together and bake.

      PS: Table is set, and my crumb cake is under the cake dome. I love having a cake plate. So much fun.

  3. Sounds delicious Pam. Seasonings make all the difference. Blessings, Catherine xo

  4. I've loved smoked paprika for a long time but have never thought of using it with another one of my favorites, herbs de Provence. We're big fish eaters and I can't wait to give this a try.

  5. Look soo good Pam! I love this!
    Usually I use paprika too!
    Look delicious!

  6. I have never bought smoked paprika before. This is something I must add to my grocery list..

  7. What great flavors for the Tilapia, Pam! Perfect for summer grilling.

  8. What a delicious rub for tilapia! I love smoked paprika! It does have a wonderful flavor.

  9. Hi Pam....hope all is great up your way. We've got HOT temps down here in East Texas. I definitely need to serve more fish
    around this place. You inspire me with your cooking..

  10. I love the way you cooked this fish Pam!

  11. The spice package sounds very good and grilling it takes it up another notch.

  12. I laughed at the first line of your post, Pam, because that is how we used paprika when I was growing up. Maybe on potato salad, as well.


  13. I love love paprikia...and I love love fish! This will be happening soon!

  14. Wow, love the sound of this. Hope all is well Diane


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