margarita grilled tilapia with cilantro black beans and rice

I luuuurve Chili’s (restaurant) Margarita Grilled Chicken, so when I found this recipe for Margarita Grilled Tilapia, I got excited.  Honestly, it tastes nothing like the restaurant version… but it is pretty fantastic in its own right.

What goes together better than margaritas and Mexican food?  Nothing!  So I scoured the interwebs for a black bean recipe that would fit the bill and came up with this recipe for Cilantro Black Beans.

The marinade contains some tequila, but you could skip it if you’re not a fan of alcohol.  There is plenty of flavor in there without it.  The lime juice cuts down on the “fishy” smell but will start to “cook” the tilapia if it’s left in the marinade too long, so try not to keep it in for more than half an hour.

We spent about $4 on the ingredients (minus the fish, spices and tequila, which we already had) for this meal, so  it’s also fairly frugal.  We bought a 2-pound package of frozen tilapia at Aldi’s a few weeks ago for about $6.50 (~$3.25/lb).  We’ve used it in two meals this month, and I feel like that was a good deal.  We could have stretched it further, but I like to make my husband two fillets for each meal rather than just one.


  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1-1/3 cups tomato juice
  • 1 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt (I didn’t add this due to high-sodium tomato juice)
  • 4-5 tilapia fillets
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest (about 1 lime)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tequila
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • sea salt to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • cayenne pepper to taste (1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon.. or more)

I cooked the beans first and then, while the sauce was reducing, I broke out the George Forman and grilled the tilapia.  They took about 8 minutes on medium.  You could also grill them outdoors or cook in a skillet with a little olive oil.

Note: The “Print and PDF” button below will allow you to easily delete as much of the text and pictures  as you like prior to printing, so you’ll save on ink and paper.


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