Crispy Coconut Baked Fish Fillets

Crispy Coconut Baked Fish Fillets are quick and tasty – perfect for a weeknight meal. But then, there’s a coconut-cilantro sauce that makes them special enough for company.

Spring is here! And with the hope of hot days ahead my mind has drifted to tropical flavors. Today it’s all about Crispy Coconut Baked Fish Fillets.

Coconut Baked Fish

I really love coconut shrimp and I’ve played with doing healthier baked versions at home. But coating each individual shrimp was a bit time-consuming. So I decided to use the coating on something bigger to save time. Coconut baked fish fillets were born. You can use tilapia or any mild white fish fillet.

This is a popular dish in my house, I think because of the bit of sweetness from the coconut. I usually make it as a quick weeknight meal because I know they’ll eat it. But I also served these fillets when friends were over. The coconut coating and the coconut-cilantro sauce turned the otherwise simple fish, rice, and broccoli dinner into something special.

Coconut Cilantro Sauce

This sauce that gets served on the side really elevates the dish for me. To make, combine Greek yogurt and coconut milk with a little salt. This actually gets brushed on the fish before baking, but then the rest gets cilantro and lime juice added to it.

It’s a great addition to the coconut baked fish and so refreshing.

Another great way to use yogurt in your dinner is with this recipe for Indian Spiced Grilled Chicken with Yogurt Sauce.

Here’s my recipe for Crispy Coconut Baked Fish Fillets with Coconut-Cilantro Sauce:


Crispy Coconut Baked Fish Fillets

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


This baked fish recipe is easy enough for any weeknight but the coconut-cilantro sauce makes it special enough for guests.


  • Baking spray
  • 4 white fish fillets, such as tilapia (about 1.5 lbs.)
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Spray a large baking pan with baking spray (or you can grease it with 1 teaspoon of olive oil or vegetable oil). Arrange the fish fillets on the pan.
  3. In a small bowl combine the yogurt, coconut milk, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Measure 4 tablespoons of this sauce into a separate small bowl. Brush the 4 tablespoons of sauce onto the tops of the fish fillets. Cover and refrigerate the bowl of remaining sauce.
  4. In a small bowl combine the panko, shredded coconut, vegetable oil, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Sprinkle 1/4 of the crumbs down the middle of each fillet and then use your fingers to flatten and spread it, coating the top of each fillet.
  5. Bake until well browned and cooked through, 10-12 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, to the remaining bowl of yogurt sauce add the cilantro and lime juice. Stir.
  7. Serve the fish with the cold yogurt sauce on the side.