Pick Up {Fish}Sticks

Were you one of those kids that got to eat fish sticks for dinner growing up? If so, I’m jealous.

I always felt like I was missing out because we never ate fish sticks. Of course I made up for it when I moved out on my own. I can’t tell you how many times I cooked a ‘gourmet meal’ of fish sticks and tater tots.

Now, I’m not going to mess with tots- those deserve to stay in their original fried potato form, but the fish sticks could use a little bit of growing up.

Imagine my husband’s surprise when he came home to this in the fridge.

angus beef

For a moment he thought I’d become Awesome Wife and was cooking him some Angus beef for dinner. Then he looked closer.

He was disappointed to see it was tilapia, but my status was upped a little when I told him it was for homemade fish sticks.

tilapia filets

Baked Tilapia Fish Sticks

by with a Side of Sneakers


  • 2 tilapia filets
  • 1/4 c almond milk {or other milk}
  • 1/8 t cayenne pepper {adjust for spiciness preference}
  • s & p
  • 1/2 to 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • splash of lemon juic


Salt & pepper both sides of the fish fillets. Cut into sticks {or wedges}.

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tilapia fish

Mix almond milk, cayenne pepper, and some extra black pepper into a small dipping bowl. Fill another small bowl with panko breadcrumbs.

fish coating

Dip fish pieces in milk mixture, letting extra milk drip back into bowl. Then dredge in panko breadcrumbs, coating thoroughly.

Arrange on baking sheet. Cook for 20 minutes at 425 degrees, flipping half way through. Broil a few minutes after baking to increase crispiness, then drizzle with lemon.

I was fresh out of tots, so I went for the next best thing….roasted broccoli.

I’m not kidding when I say everything tastes better roasted.

fresh broccoli

Toss broccoli in olive oil, pepper, and garlic {optional}. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, or until brown & crispy.

roasted broccoli

Drizzle roasted broccoli with lemon juice. Optional: sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Twenty minutes later, fish sticks were served! With the oh so mature and sophisticated dipping sauce of ketchup mixed with hot sauce.

baked fish sticks

Almost as good as the boxed stuff.

fish sticks and broccoli

One of the filets was delicious, but the other? Not so much. Ever hear the saying if something’s too good to be true, it’s probably not?

Well, I’m guessing the was a reason for the ridiculously cheap price that I didn’t notice until I got home…

cheap fish

No wonder I stick with the frozen stuff.