This orange cashew rice with baked tilapia is light and fresh and tasty, it will leave you wondering why you’ve never simmered rice in orange juice before!

Thanks to an unfailing grocery budget, I don’t splurge on seafood very often. So you’d think that when I did, the seafood, tilapia in this case, would be the star of the show.

And while it is extremely delicious – baked simply with lime zest and butter – it was the out-of-this-world orange cashew rice that had me craving more.

White bowl with cooked jasmice rice with orange flavoring and chopped peppers, cashews, and chives.

An unusual combination (don’t be skeptical!), this rice is so unbelievably delicious that even my mainstream willing-to-eat-hot-dogs-for-every-meal-husband was begging me to make it again the next night.

Basmati rice simmers in orange juice, zest and water and is then tossed with roasted cashews, freshly diced red and yellow peppers, green onions and sweet mandarin orange segments.

It is light and fresh and so tasty, it left me wondering why I’ve never simmered rice in orange juice before!

What to Serve With This

While it was wonderful served with delicate fish, it would also be fantastic with any sort of lean meat, chicken or pork, or simply served as a vegetarian weeknight meal.

A delightfully healthy and refreshing meal, both components are bound to be making a comeback. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to dream about this rice every day until we make it again.

It’s really that good.

White plate with cooked tilapia and one bite of tilapia on a fork, and a serving of orange jasmine rice behind it.

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Orange Cashew Rice {With Baked Tilapia}

4.63 stars (8 ratings)


For the rice:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • ½ cup roasted cashew pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped yellow peppers
  • ¼ cup chopped red peppers
  • 3 green onions, minced
  • 1 (8-ounce) can mandarin orange segments, drained well

For the tilapia:

  • 4 (6-8 ounce each) fillets tilapia
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 lime, finely grated zest and juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces


  • For the rice, in a 2-quart saucepan, bring the water, orange juice, orange zest, olive oil and salt to a boil. Stir in the rice. Cover the saucepan and lower the heat to a gentle simmer, simmering the rice for 25-30 minutes, until the rice is cooked through and the liquid has totally evaporated. Let stand, covered, off the heat for 5-10 minutes. Scrape the rice into a large bowl. Add the cashew pieces, peppers and green onions. Season with salt and pepper and add the drained orange segments to the rice, folding them in gently to prevent the oranges from breaking.
  • For the tilapia, while the rice simmers, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and coat a 9-10 inch cast iron pan with nonstick cooking spray. Rinse the tilapia and pat dry. Place the fish in the cast iron pan in a single layer. Season each fillet on both sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle lime zest over the fish and drizzle with lime juice. Place a pat of butter on each fillet. Bake in the oven for 8-12 minutes until cooked through. Serve rice and fish immediately, spooning pan juices over fish, if desired.


Rice: if you don’t have basmati rice on hand, you can try substituting long grain white rice since it has the same basic rice-to-liquid ratio.
Cashews: also, if your cashews are untoasted/unroasted, simply scatter them in a skillet and toast them for a few minutes on the stovetop for a few minutes until golden.
Serving: 1 Serving, Calories: 569kcal, Carbohydrates: 58g, Protein: 42g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 100mg, Sodium: 152mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 13g

Recipe Source: rice adapted slightly from The Whole Foods Market Cookbook, tilapia from Bobby Deen