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Why wait to go out to dinner to order a fish dish when you can make this oven baked tilapia recipe even better at home? Tilapia is a very easy to cook fish that is priced affordably. And because it’s a versatile white fish, you’ll find there are many ways to make it restaurant-quality in your kitchen. Even my kids eat up every last bite of this tilapia recipe!

Best Baked Tilapia Recipe

The thing I love about oven baked tilapia most, aside from the taste, is that it takes little time to prepare and cook. That’s why this is the best tilapia recipe there is…simple ingredients, easy to make, and a medley of fresh flavors give it the kind of taste that makes it feel like you had your own personal chef cook it for the family.

Ingredients in Tilapia Dish

  • Tilapia filets – Naturally, the star ingredient. If you can get it fresh, do it!
  • Minced garlic – Because garlic makes everything more delicious! And this lemon garlic tilapia is no exception.
  • Butter – You’ll want to melt half a stick of salted butter.
  • Lemon juice – Squeeze it fresh and bring out the best in your fish.
  • Lemon zest – If you’ve never added it, you’ll soon see how it will elevate this baked tilapia recipe.
  • Lemon slices – And while you’re at it, get some slices of lemon ready!
  • Fresh parsley – Nothing goes better with fresh fish than fresh herbs.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes – These are optional but I highly recommend!
  • Salt and pepper – The only tilapia seasoning you’ll need. Though be gentle with the salt since the butter you’re using is salted.

Good things come to those who bait.

Easy Tilapia Recipe

There’s no excuse not to eat fresh fish and have a healthy meal when you know this easy tilapia recipe. In just 25 minutes, you’ll have baked tilapia on the table so plan your sides well and dinner will be fast, simple, and delicious!

How do you Make Baked Tilapia from Scratch?

The best way to cook tilapia is in the oven. You’ll heat your oven to 375F and spray nonstick spray on a baking dish. Then whisk the melted butter with lemon juice and zest. Pat the fish down with a paper towel and season both sides well with salt and pepper, then put them in the baking dish. Drizzle that lemon-butter mixture on top. Bake 10 to 12 minutes and garnish with lemon slices, parsley, and if you want, red pepper flakes.

Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Tilapia Every Time

  • Choose fresh tilapia. If it’s at all possible, get it fresh. Frozen will work fine too, just remember to thaw it first.
  • Don’t skip the lemon zest. If you’ve only been adding lemon to your fish dishes, you’ll see how lemon zest makes all the difference. It adds so much more flavor, plus a pretty pop of color too.
  • Reduce sodium with unsalted butter. To trim a little sodium out of this dish, use unsalted butter. But don’t forget to salt the dish if you do!
  • Don’t overcook the fish. Tilapia is perfectly cooked when it is white and flakes easily with a fork. When cooking tilapia in the oven be careful not to overcook it.

Is tilapia a good fish to eat?

Tilapia is very affordable and easy to get. Since it has loads of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, it’s a healthy choice.

How do you make tilapia taste less fishy?

That’s simple…use this recipe! With the garlic, butter, and lemon, it soaks into the fish and gives it a wonderful taste that is anything but fishy!

How to Cook Tilapia

You can cook tilapia a number of ways, but in this recipe, you’ll be baking it. The prep time is a snap and it will be ready quickly!

How Long to Bake Tilapia

At 375F, tilapia should bake for 10 to 12 minutes. As each oven is different, be sure to check at 10 minutes and see if more time is needed. 

Does tilapia need to be fully cooked?

You don’t need to overcook it but you should make sure it turns white and flakes easily. If it’s still opaque, it needs a little more time.

What temp should tilapia be cooked to?

Tilapia should be cooked so that your tilapia internal temp reaches 145F. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can tell when the fish flakes easily apart with your fork.

What temperature should tilapia be?

When cooking tilpaia in the oven, it should have an internal temperature of 145F before serving and enjoying.

What goes well with Tilapia?

Grilled or steamed veggies, a crispy fresh salad like Caesar, red potatoes with garlic butter, risotto, steamed rice, and lemon butter pasta are just a few suggestions. Tilapia is such a versatile fish that is easy to complement with just about anything!

What should I serve with tilapia?

How you prepare the tilapia should dictate what you serve. For this recipe, it’s very light and lemony so a risotto, salad, steamed veggies, rice or pasta will pair beautifully with it.

How to Store Tilapia

Tilapia needs to be stored in the fridge or freezer. You should take care to store it well.

How Long Does Tilapia Last?

Before you cook it, tilapia is good in the fridge for a day or two. But after cooking, you can keep it for 3 to 4 days before you’ll need to freeze it.

Can You Freeze Tilapia?

Yes! If you can seal the bag free of all air, you may get 6 months out of it, but I wouldn’t push it. Cooked tilapia should be frozen for no longer than 2 to 3 months.

How to Reheat Tilapia?

The best way to reheat tilapia is to put it in a preheated oven at 275F and heat for 15 minutes. The low temperature will slowly warm the fish without over-cooking it.

Watch How To Make Tilapia (Video)

Homemade Tilapia Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 119
This easy Tilapia recipe is the perfect dish to make when you are short on time and want something simple and delicious. The perfectly balanced sauce is a blend of butter, garlic, lemon, and spices that add depth and flavor to this dish!


  • 1/2 stick salted butter (melted)
  • 2 tbsp garlic (minced)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 6oz tilapia filets
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • 1 lemon (thinly sliced)
  • 3-4 tbsp fresh parsley (chopped)


  • Preheat your oven to 375F and prep a baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • Whisk together the melted butter, garlic, lemon juice, and zest in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Pat down the tilapia filets with a paper towel. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper (and crushed red pepper flakes (optional)) and place into the greased baking dish. Drizzle the lemon butter mixture over each tilapia filet.
  • Place the baking tray into the oven and bake the fish until it flakes easily, between 10-12 minutes. Garnish with lemon slices and freshly chopped parsley
Calories: 119kcal
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American


Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 108mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 687IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

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Author Megan Miller

I’m a mom of two, food and wine lover, and recipe creation enthusiast. Good food brings families together. Which is why I’m devoted to sharing my best recipes that are simple enough for even the beginner cook that your family will love!

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