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Lemon Butter Tilapia

This Lemon Butter Tilapia is a restaurant quality dish made at home! A simple garlic and lemon sauce elevates fish filets to extraordinary heights of flavor and aroma. Ready in minutes, it’s easy to make any night of the week but impressive enough for a special occasion!

Fish is much easier to cook than most people realize! You’ll love this healthy Bruschetta Salmon and this grilled Chimichurri Shrimp recipe too.

Garlic lemon tilapia on a white plate with asparagus.

Why This Recipe is Best

Never made tilapia before? This easy Lemon Butter Tilapia recipe is the perfect place to start. No guess work or no complicated cooking techniques here!

  • Flavorful tilapia – Tilapia filets have a mild taste that takes on the flavors of whatever you cook them with. They’re the perfect fish to pair with the lemon and garlic flavors in this recipe.
  • 15 minute meal – After coating it with lemon butter, the fish cooks to flaky tender perfection in about 10 minutes.
  • Baked with lemon wedges – We arrange lemon slices on top for a beautiful presentation and more fresh lemon aroma.

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make lemon tilapia.

Tilapia filets – Lacking the “fishy” flavor of other fish varieties, tilapia’s mild sweetness pairs wonderfully with zesty lemon juice. Use fresh tilapia from the seafood counter at your supermarket or frozen filets that have been thawed in the refrigerator.

Garlic – Minced and mixed with lemon juice and butter, the aromatic garlic makes this simple baked fish completely irresistible.

Lemons – You will zest and juice one lemon to make the lemon butter sauce. The other gets sliced thinly and arranged on top of the fish filets before baking.

Tips and Tricks

  • Start by arranging the fish filets in an even layer in a baking dish. Mix together the lemon butter sauce ingredients.
  • Pour the sauce over the filets and make sure each fish is evenly coated with the lemon butter.
  • Bake the tilapia until it easily flakes with a fork. This typically takes about 10 to 12 minutes. Be careful not to overbake or your fish will become rubbery.
Lemon tilapia in a 13x9 baking dish with lemon slices.

Recipe FAQs

What side dishes go well with baked Tilapia?

Turn this Lemon Butter Tilapia into a full healthy meal with a side of roasted broccoli or asparagus. It pairs well with Cauliflower Rice and a green salad too.

Is it better to bake fish covered or uncovered?

Some tilapia recipes call for covering the dish with foil before baking it in the oven. In this recipe, we preferred the taste and consistency of the tilapia when it was baked uncovered.

Why is my tilapia chewy?

When tilapia comes out chewy, it’s usually because it’s been overcooked. Every oven is different so make sure to check on the tilapia regularly as it bakes and take the fish out once it becomes tender and flaky.
You may also want to use an oven thermometer to make sure your oven isn’t overheating. Many home ovens have inaccurate temperature gauges. Cooking the fish at too high of a temperature can make it tough and rubbery, which nobody wants!

Can I use another kind of fish?

Other mild tasting fish varieties can be used in this recipe if you can’t find fresh (or frozen) tilapia filets. Red Snapper has an extremely similar taste profile to tilapia. Cat Fish is another good substitution.

More Easy Low Carb Dinners

Yield: 4 servings

Lemon Butter Tilapia

This Lemon Butter Tilapia is a restaurant quality dish made at home! A simple garlic and lemon sauce elevates fish filets to extraordinary heights of flavor and aroma. Ready in minutes, it's easy to make any night of the week but impressive enough for a special occasion!

This Lemon Butter Tilapia is a restaurant quality dish made at home! A simple garlic and lemon sauce elevates fish filets to extraordinary heights of flavor and aroma. Ready in minutes, it's easy to make any night of the week but impressive enough for a special occasion!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • Fresh chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and spray a baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Juice and zest one lemon and thinly slice the other lemon. In a small bowl combine the melted butter, minced garlic, lemon juice and lemon zest, salt and black pepper. 
  3. Arrange the tilapia in the baking dish and pour the lemon/butter mixture over the fish. Make sure the mixture is fully coating the fish. Arrange the lemon slices on top. 
  4. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the fish is cooked (when it easily flakes with a fork)
  5. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve with your favorite low carb side dishes. Enjoy!

Notes

Serving suggestions: Green salad, Roasted asparagus or broccoli, Cauliflower rice.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 336Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 413mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 45g

Make a healthy, low-carb dinner in minutes with this Lemon Butter Tilapia recipe. Seasoned with aromatic garlic and a squeeze of fresh lemon, baked fish never tasted so good!

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