Lemon Garlic Tilapia

posted by Andrea | 05/28/2013

Lemon Garlic Tilapia

I’ve alway been intimidated with the thought of making fish at home. My mom never made fish, so I guess that might be part of the reason. Fish also tends to be more expensive than other cuts of meat — and I’ll be honest, I don’t love the smell of fish in my kitchen!

So over the course of our almost 7-year marriage, I’ve only made fish ONE time and it was salmon on the grill. The salmon was given to us from a friend, so I didn’t have to pay for it and I didn’t have to smell it cooking :)

However, a couple weeks ago, frozen tilapia fillets were on sale, and since tilapia is one of the few fish I actually enjoy, I thought I’d give it a try.

I found a few different recipes that all sounded really easy, so I mixed and matched some of the ingredients based on what I had in the house and based on the recipe reviews. Less than 10 minutes later, my fish was ready for the oven!

In my somewhat limited experience cooking tilapia, I can confidently say that our house did NOT smell fishy, the finished product was SO delicious, and the recipe could not have been easier (especially with the adjustments I made).

If you’d like to try making fish at home — or even if you’re just looking for a new fish recipe, give this one a try… I think you’ll like it!

Tilapia

Recipe for Lemon Garlic Tilapia

{print recipe}

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 3-4 tilapia fillets (roughly about 4 oz. each — and I used frozen)
  • 1 T. butter; melted
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 T. minced garlic (or 1 clove garlic)
  • 1 lemon; sliced

Optional Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 t. seafood seasoning (like Old Bay) — you might want to use this in place of the salt
  • frozen veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peppers, peas, etc.

**I did add frozen broccoli because I didn’t want to get another pan dirty, but I did not add any seafood seasoning because we didn’t have any in the house. 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375*F and lightly grease a baking dish

Place tilapia fillets in a single layer on the bottom of the pan (if using frozen, you’ll want to defrost them first.)

In a small bowl, mix melted butter, salt (or seafood seasoning), and minced garlic together. Pour mixture over tilapia

Place lemon slices over each fillet

If using veggies, add them to the pan around the tilapia fillets just before putting the pan in the oven.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Baked Tilapia

I served our tilapia with baked potatoes, broccoli, and a fresh fruit salad — it was fabulous! I think next time I’ll make rice and try a different vegetable.

This recipe is so simple, and I’m thinking it would be great for anyone with food allergies. I’m sure you could eliminate the butter if you are dairy-free (or just watching your weight) and I don’t think garlic or lemon are big allergy triggers.

I will most definitely be adding this recipe to our weekly meal plan the next time tilapia goes on sale.

Do you have any simple (non-smelly) fish recipes to share? If so, I’d love to give them a try!

Visit my virtual recipe box for more simple, delicious, family friendly recipes!

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19 comments

  1. Karen

    05/28/2013

    I cook a decent amount of salmon and shrimp, with the occasional tilapia, and have never had any of it smell strongly, whether baked or cooked in a pan on the stove. One of my favorite shrimp recipes was just to sauté them with butter, minced garlic, and fresh ginger. Very similar to a hibachi style shrimp. I’ll have to try the baked with lemon and garlic approach next time we do seafood :-)

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  2. Kristia

    05/28/2013

    I cook some kind of fish about twice a month. One of our favorite ways to eat tilapia is it roasted with tomatoes & olives. It’s so easy and really delicious. http://www.familybalancesheet.org/2011/02/roasted-tilapia-with-tomatoes-and.html

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  3. Ree Klein

    05/28/2013

    Yum. I love fish but rarely cook it. Don’t really know why…maybe the cost as you mentioned. I’ll have to give this a try. Thanks!

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  4. Carrie

    05/28/2013

    I saute tilapia with butter until it is almost flaky then add about 1 Tbsp Italian Salad Dressing and finish cooking until completely flaky. Theis is also excellent with the addition of some parmesan cheese. I also have an excellent recipe for Blackened Fish but am guessing smoke in your kitchen would deter you from my recipe:)

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  5. Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead

    05/28/2013

    We cook a lot of shrimp in pasta dishes. And love a high quality tuna steak. But one of the easiest and yummiest salmon recipes I’ve ever had is this beer poached salmon in a Roemertopf. That’s a ceramic baker. Super moist and it smells great cooking. ;)

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  6. Kim

    05/28/2013

    My husband’s favorite way for me to bake tilapia is to simply salt and coat in cornmeal. For us, it is a healthy alternative to fried fish.

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  7. Marissa

    05/28/2013

    These photos are making my mouth water!
    Our favorite way to prepare tilapia involves parmesan cheese, lemon, garlic, and basil. We’ll have to try this soon, though!

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  8. Siobhan

    05/28/2013

    Thanks so much! Just came upon your website a few days ago. I looked up how to organize baby clothing on google and read through your tips. I’ve been reading your blogs everyday since. Just to give a little background; I recently took a leave from my teaching job to be home with my girls who are 4 and 2. Our home was badly destroyed by Hurricane Sandy and getting back on our feet has been a challenge. Your tips on organizing and budgeting have been so helpful :)

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  9. Diana

    05/28/2013

    Perfect timing as I’ve had some tilapia in the freezer that needed to be used up. I liked the recipe!

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  10. Laura

    05/28/2013

    Andrea, was it watery at all? In the picture it looks watery, or was that the before picture? I am the same with you, I hate cooking fish. However if someone cooked me fish every day I would eat it happily and never eat chicken or meat again. I LOVE fish, just hate cooking it!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Yes Laura, when you take the fish out of the oven the pan does have quite a bit of juice in it — from the fish and the lemons I suppose. However, once you remove the fish from the pan and put it on a plate, it’s not “watery”… at least not in my opinion :)

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  11. krisna

    05/29/2013

    Tilapia is my favorite fish! At least the tilapia that we have here in the Philippines. But we seldom have it filleted, because by then, there’s little left. :-) So with the lemon and garlic, it must really be good especially if the fish is fresh. Nothing beats that!
    By the way Andrea, did you do something with your header? I couldn’t see it.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Krisna, I didn’t do anything with my header… so maybe you just need to clear your cache??
    And yes, I’m sure fresh fish would be better than frozen, but I’m taking baby steps into the world of fish cooking :)

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  12. Debbie

    05/30/2013

    I love to bake salmon basted with teriyaki sauce. The flavors work so well together and it’s so fast! I’ve done this with both homemade and store-bought sauce.

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  13. Marion McGrath

    06/02/2013

    I made this. Tonight and it was a big hit, my sons 21 & 20 loved it!

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  14. Char

    06/21/2013

    I live in Hawaii and we see tilapia as a doodoo fish. The reason why is because it is in our stink Ala Wai water and someone died before when they fell in. Mahalo

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  15. Elizabeth Post

    10/20/2013

    Just made this for lunch today! It was quick easy and delicious. All 3 kiddos ate it up! Will make ot again for sure!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Yay — glad your whole family liked it! Thanks for sharing!

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  16. 7 Easy Tilapia Recipes {that the kids will like} - Moneywise Moms

    03/18/2014

    […] Lemon Garlic Tilapia from Andrea Dekker It doesn’t get any easier! Just layer thawed tilapia in a baking pan with lemon slices and spices. You can even add frozen veggies right to the pan. This simple recipe gets dinner on the table within a half hour. […]

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