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This baked tilapia recipe is bursting with flavor! Pair the fish with lemon, tomatoes and feta for an impressive yet easy dinner.

Baked Tilapia
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Here’s a tilapia recipe with a total wow factor: this Baked Tilapia with Tomatoes & Feta! The tender, flaky fish is covered in a lemon garlic sauce, cozied up with burst cherry tomatoes, Mediterranean seasonings and gooey bits of feta cheese. If you think baked fish sounds boring, this recipe is for you! Each bite is savory with just the right pop of brightness. It’s ready in just over 30 minutes and great for impressing on weeknights or dinner parties. This one has already jumped to star status in our house.

Ingredients for this baked tilapia recipe

This baked tilapia recipe is the ideal healthy dinner that’s impressively delicious. To be honest, when we’re meal planning the idea “baked fish” never feels that exciting. But this one? It was so tasty the first time we made it, we couldn’t wait to share it with you. The zing of the lemon, melty feta and tomatoes, and briny pop of capers make it irresistibly fresh. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Tilapia
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Shallot
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Feta cheese
  • Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika
  • Capers
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parsley, for garnish
Baked Tilapia

How to bake tilapia

Tilapia is a white fish with a mild, subtly sweet flavor. It doesn’t tasty fishy, so it’s good for people who think they don’t like fish. Tilapia is easy to bake: you can simply season with olive oil and salt, or add the tomatoes and feta like in the recipe below. Like any fish, how long to bake tilapia depends on its thickness:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Season the fish with olive oil and salt, and add any vegetables that will be cooking alongside it (see below.)
  • Bake for 23 to 28 minutes, depending on thickness, until the tilapia is flaky or reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

A few tips for seasoning

This baked tilapia is one of our favorite weeknight dinner recipes to date, because it looks and tastes so beautifully fun and fresh. A Mediterranean style recipe, it goes big on lemon, garlic and olive oil. Here are a few notes on the seasoning here:

  • Bake the tilapia with lemon slices, then remove when serving. Mixing the lemon slices right into the veggies makes for bold citrus flavor. Remove them when serving: unless you love very citrusy flavors. If so, you can definitely eat the lemon slices: they’re extra tangy!
  • Don’t omit the capers! Capers are a berry of the caper bush that’s native to the Mediterranean. They’re round and dark green gray, about the size of a peppercorn. Find them in the jarred section next to the olives at the grocery store. Their briny, salty flavor absolutely makes the dish!
  • Feta is also key. You can omit it for dairy-free diets. But the small melty chunks of feta cheese sprinkled throughout is what makes this dish! We’ll admit, we were loosely inspired by the viral TikTok baked feta pasta for this flavor combination: and it’s spot on.
Baked Tilapia

What to look for when buying tilapia

Is tilapia a sustainable fish? The vast quantity of tilapia available to buy is farm raised, so you’ll want to look for responsibly farmed tilapia. Here’s what Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch recommends:

  • Look for tilapia farmed in Peru in raceways and Ecuador in ponds. Then look for tilapia from Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Indonesia, and Taiwan. 
  • Tilapia is a Best Choice when farmed in indoor recirculating tanks with wastewater treatment and a Good Alternative when the wastewater isn’t treated.
  • Also, look for tilapia certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, Best Aquaculture Practices, and Naturland.

Sides to serve alongside

Make this baked tilapia into a meal by pairing it with a quick salad or veggie side dish! Here are a few ideas that keep the oven free:

More tilapia recipes

Tilapia is a favorite fish around here: it’s even milder than salmon, so it’s great for pleasing everyone. Here are a few more tilapia recipes to sample:

This baked tilapia recipe is…

Pescatarian and gluten-free. For dairy-free, omit the feta cheese.

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Baked Tilapia

Baked Tilapia

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4.9 from 22 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This baked tilapia recipe is bursting with flavor! Pair the fish with lemon, tomatoes and feta for an impressive yet easy dinner.


  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small lemon, thinly sliced into rings
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounce block feta cheese
  • 1 1/2 pounds tilapia
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (or standard paprika)
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • Finely chopped fresh parsley or basil, for garnish
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Chop the tomatoes, shallot, garlic, and lemon as noted above.
  3. Place the chopped vegetables and lemon slices in the bottom of a 9 x 13″ baking dish and mix with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Crumble the feta cheese into rough chunks and add it to the pan, tossing gently to combine.
  4. Pat the tilapia dry. Rub it with 1 tablespoon olive oil and ½ teaspoon kosher salt, split between the filets. Place it on top of the vegetables and feta in the pan. Sprinkle both fillets with the Italian seasoning and a few grinds fresh ground black pepper, then add the red pepper flakes and smoked paprika. Sprinkle the capers over the top.
  5. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish), until the fish is flaky and the internal temperature is 140 degrees Fahrenheit when measured with a food thermometer. Garnish with chopped parsley and remove the lemon slices when serving (or eat them if you like!).
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Gluten Free

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Mike Pare says:

    Love this Tilapia recipe. Easy to make.

  2. Eileen says:

    Absolutely delicious – so flavorful. Served this with sautéed green beans (also delicious) and roasted red potatoes. Yummy!!

  3. Caitlin S says:

    So flavorful and quick to whip up! I am dairy free and used vegan feta cheese and this dish was still so yummy. Will be making again!

  4. Sarah says:

    This is my new favorite A Couple Cooks recipe! So flavorful and easy to make. This is absolutely going on the regular dinner rotation at our house!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed!

  5. Mia Newman says:

    My husband and I are blown away by this recipe. I put his portion over brown rice and I put mine over greens to make a warm salad. Both equally delicious. The only thing I would change is covering the pan with foil because the capers got a bit too crispy. Otherwise, super delicious! Very complex flavors

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad to hear that! Thank you.

  6. Barrie says:

    I made that last night with tilapia and also 2 chicken breasts for my kiddos. It came out so perfectly! So flavorful! Fast! Healthy! I will definitely repeat this recipe again.

  7. Janet T says:

    WOW, this dish was superb! I started with excellent tilapia and followed exactly as described (except using regular paprika and not smoked). Zero left in the dish after dinner tonight. We are eating the Mediterranean diet as much as we can. This hit all my happy tastebuds, with the lemon, garlic, tomatoes, capers, feta, seasonings…A dish of perfection! I will be making this on a regular basis 😋

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