This post may include affiliate links; for details, see our disclosure policy.

Looking for easy and flavorful tilapia recipes? From simple baking and pan-frying to creative dishes bursting with flavor, discover new ways to prepare this versatile white fish.

Baked Tilapia
Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!

Got tilapia and not sure what to do with it? We’re two cookbook authors and recipe developers who have spent years researching the best ways to cook this mild white fish. And we’ve found so many ways to make “fish for dinner” absolutely irresistible!

Try it baked and broiled, or go for fish sticks or fish tacos. There’s something for every eater and diet. Along with favorite recipes from this website, we’ve got ideas from a few other recipe developers around the web, too.

Ways to cook 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! The easiest method for cooking this fish is to bake it. You can simply season with olive oil and salt, or add the tomatoes and feta like in the recipe below.

Pan-frying is another quick and easy approach, resulting in a beautifully golden brown crust. Seasoning with herbs, spices, or a simple lemon butter sauce can elevate this basic technique. You can also grill it to infuse smoky flavor, bake it up into crispy fish sticks, or our favorite: turn it into tacos! No matter your preference, this white fish is a canvas ready to be transformed into a satisfying meal.

And now, our favorite tilapia recipes!

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.

Sauces to serve with tilapia

If you find a simple tilapia method you love like baking or pan frying, you can add a sauce to make it endlessly customizable. Here are a few sauces for fish that taste great with tilapia:

A few more fish recipes

If you love cooking with fish, there are lots of favorite fish recipes to choose from. Here are a few more ideas:

Frequently asked questions

Tilapia seems a little bland. How can I make it exciting?

Tilapia’s mild flavor is its strength! It readily absorbs marinades and sauces, allowing you to customize it to your taste buds. Experiment with herbs, spices, citrus juices, or ethnic-inspired flavor profiles.

What are some healthy ways to cook tilapia?

Here are some healthy options:
Baking: Marinate the tilapia, then bake for a hands-off and flavorful dish.
Poaching: Poach the tilapia in a flavorful broth for a light and protein-rich meal. (Go to Poached Salmon.)
Grilling: Marinated tilapia fillets can be grilled for a smoky and delicious main course.

I’m short on time. Are there any quick and easy tilapia recipes?

Absolutely! Here are some time-saving ideas:
Pan-frying: Season tilapia fillets and pan-fry for a quick and crispy meal.
Sheet pan meals: Combine tilapia with vegetables and a simple sauce, then roast on a sheet pan for a complete meal.
Tilapia tacos: Marinate and cook tilapia for flavorful fish tacos.

What are some kid-friendly tilapia recipes?

Tilapia’s mild flavor makes it perfect for kids! Here are some ideas:
Fish sticks: Cut tilapia into bite-sized pieces, bread them, and bake or pan-fry.
Tilapia nuggets: Marinate, bread, and bake bite-sized tilapia pieces for a fun finger food.
Fish and chips: Pair baked or pan-fried tilapia with homemade or store-bought french fries for a classic kid-pleaser.

How can I store leftover cooked tilapia?

Store leftover cooked tilapia in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Repurpose it in salads, sandwiches, or flake it over pasta for a quick and delicious meal.

Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Baked Tilapia

Baked Tilapia with Lemon

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 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 a 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 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. Sprinkle both 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 for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. isaimini says:

    thanks for this post

  2. R Sabbagh says:

    I can never find good tilapia recipes…
    until now!! This recipe was so so good!
    I’m printing it out so I’ll never lose it.
    Thank you so much :)

  3. DAN @ Sauce Grandmaster says:

    I want to replace the lemon with chutney, is it possible? Or use orange peel?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      That could be tasty!

  4. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!